The 6 best finger-licking barbecue joints in Toronto

Whether you’re craving a saucy rack of ribs, smoked chicken that’s been slow cooking for hours or perfectly charred sausages, having these meals prepared via BBQ makes all the difference. As we bask (or swelter) in these hot summer days, it’s the perfect time to (figuratively) roll up your sleeves, don a bib (optional) and dig into a generous plate including all of those delicious sides.

Here are the 6 best barbecue joints in Toronto, where you can indulge and savour the best flavours.

Holy Smoke

@getholybbq/Instagram

Holy Smoke is Thornhill’s latest in boldly flavoured BBQ. Opening up shop in the GTA last summer, the spot is true to its name, welcoming diners with kitschy-cool decor, including an image of Moses holding up a brisket, Noah and Angel motifs and some eye-catching neon signs. Backing up the immaculate vibes is the food, which boasts a menu that stays true to central Texas BBQ.  The menu focus es on the “Texas trinity,” which includes brisket (USDA prime), turkey and pork ribs in addition to jalapeno sausage and pulled pork.

Beach Hill Smokehouse

@beachhillbbq/Instagram

Beach Hill Smokehouse specializes in Central Texas-style BBQ, with all of the requisite rubs, spices and flavours to match. With the goal of smoking and barbecuing meat so tender that it “falls off the bone”, Beach Hill takes inspiration from the Central Texan tradition of cooking the seasoned meats over indirect heat with pecan or oak wood. A selection of smoked meats sold by the half-pound includes certified Angus beef brisket, Halal smoked chicken, hand-crafted sausage links, pork ribs and turkey. There are also three sandwich options, each paying tribute to a major city in Texas.

Cherry Street Bar-B-Que

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Slow-cooked meats and classic sides are on offer at Cherry Street Bar-B-Que, which is set inside a historic 1920s building in the city’s east end. Serving some of the best BBQ in Toronto, Cherry Street Bar-B-Que functions as a counter service-style smokehouse. On the menu, you’ll find a wide range of BBQ and smoked meats priced by the half-pound or quarter-pound, including chicken, brisket, turkey breast, sausage, baby back ribs and chicken wings. Standout sides include classics like the coleslaw, cornbread and potato salad, alongside more unique pairings like the brisket beans and the crispy cauliflower.

Barque Smokehouse

@barquebbq/Instagram

Located in Parkdale, this top BBQ spot is more than a restaurant. Barque Smokehouse also operates a small shop where you’ll find a selection of spices, rubs and sauces all available to take home. Choose from a delicious selection of burgers and barbeque items, including meat platters, which feed between two and four and feature smoked brisket, pulled pork and smoked turkey, plus tasty comfort foods as sides, like the fries and the smoky dill pickle slaw

Smoque N Bones

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The life of a pitmaster can be a complicated one. The lengthy list of concerns can include any or all of the following: marinades, brines, injections, rubs, wood, fire, sauces, smoke and of course, meat. Just about everything involved is time-consuming. SmoQue N Bones, is keeping things simple. The menu is anchored by ribs, brisket, pulled pork as well as a half dozen sandwiches like the Messy Bird. And when it comes to sides, take your pick from a variety of delicious options like slow-braised purple cabbage, buttermilk mistakes and collard greens.

Stack

@stacksmmmoked/Instagram

Stack’s two-storey space has a sleek yet comfortable feel. The main floor’s deep room is lined with intimate booths and a houses a full bar. The open kitchen  features tiles of fire engine red. Beside the kitchen sits the pièce de résistance: a 500-pound-capacity Southern Pride smoker. It’s the same type found at the ever-popular Barque Smokehouse on Roncesvalles. Slow-cooked over low heat, the meat is infused with sweet smoke, resulting in a distinctive Texas tenderness and flavour.

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