New Jersey is best known for its beaches, boardwalks, and 24 hour diners, but it also has some fantastic barbecue restaurants. Here’s where to go some delicious BBQ in NJ.
I’ve lived my entire life in New Jersey and I realize we’re not exactly famous for our barbecue. We’re more well-known for our beaches, Atlantic City casinos, and Taylor Ham/pork roll sandwiches.
But while the Garden State doesn’t quite have the barbecue pedigree of Texas or the Carolinas, but we’re definitely an up and comer. There are plenty of excellent BBQ spots in NJ, you just have to know where to look for them.
Here are the places you can find the best BBQ in New Jersey.
Local Smoke BBQ
Local Smoke BBQ has been winning competitions and racking up awards like gangbusters here in NJ.
They now have six locations in the Garden State, including one in the hip and trendy Red Bank and another inside Monmouth Park racetrack where you can watch the horses run while you devour some amazing barbecue.
Check out the Pig Out Platter with a choice 3 meats including pulled pork, brisket, pulled chicken, ½ BBQ chicken or ribs. and be sure to try their smoked bacon poppers, which are the stuff of legend!
- 244 West Front Street, Red Bank, NJ
- Open daily from 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Smokies Craft BBQ
Located in Bayville, just 15 minutes from the Jersey Shore, Smokies Craft BBQ is one of the best kept secrets in New Jersey. It’s the perfect stop for some delicious barbecue after spending the day lounging on the beach.
Everything at Smokies is homemade. They have 19 different sauces and rubs to choose from and it’s all made in-house.
They have all the barbecue standards including mouth-watering baby back ribs, brisket, smoked turkey breast, and pulled pork. And their side dishes are no slouch either. The Deviled Egg Potato Salad is a local favorite.
Smokies is hands down some of the best BBQ in NJ.
- 333 Atlantic City Blvd, Bayville NJ
- Tuesday – Saturday. 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM. Sunday 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Closed Mondays.
Big Ed’s BBQ
Big Ed’s BBQ is a super popular barbecue restaurant in Central NJ and just a short ride from the beach.
They’re known mostly for their fall off the bone baby back ribs, and locals love their “All U Can Eat Ribs All The Time!”
But they also have plenty of chicken, steak, brisket, and even seafood platters. Check out their sandwiches that come overloaded with brisket or pulled pork.
Big Ed’s is a fun family place but the kid’s meals are priced pretty steep. Something to keep in mind if you decide to bring the whole clan.
- 305 Route 34, Old Bridge, NJ
- Open 7 days a week from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM
Jersey Shore BBQ
Located right on Point Pleasant’s main drag and just a few blocks away from the beach and boardwalk, Jersey Shore BBQ is the perfect landing spot after a relaxing day at the shore.
Load up on some mouth-watering ribs or go really big with the Monmouth Trifecta, which gives you a choice of three meats including sliced brisket, chopped brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, kielbasa, fried or grilled shrimp, and ½ chicken.
Or go a little lighter with some of their coal-fired pizza made fresh to order. The “Ovechkin” pie comes with vodka sauce, diced chicken cutlet, fresh basil, and aged mozzarella.
- 710 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
- (732) 899-4400
- Friday and Saturday 12 PM to 9 PM, Sunday – Thursday 12 PM to 8 PM
Red White & Que Smokehouse
Red White & Que Smokehouse is known for some of the best barbecue in New Jersey. Their brisket is the star of the show. If you close your eyes and take a bite you’ll swear you’re in Texas.
Of course you can’t go wrong with their pastrami, pulled pork, or homemade sausage either.
This place was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and if Guy Fieri approves then we do too.
And it’s not just about the food. “The Que” is veteran owned and they were closely with their local community and veterans organizations. Their “Buy a Veteran a Meal” program helps contribute meals to veterans in need.
- 150 US-22 Green Brook, NJ
- Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Closed Mondays
I first tasted Mutiny BBQ at my daughter’s track meet where the restaurant had donated a bunch of pulled pork to help the local team raise funds. I love when small businesses support their community like that.
What I loved even more was their pulled pork sandwich! I even snapped a quick pic before it disappeared into my belly…
Mutiny BBQ is a husband and wife team and they both indoor and outdoor seating available. Everything is made fresh on site and they have been known to run out of popular items so try to get there early.
- 808 5th Ave, Asbury Park, NJ
- Wednesday – Saturday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Henri’s Hotts Barbecue
If you’re looking for something off the map, this place is for you. Henri’s Hotts Barbecue is one of the best kept secrets in South Jersey.
But mark my words. Once you try their food you’ll find yourself going back again and again.
Henri’s is a tiny place with limited seating and they’re only open three days a week, so getting in can be challenging. Get there for noon when they open the doors and you’ll have no trouble getting a seat.
If you like seriously good barbecue, this place is for you.
- 1003 Black Horse Pike, Folsom, NJ
- Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM; Closed the rest of the week.
Daddy Matty’s BBQ
There’s always something fun going on at Daddy Matty’s BBQ. Sometime it’s live music, other times they’ll host a Paint and Sip (and Eat!) Party, a Test Kitchen night or a bourbon tasting.
Oh yea, and let’s not forget about the food!
You can get traditional barbecue favorites like pulled pork and baby back ribs, but they also have some more innovative options like a brisket chimichanga and the Daddy Matty’s Cubano sandwich with smoked pork belly, mustard, homemade pickles, and melted havarti cheese on a ciabatta bun.
- 6 Elmer Street, Madison, NJ
- Monday – Saturday 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Sunday 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
TST BBQ has a sports bar feel to it. That’s not surprising since the building that houses it actually used to be a sports bar. There are plenty of TVs on the wall so you can watch the big game while you enjoy some well-smoked wings or brisket chili.
Try the Baby Beast sandwich with comes with brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, melted cheese, and slaw. And keep an eye out for weekly specials like the wild boar sausage.
With a well-stocked bar and live music on weekends you’re sure to have a good time. And it’s attached to a hotel so if you have “too good” of a time you can get a room and crash.
- 2870 Route 35, Hazlet, NJ
- Monday – Saturday 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Sunday 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
How We Chose The Best BBQ In New Jersey
Trying to choose which restaurants have the best barbecue is no easy task. There are so many great places to choose from!
To build our list we used our own personal experience, feedback from readers like you, and a mix of online reviews to give us a complete and objective view.
Did we miss your favorite BBQ spot? Drop us a note and let us know!