One of the best things about Los Angeles’s barbecue scene is that it knows no bounds — stylistically, geographically, or otherwise. Because of the region’s deep history with slow-cooking meat using smoke — and LA proper’s reluctance to allow offset smokers at restaurants — some of the best places to score some ‘cue are actually well outside the county bounds. That makes places like Cold Spring Tavern, known for its more than century-old tri-tip cooking traditions, perfect for a day trip, while out in Bakersfield some of the biggest players are turning the idea of authenticity happily on its head. From Native American-influenced smoked meats in Tehachapi to the burnt ends and pork belly over cheese fries found in Orange County, here’s where to road trip for all kinds of barbecue outside of Los Angeles; if you want a little closer to home, there are separate lists for in-and-just-around LA barbecue restaurants, as well as Los Angeles-area underground stands and 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.Read More