Whose Bark Has Bite? 10Best Tackles Orlando Barbecue

Whether you like your pork pulled and saucy, your beef dry-rubbed and fall-off-the-bone tender or perhaps either/or shredded into a street taco, Orlando has some stellar options for those who crave the smoky-decadent goodness of quality barbecue. The rep of the renowned 4Rivers Smokehouse generally precedes itself – and for good reason – its food is as good as it’s lines are long, but with an ever-growing number of locations, locals have less distance to travel (and can always call ahead for pickup). In Windermere, Yellow Dog Eats prides itself on quality Q - not to mention great beer and live music. Both Ocoee and Apopka have farther-flung local favorites in Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ and the beloved Porkie’s Original, where both barbecue- and motorcycle enthusiasts cruise in quite regularly for generous helpings of both. Down in a hip habitat on Mills Ave. (and another in Lake Nona) Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa infuses international flair into its takes on the traditional. Try the sticky-sweet plantains as a side!

Apopka/Winter Garden


Barbecue aficionados in just about any town will often cite more local, off-the-path venues among their favorites and such is the case with Porkie's, a casual, friendly, little place with a massive following they've built over the decade-plus...  Read More



There's just something about beef brisket and slaw that gets the mouth watering. Or maybe you're a rib aficionado. Or have a thing for smoked turkey. The beauty of Southern barbecue is that you don't really have to choose. Just get a multi-meat...  Read More



Generous portions and fall-off-the-bone goodness awaits Q-obsessed carnivores at this Clermont outpost, a family-run business that has accrued multiple honors on the Florida and – perhaps more impressively – Kansas City barbecue circuits....  Read More



This charming, off-the-beaten-path venue is charming and rustic, evocative of some diamond-in-the-rough surprise you'd stumble upon while road tripping. Its food is surprising, too. Sandwiches, salads, scrumptious starters and a whole lotta...  Read More



4Rivers' Winter Park location (not its original outpost; its success quickly outgrew that venue) is its flagship, the nucleus around which this Orlando-based, Texas-style barbecue empire operates. Brisket, ribs, pulled pork and smoked turkey are...  Read More



So, are you interested in 12-hour-smoked brisket, or a homemade cake doughnut with Kentucky bourbon and maple glaze. The smart answer at the Smoke & Donuts mobile bistro (yes, that means food truck) is "yes." Though you can easily enjoy the...  Read More



What pairs better than blues and barbecue? At Fuel, you'd most likely get an emphatic "nada," particularly after you've had their burnt ends, which pair nicely with an impromptu harmonica break. And an al fresco seat on the increasingly hip...  Read More



Ellie Lou's web site promises they'll "rub you the right way," and as they've cultivated many a fan out in Ocoee (and a host of others who make the drive from more central Orlando-area locations to get their Q fix), it appears they're holding up...  Read More



We've been touting the joys of the Caro-Bama food truck for a while now and with this late-year list update, we're excited to report that they've now added a brick-and-mortar location at the North Quarter Market! The pair behind Caro-Bama...  Read More



Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa's location amid the multicultural stretch of Mills on which it sits is ideal, and not merely for the hip vibe its confines – particularly the lovely open-air section – help breed. With Caribbean, Latin and Asian...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster...  More About A.D.