BBQ: it’s not fancy. It’s messy, meaty, with plenty of sides like cornbread to soak up all the extra sauce. You’ll definitely need to dunk the kids in the bath when you get home, because they might be happily covered with their meal by the end. Even if your kid isn’t an avid carnivore, there’s lots of yumminess to be found at Portland’s best BBQ joints, like Mac-n-Cheese, biscuits, and there are even vegan options. Read on for more!

Reverend's BBQ

In oft-overlooked Sellwood, Reverend’s hides some excellent bbq at excellent prices. The kids menu offers a small bbq plate for $4.95 with one side, and the goodness doesn’t stop there.

Adult bbq plates come with plenty of meat options, their sides options include the delicious, griddled polenta with creamed corn. With their long daily happy hour from 3-6pm, the whole family can chow down easily.

7712 SE 13th Ave.
Phone: 503-327-8755
Online: reverendsbbq.com

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Russell St. BBQ

Around for almost 15 years now, the woman-owned Russell St BBQ has made its name in Portland, even expanding to a second location on Belmont last year. The platters are generous and delicious, and the ambiance is friendly and casual. BBQ options cover ribs, pulled pork, chicken, smoked sausage, and even tofu doused in sauce! The sides include all the classics: greens, beans, mac n cheese, cornbread and more. Share a platter with the kids, or let everyone pick their own-- you’re all going home happy.

Southern Kitchen
325 NE Russell St.
Phone: 503-528-8224

Southern Counter
4246 SE Belmont St.
503-528-8224
Online: russellstreetbbq.com

Podnah's Pit

One of Portland’s best, Podnah’s (Texan for “partner”) is Texas BBQ done right. The crew gets started smoking at 5am to get things ready by dinnertime, and the flavors ring true. Choose from three homemade sauces (House BBQ, Carolina Mustard, and Carolina Vinegar), and an array of meat. Kids will love a smorgasbord of sides to chow down on, and don’t forget the Texas Frito Pie!

Location: 1625 NE Killingsworth St.
Phone: 503-281-3700
Online: podnahspit.com

Pine Shed Ribs

This Lake Oswego joint offers up great BBQ with a beautiful outdoor patio! Get the family dinner to feed 4 people with bbq, 2 sides, cornbread and dessert. There’s no specific kids menu, but plenty of kid-friendly sides and messy, messy meat! What more could you need?

17730 Pilkington Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR
503-635-7427
Online: pineshedribs.com

Storr's Smokehouse

If you find yourself out in wine country, stop by downtown Newberg for lunch at Storr’s Smokehouse. Brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings, and ribs await-- or try them all with the Gran Daddy! Kids might be most excited, though, by their homemade ice cream. Be sure to take home a pint for later.

310 E 1st St
Newberg, OR
503-538-8080
Online: storrssmokehouse.com

Food Carts

Homegrown Smoker

Shh, don’t tell. This is not meat. (Ok, you might actually want to warn your meat-loving friends). This all-vegan deli and food cart offers a combo plate with tempeh, tofu, soy curls, and chikn. Don’t scoff, though! Douse all that in delicious sauce, and throw in hushpuppies and remoulade with a side of chow chow, and everyone might just lick their plate clean.

Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ Cart
4233 N Mississippi
Phone: 503-227-3823

Homegrown Smokehouse & Vegan Deli
1628 SW Jefferson
Phone: 971-330-0324
Online: homegrownsmoker.com

Road Runner BBQ

Nestled in one of the best food cart pods in the city, Road Runner BBQ comes swinging with some of the best Southern BBQ! The slim menu offers an array of meats with a choice of four sides, or sandwiches. The friendly service will charm your kids, and the outdoor seating areas allow for plenty of wiggles and noises.

Carts on Foster
5205 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR
503-310-2728
Online: https://roadrunnerbbqpdx.com/

Matt's BBQ

Making mac n cheese with queso is always the way to a kids’ heart. The whole family can share the Total Shebang with three meat choices, like beef brisket, ribs, or sausage, or for individual tastes you can get tacos or sandwiches. And if the kids only want more cheese, just get them chips and queso. You’ll find Matt’s on N Mississippi near Prost.

4233 N Mississippi Ave
503-504-0870
Online: mattsbbqpdx.com

Bonus: Felton and Mary’s BBQ Sauce

Bonus points to this bottled sauce for do it yourself goodness!

Campbell’s BBQ restaurant was a mainstay of Old Portland, and now the grandson of owner’s Felton and Mary has revived the family recipes. Bring the goodness (and messiness!) home this summer with their perfectly balance sauces and spice rubs. Find them at New Seasons, Green Zebra Grocers, and select farmer’s markets.

Online: feltonandmary.com/

—Katrina Emery