When people think BBQ, they don't usually think Chicago. The whole "Chicago Style" is a questionable mix of techniques often involving a combo of dry rub and sauce and usually some slow roasting or even boiling of the ribs. Plenty of places just choose to incorporate a mix of other popular styles. Either way, I've had a lot of BBQ that doesn't cut it, but I hope that my July list of my Best BBQ Spots in Chicago will save you some time.
In a city full of saucy BBQ why not give some cred to the spot that ships their famous sauce nationwide. The pulled pork and ribs are the way to go, but really it's all about having a vessel for the sauce.
Despite my complaints about eating in the pristine setting and paying a bit too much for BBQ, the food is pretty darn good. Hands down, they've got the best table snacks in their pickles and BBQ chips. The competition winning ribs and brisket are my suggestions here.
6) Fat Willy's
With a mean pulled pork sandwich and hot links you'll be pretty happy when you roll into Fat Willy's. They've got a good patio too despite not making my last post on Best Outdoor Dining in Chicago. The baby backs will keep you coming back, and the portions are huge. If you're around on a Sunday, you could check out the Chicken and Waffles too.
Despite an awful experience with their hostess during my last visit, I still tip my hat to Lillie's Q. The Tri Tip, sausage links, ribs, and pulled pork make me thankful they were able to survive a fire and reopen.
The Pulled Pork
4) Honky Tonk
Beef ribs are hard to come by as are cuts of smoked brisket at the quality of Honky Tonk BBQ. Come for the food, but stay for the rather frequent live music and cocktails. They've got these combination platters worth trying, but you should bring your stretch pants.
It's all about the sausage links at Uncle John's. Go for the rib tip and links combo, but the links really take the edge. For about $10 you can enough food for 5 meals. One catch is that you can't eat at the restaurant. One perk is that you get to experience sliding your cash through a slot in a bullet proof window.
The Sausage Link
While Uncle John's is all about the links, it's all about the rib tips at Honey 1. You should get the rib tip and sausage link combo, but the tips are the real star. Nice crispy edges and juicy centers make for a meal that will put you down for the count. The tangy, sweet sauce looks just as good on your shirt as it tastes.
The Tips and Links Combo
This is not a surprising pick for the top of the list. An early pick by Diners Drive Ins and Dives has had this north side spot packed for years. Being BYOB and low cost, it's no wonder why people love Smoque so much, and that doesn't even get at the food. The brisket is my favorite option on their menu, and the coca cola addition to the sauce on the ribs puts a nice twist on things.