10 Best New Orleans BBQ joints to get your smoke on

New Orleans doesn't have the rich barbecue history that a city like Memphis or St. Louis has. What it does have are world class chefs turned smokers that are building their own barbecue legacy from the ground up. 

Local chefs are top notch innovators and they put these skills to good use when working with the spices and sauces that tempt BBQ aficionados. Ribs, pulled pork, pork belly and brisket are some of the city's top offerings. It's not uncommon to be walking down a street and see a restaurant smoking a pig on their side yard spit for all to see and smell. No secrets here, except for the dry rub recipe applied to the swine before the sun rose. 

The "low and slow" approach to meat preparation started to gain traction here maybe a decade or so ago, adapting methods that historic  barbecue towns follow but with a bit of a New Orleans twist.  Locals and frequent visitors to the city have approved, and the barbecue scene continues to sizzle.

New Orleans may be unlike any other U.S. city, in the South or otherwise, but visitors hungry for Southern style barbecue have been heard.   Check out the best places to sample Big Easy smoked meat platters and savory sides.

Blue Oak BBQ
Photo courtesy of Ronald Evans


Formerly a popup inside Chickie Wah Wah, Blue Oak now has its own digs on Carrollton, which is good news for fans of low and slow cooked smoked meat. Besides some stupendous brisket and pulled pork, check out the most excellent smoked wings and...  Read More

B.B. King's Blues Club
Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono


B.B. King is smiling down on Decatur Street these days, thanks to the opening of the fifth club to bear his name in New Orleans. The legacy of the late great blues legend inspires the soulful happenings in the space that formerly housed...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono


Although he's best known for his citified upscale cuisine at Ox Lot 9, chef Jeffrey Hansell is going down a soulful country road with his new restaurant Smoke in Covington. WOrking with his wife and partner Amy and pitmaster Nate Meharg, a...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Beth D'Addono


In need of some comfort? Turns out it's closer than you'd think, a state of mind and indulgence on Oak Street at the bendiest part of Riverbend uptown. Brack May's eatery menu includes small plates such as figgy toast with blue cheese croutons...  Read More



Ms. Hyster's is a Central City barbecue hot spot known for serving comfort food in a "grandma's kitchen" setting complete with gospel music in the background. Rock bottom prices and great value make this a real gem if you're on a budget. A...  Read More



This locals' fave is powered by Neil McClure's passion for slow-cooked meat and careful attention to detail. McClure's Barbecue dates to 2011 as a pop-up at Dante's Kitchen, opening its permanent uptown location in 2013. One of the best things...  Read More

Historic Bywater


Jazz Fest only happens once a year, but you can have the amazing cochon de lait po'boy at Walker's any time - as long as you get there early. Although they also offer ribs and chicken, it's the po'boy filled with slow cooked pulled pork and cole...  Read More



Pitmaster Rob Bechtold, a renowned smoker known for his NOLA Smokehouse pop up, is the pit boss behind Central City BBQ, famous for its overnight smoked meat and Hogs for the Cause award winning sauce. Bring some cold beer or whatever you're...  Read More

Outside the city


HillBilly Bar BQ is a barbecue joint founded off the principles of old school Kentucky meat smoking on fragrant hickory wood. While some on this list focus on dry rubs, HillBilly is also a sauce type of place, with many options available to...  Read More

Historic Bywater


The Joint is one of the premier spots to get your smoke on in New Orleans, opened since 2004 during the early rise of barbecue in the Crescent City. Located in the Bywater at the corner of Mazant and Royal, the Joint is owned by Jenny and Pete...  Read More


Meet Beth D'Addono

Beth D'Addono is a food and travel writer obsessed with flavor, exploring cultures, street music and the city of New Orleans.

Beth writes about New Orleans and other destinations for outlets...  More About Beth