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BEST BBQ in Manhattan?

I'm searching for the finest, old style, comfort bbq food in NYC?

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  1. R.U.B on 23rd just west of 7th.

    You will get a lot of posts for this question. (Also, you should check past posts.)

    Consider the following criteria as you decide:
    1. Cheap or expensive? (Blue Smoke is expensive)
    2. Conveniently located? (Daisy Mae sit-down is far away, their street carts offer no seating, of course; Dino is in Harlem, a bit of a hike from midtown)
    3. Tourist/chain like? Some of the places, though good tasting, fell like Applebee's (Dallas)

    At R.U.B., don't forget the authentic sweet tea and the fried oreos.

    1. BTW, you can probably find an extensive thread on this topic under The Best of....

      1. Just went to Shady Jake's across from the SW corner of MSG last night. Pretty dang good, and we're from the South. I recommend the brisket, but you won't go wrong with the pulled pork. The sauces are great as are the baked beans and sweet potato fries. The potato salad was too mayo-y for my taste though.

        1. Pulled pork from the Hog Pit in the meat packing district. They serve it on metal plates and it tastes amazingly good!

          1. Dpends what you're looking for...

            Pulled Pork - RUB hands down
            Beef Ribs - Daisy May's (Blue Smke is a close second)
            Baby Back - Houston's (call me crazy)
            Sides - Blue Smoke
            Chicken - RUB

            I could go on and on but for me, overall, my two favorite BBQ spots in the city are Blue Smoke and RUB

            1 Reply
            1. re: Todd

              RUB for Beef Ribs- BY FAR! Mondays and Tuesdays. BY FAR. I ate there last night and it was slamming on all fronts- My one beef rib should've been all I got, butI also had half a rack of baby backs and a half order of burnt ends. All top notch.

            2. I've been a big fan of Blue Smoke, but two recent trips to Dinosaur have me on the fence.

              Blue Smoke's Salt & Pepper ribs are excellent, but I think Dinosaur might win out overall. And Daisy May's Oklahoma Beef RIb is one of the best things I have ever eaten... like candymeat.

              So I think the answer is that it depends, like the poster above says. Plus, half the fun of BBQ is arguing about it The good thing about this is that just a few years ago, there were no good places at all.

              1. I'm a HUGE fan of the Dino, having grown up near the original in Syracuse. The Harlem locale has great ribs that come off the bone easily and a good smoke ring, excellent pulled pork, smoky brisket, great sides like mac-n-cheese, BBQ beans, BBQ fried rice, lots of sandwiches. I went there 3x in one week (granted I was working on 116th street), but I would go there first before all others.
                Not a huge fan of Blue Smoke solely because the price. The food is tasty (devilied eggs, pulled pork, not a huge fan of the ribs) But I'm more of a "meat and three" kinda guy when it comes to barbeque instead of ala carte.
                Virgils is definitely touristy, but I've been there a number of times and always had a good meal. The ham is great!
                Daisy May's has really good Texas Red Chili, KC Sweet and sticky ribs, but I thought their sides were a bit lacking in flavor (except the creamy corn with cheddar!).
                I liked R.U.B. but though it too was a bit pricey. I got a Memphis style pulled pork sandwich and a side of beans and it cost me nearly $17.00. That said, the food is damn tasty and I'd still go back, but not my first choice.
                Brother Jimmy's I found to be just okay. I think they really pack the frat boys and sorority girls in there and move a lot o' booze. Too much sauce, not enough smoke.

                1. Daisy May's chili (bowl-o-red-no beans) kicks major ass!

                  1. i hate RUB and thought it was the worst bbq i ever had. i don't get it.

                    love blue smoke and dinosaur bbq the best. virgil's is solid. haven't tried daisy mae yet.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: hoon

                      I respect your opinion, but you are an outlier. R.U.B. holds up against any BBQ I've had in the country (Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, TN etc.)

                      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                        I'd second that NativeNyer...and have heard the same from out of town (from bbq towns) visitors that I've taken there.

                        Don't dispute that you 'hate' it, Hoon-- can you explain why? Just curious....

                        1. re: BackyardChef

                          The ribs were so dry. I just didn't think it had good quality meat. I am from the south so I was comparing to what I grew up with. I went with a bunch for friends who all agreed and we have never been back. However, maybe it was just a bad one-time thing so I am willing to try again. I also didn't like the sides. They were sloppy and just didn't taste well.

                    2. Dinosaur - BBQ wings, beef ribs, brisket and VALUE ($20/person including beer is a steal)
                      Blue Smoke - Mac and Cheese
                      Daisy Mae's - Pulled pork sandwiches but the sides are blah

                      1. I have to go with Dino as well. Blue Smoke would be the last on my list.

                        1. virgils is way too spicy and oily to be taken seriously.

                          the best in nyc is rub followed by dinosaur...but at the end of the day, no one comes close to having some real bbq like at germantown in memphis.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sam1

                            i've actually been to germantown commissary, and wasn't terribly impressed, sure there's sweet tea, and some smoke in the meat, but nothing tremendouis.

                            1. I agree with Todd. The baby back ribs at Houstons are amazing.
                              I had the beef short ribs from RUB and they were also very good.
                              Blue Smoke has good ribs and side but is the most expensive of the bunch.
                              I was not impressed with Dinosour up in Harlem. Didnt try the wings though, only the ribs.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: sherm13

                                I'm not sure what you mean by "beef short ribs". The beef ribs at RUB is actually a misnomer, because an order consists of one gigantic rib. And it is soooooo good. I'm sorry for harping on it, but they don't sell short ribs.

                                1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty

                                  Rooty...you've got to give the jumbo beef rib at Daisy May's...it's a little peice of heaven

                                  1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty

                                    Unless you're being facetious: "Short ribs" refers to the specific cut, not to the length of the bone or the amount of meat -- but yes, RUB does serve just one rib per portion, and yes, it's both large and very tasty.

                                2. DINO DINO DINO!!!

                                  I am an obsessive foodie and Dinosaur BBQ up in harlem is the BEST place for BBQ in the city. Hands down! It has the best combo of quality food, price and fun atmosphere.

                                  1. I've gotta put in a serious plug for Daisy May on 11th Ave. & 46th St. Get the Jumbo Oklahoma Beef Rib Special with 2 sides (I like the spinach and baked beans) or the Beef Rib Sandwich. I go to heaven every time. This past Wednesday, The NY Times Dining In section mentioned their red velvet cup cakes. That's next on my list.

                                    1. I may not have been to many BBQ places in new york, but I've always gone to Virgil's, it's plenty close to Times Square, but it's not a tourist trap and I'm pretty sure it's not a chain.

                                      It's always had good service and really good food.

                                      1. I'm not really jumping into the fray, because I haven't been to many places, but for all the complaints about the sides at Daisy Mae's, their sweet potatoes are one of the most amazing things i have ever tasted. They bear no resemblance to a vegetable, with a texture more like a pudding. Sweet, rich, heady flavor with what seem like a hint of banana, which sounds weird, but.. sigh...


                                        1. I am a HUGE fan of Bluesmoke's BBQ, even though the ribs are on the pricier side, but they are definitely worth the dollar. I always order their rib sampler which has a few pieces of every kind, and I just cannot tell which ribs I like the best, because they are simply all very good! I am going there again this week... :)