You can eat barbecue year-round, but it always seems to taste better during those warm spring and summer days. This no-frills style of cooking is great for casual gatherings with friends and family, where you’re not afraid to dig in and get a bit messy. Whether you like smoked chicken, brisket, pork, ribs or even if you’re just into the classic sides, few people will turn down some good ol’ barbecue. CBS Philly brought you a list of the top spots for barbecue back in 2011. Here’s your 2014 list, with some repeat favorites that have withstood the test of time along with some new spots to try.
110 S. Main St.
New Hope, PA 18938
Bitter Bob’s is located in charming New Hope, a short distance from Philadelphia to Bucks County. Owners Bob and Elisa Kascik offer your standard barbecue favorites along with appetizers, salads, unique sandwiches, incredible chili and comfort foods such as meatloaf and pot roast. As far as barbecued meats go, you can choose from ribs, beef brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork or seitan (vegetarian protein), or even a combination portion of each for $12.99. Everything is dry rubbed before being smoked and slow cooked, and it’s served with your choice of Bitter Bob’s homemade barbecue sauce or vinegar sauce. A standout favorite — if you can handle it — is the $7.99 “Bowl of Deliciousness,” featuring two choices from mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens and bean mélange, topped with your choice of meat. Then the entire bowl is topped with barbecue and cheese sauces. Visit Bitter Bob’s on a nice day to take full advantage of the outdoor seating. As a dog-friendly BYOB, it’s the perfect place for people watching while sipping your favorite drink and enjoying great barbecue.
1208 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
A spinoff of Joe Carroll’s Brooklyn restaurant by the same name, Fette Sau is a joint venture between Joe Carroll and Stephen Starr. Serving smoked chicken, beef brisket, ribs and pork, Fette Sau (German for “fat pig”) uses locally sourced meats that are free of antibiotics, hormones and steroids. The menu changes based on daily availability, but the Berkshire pork is a consistent favorite. All meats can be bought by the pound, and sides such as burnt-end baked beans and German potato salad complete your meal. With cafeteria-style ordering and long picnic tables or booths for seating, the atmosphere is relaxed and perfect for casual gatherings. The Fette Sau drink list features nine craft beers on tap, five wines, cider and an impressive whiskey list. And if you’re thirsty for more, Fette Sau is located next to Stephen Starr’s biergarten Frankford Hall.
Percy Street Barbecue
900 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Since it’s a bit on the noisy side, Percy Street Barbecue is not the type of place you go for a quiet date, but it’s absolutely the spot for Texas-style wood-smoked barbecue. To make your decision-making easier, encourage your table to order “The Lockhart.” For $19 per person, you can enjoy brisket, pulled pork and chicken along with collard greens, potato salad, pinto beans and coleslaw. It’s all served family style and gives you a great opportunity to try a variety of dishes. You might want to splurge and add on a side of mac and cheese, too, because it’s just that good. With over 110 craft can beers, a great selection of bourbon and whiskey and locally made root beer, there are plenty of options to wash it all down. If your family loves tender smoked brisket, you’ll want to try the new whole brisket dinner. With 48 hours notice, Chef Erin O’Shea will brine and slow-smoke a whole six- to eight-pound beef brisket just for you. At $225, this feast comes with a variety of side dishes and dessert to feed six to eight people.
Smoke’n Dudes Barbecue Co.
3400 Neshaminy Blvd.
Bensalem, PA 19020
Smoke’n Dudes is worth the short drive from Philly to Bensalem. The family owned and operated company got its start participating in barbecue competitions in 1998. After winning awards for its pork, ribs, beef brisket, chicken and even rum raisin bread pudding, the family decided it was time to go public with their delicious barbecue. Smoke’n Dudes restaurant and catering opened in 2002 and was named Pennsylvania State Barbecue Champions in 2003. Today, Smoke’n Dudes caters hundreds of events each year, but it’s just as popular for a casual lunch or dinner. Come in to grab a bite to eat, or order takeout to bring home. The chopped barbecue brisket with the signature apple BBQ sauce is a must-have, available as an entrée with sides, as a sandwich or even by the pint. To feed the entire family, consider one of the packages that include pints of slow-smoked meats, sides and rolls or cornbread. Each package feeds four to six people and ranges from $35.99 to $72.99 depending on what it features. With daily specials that change each week, there’s always something new to try at Smoke’n Dudes.
Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse
7500 State Road
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Sweet Lucy’s serves up authentic Southern-style barbecue with true hickory-smoked flavor. From the pulled pork to the rotisserie chicken, all of the meats are cooked low and slow for that distinctive color, aroma and flavor. Favorite sides such as macaroni and cheese, sweet cornbread and spicy collard greens along with homemade desserts like bread pudding complete your meal. To try a bit of everything, visit on a Monday night between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet priced at $19.95 for adults. Kids ages five to 10 are half price and kids under five eat free. Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse is a BYOB, so remember to bring your favorite drink.
Related: Top Pulled Pork In Philadelphia
Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer fiance would love to open.
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