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Best BBQ restaurant in Uptown/Downtown area?

New to the area looking for a great BBQ restaurant within 15 minutes of Oaklawn and Lemmon.

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  1. You are in a tough spot for BBQ. Dallas does not have good BBQ at all. I live very close to you and I'd say your best bets are : Baker's Ribs Greenville or Deep Ellum, Sammy's on Leonard across for the Fed. Reserve (lunch only) or Big Al's on Inwood south. of Lemmon. Baker's ribs is generally my go to. Ribs, pulled pork and sides are good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: J.R.

      Tried Bakers. Maybe I hit a bad day. Food was cold. Nothing great. I have heard Big Al's is good. Going to try it this weekend.

      1. re: sigpete67

        I wasn't impressed by Baker's in Deep Ellum either.

        I liked the beef ribs at Al's.

      2. re: J.R.

        2nd that emotion for Baker's Ribs on Greenville...

      3. when I'm in the area for lunch, I normally eat at Smokey John's on Mockingbird.


        1 Reply
        1. re: planojim

          Never heard of Smokey Johns. Thanks.

        2. You might try Mac’s Bar-B-Que. D Magazine listed them as one of the best places for BBQ in Dallas.

          I haven't been yet, but it's on my shortlist.


          1. I've heard good things about Dr. Bell BBQ on Main Street in downtown Dallas.

            1 Reply
            1. re: twinwillow

              Dr. Bell's was just okay. They are definitely trying hard, and the brisket had a ton of smoke, but it was pretty dry. Sausage and ribs were pretty average, too. They have potential, I think. If I worked downtown, I would keep it in the lunchtime rotation, but I wouldn't go way out of my way. For that neck of the woods, I like Baker's Ribs better (sides are better there, too).

            2. Try Mike Anderson's on Harry Hines just north of Medical District drive. It's good BBQ.

              1. There is no discussion. Sammy's is extremely respectable BBQ and within reach from your location, even without highways. Lunches can be busy so be prepared for a line if you are going at peak time. But at least you know it's highly sought after!

                1 Reply
                1. re: WineInstructor

                  I find Sammy's not very good. Brisket very dry. But, Mike Anderson's is very good.

                2. I like Mike Andersons and Sammys as well. Some people mentioned those. But I also really like Dickey's. I feel like it is not cool to like Dickeys now that they have locations all around, but I like their food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: taldeac

                    From work, we used to go to the Dallas location at Central/Fitzhugh(?) and I always liked it - someone told me once that it was the original and has remained under family mgmt v. franchised.

                    Using a Dickie's gift card about a week ago, I reluctantly went to the Dickie's in Irving. Brisket was tough and *sliced" in chunks like roast beef, no flavor, simply dreadful. That's been pretty much my experience with any other loc's that I've tried.... outside of the aforementioned Dallas loc, and that was 5 years ago.

                  2. I work right across the street from Sonny Bryans and about a block from Mike Andersons. They both have pretty good food to me.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Liveitloud

                      That's the original Sonny Bryan's! That's what I call good eats! it has the best sauce in Texas and maybe the best onion rings.

                      1. re: OCNC

                        Absolutely. Their onion rings are great and big as a hula hoop. We walk over there a couple of times a month and eat lunch. If anyone wants ambiance, don't go there. We always end up relegated to the picnic tables outside fighting off the pigeons, but I'm not complaining. Now this is a place for Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

                        1. re: Liveitloud

                          Your right on! The only real competition is SMOKE which has better ribs but is way too classy for the show.

                          1. re: Liveitloud

                            Rachel (EVOO) Ray did a show from Sonny Bryan's on Inwood a few years back.
                            OCNC is right about Sonny Bryan's sauce. It's the best, anywhere! Reason being, they use the beef drippings from the smoked brisket to flavor the sauce. Bring an antacid with you. You'll need it. And, a chopped beef sandwich with a side of rings is the ONLY thing to eat there. With plenty of their sauce on it.

                            1. re: twinwillow

                              One more reason not to go to Sonny Bryans: Rachael Ray liked it.

                              1. re: DallasDude

                                Sonny's on Inwood used to continue to be good for a while even after they went corporate. They have now even changed the bun they used to use on the sammy. It sucks. now.

                      2. For those who think Sonny Bryan's on Inwood is "good" (in the present), you should have had the pleasure of eating there in day's of yore when the bbq was moist, tender, sloppy without the need of adding 3/4 bottle of sauce. Stopped in today for the first time in probably 20 years. Tsk, tsk. Ate about half the sandwich to fill the empty spot in my stomach; the rest was donated to the big grey receptacle under the condiments shelf.

                        5 Replies
                          1. re: CocoaNut

                            I agree that Dallas is a bad BBQ town. I think that the original Sonny Bryan's is probably as good as any place in town. It's not as good as most East Texas BBQ places, nor can it approach the Central Texas meccas, but for Dallas, it's as good as any, and better than most.

                            Plus, I think you have to be specific about what you're looking for. I think Sonny's ribs are good. Brisket is OK. Sausage is a weak spot. Onion rings are a strength. I'd be interested to hear a discussion on who think which BBQ place has the best brisket versus the one that has the best homemade sausages, etc.

                            1. re: Mike C. Miller

                              Lately, I've been enjoying the brisket from Big Al's BBQ on Inwood Road. But, you must ask for them to cut from the "fatty end". Remember-the fatty end! Good moist texture albeit, a bit under smoked. But, that's what the sauce is for. Use it sparingly.

                              1. re: Mike C. Miller

                                Unfortunately there's hardly any contenders for a real contest with a comparison of places around Dallas (not the metroplex as a whole)....
                                unless someone's found any other places besides what's mentioned in Daniel Vaughn's list that was on D Mag a few months ago.

                                The BBQ snob has unearthed some great places and takes 'cue very seriously so this list is quite reliable unlike your typical best of list! I would argue that his top 5 are worth driving for if you are seeking BBQ in the area, but aren't quite up for leaving the metroplex.

                                Two of the top ten are within decent proximity to Dallas: Meshack's in Garland (#5) and Smokey's (#9) near Love Field. Can't say enough great things about Meshack's, so I'd love to hear some feedback on Smokey's.

                                1. re: air

                                  Agreed Meshak's is very good. I think his brisket is worth the trip. I would not recommend the ribs as I don't think there is much meat and you get a much better deal just buying the brisket.

                                  I usually just get a half pound of brisket and hot links and with the white bread he gives you; you have a meal. He only has two sides potato salad and beans; but both are very good.

                                  Also, something to remember is BBQ joints really arent' where you go for dinner. You should be trying to hit them for lunch. Most places start smoking early and are ready for the lunch crowd. If your hitting a place at 5, 6, 7 o'clock at night. The meat has probably been sitting around a while. Not to say it will be bad; just not the "prime" time for getting the best cut of meat.