Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Aug 31, 2007 07:35 AM

Burlington Rib Fest - Labour Day

I have a buddy who heads down and says it's been great, any other feelings? I've never been to an event like this, but with all the recent talk of no good BBQ in Toronto, ribs/pulled pork/etc are on my list, is this a good option for a taste of the real deal?

...some of the ribbers are from chain-like resto's, good or bad thing?...are there any I should not miss or skip for sure?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think you'll find the resounding response to be if Camp 31 is coming to your town you should very definitely go. Just search that place on this website and you'll see what I mean.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      ...thanks Googs, I won't miss 'em!

      1. re: Recyclor

        You're going to love ribfest. Its definately one of my favourite events of the summer. Camp 31, uncle sams, gators, and billy bones are usually the four stands I enjoy....You cannot really make a bad choice though....All are very good....and burlington has such a nice location for their ribfest....right on the lake....enjoy!

          1. re: Recyclor

            Good to hear - I'm going to be there on Sunday.

            1. re: pescatarian

              See ya there...I'll be the 6'6" guy with a big smile and BBQ sauce all down his shirt!

    2. also try the beef ribs at blazin bbq

      6 Replies
        1. re: Recyclor

          And if you still haven't had enough, it's in Aurora Sept7-9. A coupon for a couple bucks off a half rack available at

          1. re: Wiley

            Nice, thanks, I'm hoping it'll be so good I'll go to that one too!

            1. re: Recyclor

              wow....thanks for the Aurora heads I thought it was Burlington where I'd be saying my annual good-bye to ribfest. Now I can delay that depressing departure for another week....
              Yum, can't wait for the ribs!

              1. re: pancake

                Are those same ribbers going to be in Aurora? I didn't see any info on that site.

                1. re: Chester Eleganté

                  Not sure about how many..last year there were 7 or 8, I think, including Camp 31

      1. I just got back from Ribfest. We tried the ribs (side ribs) and pulled pork combo, which came with coleslaw and baked beans from Camp 31 and the ribs (back ribs) with corn and baked beans from Kentucky Smokehouse. I liked both ribs as they have different characteristics (the back ribs were more fall of the bone-like). I loved the pulled pork from Camp 31. Definitely a standout. However, the baked beans from Kentucky were far better than the ones from Camp 31. They were delicious from Kentucky. The ones from Camp 31 were not flavourful enough and overwhelmed by the green peppers in it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pescatarian

          It was my first time at any kind of ribfest... I had to stand in the painfully slow line up under the sweltering heat of the midday sun waiting to order (about 30mins, 10 people deep). When I finally got my "howling coyote combo" with beef, pork and 3 ribs, I couldn't believe how lame it was. The ribs were dry and definitely not "fall off the bone" as I was expecting. BBQ wasn't much better than some of the stuff I get at most grocery stores (both my wife and her friend agreed with me on this one). Also the pork and beef were also just "ok". Beans and coleslaw were just that, nothing fancy.

          Also had some BBQ corn, which was good but not as sweet as the ones I had at a friend's BBQ just a week ago.

          I guess I should've paid attention to which BBQ stand I got my meat from, but if the quality is like that for even the so called "award winning stands", then I certainly won't be back to any ribfest anytime soon.

          BTW, the live music though was amazing.. some very good bands, plus you can walk by the water, and there's a nearby children's playground with a splash pool as well, plus free parking.

          1. re: Royaljelly

            wow....i'm surprised you did not like the experience. I personally have always enjoyed the ribs and the entire experience of ribfest in general.
            Yeah the lines are huge, but the anticipation is half the fun. Besides, i love standing in line getting whiffs of smokey goodness while I wait.

            1. re: Royaljelly

              I was at the St Lawrence one two years ago had the identical experiece with lines and ribs that were all "smoke" and pretty dry. I found it a rip off for the price

              1. re: Royaljelly

                the bbq stand you choose makes a huge difference imo. the ribbers all have their own sauces and methods of cooking which will or will not agree with your tastes. ribfest tpo ribfest consistency, as well as time of day consistency, can also be an issue.

                i've never found the sides at any of the stands to be particularly good but sometimes that's ok since i'm really only there for the meat.

                in my experience, line ups are usually 30 min long, unfortunately, but sometimes the long wait is worthwhile.

                a good part of these things is luck and knowing your favourite.

            2. So, I went to Ribfest on Sunday late afternoon + evening and can gladly say I had a great time and really enjoyed some ribs! I followed the CH advice to try Camp 31 and they were great, I shared a full rack, pound of pulled pork, beans and coleslaw. The ribs were great, smoky and tender, meaty and not really any noticable fat, the pulled pork is my favorite, quite saucy but still with meat and smoke flavour coming through. I also tried ribs from Gators, good tangy sauced but I've made better ribs myself -- these were stuck to the bone, I also had Blazin' BBQ, these were dry and not very flavourful, I think I just got a bad one but wasn't gonna shell out for another to see...Overall, I thought the atmosphere and food was great, I will be back for sure...thanks all for the tips!

              Oh ya, and a Blumin' Onion, but don't do what we did and eat it on the car ride home...I see why greasy onion scent air fresheners never took off!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Recyclor

                lol...glad you enjoyed....Yeah I find myself craving those blooming onions from time to time....I wouldn't want my car smelling like one though.... :)