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The Boar's Nest.
The Boar's Nest.
Eva C./Yelp

Seattle's Barbecue Side Dishes That Steal the Show

Don't sleep on the sides

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The Boar's Nest.
| Eva C./Yelp

When you picture a hearty, satisfying barbecue dinner, smoked meat takes center stage (check out Eater Seattle's guide to The Best Damn Barbecue in Seattle). And for some people, the only thing that could make pulled pork better is another helping of pulled pork. But for most, this kind of down home meal wouldn't be complete without a break from the brisket or a respite from the ribs. Enter the side order. (Check out the Illustrated Guide to Seattle's Best Barbecue Side Dishes, the companion piece to this map.)

The next time you're considering heading out for barbecue, don't overlook the magical morsels that complete the experience, from the cheesiest of mac and cheese to the gooiest of grits — okay, so maybe cheese factors heavily into the barbecue mythos. Still, not all the best accessories are dairy-based; read on to find out what else could pull your attention from the main course.

Note: Map points are listed in geographical order from north to south; no ranking is implied. Did we miss your favorite appetizer or accoutrement? Show it some love in the comments, send an email, or start a forum thread in its honor.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Campfire BBQ

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706 Taylor Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 818-5141
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Brisket is king at this mobile mecca, but it pays to sop up every drippy bit with barbecue this good. Enter bacon cheddar cornbread, domed with honey butter.

2. Bitterroot BBQ

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5239 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 588-1577
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Bitterroot's late night happy hour deals include sandwiches and incredibly creamy cheesy grits with vinegary collard greens. Also awesome: mac and cheese, which comes as an entree with your choice of mix-ins (bacon lardons and jalapeños are a highlight).

3. The Boar's Nest

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2008 NW 56th St
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 973-1970
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The menu here is a mix and match heaven, right down to the best side in the business: fried mac and cheese balls. Crunchy on the outside and creamy in the middle, they're best enjoyed with a little squirt of Kansas City BBQ sauce.

4. RoRo BBQ & Grill

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3620 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 954-1100
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Tots are the workhorse of the fried potato world, with their heft and great utility in swiping up sauces. Made with sweet potatoes, RoRo’s versions go surprisingly well with messy sandwiches.

5. Jack's BBQ

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3942 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 467-4038
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Basic sides, including greens and potato salad, are plentiful on the menu at this Central Texas-style joint. But the Fritos pie is where it's at, with brisket chili dumped in the bag along with traditional mix-ins.

6. Bourbon & Bones

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4350 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 582-2241
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Nearly every Seattle barbecue stop has mac and cheese on the menu, but the version here is a standout. Shells and creamy white cheddar sauce always taste fresh and hot, with just the right gooeyness.

7. Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen

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5309 22nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 783-2668
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Whether you're noshing on some ribs or plowing through pimento cheese (Guys, order fries. Dip them in in pimento cheese. Trust.), the best side order for your barbecue here comes in a glass. Facing a crazy selection of whiskey, you owe it to yourself to make some good, boozy choices.

8. Brileys BBQ & Grill

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15030 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
(206) 466-1589
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Cross your fingers next time you head to Lake Forest Park, because you'll want the seasonal veg at Brileys to be garlic butter green beans. Crisp with a slightly wrinkly exterior, they're sweet and savory and delicious. No beans available? Try the Brunswick Stew for a hearty finish instead.

9. Gabriel's Fire

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5803 244th St SW
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
(425) 697-4119
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A deep, dark roux is key to good gumbo, and this Mountlake Terrace barbecue spot (formerly of Ballard) has it down pat. Made with a bunch of the restaurant's delicious barbecue meat tossed in, the gumbo is a can't-miss side or even meal centerpiece. Also lovely: barbecue baked beans.

1. Campfire BBQ

706 Taylor Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Brisket is king at this mobile mecca, but it pays to sop up every drippy bit with barbecue this good. Enter bacon cheddar cornbread, domed with honey butter.
706 Taylor Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

2. Bitterroot BBQ

5239 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Bitterroot's late night happy hour deals include sandwiches and incredibly creamy cheesy grits with vinegary collard greens. Also awesome: mac and cheese, which comes as an entree with your choice of mix-ins (bacon lardons and jalapeños are a highlight).
5239 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

3. The Boar's Nest

2008 NW 56th St, Seattle, WA 98107
The menu here is a mix and match heaven, right down to the best side in the business: fried mac and cheese balls. Crunchy on the outside and creamy in the middle, they're best enjoyed with a little squirt of Kansas City BBQ sauce.
2008 NW 56th St
Seattle, WA 98107

4. RoRo BBQ & Grill

3620 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
Tots are the workhorse of the fried potato world, with their heft and great utility in swiping up sauces. Made with sweet potatoes, RoRo’s versions go surprisingly well with messy sandwiches.
3620 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103

5. Jack's BBQ

3942 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108
Basic sides, including greens and potato salad, are plentiful on the menu at this Central Texas-style joint. But the Fritos pie is where it's at, with brisket chili dumped in the bag along with traditional mix-ins.
3942 Airport Way S
Seattle, WA 98108

6. Bourbon & Bones

4350 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Nearly every Seattle barbecue stop has mac and cheese on the menu, but the version here is a standout. Shells and creamy white cheddar sauce always taste fresh and hot, with just the right gooeyness.
4350 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107

7. Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen

5309 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Whether you're noshing on some ribs or plowing through pimento cheese (Guys, order fries. Dip them in in pimento cheese. Trust.), the best side order for your barbecue here comes in a glass. Facing a crazy selection of whiskey, you owe it to yourself to make some good, boozy choices.
5309 22nd Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

8. Brileys BBQ & Grill

15030 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
Cross your fingers next time you head to Lake Forest Park, because you'll want the seasonal veg at Brileys to be garlic butter green beans. Crisp with a slightly wrinkly exterior, they're sweet and savory and delicious. No beans available? Try the Brunswick Stew for a hearty finish instead.
15030 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

9. Gabriel's Fire

5803 244th St SW, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
A deep, dark roux is key to good gumbo, and this Mountlake Terrace barbecue spot (formerly of Ballard) has it down pat. Made with a bunch of the restaurant's delicious barbecue meat tossed in, the gumbo is a can't-miss side or even meal centerpiece. Also lovely: barbecue baked beans.
5803 244th St SW
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

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