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A plate of barbecue, including brisket, smoked chicken, ribs, and sauce.
Slab BBQ
Wonho Frank Lee

21 Essential Barbecue Restaurants in Los Angeles, Summer 2021

Forget chasing the pop-ups, here’s where to get a consistent meal from some of LA’s best barbecue restaurants

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Slab BBQ
| Wonho Frank Lee

Los Angeles has arrived as a barbecue city on the national stage. Gone are the days of overcooked tri-tip and too-saucy ribs. Today’s scene is all about growth and personality, as newcomers mix with longtime barbecue restaurants across the region to create an eclectic, unique moment for smoked meat. Pitmasters are turning to family recipes from across the diaspora for inspiration, while the term “barbecue restaurant” grows to include pop-ups, backyard hangouts, garage setups, and just about everything in between. For this list Eater is looking only at the restaurant side of LA’s local barbecue ecosystem; there are separate maps for out-of-town barbecue places, and for LA’s many pop-ups.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ

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8136 Sepulveda Blvd
Panorama City, CA 91402
(818) 780-6701
Visit Website

Old school barbecue fans continue to love Dr. Hogly Wogly’s. The Valley restaurant is a relic of a previous smoked-meat era, complete with its semi-retro interior and a menu of sauced beef ribs and country sides.

2. Swinging Door BBQ

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11018 Vanowen St #6313
North Hollywood, CA 91605
(818) 763-8996
Visit Website

While LA’s barbecue scene feels like a recent thing, its history goes back decades and is deeper than just the backyard Texas-style stuff in play now. For a glimpse of simple, high quality barbecue done with love (and for the local community) head up to Swinging Door. Lightly charred ribs, fatty brisket, and more come off a unique two-forked off-set smoker, and big take-home platters are always available.

3. The Memphis Grill

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5759 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 738-9993
Visit Website

For a taste of Tennessee-specific barbecue, get to the Memphis Grill in North Hollywood. The pandemic-era restaurant has been turning out some surprising meats over the past year or so, and has big plans to not only grow its menu but also its restaurant, so keep an eye on them for more.

4. Boneyard Bistro

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13539 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 906-7427
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Sherman Oaks’s Boneyard Bistro has grown over the years to become a kind of timeless gastropub, a place for fried chicken sandwiches, Southern-leaning brunch, and steady drinks to match. But don’t forget about the place’s barbecue backbone, because owner and chef Aaron Robins still knows how to turn out a mean rack of ribs.

5. Max City BBQ

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4729 N Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 254-4227
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Barbecue sandwiches are king at Max City, the Eagle Rock corner location that’s been running since 2014. From fatty brisket with lots of coleslaw to smoked chicken or pulled pork, here’s the place for simple lunchtime barbecue.

6. Domestic BBQ

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325 N Citrus Ave
Covina, CA 91723
(626) 699-2209
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Now with two locations (including the original in La Puente), this east Los Angeles County star turns out a wide array of smoked meats and other dishes, from burgers and ribeyes (and tea-smoked duck breast) to brisket, tri-tip, and St. Louis-style pork ribs.

An overhead shot of a red checkered plate with ribs and on-bone barbecue meats.
Domestic BBQ
Farley Elliott

7. Bludso's Bar & Que

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609 N LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 931-2583
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Bludso’s is an institution at this point, turning out reliable Texas-style smoked meats in a sports bar-like environment along La Brea. Co-founder Kevin Bludso is Los Angeles barbecue royalty, so it’s no surprise this place still holds up.

8. Moo’s Craft Barbecue

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2118 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Moo’s Craft Barbecue began life as an East LA backyard pop-up before becoming a staple tenant at Smorgasburg LA. Now the family-run setup operates a restaurant of its own, further east in Lincoln Heights. Moo’s serves some of the most impressive brisket and links in LA, if not America, with LA-specific sides like esquites to match.

Moo’s craft barbecue sits on a pink paper tray.
Moo’s Craft Barbecue
Farley Elliott

9. Slab BBQ

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8136 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 855-7184
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Burt Bakman and his Slab team serve up some of LA’s top barbecue, starting from a trailer in a backyard and moving on to become a top player in the smoked meat scene. Stop by for Monday pastrami, all-the-time brisket, smoked chicken, and ribs two ways.

10. Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ

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640 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-0535
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A lot has changed since Spring Street Smokehouse opened at the edge of Chinatown in 2005. The neighborhood has seen plenty of restaurants come and go, while this simple all-American hangout continues churning out laquered ribs, burnt ends, Louisiana-style links, and more.

11. Horse Thief BBQ

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324 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-0341
Visit Website

One could argue that much of LA’s recent turn towards Texas-style barbecue began with Horse Thief, the Grand Central Market setup known for its ample outdoor space and slow-smoked brisket. And while the menu has grown over the years to include fried chicken, salads, and lots of Texas craft beer, there’s still something satisfying about a simple plate of meat here.

12. Phillips Bar-B-Que

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2619 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 731-4772

It’s no surprise that long lines snake out of Los Angeles barbecue icon Phillips Bar-B-Que, especially on weekends. This is a classic spot for saucy ribs, rib tips, chicken links, and more.

A white and blue sign during the daytime for Phillips Barbecue.
Phillips Bar-B-Que
Phillips Bar-B-Que

13. RibTown BBQ

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2125 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 360-7499
Visit Website

Lonnie Edwards is the smiling face behind Ribtown, the daily parking lot rib specialist in Jefferson Park. His off-set smoker, small selling trailer, and a few open-air tables are all it takes to turn out some of LA’s most tender rib tips — and don’t sleep on the beef ribs, either.

For a barbecue destination that feels like something special: Ribtown BBQ.
Ribs from Ribtown
Farley Elliott

14. Santa Maria Barbecue

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3845 Jasmine Ave
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 559-5709
Visit Website

For more than three decades, Santa Maria Barbecue and Catering has held it down for the greater Culver City area. The restaurant focuses on California’s most well-known regional smoke style, using red oak to cook off tri-tip cuts, ribs, and a whole lot more.

15. Maple Block Meat Company

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3973 Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 313-6328
Visit Website

Maple Block has earned plenty of praise over the years, including from the vaunted Texas Monthly magazine. These days the restaurant continues to turn out barky brisket and tender ribs, while also moving into one-off holiday and weekend menus that use smoked meats as a baseline for so much more.

16. Woody's Bar-B-Q

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3446 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 294-9443
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Big, sticky takeaway platters of pork ribs and slices of brisket are the main attraction at Woody’s, a staple Southern spot that’s been cooking in South LA for a generation. Far from the delicate, salt-and-pepper-only Texas style of barbecue, this is a saucy place to get those hands reliably messy.

Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Farley Elliott

17. Ray's BBQ

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6038 Santa Fe Ave
Huntington Park, CA
(323) 978-1116
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Ray’s has been quietly serving the Huntington Park area for several years, doling out brisket, ribs, and links. The strip mall stop has legions of lunchtime and weekend fans from the local community.

Barbecue from Ray’s Halal Texas BBQ in Huntington Park.
Ray’s BBQ
Matthew Kang

18. The Wood Urban Kitchen

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129 N Market St
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 466-9741
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Part sports bar, part late night patio hangout, part barbecue restaurant of Inglewood’s dreams. It’s hard to pin down the Wood Urban Kitchen on Market Street, simply because the restaurant can do it all so well. Swing in for big platters of saucy meats and extra-barky ribs.

An overhead shot of saucy meat from a barbecue restaurant, including very bark-heavy ribs.
The Wood Urban Kitchen
Farley Elliott

19. Robert Earl's BBQ

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703 E Artesia Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 726-1116
Visit Website

This north Long Beach barbecue staple doesn’t offer much in the way of ambiance, but that’s sort of the point. Instead, the family focuses on making some of the most popular barbecue in town, with plenty of pulled pork, brisket, hot links, ribs (and rib tips), to go around. Expect a wait, especially on busy weekends.

20. My Father's Barbeque

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637 E University Dr
Carson, CA 90746
(310) 817-4166
Visit Website

This family-run Carson restaurant is the place for barbecue with heart. While the menu (and the setup) has changed some during COVID-19 times, the center of My Father’s Barbeque has always been chef and pitmaster Shalamar Lane, who presides over a hulking bespoke smoker to make some of the city’s best ribs, hot links, smoked chicken, and more.

Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with sides from My Father’s Barbeque in Carson.
Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with sides from My Father’s Barbeque in Carson.
Matthew Kang

21. Beachwood BBQ and Brewing

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210 E 3rd St
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 436-4020
Visit Website

Long Beach favorite Beachwood BBQ doesn’t worry about following rules about authenticity or regional specificity. This is the place for housemade craft beers, brisket, pulled pork, loaded fries, smoked chicken nachos, and anything else the team can dream up.

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1. Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas BBQ

8136 Sepulveda Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402

Old school barbecue fans continue to love Dr. Hogly Wogly’s. The Valley restaurant is a relic of a previous smoked-meat era, complete with its semi-retro interior and a menu of sauced beef ribs and country sides.

8136 Sepulveda Blvd
Panorama City, CA 91402

2. Swinging Door BBQ

11018 Vanowen St #6313, North Hollywood, CA 91605

While LA’s barbecue scene feels like a recent thing, its history goes back decades and is deeper than just the backyard Texas-style stuff in play now. For a glimpse of simple, high quality barbecue done with love (and for the local community) head up to Swinging Door. Lightly charred ribs, fatty brisket, and more come off a unique two-forked off-set smoker, and big take-home platters are always available.

11018 Vanowen St #6313
North Hollywood, CA 91605

3. The Memphis Grill

5759 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

For a taste of Tennessee-specific barbecue, get to the Memphis Grill in North Hollywood. The pandemic-era restaurant has been turning out some surprising meats over the past year or so, and has big plans to not only grow its menu but also its restaurant, so keep an eye on them for more.

5759 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

4. Boneyard Bistro

13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Sherman Oaks’s Boneyard Bistro has grown over the years to become a kind of timeless gastropub, a place for fried chicken sandwiches, Southern-leaning brunch, and steady drinks to match. But don’t forget about the place’s barbecue backbone, because owner and chef Aaron Robins still knows how to turn out a mean rack of ribs.

13539 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

5. Max City BBQ

4729 N Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Barbecue sandwiches are king at Max City, the Eagle Rock corner location that’s been running since 2014. From fatty brisket with lots of coleslaw to smoked chicken or pulled pork, here’s the place for simple lunchtime barbecue.

4729 N Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

6. Domestic BBQ

325 N Citrus Ave, Covina, CA 91723
An overhead shot of a red checkered plate with ribs and on-bone barbecue meats.
Domestic BBQ
Farley Elliott

Now with two locations (including the original in La Puente), this east Los Angeles County star turns out a wide array of smoked meats and other dishes, from burgers and ribeyes (and tea-smoked duck breast) to brisket, tri-tip, and St. Louis-style pork ribs.

325 N Citrus Ave
Covina, CA 91723

7. Bludso's Bar & Que

609 N LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Bludso’s is an institution at this point, turning out reliable Texas-style smoked meats in a sports bar-like environment along La Brea. Co-founder Kevin Bludso is Los Angeles barbecue royalty, so it’s no surprise this place still holds up.

609 N LA Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA

8. Moo’s Craft Barbecue

2118 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Moo’s craft barbecue sits on a pink paper tray.
Moo’s Craft Barbecue
Farley Elliott

Moo’s Craft Barbecue began life as an East LA backyard pop-up before becoming a staple tenant at Smorgasburg LA. Now the family-run setup operates a restaurant of its own, further east in Lincoln Heights. Moo’s serves some of the most impressive brisket and links in LA, if not America, with LA-specific sides like esquites to match.

2118 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90031

9. Slab BBQ

8136 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Burt Bakman and his Slab team serve up some of LA’s top barbecue, starting from a trailer in a backyard and moving on to become a top player in the smoked meat scene. Stop by for Monday pastrami, all-the-time brisket, smoked chicken, and ribs two ways.

8136 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

10. Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ

640 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

A lot has changed since Spring Street Smokehouse opened at the edge of Chinatown in 2005. The neighborhood has seen plenty of restaurants come and go, while this simple all-American hangout continues churning out laquered ribs, burnt ends, Louisiana-style links, and more.

640 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

11. Horse Thief BBQ

324 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

One could argue that much of LA’s recent turn towards Texas-style barbecue began with Horse Thief, the Grand Central Market setup known for its ample outdoor space and slow-smoked brisket. And while the menu has grown over the years to include fried chicken, salads, and lots of Texas craft beer, there’s still something satisfying about a simple plate of meat here.

324 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

12. Phillips Bar-B-Que

2619 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
A white and blue sign during the daytime for Phillips Barbecue.
Phillips Bar-B-Que
Phillips Bar-B-Que

It’s no surprise that long lines snake out of Los Angeles barbecue icon Phillips Bar-B-Que, especially on weekends. This is a classic spot for saucy ribs, rib tips, chicken links, and more.

2619 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

13. RibTown BBQ

2125 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
For a barbecue destination that feels like something special: Ribtown BBQ.
Ribs from Ribtown
Farley Elliott

Lonnie Edwards is the smiling face behind Ribtown, the daily parking lot rib specialist in Jefferson Park. His off-set smoker, small selling trailer, and a few open-air tables are all it takes to turn out some of LA’s most tender rib tips — and don’t sleep on the beef ribs, either.

2125 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

14. Santa Maria Barbecue

3845 Jasmine Ave, Culver City, CA 90232

For more than three decades, Santa Maria Barbecue and Catering has held it down for the greater Culver City area. The restaurant focuses on California’s most well-known regional smoke style, using red oak to cook off tri-tip cuts, ribs, and a whole lot more.

3845 Jasmine Ave
Culver City, CA 90232

15. Maple Block Meat Company

3973 Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Maple Block has earned plenty of praise over the years, including from the vaunted Texas Monthly magazine. These days the restaurant continues to turn out barky brisket and tender ribs, while also moving into one-off holiday and weekend menus that use smoked meats as a baseline for so much more.

3973 Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Related Maps

16. Woody's Bar-B-Q

3446 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043
Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Woody’s Bar-B-Q
Farley Elliott

Big, sticky takeaway platters of pork ribs and slices of brisket are the main attraction at Woody’s, a staple Southern spot that’s been cooking in South LA for a generation. Far from the delicate, salt-and-pepper-only Texas style of barbecue, this is a saucy place to get those hands reliably messy.

3446 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90043

17. Ray's BBQ

6038 Santa Fe Ave, Huntington Park, CA
Barbecue from Ray’s Halal Texas BBQ in Huntington Park.
Ray’s BBQ
Matthew Kang

Ray’s has been quietly serving the Huntington Park area for several years, doling out brisket, ribs, and links. The strip mall stop has legions of lunchtime and weekend fans from the local community.

6038 Santa Fe Ave
Huntington Park, CA

18. The Wood Urban Kitchen

129 N Market St, Inglewood, CA 90301
An overhead shot of saucy meat from a barbecue restaurant, including very bark-heavy ribs.
The Wood Urban Kitchen
Farley Elliott

Part sports bar, part late night patio hangout, part barbecue restaurant of Inglewood’s dreams. It’s hard to pin down the Wood Urban Kitchen on Market Street, simply because the restaurant can do it all so well. Swing in for big platters of saucy meats and extra-barky ribs.

129 N Market St
Inglewood, CA 90301

19. Robert Earl's BBQ

703 E Artesia Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90805

This north Long Beach barbecue staple doesn’t offer much in the way of ambiance, but that’s sort of the point. Instead, the family focuses on making some of the most popular barbecue in town, with plenty of pulled pork, brisket, hot links, ribs (and rib tips), to go around. Expect a wait, especially on busy weekends.

703 E Artesia Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90805

20. My Father's Barbeque

637 E University Dr, Carson, CA 90746
Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with sides from My Father’s Barbeque in Carson.
Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with sides from My Father’s Barbeque in Carson.
Matthew Kang

This family-run Carson restaurant is the place for barbecue with heart. While the menu (and the setup) has changed some during COVID-19 times, the center of My Father’s Barbeque has always been chef and pitmaster Shalamar Lane, who presides over a hulking bespoke smoker to make some of the city’s best ribs, hot links, smoked chicken, and more.

637 E University Dr
Carson, CA 90746

21. Beachwood BBQ and Brewing

210 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802

Long Beach favorite Beachwood BBQ doesn’t worry about following rules about authenticity or regional specificity. This is the place for housemade craft beers, brisket, pulled pork, loaded fries, smoked chicken nachos, and anything else the team can dream up.

210 E 3rd St
Long Beach, CA 90802

Related Maps