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On top of reddish brown butcher paper is an array of barbecue cuts: slices of brisket, a full rack of ribs and individual ribs, sausages, and other char-grilled meats. Interspersed among them are small containers of vinegar and splotches of mustard.
Revival Smoked Meats will open in the former Corner Table space.
Eliesa Johnson

17 Excellent Barbecue Spots in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Nashville hot smoked drummies, saucy half-racks, and tender oak-smoked burnt ends

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Revival Smoked Meats will open in the former Corner Table space.
| Eliesa Johnson

This spring bears glad tidings for the Twin Cities barbecue scene: Revival Smoked Meats, the popular restaurant by Revival owner Nick Rancone and chef/owner Thomas Boemer, is back. Expect everything from cumin-crusted pork belly to classic brisket — and while you’re at it, explore these other exceptional barbecue spots around the Twin Cities. From Texas-style hot links, to savory dry-rub half racks, to hickory and cherry-smoked rib tips straight out of a classic pit, Minneapolis and St. Paul have more than a few smoky, succulent barbecue menus to offer. Here’s a trail of some notable spots.

Note that these restaurants are listed geographically.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbeque

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Founded in 1968 by Ted Cook himself, the pit at Ted Cook’s 19th Hole Barbeque (now under new ownership) wafts fragrant smoke over the Standish neighborhood from its spot near Hiawatha Avenue. This barbecue is smoked with hickory and cherry wood: Get a full slab of the baby back pork ribs or the beef hot links, and add a slice of sweet potato pie.

Smoke In The Pit

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It's hard to know what to tear into first: Smoke In the Pit’s well-seasoned rib tip buckets, smoked turkey legs, or tender beef brisket sandwich. (If the catfish filet tempts you away from barbecue, you can’t go wrong.) Just plan for dashboard dining or carry these over to nearby Powderhorn Park for a picnic, as this circa 1998 spot is takeout only.

Revival Smoked Meats

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First a popular stand in Keg & Case Market in St. Paul, Revival Smoked Meats opens in the former Corner Table space on Nicollet Avenue May 14. Expect a Carolina-style menu of classics like brisket and pork shoulder, plus entire char-grilled chickens, chicken braunschweiger, and cumin-crusted pork belly.

Two cuts of brisket lay beside a sliced sausage and other char-grilled meat and veggies, as well as a small bowl of pickles and onions.
Revival Smoked Meats.
Eliesa Johnson

C&G's Smoking Barbecue

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C&G's smokes a mean rib, but it's the brisket sandwich that calls the regulars back time and again. Be sure to also grab an order of the Hot Water Bread, made from a secret family recipe. The cornmeal comes boiled, fried, and served as a hot, crispy patty.

Scott Ja-Mama's

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A small, circa 1991 restaurant on Diamond Lake road stuffed with memorabilia and vintage decor, Scott Ja-Mama’s is a classic Twin Cities barbecue spot. Make a meal of a full rack with a twice-baked potato and slaw, or try the skyscraper of a pulled pork sandwich.

StormKing Brewpub + Barbecue

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StormKing Brew Pub serves noteworthy Texas-style barbecue in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood. Vegetarians can try the pulled squash sandwich, and carnivores should spring for “The Perfect Storm,” a combo plate of brisket, pulled pork, quarter chicken, a half rack of ribs, and sides.

Animales Barbecue

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Animales Barbecue operates an esteemed food truck outside of Bauhaus Brew Labs in Northeast Minneapolis: Stop by for a creative menu of smoked meats (think jerk pork belly burnt ends, smoked brisket banh mi, and Nashville hot smoked chicken drummies) and grab a beer while you’re there. Animales also serves notable birria tacos and smoked chicken fried rice.

Boomin Barbecue

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Pull up to this new trailer outside of Ombibulous liquor store on Hennepin Avenue in Northeast. The sweet 80’s neon-adorned mobile kitchen churns out brisket every weekend — but that’s not the only reason to visit. There are all kinds of good things coming off the griddle, too, like this tantalizing pork cheek sandwich.

Market Bar-B-Que And Food Trucks

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This 76-year-old institution is still serving brisket sandwiches with caramelized onions and full slabs of barbecue pork ribs, all served with fries, slaw, and buttered toast. Although Market Bar-B-Que’s moved to a new space in Northeast in 2018, many interior details from the old location have stuck around, giving this place a classic charm.

FireBox Deli

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Family-owned Firebox Deli now has two outposts: one in North Minneapolis and another in St. Paul. Pair beef brisket, rib tips, wings or other cuts with sides like mac and cheese, potato salad, and slaw — or order by the pound or rack to feed a bigger crowd.

Q Fanatic BBQ & Grill

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With two locations — one on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and another in Champlin — Q-Fanatic serves some of the best sauce in the Cities. Order meats a la carte (think sliced brisket, grilled slab bacon, and back ribs) and choose between honey, espresso, pepper vodka, vinegar, and mustard barbecue sauces.

Jellybean and Julia's

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Jellybean and Julia’s is an exceptional mom and pop out in Anoka — make the trek northward for the black and blue sandwich, made with blackened Cajun-spiced brisket, a smoked blue cheese, and raspberry mustard. Choose from a whole Texas-style barbecue menu of hot links, smoked and fried jumbo wings, and dry-rubbed spare ribs.

Bark and the Bite

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This restaurant began as a food truck, but now has permanent residence in Saint Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood. Bark and the Bite 3.0 has more room to spread out, but low and slow tender meats and outrageously tasty side dishes remain true to its roots. Stock up on the spicy-sweet hush puppies and snappy coleslaw.

Tai Hoa B.B.Q.

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Tai Hoa is a small, cash-only spot on University Avenue serving some of St. Paul’s best barbecue. Order the whole roast duck (or order it cut up if you prefer) or the roast pork, which has eminently crispy skin. Tai Hoa sells out fast, so show up early to get a cut.

Handsome Hog

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The Handsome Hog, an elegant spot in St. Paul, offers some of the Twin Cities’ best Southern fare: Try the dry-rub spare ribs with Texas toast and sweet corn, or the Carolina barbecue sandwich, made with roasted pork shoulder. If you can’t choose just one meat, try the Combo #5: fried chicken and quarter smoked chicken, brisket, spare ribs, smoked pulled pork, and sides.

Black Market StP

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Black Market StP smokes its meat with locally-harvested black cherry wood — the dry-rubbed barbecue comes straight out of the pit, no sauce necessary. Plan ahead and and reserve your order: This truck parks just once weekly on Isabel Street in Saint Paul, on Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Smok’n Outdoors

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Smok’N Outdoors made the food truck-to-restaurant transformation in 2021. This family-owned spot smokes its brisket, ribs, and other cuts with local oak to evoke the flavors of the outdoors. Keep an eye out for updates on Smok’N Outdoors’ Facebook page — the restaurant posts when it has burnt ends available.

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Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbeque

Founded in 1968 by Ted Cook himself, the pit at Ted Cook’s 19th Hole Barbeque (now under new ownership) wafts fragrant smoke over the Standish neighborhood from its spot near Hiawatha Avenue. This barbecue is smoked with hickory and cherry wood: Get a full slab of the baby back pork ribs or the beef hot links, and add a slice of sweet potato pie.

Smoke In The Pit

It's hard to know what to tear into first: Smoke In the Pit’s well-seasoned rib tip buckets, smoked turkey legs, or tender beef brisket sandwich. (If the catfish filet tempts you away from barbecue, you can’t go wrong.) Just plan for dashboard dining or carry these over to nearby Powderhorn Park for a picnic, as this circa 1998 spot is takeout only.

Revival Smoked Meats

Two cuts of brisket lay beside a sliced sausage and other char-grilled meat and veggies, as well as a small bowl of pickles and onions.
Revival Smoked Meats.
Eliesa Johnson

First a popular stand in Keg & Case Market in St. Paul, Revival Smoked Meats opens in the former Corner Table space on Nicollet Avenue May 14. Expect a Carolina-style menu of classics like brisket and pork shoulder, plus entire char-grilled chickens, chicken braunschweiger, and cumin-crusted pork belly.

Two cuts of brisket lay beside a sliced sausage and other char-grilled meat and veggies, as well as a small bowl of pickles and onions.
Revival Smoked Meats.
Eliesa Johnson

C&G's Smoking Barbecue

C&G's smokes a mean rib, but it's the brisket sandwich that calls the regulars back time and again. Be sure to also grab an order of the Hot Water Bread, made from a secret family recipe. The cornmeal comes boiled, fried, and served as a hot, crispy patty.

Scott Ja-Mama's

A small, circa 1991 restaurant on Diamond Lake road stuffed with memorabilia and vintage decor, Scott Ja-Mama’s is a classic Twin Cities barbecue spot. Make a meal of a full rack with a twice-baked potato and slaw, or try the skyscraper of a pulled pork sandwich.

StormKing Brewpub + Barbecue

StormKing Brew Pub serves noteworthy Texas-style barbecue in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood. Vegetarians can try the pulled squash sandwich, and carnivores should spring for “The Perfect Storm,” a combo plate of brisket, pulled pork, quarter chicken, a half rack of ribs, and sides.

Animales Barbecue

Animales Barbecue operates an esteemed food truck outside of Bauhaus Brew Labs in Northeast Minneapolis: Stop by for a creative menu of smoked meats (think jerk pork belly burnt ends, smoked brisket banh mi, and Nashville hot smoked chicken drummies) and grab a beer while you’re there. Animales also serves notable birria tacos and smoked chicken fried rice.

Boomin Barbecue

Pull up to this new trailer outside of Ombibulous liquor store on Hennepin Avenue in Northeast. The sweet 80’s neon-adorned mobile kitchen churns out brisket every weekend — but that’s not the only reason to visit. There are all kinds of good things coming off the griddle, too, like this tantalizing pork cheek sandwich.

Market Bar-B-Que And Food Trucks

This 76-year-old institution is still serving brisket sandwiches with caramelized onions and full slabs of barbecue pork ribs, all served with fries, slaw, and buttered toast. Although Market Bar-B-Que’s moved to a new space in Northeast in 2018, many interior details from the old location have stuck around, giving this place a classic charm.

FireBox Deli

Family-owned Firebox Deli now has two outposts: one in North Minneapolis and another in St. Paul. Pair beef brisket, rib tips, wings or other cuts with sides like mac and cheese, potato salad, and slaw — or order by the pound or rack to feed a bigger crowd.

Q Fanatic BBQ & Grill

With two locations — one on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and another in Champlin — Q-Fanatic serves some of the best sauce in the Cities. Order meats a la carte (think sliced brisket, grilled slab bacon, and back ribs) and choose between honey, espresso, pepper vodka, vinegar, and mustard barbecue sauces.

Jellybean and Julia's

Jellybean and Julia’s is an exceptional mom and pop out in Anoka — make the trek northward for the black and blue sandwich, made with blackened Cajun-spiced brisket, a smoked blue cheese, and raspberry mustard. Choose from a whole Texas-style barbecue menu of hot links, smoked and fried jumbo wings, and dry-rubbed spare ribs.

Bark and the Bite

This restaurant began as a food truck, but now has permanent residence in Saint Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood. Bark and the Bite 3.0 has more room to spread out, but low and slow tender meats and outrageously tasty side dishes remain true to its roots. Stock up on the spicy-sweet hush puppies and snappy coleslaw.

Tai Hoa B.B.Q.

Tai Hoa is a small, cash-only spot on University Avenue serving some of St. Paul’s best barbecue. Order the whole roast duck (or order it cut up if you prefer) or the roast pork, which has eminently crispy skin. Tai Hoa sells out fast, so show up early to get a cut.

Handsome Hog

The Handsome Hog, an elegant spot in St. Paul, offers some of the Twin Cities’ best Southern fare: Try the dry-rub spare ribs with Texas toast and sweet corn, or the Carolina barbecue sandwich, made with roasted pork shoulder. If you can’t choose just one meat, try the Combo #5: fried chicken and quarter smoked chicken, brisket, spare ribs, smoked pulled pork, and sides.

Related Maps

Black Market StP

Black Market StP smokes its meat with locally-harvested black cherry wood — the dry-rubbed barbecue comes straight out of the pit, no sauce necessary. Plan ahead and and reserve your order: This truck parks just once weekly on Isabel Street in Saint Paul, on Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Smok’n Outdoors

Smok’N Outdoors made the food truck-to-restaurant transformation in 2021. This family-owned spot smokes its brisket, ribs, and other cuts with local oak to evoke the flavors of the outdoors. Keep an eye out for updates on Smok’N Outdoors’ Facebook page — the restaurant posts when it has burnt ends available.

Related Maps