No self-respecting Angeleno can pass up Taco Tuesdays or a well-crafted California roll but we usually think of the most mouthwatering Q as the provenance of Texas or St. Louis. But, believe it or not, Los Angeles has some spectacular spots where you can slather on sauce and gnaw on bones. Grab a bucket of wet-wipes and check out these 6 BBQ joints that are sure to please both you and your pint-sized pitmaster.
Right outside Grand Central Market, across from Angel’s Flight and the Pershing Square Metro station, Horse Thief lets you and your little ones indulge in sunny California weather, down-home barbecue and the always-entertaining LA people watching all at once. With refreshing and not-too-sweet lemonade for the tots and a well stocked bar to wash down your rib-tips or pulled pork, the whole family will leave satisfied. This place can get crowded during the weekday lunch rush so plan accordingly. And wash off all that sticky sauce with a run through the fountains at Grand Park.
Horse Thief BBQ
324 S Hill St., Downtown LA
One word: brisket. You haven’t tasted barbecued brisket until you’ve sunk your teeth into Bludso’s tender, melt-in-your-mouth fabulous brisket. Your kiddos will devour their gooey mac-n-cheese while cheering on their favorite team playing on one of the many TV’s and you can sit back and sip on a tasty cocktail from their extensive bar while remembering the deliciousness that was the brisket you just inhaled. Don’t forget to order the house made pickles. They’re just sweet enough that the kids will fight you for them. Good! They could use a little greens with the meal.
609 N LaBrea Avenue, Mid-City
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
While you can’t go wrong with traditional barbecue at Dickey’s (their sauces are fantastic), if your appetite is big enough, you won’t regret trying one of their “Bakers”: huge baked potatoes filled with butter, sour cream, cheese, green onions and bacon topped with one of their smoked meats. You’ll love that kids eat free on Sundays and they’ll love the free self-serve ice cream available every day.
photo credit: Pauline P. via yelp
Baby Blues B.B.Q.
This joint is not for those watching their waistlines. With dinner items like the Memphis Queen (a half-rack of baby back ribs and a half-rack of Memphis-style ribs) and drink options that include unlimited refills of the “red” Kool-Aid of your childhood (ahhh, now it’s summer—remember calling it bug juice at camp?) or southern sweet tea, Baby Blues is not interested in impressing your cardiologist or your kiddos’ pediatrician. Make sure to taste test the 4 different sauces at your table so everyone can mix up their own creation with the perfect balance of sweet, savory and spicy.
Charcoal BBQ – Bourbon & Beer
If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale dining experience, try the brand new Charcoal BBQ in Silverlake. With menu items not found at most traditional barbecue spots (pork banh mi, anyone?) you can get your barbecue fix in a more creative way. Kids have their own separate menu (with mac-n-cheese that you will probably steal many bites of) and everyone can snack on a bucket of bacon (yes!) while you relax with one of their special bourbon or whiskey cocktails. At the end of the meal, indulge in gooey s’mores you make right at your own table. Self-parking is limited but there’s valet service in front in case you can’t score a meter.
Charcoal BBQ – Bourbon & Beer
2611 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake
Holy Cow BBQ
Across from the Brentwood Country Mart, Holy Cow serves up smoked barbecue so tender the meat falls off the bone and you have plenty of local wines and beers to choose from to wash down all that juicy, flavorful goodness. Holy Cow has a separate kids menu with a burger so tasty you’ll beg your little one for a bite. The metered street parking is extremely limited but if you park at the Brentwood Country Mart, you can get 3 hours free parking with validation from one of the shops. (Like if Sweet Rose Creamery calls to you for dessert. Yes, wear the elastic waist pants to this meal.)
Holy Cow BBQ
264 26th Street, Santa Monica
Where do you go to satisfy your BBQ cravings? Let us know in the comments!
—written and photographed by Erika Frazier