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Toronto Area Barbecue

jamesm Jun 4, 2009 10:54 AM

A friend of mine is writing an article for the Globe on the recent proliferation of barbecue in Toronto and has to do some 'research."

Where should he go?

And please no lectures about authenticity or real BBQ or that's not how they do it in Memphis or anything. He's just looking to have a range of plces to check out.


  1. jayt90 Jun 27, 2009 11:56 AM

    Well, jamesm, is this the article?


    7 Replies
    1. re: jayt90
      Dean Tudor Jun 27, 2009 01:08 PM

      While not the best place in GTA, Memphis -- on Yonge north of Sheppard -- is acceptable and easy to get to by subway. I was surprised that it was left out of the article.

      I was in Syracuse two weeks ago, and stuffed myself at Dinosaur with ribs and pulled pork. $21 US (including taxes) for a full rack of flavourful side ribs.

      1. re: Dean Tudor
        duckdown Jun 27, 2009 01:10 PM

        The Memphis at Yonge & Sheppard was pretty decent the couple times I'd been there... but the wait staff was brutal

        I hear the staff situation has changed for the better as of recently though, so thats cool

      2. re: jayt90
        jamesm Jun 29, 2009 06:33 AM

        Yep, that's it.

        1. re: jamesm
          jayt90 Jun 29, 2009 06:14 PM

          I liked the article, though incomplete.
          But I really like A.R."s political columns.

          1. re: jayt90
            juno Jul 18, 2009 09:51 AM

            I'm not sure to what extent Ho Ho BBQ, on Midland Ave., fits into this thread, but a detailed article about the place, an Asian joint that specializes almost exclusively in pork - and which I'd never heard of before - appears in the latest Gourmet Magazine. And it's a rave. I'm usually wary of such out-and-out lovefests in print - they tend to go overboard, hoping somehow to justify the writer's time and effort - so perhaps some of our Chinese resto enthusiasts can advise us know-nothings on what they know about the place and its offerings.

            1. re: juno
              jayt90 Oct 27, 2009 09:55 AM

              The Gourmet article led to a few reports in Chowhound.
              The writer, Francis Lam, was sent to Toronto by Gourmet to apprentice at Ho Ho for a week. It makes for interesting reading, and the roast pork is pretty good, too.

              Ho Ho Bbq
              3833 Midland Ave, Toronto, ON M1V5L6, CA

              1. re: jayt90
                BusterRhino Oct 28, 2009 05:17 PM

                What a fantastic article.

      3. mikeb Jun 4, 2009 02:13 PM

        Off the top of my head, I would say, the full list is (in no particular order):

        Sweet Smoke in Oakville
        Memphis BBQ and Real Urban BBQ in Woodbridge
        Buster Rhino in Whitby
        Stockyards, Phils, Memphis on Yonge, Highway 61 in Toronto
        All the Ribfests around the GTA
        Barrie's Canadian BBQ Championship
        Camp 31 in Paris
        A bunch of places in Buffalo

        There are a lot of places around town offering pulled pork, most are not smoked.

        Cluck Grunt and Low went under not too long ago.

        8 Replies
        1. re: mikeb
          BusterRhino Jun 4, 2009 03:44 PM

          Just a quick note,

          The Canadian BBQ Championship in Barrie has formally been closed. This will probably never run again (too bad, we had tons of fun there too). The company that ran it is now running a Rib Fest in Toronto at the Beaches on Fathers Day weekend this year. And two more true BBQ competitions have started up. The Great Canadian Steak Cook off July 25th weekend and BBQ competition and another one in London Ontario in September.

          1. re: BusterRhino
            jamesm Jun 5, 2009 06:30 AM

            Thanks Mikeb and Buster. I appreciate the info.

            1. re: BusterRhino
              kayia1 Jun 5, 2009 07:05 AM

              Hey BR: by chance will you be queing at the Oshawa Ribfest in August?????

              1. re: kayia1
                BusterRhino Jun 27, 2009 05:11 PM

                yes. we will be.

              2. re: BusterRhino
                mlukan Jul 18, 2009 09:45 AM

                I must thank BusterRhino for a great meal a couple of weeks ago. It completely blew my mind and was totally worth the drive. I was in the area already but would definitely drive for it. Everything was absolutely perfect! Please open another location downtown. I know there is probably a reason you havnt made the move already, But we are desperate down here!!! Every time I am in Whitby I will make sure I stop by. There is no comparison in Toronto when it comes to BBQ. Keep up the good work.

                1. re: mlukan
                  duckdown Jul 18, 2009 12:39 PM


                  Whitby sucks!

                  but the food is really good ;D

                  come to the west end and I'll be there all the time, lol.

              3. re: mikeb
                duckdown Jun 27, 2009 12:16 PM

                good list

                add Lykn Chicken on Airport in Malton

                1. re: mikeb
                  turntablejockey Oct 27, 2009 10:55 AM

                  don't think this has been listed in the thread:

                  phil's original bbq
                  blue sage (mississauga)
                  southern rub smokehouse (vaughan)

                2. jayt90 Jun 4, 2009 11:38 AM

                  Also check out ribfests.
                  There is one in Pickering this FRi thru Sun. It's in the city centre, Esplanade Pk, by city Hall.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jayt90
                    jamesm Jun 4, 2009 11:54 AM

                    Good call. Thanks.

                    1. re: jayt90
                      jamesm Jun 4, 2009 11:55 AM

                      Oh, good call. Thanks.

                    2. s
                      Snarf Jun 4, 2009 11:31 AM

                      I'm going to watch this with baited breath, as this topic seems to be one of the leading causes of Tourette's on this board. Maybe check topics under Buster Rhino, Highway 61, and Stockyards.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Snarf
                        jamesm Jun 4, 2009 11:53 AM

                        If someone ever opens a BBQ/Poutine place this board would explode.

                        I mentioned those ones to him. We're hitting up Stockyards tomorrow night. I'm just not sure if there are some other places that are infrequently mentioned I overlooked.

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