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10 Best Barbecue Spots in Baltimore Blowing More Than Just Smoke With Slow-Cooked Meaty Goodness



Baltimore may not be Memphis or Kansas City but with its transplants and strong culinary community, it holds its own with these 10Best barbecue joints. From brisket to ribs to chicken to pulled pork, good barbecue can indeed be found in the land of steamed crabs and crab cakes.

Popular spots such as Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbecue is likened to some of the best barbecue found in top smokehouse states like Texas and North Carolina with its signature Big Bad Wolf's sandwich. This mix of three meats and your choice of any of their unique sauces is bound to have you smacking your lips, rolling your eyes, and writing home to grandma.

If you're willing to drive just 10 minutes out of the city, you'll open your world up to even more finger-llcking barbecue such as what you'll find on Pulaski highway at Chaps Pit Beef where the sandwiches are always overflowing and the pit beef is legendary, cooked to perfection and accompanied by great sauces and gravy fries if you dare. And who's to say good barbecue is limited to just the American stuff? Korean barbecue adds its own twist to the preparation and flavoring of meats. Nak Won Korean Restaurant is one of the best in its class and attracts people looking for a different take on barbecue.


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JD's Smokehouse Bar & Grill


With nice-sized finger-licking meaty wings (try the Chesapeake flavored batch for something a little different) and pretzel bread appetizers, who has room for an entree? But, you won't wanna leave without trying some of the barbecue options. This Canton favorite serves up great brisket, ribs, smoky tender pulled pork, and a nice selection of sauces to drench on your meats if you so choose. Macaroni wedges are a hit and worth a try. An extensive beer collection will keep your mouth well-watered while the large portions keep your belly full. A casual laid back atmosphere, JD's attracts sports fans and people who love sitting at the bar to grub, chat, and enjoy a cold one.

Local Expert tip: Call them for the happy-hour times and specials.

Read more about JD's Smokehouse Bar & Grill →


Nak Won Korean Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Who says barbecue is just an American thing? People have been embracing and enjoying Korean barbecue more and more in cities across the country as communities grow internationally. Nak Won serves up the meats to you like traditional Korean barbecue with grills in the table for cooking right in front of you. "Free" appetizers accompany your meal and don't be alarmed to see them refilled at no extra cost. Try their noodle bowls if you love noodles and their scallion pancakes are also a winner. Don't forget the dumplings either. After an evening of partying or hanging out in Baltimore, Nak Won is a great late night dining option when everywhere else is closed and everyone else is asleep.

Local Expert tip: A little pricier than other Korean spots but they also give you several "free" appetizers with your meal.

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Boog's Barbeque
Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith


If you find yourself in Baltimore checking out an Orioles game and you happen to have a craving for barbecue, don't worry, you won't have to leave the stadium to get some. Boog's Barbeque is conveniently located in Camden Yards and fulfilling taste buds outside the standard fare of hot dogs and french fries. Choose between piled high sandwiches of pit turkey, pit beef, pork, a slew of sauces, condiments and sides to go along with the game. Whether you get a platter or a sandwich, you won't walk away hungry with their generous portions of meat and above-average ball park sandwiches.

Local Expert tip: The platters are good-sized portions and may be best-suited for sharing.

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Chaps Pit Beef
Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith


One of the many things that's unique to Baltimore is pit beef. And one of the few places that does it well, along with other meats, is Chaps Pit Beef. Located in an eyebrow raising strip mall on Pulaski highway, this little dive is all character. They also have great barbecue and carnivorous sandwiches filled with anywhere between one and four meats like the Richman, stuffed with turkey, beef, corned beef and sausage. Featured on television shows like No Reservations, Man Vs. Food, Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives, and Best Thing I Ever Ate, Chaps isn't short on notoriety or fans. With lines outside the door and a local following (as well as those intrigued by its television accolades), Chaps delivers on beef, turkey, ribs, and any other meat it can bring to smokehouse perfection. You'll probably smell it before you see it but let your tastebuds be the judge of whether Chaps is worthy of its praises.

Local Expert tip: The double meat sandwich is a great value at only $1 extra but with twice as much meat as a single. The Tiger sauce and fries with gravy are worth giving a try.

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This Columbia location of The Corner Stable is a little closer to the downtown Baltimore area than the Cockeysville location, and a little more refined and upbeat. And though the ambiance and scenery differ between the two, the ribs and crab cakes are just as good at both locations. You can get dry rubbed ribs here or order them wet, whatever your fancy. Combinations like Fried Chicken & Ribs combo or the Showstopper (ribs and crab cake) don't disappoint. Reasonable prices, a healthy variety, and large portions keep customers coming back consistently. Fresh brewed sweet tea and a large serving of fries nicely balance any barbecue meal you decide to order at the Corner Stable.

Local Expert tip: Order the ribs dry with sauce on the side.

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Andy Nelson's Southern Pit Barbecue


Andy Nelson's is about a twenty minute drive from downtown Baltimore and delivers on that quick fix for something different, other than crab cakes. Just look for the pink pig on the building and you know you're at the right spot. Though the place is small, the portions are large and the barbecue flavor even bigger. With several choices of sauces to choose from, you can't miss on your barbecue preference whether it be Carolina vinegar or something more sweet and spicy. Dry rub or wet ribs, brisket sandwiches or pulled pork, turkey sandwiches, and chicken wings cooked right on the grill - there's plenty of ways to get your 'cue on at Andy Nelson's.

Local Expert tip: Come here for the meats - sides can be hit or miss.

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Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbecue


A restaurant in a small yellow shack with a name like Big Bad Wolf must be cooking up something good and flavorful to have as loyal of a following as it does. Many will tell you that the Big Bad wolf sandwich is that signature "something." This brisket, pulled pork and bacon sandwich, topped with your choice of sauces ranging from the traditional barbecue flavors to the more creative, has people getting in touch with their inner carnivore. And if pork or beef aren't your meats of choice, the Eastern shore chicken will keep you happy with its Old Bay seasoning and tender meat. A side of a generous portion of boardwalk-style fries will add the appropriate carb accompaniment to your meal and have you hoping that no one huffs and puffs to blow this house down.

Local Expert tip: Order ahead and enjoy your meal as take out - parking is as limited as dine-in space.

Read more about Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbecue →


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Meet Tawanna Browne Smith

Tawanna has had a wanderlust spirit since she was 13. A dozen or so addresses later, she now resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons.

Tawanna is the founder and creator of Mom's...  More About Tawanna

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