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A man opens a massive barbecue smoker filled with racks of meat.
The smokers at Jack’s BBQ.
Robert Lerma

11 Terrific Barbecue Restaurants in the Seattle Area

Pulled pork, ribs, brisket, smoked bologna sandwiches, and more

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The smokers at Jack’s BBQ.
| Robert Lerma

Though Seattle isn’t known for its barbecue, over the past few years, some excellent smokehouses and barbecue spots have popped around town, taking advantage of the Northwest’s bounty of farms and ranches. Most haven’t missed a beat during the pandemic, offering items to go or in spacious outdoor patios. Here are some favorite places serving up pulled pork, brisket, hot links, and more in the Seattle area.

Note: This list sticks to restaurants serving American-style barbecue. Some of the many great Japanese and Korean barbecue restaurants in the Seattle area can be found on Eater Seattle’s Japanese and Korean cuisine maps.

Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Brileys BBQ and Grill

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15030 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
(206) 466-1589
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Brileys in Lake Forest Park draws in many fans for good reason. The restaurant's Southern Pride SPK 500 smoker imparts the flavor of cherry and applewood into everything from sausages to brisket, ribs, and chicken. Sides are a big focus here, too, and the Brileys Fries, topped with barbecue sauce and Brunswick stew, are a must.

2. Bitterroot BBQ

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5239 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 588-1577
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One may gravitate towards this Ballard restaurant’s outstanding sandwiches, such as the pulled pork and hot links made onsite, served on Tall Grass Bakery pretzel rolls. But there are also great big platters of meat, ranging from pork belly to ribs to smoked chicken, which Bitterroot dubs “Northwest BBQ,” perhaps raising the hackles of purists, but delightful nonetheless. It also has a covered street side dining area perfect for people watching on Ballard Avenue.

<span data-author="-1">Ballard’s Bitterroot specializes in a hybrid style of barbecue it dubs Northwest barbecue.</span>
Ballard’s Bitterroot BBQ specializes in a hybrid style of barbecue it dubs “Northwest BBQ.”
Bitterroot BBQ/Facebook

3. The Barbeque Pit

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1816 E Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 325-3205
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At this Central District fixture, pitmaster Ed “Pookey” Whitfield presides over a wonderful array of pulled pork, beef, brisket, chicken, and ribs. The smoked meats are paired with candied yams, mac and cheese, potato salad — all the classics, crafted with care.

A close-up image of barbecued ribs at the Barbeque Pit
Ribs are one specialty at the Barbeque Pit.
The Barbeque Pit [Official Photo]

4. Wood Shop BBQ

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2513 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 557-8090
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Owners Matt Davis and James Barrington bring flavors from their Texas and Kansas childhoods to the masses via food truck and a fixed location in the Central District. The meat is hickory-smoked in a custom smoker named Brad Pit, and must-try sides include the jalapeño mac and cheese topped with 12-hour pulled pork and jalapeño cornbread.

5. Pecos Pit

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2260 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 623-0629
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This Seattle mainstay has been slinging smoked meats for more than 40 years now, and it’s still going strong. While other places may have a bit more flash, the SoDo Pecos continues to charm, with its signature lighted hog sign out front and reliably tender brisket. There’s an outpost in West Seattle, plus a roving food truck as well.

6. Jack's BBQ

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3942 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 467-4038
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Jack Timmons — a Texas transplant and former Microsoft employee — got his start in the biz when he created the Seattle Brisket Experience, with an offset smoker and loads of oak, mesquite, and hickory. Fans of his SoDo restaurant (with other locations in South Lake Union, Columbia Tower and Algona) have long sought out its terrific menu items, including Frito pie, rib tips, barbecue tacos, smoked cocktails, and, of course, brisket.

7. Lil Red Takeout and Catering

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4225 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 760-2931
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Southern barbecue meets Jamaican flavors at this takeout-only restaurant and catering operation in Columbia City. The menu ranges from fantastic jerk fried chicken and waffles to barbecue wings to a delectable smoked and fried bologna sandwich. The restaurant also offers catering with platters of ribs, barbecue chicken, brisket, and more. In 2021, Lil Red was listed among one of national barbecue expert Adrian Miller’s 20 favorite Black-owned barbecue restaurants in the U.S.

A closeup of a plate of ribs at Lil Red Takeout &amp; Catering, with a cornbread muffin next to it and other sides in the background
Lil Red is a South Seattle gem that incorporates Jamaican flavors.
Lil Red Takeout and Catering

8. Jones Barbeque

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4417 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 739-6169
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West Seattle has a nice little barbecue corridor going, with Pecos, Lady Jaye, and this unassuming spot on Fauntleroy Way. Here, diners will find terrific rib tips and chopped pork smothered in a barbecue sauce so tangy, it’ll be tempting to buy giant jars of it (sold for retail at the shop).

9. Lady Jaye

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4523 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 457-4029
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Smoke is a central theme at Lady Jaye, which has a 2,000-pound smoker dubbed “Cletus.” It turns out such delights as bulgogi short ribs, pork belly burnt ends, and smoked bologna sandwiches. The meat pairs perfectly with the bourbon and rye-heavy cocktail menu, including the smoked old fashioned. The restaurant is open for takeout and limited dine-in (including a patio).

10. Emma's BBQ

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5303 Rainier Ave S, Seattle
WA, 98118
(206) 413-1523
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This small restaurant in Hillman City has been serving some of Seattle's best barbecue for years, without making a huge fuss about it. Certainly the massive portions of smoked meat, inspired by owner Tess Thomas’s roots in Arkansas and Memphis, are still turning heads, with piles of succulent pulled pork, brisket, chicken, alongside terrific cornbread and collard greens.

A barbecue grill filled with sausages, ribs, and other meats
Emma’s BBQ in Hillman City features some of the city’s best smoked meats.
Emma’s BBQ/Facebook

11. Drunky Two Shoes

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9655 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 829-9540
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Those who make it past the somewhat garish facade at this White Center restaurant are in for a treat. Best bets are the rib tips, smoked bone marrow, and the barbecue parfait (a jar of meat and sides and sauce). The slaw and potato salad may be a bit lackluster, but the cornbread with honey butter and baked beans are solid sides.

A smoker filled with brisket, ribs, and other slabs of meat, slowly cooking.
Drunky Two Shoes offers smoked meats in a lively atmosphere.
Drunky Two Shoes

1. Brileys BBQ and Grill

15030 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Brileys in Lake Forest Park draws in many fans for good reason. The restaurant's Southern Pride SPK 500 smoker imparts the flavor of cherry and applewood into everything from sausages to brisket, ribs, and chicken. Sides are a big focus here, too, and the Brileys Fries, topped with barbecue sauce and Brunswick stew, are a must.

15030 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

2. Bitterroot BBQ

5239 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
<span data-author="-1">Ballard’s Bitterroot specializes in a hybrid style of barbecue it dubs Northwest barbecue.</span>
Ballard’s Bitterroot BBQ specializes in a hybrid style of barbecue it dubs “Northwest BBQ.”
Bitterroot BBQ/Facebook

One may gravitate towards this Ballard restaurant’s outstanding sandwiches, such as the pulled pork and hot links made onsite, served on Tall Grass Bakery pretzel rolls. But there are also great big platters of meat, ranging from pork belly to ribs to smoked chicken, which Bitterroot dubs “Northwest BBQ,” perhaps raising the hackles of purists, but delightful nonetheless. It also has a covered street side dining area perfect for people watching on Ballard Avenue.

5239 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

3. The Barbeque Pit

1816 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122
A close-up image of barbecued ribs at the Barbeque Pit
Ribs are one specialty at the Barbeque Pit.
The Barbeque Pit [Official Photo]

At this Central District fixture, pitmaster Ed “Pookey” Whitfield presides over a wonderful array of pulled pork, beef, brisket, chicken, and ribs. The smoked meats are paired with candied yams, mac and cheese, potato salad — all the classics, crafted with care.

1816 E Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122

4. Wood Shop BBQ

2513 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144

Owners Matt Davis and James Barrington bring flavors from their Texas and Kansas childhoods to the masses via food truck and a fixed location in the Central District. The meat is hickory-smoked in a custom smoker named Brad Pit, and must-try sides include the jalapeño mac and cheese topped with 12-hour pulled pork and jalapeño cornbread.

2513 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98144

5. Pecos Pit

2260 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

This Seattle mainstay has been slinging smoked meats for more than 40 years now, and it’s still going strong. While other places may have a bit more flash, the SoDo Pecos continues to charm, with its signature lighted hog sign out front and reliably tender brisket. There’s an outpost in West Seattle, plus a roving food truck as well.

2260 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

6. Jack's BBQ

3942 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108

Jack Timmons — a Texas transplant and former Microsoft employee — got his start in the biz when he created the Seattle Brisket Experience, with an offset smoker and loads of oak, mesquite, and hickory. Fans of his SoDo restaurant (with other locations in South Lake Union, Columbia Tower and Algona) have long sought out its terrific menu items, including Frito pie, rib tips, barbecue tacos, smoked cocktails, and, of course, brisket.

3942 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108

7. Lil Red Takeout and Catering

4225 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
A closeup of a plate of ribs at Lil Red Takeout &amp; Catering, with a cornbread muffin next to it and other sides in the background
Lil Red is a South Seattle gem that incorporates Jamaican flavors.
Lil Red Takeout and Catering

Southern barbecue meets Jamaican flavors at this takeout-only restaurant and catering operation in Columbia City. The menu ranges from fantastic jerk fried chicken and waffles to barbecue wings to a delectable smoked and fried bologna sandwich. The restaurant also offers catering with platters of ribs, barbecue chicken, brisket, and more. In 2021, Lil Red was listed among one of national barbecue expert Adrian Miller’s 20 favorite Black-owned barbecue restaurants in the U.S.

4225 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118

8. Jones Barbeque

4417 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98126

West Seattle has a nice little barbecue corridor going, with Pecos, Lady Jaye, and this unassuming spot on Fauntleroy Way. Here, diners will find terrific rib tips and chopped pork smothered in a barbecue sauce so tangy, it’ll be tempting to buy giant jars of it (sold for retail at the shop).

4417 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, WA 98126

9. Lady Jaye

4523 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

Smoke is a central theme at Lady Jaye, which has a 2,000-pound smoker dubbed “Cletus.” It turns out such delights as bulgogi short ribs, pork belly burnt ends, and smoked bologna sandwiches. The meat pairs perfectly with the bourbon and rye-heavy cocktail menu, including the smoked old fashioned. The restaurant is open for takeout and limited dine-in (including a patio).

4523 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

10. Emma's BBQ

5303 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA, 98118
A barbecue grill filled with sausages, ribs, and other meats
Emma’s BBQ in Hillman City features some of the city’s best smoked meats.
Emma’s BBQ/Facebook

This small restaurant in Hillman City has been serving some of Seattle's best barbecue for years, without making a huge fuss about it. Certainly the massive portions of smoked meat, inspired by owner Tess Thomas’s roots in Arkansas and Memphis, are still turning heads, with piles of succulent pulled pork, brisket, chicken, alongside terrific cornbread and collard greens.

5303 Rainier Ave S, Seattle
WA, 98118

11. Drunky Two Shoes

9655 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106
A smoker filled with brisket, ribs, and other slabs of meat, slowly cooking.
Drunky Two Shoes offers smoked meats in a lively atmosphere.
Drunky Two Shoes

Those who make it past the somewhat garish facade at this White Center restaurant are in for a treat. Best bets are the rib tips, smoked bone marrow, and the barbecue parfait (a jar of meat and sides and sauce). The slaw and potato salad may be a bit lackluster, but the cornbread with honey butter and baked beans are solid sides.

9655 16th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

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