It Is Time To Chow Down With Toronto's Top Barbecue

People like to joke that there is no skill when it comes to barbecue. You get a hot surface, you place good quality meat on it and - surprise - it tastes delicious. However, Toronto's best barbecue restaurants hint that there may be techniques of the trade beyond opening up a cold one and standing near the grill.

Southern style barbecue establishments, which rely on cooking for a long time at a low temperature, have become all the rage in Toronto. Perhaps this is because time is a rare commodity in any city. In any case, tender and juicy meat with the smoky flavor of wood sure is a nice way to complete a day. Or start one, for that matter.

You can smell the crispy skin of Electric Mud BBQ even before you turn the corner. With affordable meals, like brisket on a bun or Carolina-style pork ribs, people easily ditch their own backyards for a hipster garage complete with a record player. Or go a wee bit fancier and eat at Barque, where the melt-in-your-mouth meats are accompanied by sauces that you can brush on with your own grilling brush. This may make you feel like you have actually done something other than eaten your weight in animal products.

Fire. Meat. Good.

The Stockyards has the expected delicious BBQ but also some rare vegetarian options. The fried chicken is a winner, coming with spicy or sweet dipping sauces. You could also serve it over a waffle to double up on your crunch. Dishes have a...  Read More

Southern Bourbon flavour might not be something you are constantly craving. Yet Southern Bourbon Bar-B-Q is betting it will happen and that they will be your go-to. With expertly handled ribs and brisket that have distinct dry rubs and fall...  Read More


There is something amusing about cooking Southern food in the Great White North. Smoque N' Bones realizes this and cheekily draws from Memphis, Texas, Kansas and the Carolinas. They do appreciate "all things BBQ" and prove it in the form of...  Read More

North Toronto

Stack Smoked put extra m's in their Twitter handle. You can see why when you walk and and you are hit by the smell of 4,000 square feet dedicated to Southern pit BBQ. If you prefer your smoke in food rather than cigarettes, this is your place....  Read More

Some smokehouses declare "vegetarians welcome" but they mean it in the winky emoticon sort of way. Sure, they may be welcome if they like to watch other people eat. Greenwood Smokehouse is the rare barbecue establishment that caters to the...  Read More

East Toronto

Toronto has the nickname Hogtown, which some feel was due to the early meat packers and others thing was an insult from our neighbours to the north. Whatever the reason, Toronto is having the last laugh. Hogtown Smoke is part restaurant, part...  Read More

Let's be honest. You don't choose to go out for BBQ on a day when you are wearing ironed pants. You don't go for BBQ when you want crisp linens and an oaky Chardonnay. You go when you want to drink beer, eat good meat and wipe your hands on your...  Read More

West Toronto

Chef Scott Vivian spent time early in his career cooking under Jamie Kennedy, the chef most often associated with farm-to-table cuisine in Toronto. When he opened his own restaurant, Beast, in 2010, it was no surprise that it celebrated local...  Read More

When your homestyle restaurant is doing well, what do you do when you are Chris Sanderson? You open the backyard up and bam, you have two restaurants for the price of one. In the backyard of Rose & Sons is The Big Crow, with picnic tables...  Read More

High Park/Roncesvalles
Barque Smokehouse
Photo courtesy of Jill Chen

If you are a person who hears the words "baby back ribs" and salivates, you must make a trip over to Roncesvalles for a spectacular meal. Lucky for us, owners and childhood friends Jonathan Persofsky and David Neinstein left the corporate world...  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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