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A thick hunk of brisket on a rough wood board, sliced with a thin pink rim around the interior meat
Where smoke reigns
Firebox Deli [Official]

15 Essential Barbecue Restaurants in the Twin Cities

From saucy pork ribs to peppery-barked brisket

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Where smoke reigns
| Firebox Deli [Official]

It's the passion of the smoke, the wisdom of the coals, and a skilled hand with the sauce: these are the elusive elements necessary to conjure the magic of great barbecue. The key is knowing where to go for the good stuff.

Within this list are all the smoked mains and saucy sides just begging to be devoured with all the chin dripping, finger sucking, tongue burning enthusiasm that comes with great barbecue.

Restaurants are listed in geographical order, north to south.

Most Twin Cities restaurants and breweries have resumed indoor and outdoor service. Additionally, Minnesota, Minneapolis, and St. Paul have ended mandatory mask mandates. Some establishments continue to request guests wear masks when indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jellybean and Julia's

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530 W Main St #8
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 421-6119
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Jellybean and Julia’s is a small restaurant serving up big flavors, including brisket, pulled pork, cornbread fritters with jalapeño jam, and homemade pickles. Come hungry with a few extra mouths to share a wide selection of the menu.

2. FireBox Deli

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4707 Lyndale Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55430
(612) 521-8206
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Now there are two outposts of the beloved Firebox, one in North and another in St. Paul. The breathtakingly tender brisket is so good. Just take a moment to stop and admire that telltale pink hue.

3. Minnesota Barbecue Company

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816 NE Lowry Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 315-4967
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This barbecue restaurant from OG Travail chef Kale Thome offers a rotating menu of ribs, brisket, sides, and limited-time smoked meat specials. Don’t worry if there’s a line. It moves quickly and it’s worth the wait. Minnesota Barbecue is open Thursday through Sunday.

4. Market Bar-B-Que And Food Trucks

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220 NE Lowry Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 872-1111
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This 75 year-old institution continues to deliver the slightly sweet and spicy sauces over pink-ringed meat. Although the building is new, many details from the old location have made the move, giving this place a cozy continuance.

New address, same reliable ribs
Market BBQ / Website

5. Animales Barbecue

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1121 Quincy St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 405-4642
Visit Website

Chef Jon Wipfli bought himself a new, massive smoker this year even with the added capacity, this popular trailer can still sell out of popular dishes. Animales Barbecue is parked outside Able Seedhouse + Brewing in Northeast. Wipfli uses his fine dining training, along with intimate knowledge of nose-to-tail cooking to offer incredible meats, sides and fun menu items like tacos in freshly made tortillas with a side of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Find him out there Thursday through Sunday.

Brandon Werth/Animales Barbecue Co.

6. Beast Barbecue

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825 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 584-3657
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This barbecue spot that has replaced the old Legends Bar in Northeast. Start with the pork candy: sweet rib tips, careen into a smoky steak sandwich, and order extra chicken for the trip home. Grab all of the sauces, including the Carolina-tart “Cackalacky.”

Get saucy at beast
Beast Barbecue/Facebook

7. Hunter Boys Southern Style Barbeque

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1046 Rice St
St Paul, MN 55117
(651) 489-9682
Visit Website

There’s a taste of the South to be found right on Rice Street in Saint Paul. There are no cheffy tricks here, just the pure soul of meat and smoke. Grab a rack of ribs with sweet and sassy sauce with greens, beans, and potato salad on the side with an icy can of Coke for the full experience.

A tray is laden with barbecue ribs, cornbread muffins, jo jo fries, smoked chicken, sauce containers and corn on the cob
Order up all this and a whole sweet potato pie for those family and friend reunions happening this summer
Hunter Boys Southern. Style Barbecue/Facebook

8. Bark and the Bite

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2186 Marshall Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 528-7928
Visit Website

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 saucy, snappy coleslaw.

Bark and the Bite/Facebook

9. Smoke In The Pit

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3733 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

It's hard to know what to tear into first, the fantastically meaty ribs or the tender, smoky wings. Just plan for dashboard dining or carrying these over to the nearby park for a picnic, this Powderhorn spot is takeout only.

10. Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbeque

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2814 E 38th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 721-2023
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Founded in 1968 by Ted Cook himself the perfume from this glorious pit wafts in tantalizing waves over this neighborhood. In the 40 years this restaurant has been open, it has had only two other owners since Ted. Make sure to order the Jojo's, fat fried sliced potatoes as a side.

11. Black Market StP

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220 Isabel St W
St Paul, MN 55107
(651) 560-0227
Visit Website

Plan ahead and order from this once weekly smoker that parks on Isabel Street in Saint Paul. Order by Thursday each week to guarantee that crusty bark covered barbecue is ready and waiting. Or show up and just hope for the best.

Plan ahead for these incredible ribs
Black Market StP/Facebook

12. C&G's Smoking Barbecue

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4743 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 825-3400

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

13. Q-Fanatic

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6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
MN, 55419
(612) 440-6628
Visit Website

With two locations, one in Minneapolis and another in Champlin Fanatic has some of the best sauce on the market — not that this is a saucy barbecue. Order up a mess of ribs and the heart guide in sauce application.

Q Fanatic/Facebook

14. Rack Shack BBQ

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2141 Cliff Rd
Eagan, MN 55122
(651) 202-3604
Visit Website

Rack Shack nails the charred meat selection, especially the St. Louis style ribs. Don’t miss the Alabama-style white barbecue sauce.

Rack Shack/Facebook

15. Boomin Barbecue

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949 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Pull up to this new trailer outside of Ombibulous liquor store on Hennepin Avenue in Northeast. The sweet 80’s neon adorned mobile kitchen is churning out brisket on the weekends that has fans driving in from all over the city. 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.

A giant cutting board covered in brown butcher paper is overwhelmed by an abundance of barbecued brisket with a nice, dark bark and tender pink insides oozing juices
Serious meat
Boomin Barbecue/Facebook

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1. Jellybean and Julia's

530 W Main St #8, Anoka, MN 55303

Jellybean and Julia’s is a small restaurant serving up big flavors, including brisket, pulled pork, cornbread fritters with jalapeño jam, and homemade pickles. Come hungry with a few extra mouths to share a wide selection of the menu.

530 W Main St #8
Anoka, MN 55303

2. FireBox Deli

4707 Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55430

Now there are two outposts of the beloved Firebox, one in North and another in St. Paul. The breathtakingly tender brisket is so good. Just take a moment to stop and admire that telltale pink hue.

4707 Lyndale Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55430

3. Minnesota Barbecue Company

816 NE Lowry Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55418

This barbecue restaurant from OG Travail chef Kale Thome offers a rotating menu of ribs, brisket, sides, and limited-time smoked meat specials. Don’t worry if there’s a line. It moves quickly and it’s worth the wait. Minnesota Barbecue is open Thursday through Sunday.

816 NE Lowry Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55418

4. Market Bar-B-Que And Food Trucks

220 NE Lowry Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55418
New address, same reliable ribs
Market BBQ / Website

This 75 year-old institution continues to deliver the slightly sweet and spicy sauces over pink-ringed meat. Although the building is new, many details from the old location have made the move, giving this place a cozy continuance.

220 NE Lowry Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55418

5. Animales Barbecue

1121 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Brandon Werth/Animales Barbecue Co.

Chef Jon Wipfli bought himself a new, massive smoker this year even with the added capacity, this popular trailer can still sell out of popular dishes. Animales Barbecue is parked outside Able Seedhouse + Brewing in Northeast. Wipfli uses his fine dining training, along with intimate knowledge of nose-to-tail cooking to offer incredible meats, sides and fun menu items like tacos in freshly made tortillas with a side of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Find him out there Thursday through Sunday.

1121 Quincy St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

6. Beast Barbecue

825 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Get saucy at beast
Beast Barbecue/Facebook

This barbecue spot that has replaced the old Legends Bar in Northeast. Start with the pork candy: sweet rib tips, careen into a smoky steak sandwich, and order extra chicken for the trip home. Grab all of the sauces, including the Carolina-tart “Cackalacky.”

825 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

7. Hunter Boys Southern Style Barbeque

1046 Rice St, St Paul, MN 55117
A tray is laden with barbecue ribs, cornbread muffins, jo jo fries, smoked chicken, sauce containers and corn on the cob
Order up all this and a whole sweet potato pie for those family and friend reunions happening this summer
Hunter Boys Southern. Style Barbecue/Facebook

There’s a taste of the South to be found right on Rice Street in Saint Paul. There are no cheffy tricks here, just the pure soul of meat and smoke. Grab a rack of ribs with sweet and sassy sauce with greens, beans, and potato salad on the side with an icy can of Coke for the full experience.

1046 Rice St
St Paul, MN 55117

8. Bark and the Bite

2186 Marshall Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
Bark and the Bite/Facebook

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 saucy, snappy coleslaw.

2186 Marshall Ave
St Paul, MN 55104

9. Smoke In The Pit

3733 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407

It's hard to know what to tear into first, the fantastically meaty ribs or the tender, smoky wings. Just plan for dashboard dining or carrying these over to the nearby park for a picnic, this Powderhorn spot is takeout only.

3733 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

10. Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbeque

2814 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Founded in 1968 by Ted Cook himself the perfume from this glorious pit wafts in tantalizing waves over this neighborhood. In the 40 years this restaurant has been open, it has had only two other owners since Ted. Make sure to order the Jojo's, fat fried sliced potatoes as a side.

2814 E 38th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406

11. Black Market StP

220 Isabel St W, St Paul, MN 55107
Plan ahead for these incredible ribs
Black Market StP/Facebook

Plan ahead and order from this once weekly smoker that parks on Isabel Street in Saint Paul. Order by Thursday each week to guarantee that crusty bark covered barbecue is ready and waiting. Or show up and just hope for the best.

220 Isabel St W
St Paul, MN 55107

12. C&G's Smoking Barbecue

4743 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419

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

4743 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55419

13. Q-Fanatic

6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, 55419
Q Fanatic/Facebook

With two locations, one in Minneapolis and another in Champlin Fanatic has some of the best sauce on the market — not that this is a saucy barbecue. Order up a mess of ribs and the heart guide in sauce application.

6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
MN, 55419

14. Rack Shack BBQ

2141 Cliff Rd, Eagan, MN 55122
Rack Shack/Facebook

Rack Shack nails the charred meat selection, especially the St. Louis style ribs. Don’t miss the Alabama-style white barbecue sauce.

2141 Cliff Rd
Eagan, MN 55122

15. Boomin Barbecue

949 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
A giant cutting board covered in brown butcher paper is overwhelmed by an abundance of barbecued brisket with a nice, dark bark and tender pink insides oozing juices
Serious meat
Boomin Barbecue/Facebook

Pull up to this new trailer outside of Ombibulous liquor store on Hennepin Avenue in Northeast. The sweet 80’s neon adorned mobile kitchen is churning out brisket on the weekends that has fans driving in from all over the city. 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.

949 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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