Do you love pulled pork sandwiches and pork ribs? How about smoked brisket, sausage, and turkey? Or coleslaw and homemade mac ‘n cheese?
If you’re nodding your head, then I have good news for you: Cincinnati has tons of awesome places around the city where you can enjoy all of these classic BBQ favorites and more.
From hole-in-the-wall joints to large-scale chains and everything in between, the Queen City has a lot to offer to anyone who enjoys BBQ dishes.
In this post, we rank the 12 best places to enjoy some BBQ in Cincinnati.
Map of Best BBQ Places
The following map shows the locations of every BBQ place mentioned in this post:
12. Station Family + BBQ
Coming in at number 12 is Station Family + BBQ. Located in the northern Cincinnati neighborhood of Wyoming, Station is known as a community gathering spot where you can enjoy some Cincinnati sausage, pork bellies, brisket, and mac ‘n cheese. Come for the delicious dishes and stay for the friendly atmosphere.
Location: 400 Wyoming Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45215
Website: Station Family + BBQ
11. Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ
Next up is Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ. Located in Sharonville, this joint is known for its variety of spiced and smoked meats along with delicious sides like green beans, mashed potatoes, and cornbread. The staff is always friendly, the service is quick, and there’s plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors. There’s a lot to love about this family-owned joint.
Location: 2343 E Sharon Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45241
Website: Jim Dandy’s Family BBQ
10. Alabama Que
Coming in at number 10 is Alabama Que. Located on Short Vine Street near the University of Cincinnati campus, this joint is a popular local place to grab some classic southern comfort food. Whether you’re in the mood for beef ribs, beef briskets, pulled pork, smoked chicken, or smoked turkey, Alabama Que has it all. Be sure to try their mac ‘n cheese and potato salad on the side as well.
Location: 2733 Short Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
Website: Alabama Que
9. Midwest Best BBQ
Next up on the list is Midwest Best BBQ. Located in Loveland, this restaurant serves up a menu full of BBQ classics like pulled pork sandwiches, turkey breast sandwiches, mac ‘n cheese, green beans, potato salad, and much more. Their dishes are tasty and flavorful, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is welcoming. Without a doubt, this is one of the best BBQ spots to check out on the east side of Cincinnati.
Location: 669 Justice Ct, Loveland, OH 45140
Website: Midwest Best BBQ
8. Sweets and Meats BBQ
Coming in at number 8 on our list is Sweets and Meats BBQ located in Anderson. This joint has won several awards at various citywide food tasting events and it’s no surprise why. Their menu is filled with delicious homemade favorites like pulled pork sandwiches, smoked brisket, and green beans. If you’re looking for top-notch BBQ dishes in the Queen City, you can’t go wrong with visiting this spot.
Location: 2249 Beechmont Ave suite b, Cincinnati, OH 45230
Website: Sweets and Meats BBQ
7. Lucius Q
Next up on our list of best BBQ places in Cincinnati is Lucius Q, located in Pendleton just outside of Over-The-Rhine. Serving classic dishes like pulled pork sandwiches with mac ‘n cheese in a spacious setting with both indoor and outdoor seating, this spot offers great food and a great atmosphere all rolled into one enjoyable experience. On the weekends they typically have live entertainment as well, which makes this a particularly good spot to enjoy some BBQ while listening to some local musicians.
Location: 1131 Broadway St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Website: Lucius Q
6. Just Q’in Barbecue Restaurant
The number 6 spot on our list goes to Just Q’in Barbecue Restaurant in Walnut Hills. Known for their meats that are slow-cooked daily using cherry and sugar maple wood, both their main dishes and their sides have next-level flavor. This spot also offers a unique, welcoming interior to enjoy your dishes in and the service is consistently friendly and quick. There’s a lot to love about Just Q’in.
Location: 975 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Website: Just Q’in
5. Pontiac BBQ
Next up is Pontiac BBQ located in the heart of the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood. Known for their uniquely decorated interior, their excellent service, and their delicious menu items, it’s not hard to understand why there’s typically a line at the door at this joint. Our personal favorites that Pontiac offers include the brisket gyro, the smoked turkey, the pulled pork sandwiches, and the smoked kielbasa, but you really can’t go wrong ordering any item on the menu.
Location: 1403 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Website: Pontiac BBQ
4. Big Art’s BBQ
UPDATE: Big Art’s BBQ has permanently closed.
3. Pickles and Bones Barbecue
Coming in at number 3 is Pickles and Bones Barbecue in Milford. Ask any of the locals that live in the area about this spot and you’re likely to hear rave reviews. Their service is excellent, their meats are flavorful, the sides are delicious, and after one visit you’ll likely become a repeat customer. This is a joint well worth checking out.
Location: 1149 OH-131, Milford, OH 45150
Website: Pickles and Bones
2. Velvet Smoke BBQ
The runner-up on our list for best BBQ place in Cincinnati goes to Velvet Smoke BBQ, which has a location in Harrison and another in White Oak. Velvet Smoke is known for competing in well-known BBQ contests like the American Royal Invitation and the Jack Daniels World Championship, and they took home the title of grand champion at the Grill Before the Big Chill in 2015 in Cincinnati. It’s easy to see why they won too: their menu is filled with delicious BBQ classic entrees along with flavorful sides. A visit to either of their locations on the west side of the city is well worth your time.
Location: 10515 New Haven Rd, Harrison, OH 45030 / 5626 Cheviot Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45247
Website: Velvet Smoke BBQ
1. Eli’s BBQ
The number one spot on our list won’t come as much of a surprise to locals: Eli’s BBQ. Located in the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood, Eli’s is the most well-known BBQ restaurant in Cincinnati and for good reason. Their menu is packed with delicious southern comfort food including pulled pork sandwiches, green beans, mac ‘n cheese, and much more. Their staff is friendly, the atmosphere is inviting, and they offer both indoor and outdoor seating, which is perfect if you’re looking to enjoy some delicious dishes outside on a warm day.
Location: 3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Website: Eli’s BBQ