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Barbeque Restaurants in the GTA?

After visiting Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester NY and enjoying thier ribs, chicken and pulled pork (they have 3 industrial fridge smokers) it got me thinking are there any decent BBQ pits in the GTA?

BTW if you have never been to Dinosaur BBQ in Upstate NY (Rochester would be the closest) it is worth the 4 hour drive!

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    1. the short answer is no

      1. Buster Rhino's in Whitby has a lunch counter that serves pulled pork, brisket, and pulled chicken sandwiches. They have been catering for a couple of years and I believe they use Southern Pride smokers for their commercial business. They sell their meats in vacuum sealed packages and you can boil and serve at home to reheat. I'm pretty sure this is how they serve their meats at the lunch counter, from the pouch. This way they don't lose the moisture in a warming tray. The meat can occasionally be a little salty but it's still better than most 'BBQ' chains are offering out there currently.... I'm pretty sure they're open 10-7 Mon-Fri.

        They're located south of the 401 at the intersection of Thickson Rd and Wentworth St in Whitby.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Dr Butcher

          Sounds interesting; however, they use maple smoke. Try the blue BBQ pit at Lakeshore/Windermere beside the lake!

        2. I'm looking for something in Peel Region

          1. Cluck Grunt and Low was a disappointment. Purple Pig for Pulled Pork and Phil's for brisket........

              1. I won't comment on GTA BBQ beyonf stating that camp 31 in Paris rules, but as tartiflette has said, its a dead horse.

                Bu I have had the pleasure of eating at Dinosaur BBQ and man o man o man, if you haven't been there, its worth the drive, no question. We ran across it one evening by chance, and spent the night eating ribs and pulled pork and listening to a mississippi bluesman. Ain't never been nothing like that in TO, i reckon.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bluedog

                  Agreed in spades! Luv the Dino..

                2. Oh my another BBQ request.

                  The best thing closest to the GTA (once again) is Camp 31 BBQ in Paris ON.

                  1. Coming from The South (where BBQ is not a food but a way of life!!), I have very little patience for bad or even mediocre BBQ. In my years of living here, I have yet to find one place that serves anything even passable as BBQ. NOBODY gets it right. The key element to BBQ-ing, TIME, is given short-shrift. I gave up trying to eat BBQ out and just built myself a BBQ pit (the only true way of bbq-ing), much to the chagrin of my neighbours (until they ate the 'cue!!). The way most places fancy it up and overcharge for it is appalling as well. And for the record, maple smoke doesn't cut it!! It gives the meat a strange flavour and it just doesn't have the bite of say, hickory. There is plenty of great food to be had in this country, but BBQ (along with Mexican and chili for that matter) is not one of them.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: moptop1966

                      I'll disagree with your assesment of maple wood. It's not good for pork or beef but is the best thing for salmon.
                      As for local wood, in fact the best wood I've had for pork, it's apple. There is an apple farm not far from here and I usually stock up in the spring. So perfect for pork.
                      I also pick up a few bags of hickory when down yonder at the inlaws.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        I did a pulled pork and pulled chicken last night in my little Weber kettle. Excellent, if I do say so myself. Maple charcoal and hickory chips which I picked up in Nashville. We had just had pulled pork sandwiches from Jim 'n Nicks a few days before, and the consensus was that it was just as good. Enough for leftovers tonight, too. I'll have to give apple wood a try, DT. Do you use the wood for fuel or just for flavour?

                        1. re: Yongeman

                          Kinda both. I soak large pieces so that the smoke for a while but ultimately, they burn.
                          I use hard wood charcoal as well.


                          1. re: Yongeman

                            Camp 31 was ok but I wouldn't go back (why bother when I can get award-winning BBQ at home!!). I ate at the original Camp 31 in Alabama (which I liked quite a bit) so I had high hopes for this one. It's been "sanitized" for Canadian consumption and was a letdown. They should be ashamed of themselves for "dumbing down" the food.

                            1. re: moptop1966

                              I recently got the chance to visit Camp 31 after reading many positive reviews on this board. I have to agree, it was average. Not bad, but not the heavenly Q shack it was made out to be by some.

                              Sauces were far too sweet and didn't compliment the meat. Pulled Pork was the best, though a little dry. St. Louis cut ribs were a bit undercooked and they didn't remove the silver skin on the back side. By undercooked, I don't mean raw, just a little tougher than they should be. Chicken leg was also undercooked, though it had the most balanced smoke flavour. I would have tried the brisket, but unfortunately, there was none.

                              We were there around 1:30 pm, so it may be they hadn't had time to cook everything properly. Coleslaw was bland and beans were just horribly sweet.

                              As Moptop1966 noted, you can't shortcut this stuff. It's never as good. Phil's in town is frankly just as good (at least the brisket and pulled pork are) and doesn't require a drive to Paris, ON.

                              With the Cluck, Grunt & Low debacle just hammering home the point you can't get decent BBQ in the GTA, I would recommend people concentrate on perfecting their own BBQ in their backyards. It's likely to be as good if not better then anything a restaurant around here would serve up.

                        2. re: moptop1966

                          moptop1966, have you been to Camp 31? Just wondering what your assessment is, given your background. my understanding is that they use southern methods, and further have a sister restaurant in Alabama, so hopefully they've got it right. I love eating there, and when I bring the leftovers for lunch the next day, everyone in the office is jealous.

                        3. I've heard good things about Sweet Smoke in Oakville...


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: doji

                            beware the price & tiny portions

                            pulled pork sandwich was good, get it without the "sloppy top"