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Looking for a great BBQ joint in Philadelphia

Anyone know of the best BBQ joints in and around the city?

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    1. Bebe's just opened on 9th St in the Italian Market. A real "joint"--they don't even have seating yet. But the food is great and the staff is awesome.

      3 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        Where are they? What does the storefront look like? We were just there this weekend and didn't see it. Thank you.

        1. re: Bride of the Juggler

          I haven't been there (yet...), but I heard it was the old Willie's Roast Pork location

        2. re: barryg

          I will second this recommendation. Very good food. I have had the collards, the corn bread, yams, BBQ chicken and a pulled pork sandwich. Loved it all.

        3. Good luck, they don't exist. Some like Lucy's are ok but nothing compared to true southern BBQ.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TeamPhilly

            That's for sure! Seeking good BBQ in town is like asking what is the best of the worst...

          2. Sweet Lucy's is good, not great. The spread they put out on Monday nights for AYCE is pretty good. I stopped by Tommy Gunn's yesterday and got a pulled pork and Texas Beef Brisket sandwich (the 6oz sandwich, not the 3oz). Again, good. I liked the sauce and the brisket needed it (a little dry). The Pork was better. I also tried some ribs that had a dry rub on them. That was good as well. Last Thursday, I stopped in late for a drink to an empty Q-BBQ. Nice tap selection (all micros) and a few bottles I had not tried as well as 100 different tequilas. I chatted w Tom the rib guy. They are still in the transition stage from the Seafood place to BBQ (so he's still training and teaching the cook's how to make his stuff). You can't help but like the guy and he is passionate about his food. . That alone will make me stop in for dinner sometime soon. I know Q did not get glowing reviews their first week on CH but it seems (from Yelp reveiws) they are getting their act together.

            1. Sweet Lucy's by a mile. But I am intrigued by Q and will definitely try it when they get their act together. There's also a place out in Malvern, name escapes me at the moment (damn senility), that I also would like to try. And the people who are saying that Philly BBQ < Southern BBQ are just stating the obvious. Ever try to get a Philly cheesesteak in Houston, LA or Miami? Don't. Just. . .don't..

              5 Replies
              1. re: Rondo

                I'm curious exactly what puts Lucy's over the top for you. I'm with Juice, good but nothing special. They do a nice job with all of their meats, but their sides and sauces have always been a bit disappointing to me.

                1. re: DDR4040

                  The food is consistently good, regardless of what I order, and I've had just about everything on their menu. I can't think of a single time I walked out of there thinking to myself "well, that sucked".

                  1. re: Rondo

                    I'm still a bit confused how "it never sucked" translates into best in the city "by a mile", but I do appreciate the reply. I've tried most of the menu in my half dozen trips there and still haven't had anything I would consider great BBQ, even for Philly. It's a good neighborhood BBQ joint, but IMO, it's not something you need to go out of your way to experience.

                    1. re: DDR4040

                      My husband and I just returned from a trip to the south - making our way through Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina even into Georgia. We used Chowhound as a resource and also asked locals. Must have eaten BBQ at least 12 times on a three week trip, all different styles, and mostly in places that would qualify as "dives" (that's essential, right?). In Philly, we used to like Phoebe's but now we go to Sweet Lucy's, and have for a couple years now, about twice a month. I agree it's not the best we've ever eaten, but it's above average and extremely consistent. I like all their side dishes, homemade and fresh. We usually eat pork ribs or pulled pork or BBQ smoked chicken and it's always juicy and smoky with several choices of sauce. Never tried the beef ribs so I don't know about them. On Fridays they have a respectable BBQ smoked salmon which we often have. The atmosphere is passable, parking easy, bathrooms clean, service fast and pleasant and BYOB. All in all, best BBQ experience in Philly, and actually a sight better than some "authentic" southern BBQ we had on our trip.

                2. re: Rondo

                  Usually I get better cheesesteaks the farther away from Philly I get because they use better meat and real cheese. I know that sounds heretical but I'm just saying. Although one time in Utah I saw that the cheese on their cheesesteak was Philadelphia Cream Cheese for that "authentic Philly flavor". The mind boggles.

                3. Phoebe's on South Street is my fave.

                    1. re: Boognish

                      Wait. What? We still have BBQ in West Philly? (I'm definitely not complaining, but I feel like I'm being overrun with ethnic restaurants around here.) Please tell me where. Please?

                      1. re: Ali

                        You got it!

                        48th and Lancaster. If memory serves, that's where Girard intersects Lancaster.

                        Take out only. Please give it a shot and report back!

                        There also used to be a green truck at the gas station at 40th and Powelton, but I have no personal experience (in fact I'm not even sure it's bbq, but there's a lot of smoke coming out of that truck!), but the lines wrap around the corners on weekends.

                        And there was one more place on Lancaster closer to Uni City whose name escapes me. Close to where Belmont would hit Lancaster if it extended down that far (maybe it does).

                        Like I said, if you get a chance to hit any of these places, please let us know. Generally speaking I prefer to make it myself in the back yard, but it's hard not to pull over if you're driving by...

                      2. re: Boognish

                        I found Dante's vastly superior to any of the other places in the area.

                      3. Bebe's is great. I had a terrific pulled chicken sandwich and a great sweet potato pie. If they don't have what you want out just ask them. You can always sit on the bench in front of Fante's and eat your sandwich.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: chefpa938

                          Whereabouts on 9th is Bebe's? A southern transplant and I want to go check it out, but don't know the Italian Market area very well.

                          1. re: Haverfoodie

                            1017 S 9th St - about at Kimball - between Washington and Christian and near Fante's

                            1. re: Bigley9

                              If the pulled pork sandwich I had at Bebe's at the Italian Market Festival this past weekend was any indication, there may be hope for BBQ lovers in Philly... Juicy, tangy, and a bit spicy (but not too much so). It hit the spot when the other porcine vendors were still getting their act together.