Best Toronto barbecue restaurants for finger-licking ribs

Enjoy a rack of ribs with a side of Southern hospitality at these Toronto barbecue restaurants. Whether you like ’em dry-rubbed with spice or slathered in sticky sweet sauce, the city has plenty of options to satisfy your inner caveman.

Smoque N Bones

1
869 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G4

Chefs at this Queen West smokehouse draw inspiration from American barbecue prepared in Tennessee, Texas, Kansas and the Carolinas, with each region offering its own distinct taste. The popular pork side ribs are available as a quarter or half rack and can be accompanied by a number of classic Southern side dishes including collard greens, candied yams, baked beans and buttermilk onion rings. The meaty ethos also extends to the drink menu; try the maple bacon old fashioned cocktail made with bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup.

AAA Bar

2
138 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1K9

You’ll find central Texas-style barbecue in the heart of Old Town Toronto at this award-winning restaurant. The dim lighting, leather booths and distressed brick interior will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a down south saloon. The dry rub ribs are smoked daily on an offset barrel smoker and served with classic sides like creamed corn, coleslaw or potato salad. With a bluesy soundtrack and a kitchen that keeps cooking until midnight, this is the ideal spot for indulging your late-night barbecue cravings.

Barque Smoke House

3
299 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2M3

This kid-friendly Roncesvalles hotspot offers slow-cooked barbecue ribs in three distinct varieties: the dry rub has an herb-crusted crunch; the sweet ribs boast a sticky, syrupy texture with a little kick; and the signature Barque Rack O’ Bama style arrives rubbed, smoked and basted. All rib orders come with two sides and are available in half or full rack. Go with a rib taster platter so you can sample a third of each style.

The Stockyards

4
699 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C 1B2

You’ll find classic comfort food faves and authentic Carolina style barbecue at this St. Clair West smokehouse. Visit on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays after 5 p.m. and sample flavourful wood smoked barbecue ribs (served in half and full racks) prepared on Toronto’s only wood-fired cooker. Space is at a premium at this pocket-sized diner. There are only 18 counter seats, so call ahead and pick up your order to go if you’re in a hurry.

Hogtown Smoke Restaurant

5
1959 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1H7

Toronto’s popular food truck has found a permanent home for its barbecue offerings in the Beach. At this sit-down spot you’ll find ribs in three distinct varieties. The St. Louis spare ribs are cut from the side and belly of the pig, while the baby back ribs are cut from the loins. Beef cheek short ribs are served for one person or for two to share. The busy 30-seat eatery has been on fire since day one thanks to its notorious name and generous portions. Be prepared to wait for a table.

Stack Restaurant

6
3265 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N 2L5

Low and slow is the preferred strategy at this popular smokehouse. Here the meaty and tender baby back ribs are double smoked in a Southern Pride barbecue pit, slathered in your choice of barbecue sauce and served with your choice of fries, slaw or smoky molasses baked beans. If you’re feeling really ravenous, supersize your rack or get your rib fix as part of the ultimate BBQ platter, which also features pulled pork, quarter chicken and smoked meat. Still have room for dessert? Try the made-to-order creamy cinnamon doughnut milkshake that blends fresh baked doughnuts with rich vanilla ice cream.

Electric Mud Bbq

7
5 Brock Ave, Toronto, ON M6K 2K6

Named after the psychedelic blues from American musician Muddy Waters, this Parkdale barbecue joint attracts a hip crowd thanks to its loud soundtrack and strong bourbon-based cocktails. Here, the side ribs see heritage pork done Carolina-style while the cowboy beef ribs feature Canadian AA beef slathered with mustard barbecue sauce. For something a little different, try the rib ends done with electric barbecue sauce and a jalapeno kick. All of the meaty mains are available for dine in, takeout or delivery.

Aft Kitchen & Bar

8
686 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1G9

East end barbecue lovers crowd inside this popular neighbourhood spot all week long to nosh on slow-smoked pork side ribs served with red cabbage slaw and baked beans. Visit on Saturday and Sunday to order up a sampling platter (for one or two) from the weekend menu. The generous platter offers an array of meats to sink your teeth into: side ribs, Texas-style beef brisket, shredded pulled pork, country sausage and slow smoked chicken. The modern interior features industrial lighting, reclaimed wood and exposed brick to create an airy yet cozy ambiance.

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