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Best BBQ in Miami

  • m

Where do you all go when you need your bbq fix? I live in the Gables, so Shorty's is a frequent stop and pretty damn good. Have ventured out to the People's bbq, and found the sides better than the meat itself. Where do you all go? Any holes in the wall down south? Anything worth a drive or in southern Broward County?

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  1. In south Broward there's a place (I don't remember the name) either on US 1 or Ocean between Young's Circle and 17th Street causeway, close to Las Olas on the east side of the street (you CAN'T miss it -- look for the smoke stack and the black clouds of goodness pouring out!). Southern authentic goodies; group seating (picnic table sort of things); ALWAYS PACKED, so bring a lunch for while you wait.OR, you can just call your order in in advance) Best BBQ n earth. Cash only. Collards and hush puppies to die for. It's worth the drive, even if you live in Orlando.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bagdoodle

      That'll be Tom Jenkins 1236 S Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale

      I like Beach BBQ too - 1555 Washington Ave. Miami Beach. We get the whacked pork plate - onion rings - "piggy sauce"

      mmmmmmmmm - Now I'm hungry.


      1. re: bagdoodle

        that place is in ft. lauderdalr on u.s.1 or federal highway n of 17 st . it is call ed Tom Jenkins bbq all is great but the mac and cheese rock.does anyone know of a good lunch place in the art/design district n of u. of miami that is open mon. for lunch?

        1. re: sandyrab

          Fratelli Lyon
          4141 Northeast 2nd Avenue
          Miami, FL 33137
          (305) 572-2901

          Fratelli Lyon
          4141 NE 2nd Ave. #101A, Miami, FL 33137

      2. Some very good recommendations are on the following post:
        (The Pit is my favorite)

        1. Have had Beach BBQ twice this week, and I am a dietitian...enough said ;-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: yomyb

            I vote for "The Pit" personally. Shorty's was better before they burned.

            1. re: yomyb

              Gotta say I just had the brisket there and really enjoyed it.

            2. The best ribs I have eaten in the MIA are at Lucy's. NW119th St and 22nd Ave. Pay inside pickup your bones outside, get in your car and GO HOME! Unless of course you feel comfy chowing down there that is.

              Tom Jenkin's on US1 in Broward is good too as is Jack's on Oakland Park Blvd. Southern style at Georgia Pig, also in Broward. Some people love Scrubby's up in Broward too.

              And I must say this, I saw a couple Cuban BBQ's recently in Hialeah, which I have not tried, but looked stupendous!

              1 Reply
              1. re: netmover

                Netmover, have you had a chance to try the Cuban BBQ places in Hialeah?

                At the moment, I can think of The Pit and BBQ Beach being the top places in Miami-Dade, judging by the reviews. But I've not tried either, yet. I've been hankering for BBQ lately, so I'm curious which I should go to (or perhaps some other location - People's BBQ, Shorty's, Koky's, etc).

                I know Uncle Tom's hasn't gotten favorable reviews, but my interest in that BBQ place got piqued after I saw a picture of them having an entire pig in a caja china!

              2. Before you go much further...You have to decide what "real bbq" is.....By most accounts..."real bbq" is meat that's been smoked at very low temperatures for long periods of time....A brisket or pork shoulder would be cooked at 225 - 250 degrees for 16 to 18+ hours and that's what most aficionados consider to be "real bbq".....Shorty's and The Pit...both places I like and frequent....offer....primarily grilled meats....not "real bbq" per se.....Love the pork from the Cuban "caja china"...but it's not "real bbq" per se....It has a steamed texture and is tasty....very tasty...love it....But not "real bbq" in the way meats are prepared in Texas or the Carolinas....OK?

                There are very, very few "real bbq" places...Understand that Tom Jenkins is good and would like to try....Would like to try Beach BBQ as well......The meats at Renegade BBQ at the Seminole Hardrock are indeed smoked for long periods and the brisket and ribs there are reasonably good and worth a try.....As restaurant BBQ goes....Smokey Bones wasn't bad but that was before Pillsbury / General Foods pulled the plug and brought them back as Red Lobsters......Oh, happy day!....LOL......

                Looking to try new places....but "REAL BBQ" isn't easy to find in these parts.......


                2 Replies
                1. re: LargeLife

                  I agree. The guy at Beach BBQ cooks the meat for 14 hours. It's real. some more talk here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/400542

                  1. re: LargeLife

                    EMac it's been three years since you've made this post. Have you found any good BBQ contenders I'm looking for a new BBQ place to try

                  2. This past week I sampled ribs from 4 different places (Miami & Fort Lauderdale), based on recommendations in various threads. (The particular branches of the chains that I chose was based on convenience.) Here is my ranking:

                    1. ***Tom Jenkins - Fort Lauderdale***
                    2. The Pit Bar-B-Q - Miami (16400 SW 8th St)
                    3. Shorty's - West Miami (Bird Rd)
                    4. Flanigan's - Miami airport (NW 12th st / NW 87th ave)

                    First, there's really no comparison between Tom Jenkins & The Pit on the one hand, and Shorty's & Flanigan's on the other. The taste of the ribs at the former two is vastly superior.

                    As a matter of fact, Flanigan's ribs shouldn't even be included in the real bbq category. The ribs I got there basically seemed to have been oven-baked then covered with bbq-type sauce. No smoke ring. No smoky flavor in the meat itself. Abomination.

                    Shorty's at least were real bbq, but not particularly good. Plus, the meat was very tough and grisly. The pork also smelled a little off.

                    I did a head-to-head trial of Tom Jenkins' and The Pit's ribs. Tom Jenkins was the clear winner. Strong smoke flavor in the meat and better-tasting sauce. Their cornbread is also tastier than The Pit's rolls.

                    The Pit has damn good barbecued 'gator sausage, however, which is worth a trip.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: racer x

                      Gator sausage, you say? Sounds badass.

                      I'm also going to keep suggestion Deep Down South until someone gets the idea and tries it. You all don't know what you're missing, it makes TJ's look like they serve ribwiches.

                      Deep Down South Barbecue
                      3101 W Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL

                      1. re: johnmlinn

                        Yeah, I have this in my queue even if I have to make a special road trip.

                        1. re: johnmlinn

                          Man, I'm looking forward to Peoples and James Barbeque, had BBQ Beach, but the Big Dawg I've found is Deep Down South...fixins, garlic stone crab, bones and chicken are the bomb! But they Mac & Cheese & BBQ sauce are off the chain. No contest for me so far. Bulldog has charisma though...they're rubs are great on chicken and they're Mac & Cheese is pretty gangsta, but they're beans are out of this world!

                      2. Any update on Bulldog BBQ's opening?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mikek

                          I think it is still a couple of months away

                        2. We like Shivers down south on US 1 around Naranja area. Similar set up as Shortys with long wooden tables, etc. and great ribs. Located at 28001 S. Dixie Highway. Also there is Sir Woody's at SW 344 St & Palm Drive in Florida City. This is the road you take to the Everglades. He has a huge pit that he parks on that corner on Friday and Saturdays only. He does ribs, chicken, briskets, etc. quite a fun man too. It is not a restaurant, but many go there have it boxed up and take home or take out on a nice picnic lunch. Grab some super great tamales at Moreno's while your there, 1 block away from Sir Woody's across from Florida City, City Hall.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cdesoto

                            Shivers and Shorty's are similar.....as they should be given that they were brothers!!.....But they don't serve "real bbq" in that their meats aren't slow smoked for 12 - 20 hours....They served par-baked ribs and grilled chicken.... that's pre-cooked....chilled....and "re-grilled" as needed....and that's OK as long as you know what it is.....I eat at the Shorty's next to my office in Doral and it's fine for a quick, satisfying lunch......Sir Woody does a nice job....not worth the drive just for that....but if you're down that way what the heck.....


                          2. Anyone heard a rumor about Bar-B-Que Beach closing down?

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: BurgerBeast

                              I picked up some spare ribs from Deep Down South yesterday.......
                              1. The area where the cart-trailer is located isn't in the best of neighborhood to say the least and many would feel a little uncomfortable.
                              2. They are very slow in filling the orders once they are taken. We waited about 20 minutes and there were only 2 people waiting ahead of us when we got there.
                              3. There is really no place to wait on your order other then to stand outside in the middle of the gas station plaza in intense heat.
                              4. ALL THAT BEING SAID, although the sauce is just a little bit salty for my taste, THE SPARE RIBS WHERE THE BEST I HAVE EVER HAD IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. JUICY, TENDER, GREAT SMOKE FLAVOR AND COLOR. I would definately go back and put up with issues 1,2,3 to get these ribs again.

                              1. re: danb73

                                Yepper... you will wait, it is a bad neighborhood, and the gas station is very suspect. But I agree, this is the best Q going down out here atm. The sauce is OK, but if you check out my review I noted I prefer to get the Q without it: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2008-...

                                Glad to see people are finally checking this place out!

                                1. re: johnmlinn

                                  This BBQ sounds great...but not sure if it's worth getting rolled for!!....I've been to some pretty suspect areas....southside of Chicago for Soul Food....Avenue D in Ft. Pierce for Ribs at Tilman's BBQ.....But not sure I'm venturing to this area....Then again....I've driven 100 miles for a great taco....lol.....


                                  1. re: LargeLife

                                    Heh! Well, I'm not sure you're going to get rolled there, ha ha! It is a nasty area, no doubt, but I never felt in fear of my life or anything. I just order and wait in my car with the ac on. :-D The place is open really late though, and many times I've been out around 2am and thought to myself, "BBQ would be sooo badass right now." But then I thought about the prospect of sitting in that lot at 2 am, probably alone, and decided not to. Maybe if I was hungrier...

                                    1. re: johnmlinn

                                      Deep Down South is only open Weds - Sun, and the closing times posted on their van are pretty early (I think 9pm is the latest they are open, if I remember right).

                                      1. re: racer x

                                        They must've changed their hours then. Not surprising, I can't imagine who would wait around that place after midnight for BBQ.

                                        1. re: johnmlinn

                                          Stopped by Deep Down South tonight. The hours painted on the van say they close at 7:30 Weds-Fri and 9:00 Sat, Sun. But I asked them what their hours are, and they said that they actually close at 11:00pm during the week (and later on the weekend, although I didn't ask).

                                          Incidentally, I wasn't too wowed by their babyback ribs. The meat was too dry, tough & stringy, and didn't have much of a smoke flavor. Plus they drowned it in their sauce -- the sauce itself is just so-so. Didn't try their other ribs, chicken, or pulled pork.
                                          Their fried shrimp are very good, though.

                                          Considering that they have no place to sit while you wait or while you eat, and no bathroom, their prices are on the high side.

                                          I also made another negative observation while there which Chowhound guidelines won't allow me to post.

                                          Overall, I'd say DDS is not worth a drive from Miami.
                                          I'd also say Tom Jenkins' is better.

                            2. I was at BBQ Beach (the North Miami location) a couple weeks ago and heard a server mention to a customer that there was a new executive chef (the term "executive chef" somehow seems out of place in a BBQ joint, but anyway ...). The dry-rubbed spare ribs we got as an app (the "Bucket of Bones") were still pretty good, as was my "Carolina Piggie" (pulled pork tossed w/ spicy cole slaw). The turkey that Little Miss F got had seemingly been over-brined, as it was oversalty and mushy.

                              1. as a transplanted texan, the best bbq i've found down here wasnt in a restaurant. on saturday and sunday off of broward and NW 27th ave, there's an open lot where a couple guys set up shop with a smoker and offer chicken and ribs. its cash only and its usually a pretty long line, but well worth the wait...especially down here where ribs are more often cooked in an oven than a smoker.

                                and for the record, i went to ernies and had the worst ribs ive ever had in any state or any restaurant.

                                1. I love BEEF RIBS!!
                                  Please tell me where to go for good, crusty beef ribs!!!

                                  1. I've tried all of the rib places mentioned and I think the best of them all is a place that gets very little recognition. It's a little place in Ft. lauderdale on Sunrise and NW 6th Ave...that's about a 1/2 mile east of 95 on the north side of the road...it's called Texas BBQ...the guy in the kitchen worked for Tom Jenkins for over 8 years and Jay, the owner couldn't be nicer or more informative on the subject of BBQ. The place isn't fancy and does a mostly take-out business...

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: halesq

                                      It's actually called Texas Hold 'Em. I've never much been impressed with them. But the last time I've been was about a year ago.

                                        1. re: aynrandgirl

                                          I wouldn't say so, no. They do have smoked sausage and brisket, but I doubt it'll fool anyone.

                                          1. re: johnmlinn

                                            Too bad, I have a big craving for Texas-style 'Q and chili. Still, I *do* like a good smoked sausage, especially if it's spicy.

                                            1. re: aynrandgirl

                                              Let's face it, there is no GREAT bbq restaurant in South Florida. There are some pretty good places but even those joints are inconsistent and dependant on what day of the week and what hour of the day you visit!

                                              BBQ Beach, Jenkins and Austins were amongst the best places I've been (in no particular order). People's was interesting because of the side sould food dishes and the ribs might have been great but they hacked them into a million chunks and it was hard to gauge how good they were or weren't.

                                              If you crave great BBQ I think it's best to make a hobby of it and start cooking your own like I do. Sure, there are times you don't want to go to the trouble. But the satisfaction of trying to do your own is immense.

                                              I'm not advertising but I have a Big Green Egg smoker / grill and it's an amazing device that turns out incredible BBQ and anyone can do it. And I'm sure they're are other great BBQ contraptions that work just as well.

                                              Not saying don't go to the BBQ restaurants. I still do. But my expectations are tempered. In this day and age it's alot to ask of any restaurant to smoke a pork shoulder or Boston Butt at 225 degrees for 14 to 18 hours over hickory or oak wood. And then when you get ribs that still have the back membrane, you know you're not at a "real" BBQ establishment.


                                              1. re: LargeLife

                                                The sad thing is that most Q restos blow bug bucks on smokers, i.e. Shorty's, yet *completely* miss the intended usage of such a device. A smoker is not just a heating device used for cooking, it's used to infuse smoke into the meat. Sadly almost all of them miss the mark entirely. It's like buying an expensive boat, pulling it around town, and never getting it off of the trailer....ever. I better stop there before I blow......

                                                I've made use of a $30 Brinkmann smoker I bought about 8 years ago at K-Mart. Mind you that the temperature is unstable due to the thin metal casing and needs attention, but I can make some killer dry rubbed meats smoked to my perfection.

                                                1. re: freakerdude

                                                  I've been to BBQ Beach 3 or 4 time since it is very close to my home on Miami Beach and I do not understand how anyone can put this joint in the category of best of anything. The ribs are sub-par and the sides are not even worth mentioning. I've had baby back ribs at Houstons that are way better. BBQ Beach is not in the top in my humble opinion.

                                                  1. re: freakerdude

                                                    Freaker....check out the Big Green Egg....they're pricey....but awesome...They're ceramic and hold the heat in.....You can 20 hours plus on one load of lump charcoal.....



                                        2. Real BBQ and OUTSTANDING!!!

                                          Tom Jenkins - Ft Lauderdale. All around great.
                                          The Georgia Pig - 441/Davie Blvd Ft Lauderdale. An institution.
                                          Arts BBQ - Coral Springs. Newer, but best sauce in teh business. Also greens and Daddy's beans are best ever.

                                          Shortys is avewrage compared to the ones above.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jorser

                                            Nobody really mistakes Shorty's for "real bbq" these days. It's grilled and that's about it. It's fast and convenient and reasonably OK for what it is. I think eat there out of habit because the Doral location is less than a block from my office, it's fast and I still like the corn after all these years. Grew up on Shorty's brother's place down in Naranja - Shivers and way, way back in the day they cooked over hickory and oak. I will say this, the chicken wings at Shorty's are reasonably good. They've been smoked then quickly deep fried (it appears) and they're not bad and their dipping sauce is tasty.


                                          2. Mama Lucy's on NW 119th St and NW 22nd Ave was recommended in another thread
                                            They have oil barrel grills out front, and you can smell the smoke as you walk up to the door.
                                            I tried their bbq ribs and chicken the other day. Very unpleasant chemical undertone, which marred what might otherwise have been some pretty good 'cue.
                                            The cornbread was the extremely sweet kind, in my opinion too sweet for eating with sweet bbq.
                                            Also, some of the vilest peach cobbler I have EVER had ...

                                            Lots of customers, so somebody sure likes what they sell.
                                            Wondering whether the off-tasting bbq was a fluke, and whether it's worth another try some time.

                                            1. Tried 3 additional places head-to-head yesterday.

                                              Bar-B-Que Beach 1555 Washington Ave Miami Beach
                                              St. City Coffee Shop 9302 NW 22nd Ave Miami
                                              VII Sports Club 5994 NW 22nd Ave Miami

                                              Bar-B-Que Beach
                                              I had the highest expectations for Bar-B-Que Beach because of the many positive reviews I'd read. Ordered the babyback ribs with Sweet Georgia Brown sauce. Very disappointed. These ribs, which were fall-off-the-bone tender, tasted like oven-baked ribs covered with an unremarkable bottled bbq sauce (reminded me of the ribs from Flanigans). No smoke flavor in the ribs at all. Two sides come with the order (total cost for smallish half-slab and sides $13 - a pretty decent price for MB). I tried the fries, which I didn't like because they seemed to have been fried in a peanut oil (I like peanut oil for certain dishes, especially in Chinese dishes, but it really didn't work well for french fries).

                                              Saint City Coffee Shop
                                              At St. City, at least when I went by on an early Fri evening, you order from takeaway windows on the sidewalk; there are oil barrel smokers across the parking lot to the side, although they didn't appear to be in use while I was there. These ribs were tender, meaty, somewhat smoky, and a lot better-tasting than what I have had from Bar-B-Que Beach, People's, Shorty's, Deep Down South, and Mama Lucy's. But still not good enough to be worth a drive across town.

                                              VII Sports Club
                                              This takeout place is just a short drive away from St. City down NW 22nd Ave, but had a much larger crowd of hungry customers waiting for orders at a table out front (there were 3 people, including me, ordering at St. City, compared to about a dozen at VII Sports Club). There were piles of wood stored on the sides of the small parking area and the ordering area, and thick billows of smoke were pouring from the smokers. When the wind is blowing in your direction, you'll know you are nearing VII Sports Club from the aroma. The ribs here were large, meaty, and tender. They came with a mustard-based sauce that I thought I wasn't going to like but that I actually found I like quite a lot (and you can always ask for no sauce or sauce on the side). The only complaint would be that some of the ribs were slightly oversalted, but not to the point that they weren't still good. I also tried some of the lemon pound cake and sock-it-to-me cake, which were both good but nothing spectacular (similar to what you can find at local supermarket bakeries or Costco).

                                              Overall, I'd say the ribs at VII Sports Club were the best I've had in the Miami area, probably even better than Tom Jenkins'. But I would still rate them only good, not amazing or particularly memorable. And, again, note that they use a mustard-based sauce (I didn't ask if they have any other kind of sauce because I wasn't expecting this kind of sauce when I was ordering).

                                              1. Tom Jenkins is a GREAT BBQ place, no doubt about it. I have traveled throughout the South and Mid-West sampling 'que and ribs for years and Tom Jenkins is definitely on the elite level. Best spare rib I have ever had. It does not require sauce at all.

                                                1. After a head-to-head comparison of Tom Jenkins' to VII Sports Club's ribs tonight (both with sauce and with sauce on the side), I can now say confidently that VII Sports Club's ribs do taste better than Tom Jenkins'.

                                                  1. If you want some kickass ribs & chicken, check out "Skebos" just off the Gratigny Pkwy (119th St) and 27th Ave. Basically, its a guy who sets up some 'que gear in the parking lot of Club Lexx. I had the ribs this past week and they were awesome. The sauce was like a riff off of all bbq sauce regions - NC vinegar based, SC mustard based, and KC/TX tomato based. Unbelievably good. He has chicken and ribs and also chicken soup (it had some name that I cant recall). He can get your other stuff from the kitchen of Club Lexx if you want (uh... you probably dont)

                                                    FYI - Club Lexx is a strip joint and there is no seating outside at Skebos so you probably wanna have somewhere to go mow down your 'que.

                                                    1. People's is the subject of a couple of very unflattering articles in the Miami NewTimes this week.

                                                      And the restaurant has been (temporarily?) closed by the health department.

                                                      1. you guys are missing one ,a food truck called Blue Willies very good texas style brisket , and ribs

                                                        1. Beef Ribs are exceptional. Sides are great. Good service. In the Gables.

                                                          1. We have a new contender! Bo Leg’s BBQ. Strictly takeout. in a truck on 167st between NE 2nd and 3rd. open 4pm to 10:30 Wed to Sat. In the parking lot of a coin laundry South side of the street.

                                                            No place to sit but the best ribs I ever had ate them with the hot BBQ sauce.
                                                            Also kick-ass Jerk chicken. ate it with the hot mustard sauce. This man understands heat! just a little going in and then the pepper hits you for around 5 to 10 minutes. Eat in the car or take it home you cannot miss!

                                                            Still love Georgia pig for chopped sandwiches but this blows Tom Jenkins off the map!

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Bigstu99

                                                              I've driven by there before. Isn't it on 163rd?

                                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                Yes and no... coming from the beach 163rd becomes 167 around the curve by Publix I believe.

                                                                stop in tho.

                                                              2. re: Bigstu99

                                                                I tried them about a year ago, I think.
                                                                It was so-so, not good enough for me to have sought them out again.
                                                                It smelled a lot better than it actually tasted.

                                                                1. re: racer x

                                                                  I recently discovered Shiver's BBQ on Dixie Hwy and 280th St in Homestead. Excellent Baby back ribs! Been twice and not disappointed though is is a bit far for us to travel from Miami Beach.

                                                                  1. re: Skeeta

                                                                    Ummm.....Shivers leaves the back skin on the baby backs....That's the difference between excellent and just fair.....It takes less than 15 seconds to take that skin off....and that's BBQ 101.....I've eaten there 100,000 times.....(born and raised in Homestead)....But it's been a while as it's been through many different hands over the past 10 years....They were part of the Shorty's family.....Instead of traveling from Miami Beach....buy yourself a Big Green Egg....and i'll come over and show you how to use it.....and you'll be BBQ'ing like a champ......

                                                                    Ft. Pierce, FL