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Best Barbecue In South Florida

The smoke is the first hint you're in for something special. The traditional barbecue joints let the smoke from the pit waft across the restaurant and into the street, drawing hungry people like a magnet draws metal filings. There's something satisfying about true pit barbecue, and these places will show you why.
Bulldog Barbecue
(Source:Bulldog Barbecue)

Bulldog Barbecue

15400 Biscayne Blvd.
North Miami
305) 940-9655

A new player in the barbecue business, The Bulldog is getting a lot of buzz. Bon Appetit named it one of the 10 best new barbecue restaurants in the nation after just a year under smoke, and they're specializing in Carolina-style barbecue, something that sets them apart. The old-style places are naturally no-frills; Bulldog works a bit to hard to be funky, but what matters is the meat, and it's great. The menu is a bit upscale; they even have salads, something most 'Que joints laugh at, but the pulled pork is outstanding, and the ribs are great. One note; prices are a bit higher than old-line joints.

Shortys Barbecue


5 locations, including the original:
9200 South Dixie Hwy
Miami, FL 33156
(305) 670-7732
www.shorty's com

In South Florida, they're the standard everyone else is measured by. Shorty's has been dishing up ribs, pork, and brisket for more than half a century. It's just plain, slow smoked, old-fashioned barbecue. The spare ribs are the real deal, and while the Baby Back ribs come sauced, it's a good call. The brisket is fork-tender, and the smoked chicken is worth a meal on it's own. The original restaurant had a Metrorail station built almost at it's door; hungry travelers lured by the woodsmoke line up for takeout. Shorty's offers a traditional vinegar based sauce, as well as a great sweet sauce, both bottled to go. Their coleslaw may be the best around. It's bonafide real-deal barbecue.

Tom Jenkins

Tom Jenkins Bar-B-Q

1236 South Federal Highway
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 522-5046

All you have to do when talking food to someone in Ft. Lauderdale is mention barbecue, and the first name you'll hear is Tom Jenkins. There are other places to get ribs, but there's no place like Tom Jenkins. The barbecue pit is huge, and like the best joints there's no electric smoker here. Slow smoked chicken, brisket, baby backs and spare ribs. They don't offer pulled pork, but the chopped pork is great. Grab some fresh cut onion rings, and add sauce so good they've bottled it, and you're in hog heaven.

The Pit Website

The Pit BBQ Restaurant

16400 SW 8th Street
Miami FL 33194
(305) 226-2272

There's a reason the best old-line BBQ joints started in the middle of nowhere. All that smoke didn't make the the best of neighbors, but once people had a taste of the food they were willing to make the drive. That's the way it is with The Pit, which is literally on the way to the Everglades. Smoking for more than 40 years, they offer huge portions of real pit smoked barbecue. Instead of hickory, the Pit uses oak for a unique smoked taste. One thing: don't look for baby back ribs on the menu. The Pit sticks with traditional spare ribs, but one taste and you'll be a fan.

Shivers BBQ Website

Shiver's Bar-B-Q

28001 S Dixie Hwy
Homestead, FL 33033
(305) 248-2272

Shivers started smoking pork when there was virtually nothing on the road between Miami and Homestead, and there's a good reason why after 50 years, they're still going strong. The menu, the setting, and the barbecue is about as old-style as it gets. Pulled pork, chicken, brisket, and ribs, including baby-backs. The ribs are slow-smoked over a real pit, and as you drive up the smell of hickory smoke gets your mouth watering. You don't need sauce, but if you want it, they offer their traditional and a sweeter sauce. It's a piece of old Florida. One location, and worth a trip.

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