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Feb 3, 2007 04:18 PM

Where can I find good BBQ in SF?

I'm living in North Beach right now and looking for some goood BBQ - ribs, burgers, steaks. etc. Any suggestions?

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  1. Do you want BBQ or a good grill place. For great bbq...Memphis Minnies on Haight is the best & most consistent. For a burger....Rosamunde Sausage next to Toronado does the best Burger I've had in the city, on Tuesdays only though. Take a day off work...have a burger for lunch while enjoying great beers at the Toronado....stumble a few store fronts down & have some kick ass bbq for dinner at Memphis Minnies.

    1. One of our very faithful CH wrote this article. Personally, I have yet to find really great bbq, so far the Sacramento area has better places than we do.

      1. While I know nothing about BBQ in Sacramento, I agree with Lori that getting out of SF will produce better Que. My two favorites are Coyote Sam's in Fairfield and Texas Smoke House BBQ in San Jose.

        Coyote Sam's has a more expansive menu with corn biscuits instead of sliced bread and considerably more seating. Also, for those of us with a Southern twist, both serve cornmeal-breaded fried fish but Coyote Sam's serves more varieties including fried oysters. Texas Smoke House has the superior collard greens. Both Que sauces and smoked meats are out of this world.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Carrie 218

          I second Texas Smoke House they have a great sauce , have not tried Coyote Sam's thanks for mentioning it.

        2. Go to Memphis Minnie's on Haight near Fillmore (much written about it here) and Roadside BBQ on Geary at 2nd Ave, a quite good new addition (skip their beans, though).

          1 Reply
          1. Sounds like you are looking more for a good grill place. If so, you may want to consider Q on Clement around 3rd or 4th Ave.

            I would have to agree with the other poster that Memphis Minnie's would have to be the best barbecue in town, although their ribs can be inconstant.

            For the best mesquite grilled fish on the planet, I would have to recommend the Halibut Steak at Tadich Grill.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Civil Bear

              I am mystified by the popularity of Memphis Minnie's. I've been several times, and can't quite remember the things I've had, but I do remember not thinking any of it was anywhere near good. I like their one vinegary sauce, but that's about it. However, I went to Lily's this weekend and had the babyback ribs, and those were pretty amazing. Didn't have quite enough black crispy bits to satisfy me, but still leaps and bounds beyond Memphis Minnie's.

              1. re: fistalee

                MM is popular because they are one of the few places that still barbecue the old fashioned way, with lots of time and smoke, and no gas or electricity -- and that includes the majority of places in the south-east nowadays, btw. They are all about the meat, and [thankfully] don't smother it is sauce like so many other Bay Area joints. I haven't tried their baby-backs (do they serve them?), but their St. Louis cut spareribs are fantastic at times, yet dried-out on other days. Their brisket is consistently good though, as well as there rib tips, and their sides are much better than the average bbq fare. And I will travel across town on Wednesdays for their smoked pastrami when I have a hankering'!

                That said, my favorite BBQ joint in SF was Cliff's on Bayshore, until he decided to retire last summer.

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  Memphis Minnie's does not have baby backs. I prefer spare ribs myself.

                  Their brisket is better than Big Nates', Johnson's, Lilly's, or Roadhouse's.

                2. re: fistalee

                  Memphis Minnie's is all about the brisket. I couldn't remember another thing about the place other than they have sake ... and the sides, as most BBQ places, were only ok. Also, like all BBQ places occasionally there will be an off day or hour even with the brisket, but it is usually reliable and wonderful.

                  How are the sides at Lilly's? Have you tried anything else there?

                  1. re: rworange

                    I've only been the one time, so only know about the babybacks. They were out of baked beans, and my friend ridiculously ordered "string beans" which were standard issue green beans right out of a can. I happen to like canned green beans, but still.... Also had the potato salad. Nothing too interesting there. I see that they have greens on Sundays, though.

                    1. re: fistalee

                      Lilly's has a tendency to run out of things. One time I went in around 7pm on a Friday and one of the people in line ahead of me got the last order of ribs. Nothing left but chicken.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        That's actually a positive sign. Means they're not cooking more meat than they serve, which is how most bbq places start to slide in terms of quality...

                  2. re: fistalee

                    I was also not impressed by MM's. I'll have to try Lily's.

                    I know this does not fall under the category of BBQ Joint, but Houston's baby back ribs are amazing.