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Best Pulled Pork Near The Peninsula

Barbecue lovers know no regions. Sure, it's a matter of passion in Texas and Louisiana. But barbecue lovers don't care about geography and can be found in San Mateo as well as Austin. If you love barbecue, you probably love pulled pork. Whether you are a transplanted southerner or just a Californian with a taste for the good stuff, here are a few places on the Peninsula that'll get your mouth watering.
gorilla bbq

Gorilla Barbeque
2145 Coast Highway 1
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 359-7427

This popular Pacifica barbeque joint, founded by locals in 2006, has enjoyed enormous success, even being featured Food Network's "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives." On the Gorilla Barbeque website, it posts a warning that it often sells out long before closing time on weekends. Along with pulled pork, Gorilla offers a full menu of smoked meats and ribs. And, of course, it also provide all of the traditional sides from cole slaw to mac 'n cheese.


Mack's Smoked Barbecue
1754 Laurel St.
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 592-4227

If you must have "southern" BBQ, you should drive south along the coast to San Carlos and check out Mack's. Just be sure you don't go on Sunday or Monday, when its doors are closed, although the website says it will accept orders of $250 or more on those days. Mack's specializes in catering, offering a full range of family meals with menus (of course featuring pulled pork if you wish) designed to serve 15 to 30 people. It also doesn't skimp in the desert offerings. 

Aptos Street BBQ

Aptos St. BBQ
8059 Aptos St.
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 662-1721

At Aptos St. BBQ near Santa Cruz, you can get your pork with a healthy side of the blues. Musicians perform here every night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m with a bar of over 30 craft beers on draft. Blues, beer and barbecue; how's that for the bee's knees? After a day of fun in Surf City, riding the waves and the roller coasters, Aptos St. BBQ is a perfect closer. Order the pulled pork and hog wash and you'll be snorting like a pig in delight.

OP Lobster

Old Port Lobster Shack
851 Veterans Blvd.
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 366-2400

We know lobster is seafood and not pork, but don't let that fool you. Along with its famous lobster rolls, Old Port Lobster Shack has a smoker and a taste for St. Louis-style barbecue sauce. Folks come for the lobster and come back for the barbecue. You can order your pulled pork in a roll or atop a mound of French fries. The latter is a more unique option with plenty of barbecue sauce drenching the plate full of food.

daddy o's

225 S. Cabrillo Highway
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 560-9832

Daddy-O's converted railroad caboose painted bright yellow with red trim and sporting a huge smoker outside will definitely get your attention as you drive past. This spot serves up a range of classic American foods with all sorts of soups and chilis as well as a good variety of barbecue. If pork is on the mind, go for the signature Hogs Breath. This pulled pork shoulder comes seasoned with southern spices after being slow-coked over hardwood coals to finish with a sweet and spicy impression. Every sauce is made fresh daily on the premises. Don't expect a fine dining room, though. The caboose houses only a kitchen. There is, however, a small outdoor patio where you can sit and enjoy your food.

Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as "The Storming Bohemian" ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay area theatre can be found at


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