Barbecue fans in Chicago don’t have to travel outside city limits to get some of the finest varieties of low and slow meats in this land. From the much beloved classic rib tip joints to succulent delights with that telltale pink ring promising smokey goodness, Chicago sure loves its BBQ. With so many wonderful options in our city, there is no reason for you to be dining on dry, overly-sauced and pale imitators.
Below we share some of our favorite spots around the city to visit when we get a hankering for barbecue. We’ve covered the topic before but with so many fine options, we don’t mind praising some new favorites while revisiting some tried and true spots. Grab some wet wipes and dig in!
Maybe it’s the beer can American flag on the wall or the super creepy cowboy mannequin that scares the bejesus out of you when you open the door to the ladies room, but there is something about this River North spot that has just the right amount of country charm and crass to make it a standout. The food is pretty tasty—it’s owned by the Melman family—and some of the must-haves include the giddy up waffle fries with pulled pork and the chopped brisket. For sides, you can’t go wrong with the spoonbread and buffalo tots. There’s also brunch and gluten-free menus and a lot of whiskey, though my personal preference is the saucy riverboat gambler cocktail made with bourbon, maple, lemon and blackstrap bitters. Don’t just go for the food though; there’s also live entertainment almost every night of the week and special events like the Windy City Smokeout they co-sponsor featuring BBQ, country music (headliners include Kacey Musgraves) and beer this July 10-12. — Selena Fragassi
Bub City is located at 435 N. Clark.