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Best BBQ by Neighborhood In Orange County

barbeque 610 bbq Brew Hawg
(credit: Brew Hawg)

There are three things that make up great BBQ: large helpings, plentiful meat and delicious sauces. Orange County has a surprising number of barbecue restaurants so we went around and found the best of the best. Head on over to one of these top 10 restaurants in OC where succulent ribs and tender beef brisket will cure your inner BBQ beast.

What are your favorite BBQ restaurants in Orange County? Share in the comments below!
newport rib company 1
(credit: Newport Rib Company)

Newport Rib Company
2196 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA
(949) 631-2110

Known as the token BBQ spot for Newport/Mesa, The Rib Company has been serving satisfied customers since 1984. What you're getting: Baby Back Ribs. Their meaty baby back ribs are the specialty of the house and if you check in on yelp you get a complimentary ¼ brick of onion strings. Banquet rooms with customizable menus as well as a vast array of gluten free and casein free items make The Newport Rib Company a top Orange County hot spot.

(credit: Lillie's Q)

Lillie's Q
240 S Brea Blvd
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 482-2001

If you're on a quest to find the best BBQ combo, it's hard to beat The Taste of Lillie's Q. What you're getting: Taste of LQ. This lip-smacking trio features your choice of 3 kinds of meats. Chef McKenna's ribs covered in a bourbon barrel aged smoky sauce are phenomenal, but you'll be missing out if you just stick to the ribs. Carolina dirt chicken, hot links and Tri-tip are also popular menu items. If meat isn't your forte try the shrimp and grits. Five plump and tasty shrimps are served with creamy, buttery grits that will blow your mind.

rib joint
(credit:The Rib Joint)

The Rib Joint
34294 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 661-9500

This historic roadhouse located on Pacific Coast Highway serves up great Memphis Style BBQ seven days a week, with live music five nights a week. What should you get? Definitely the beef ribs. Owner and founder Sam has been in the kitchen cooking his famous ribs and dry rub from day one. Sam's dedication and passion is what makes the Rib Joint's food so delicious. Remember those good ole fashioned salad bars? Well The Rib Trader has one and you can add it on to any entrée. Order the giant prime rib bones of beef paired with some homemade onion rings to fully enhance your dining experience.

(credit: Leadbelly BBQ)

Leadbelly BBQ
711 N Placentia Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 646-9560

The foodie scene in North Orange County keeps getting better and better especially since Leadbelly started smoking their southern-style BBQ. This gem is located in a small strip mall on Placentia and offers a fare of quality meats and sides. Make sure to get the loaded fries, which are a definite must and are so big they can be eaten as a main entrée. Crispy garlic fries are covered with pulled pork, pork belly and bacon at a high meat-to-potato ratio. And let's not forget about the thick and delicious gravy that is underneath all that protein. There is a high likelihood you might have to roll out of there.

(credit: Neal T./Yelp)

Lou's Red Oak BBQ
21501 Brookhurst St
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
(714) 965-5200

This barbecue joint is just half a mile from PCH and perfect for a pre or post beach day. Lou's Red Oak BBQ is nestled into a small strip mall and also offers outdoor patio seating. Specialties include rotisserie roasted Tri-tip, Whole Chicken, Linguica Sausage, Pork, Turkey, and BBQ Ribs. They also serve the traditional Santa Maria Valley Pinquito beans with all of their meals (upon request).

(credit: Wood Ranch BBQ)

Wood Ranch BBQ
Irvine Spectrum Center
57 Spectrum Center Dr
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 337-4850

Wood Ranch BBQ is the quintessential barbecue place of the Irvine Spectrum. Its portions are large, the sauces have a kick and the tri tip is incredible. Not only does Wood Ranch have tender meat, but its macaroni and cheese is easily one of the best in town. If you are looking for something a little lighter, try one of their hand crafted salads with or without meat. Wood Ranch has earned a Certificate of Distinction for receiving outstanding scores in both food and service in the Zagat Restaurant Guide for six out of the last eight years

Balboa Barbie-Q
(credit: Balboa Barbie-Q)

Balboa Barbie-Q
600 E Bay Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92661
(949) 673-4000

If you take the taste of Texas and combine it with a bayside address you get Balboa Barbie-Q. This quaint little spot is located in the Balboa fun zone and has quite the view. Specializing in smoked brisket, pulled pork and hot links, if it's your first time, definitely get the pulled pork. Balboa Barbie-Q smokes their food daily and they run out often, so go early and go often!

(credit: Brew Hawg)

Brew Hawg
665 N Tustin St
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 502-4053

Brew Hawg's stellar reviews should be the first thing to assure you that this BBQ joint is one of the best in Orange County. The menu here is plentiful and they have some of the most unique sides you will find like coconut creamed corn and peanut coleslaw. If you like to try things that are out of the ordinary try their pulled pork deviled eggs. But don't be startled if your eyes happen roll into the back of your head.

(credit: Bad To The Bone)

Bad To The Bone
31738 Rancho Viejo Rd
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 218-0227

Known for its tender Tri-tip, this Ortega highway location boasts an assortment of smoked meats on its menu, including brisket, pork, chicken, spare ribs and hot links. It also features several unique dishes, like fried okra, a catfish po'boy sandwich, and prime rib melt. Family feasts and take home BBQ packs are available for those looking for a finger-licking good meal to share with family and friends. Make sure you try dessert too, although choosing might be tough. Will it be blackberry cobbler, mud pie, pecan pie or chocolate cake? Use the coupon on yelp and you can save some money.

(credit: Lauren B./Yelp)

Beachwood BBQ
131 Main St
Seal Beach, CA 90740
(562) 493-4500

Low and slow is the approach to perfectly cooked meat at this convenient main street location. Be aware of Beachwood BBQ's small size; customers can expect a wait to get in and for it to be a bit on the noisy side. However, the large selection of brews, the sampling of sauces and the retro 50's vibe should entertain you just enough until your table is ready. The two things that every patron has to try are the porcini dusted tater tots topped with smoked cheese curds & duck gravy and the smoked brisket served on a potato roll.

What are your favorite BBQ restaurants in Orange County? Share in the comments below!
Melodi Steinberg is a freelance writer out of Orange County. She typically covers food and family lifestyle topics. Her work can be found at and
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