We have BBQ on the brain here at H&L. Our foodie extraordinaire, Charlotte Austin took on the task of finding the greatest classic BBQ joints around London. Read on for her mouthwatering selection.
Bodean’s, Old Street
With a Sports Bar vibe straight out of Austin, Texas, Bodean’s certainly haven’t skimped on the decor when it came to decking out their latest opening in the trendy Old Street area. Sports jerseys and photos adorning the walls, wood cladding, squeaky booths, and an NBA game on all of the many flat screens, this is the U.S.A at what they do best.
The menu is vast (in both size and number of items on offer), featuring a variety of delicious starters (pulled pork nachos anyone?), stacked burgers, hotdogs, and deli meat sandwiches (the Tri Tip Smoked Beef Sandwich wins our vote!) and their renowned House Specialities from their Oak-Burning Smoke Pits.
Our recommendation for the perfect sharing dinner for two? Go for the Boss Hog Platter, chock a block with Spare and Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, Beef Ribs, Chicken Thighs, Smoked Sausages, and their famous Burnt Ends – a saucy (literally) feast that won’t leave you wanting for anything except a lie down!
Bodean’s is the ultimate American BBQ Joint, a smorgasbord of smoked meats, several different types of BBQ sauce, sides to melt your heart (Mac & Cheese for two please), and an impressive drinks list (the Patron Margarita is particularly good). It might get a little messy, but that’s half the fun – make sure to order extra Burnt Ends (succulent Beef Brisket) to avoid a food fight. Whilst the slow cooked smoked meats are the real stars of the show, there are plenty of tasty alternatives should you be so inclined – from Mexican Salads to Cajun Swordfish, Bodean’s has no shortage of options for food lovers and casual diners alike. So dress down, choose your favourite sports team, snuggle up in your booth, come hungry, and leave happy!
201 City Road
London, EC1V 1JN
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Canonbury, Islington, veteran smokers, Smokehouse, are grilling up a storm and have placed themselves firmly on the London BBQ lover’s treasure map. Working only with the best farms and producers in the UK, you know that you will be served up the highest quality food at Smokehouse, and the tastiest, thanks to their slow cooked method of smoking their varied and ever changing menu.
Split into À la carte, Brunch, and Sunday, you’ll need to plan a few return visits to try all the specials and signature dishes; our favourites include the Chopped Brisket Roll & Gochujang, Rare Breed Beef Burger with Korean Pulled Pork, and the mighty Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder. Whilst the dishes are not for the faint of heart, the interior is hugely cosy with plenty of nooks and crannys to while away a weekend afternoon, nursing a large glass of wine near the open fire, or a refreshing beer in the sunny front garden.
More gourmet than most BBQ joints, Smokehouse caters to the North London publicans whilst also providing sustainable and delicious smoked dishes to all those who venture to their beautiful gastropub in this leafy, charming part of town.
63–69 Canonbury Rd,
London, N1 2DG
020 7354 1144
Like many of London’s now great eateries, Bukowski started out as a stall in Brixton’s legendary market, expanding first into Shoreditch’s cool hub – Box Park, before opening as a fully-fledged restaurant in Soho. With a classic open plan layout, minimalist wooden clad space and cavernous laid back vibe, Bukowski have come far and certainly curated a space worthy of their delicious BBQ food. Pleasantly uncrowded (even on a busy Friday evening), Bukowski immediately allowed us to unwind and melt into their comfortable chairs after a long week – with the smell of smoked meat in the air, it didn’t take us long to decide what to eat. From the unusual list of starters, we went with Puck Nuggets (juicy, deep fried morsels of pork and duck) served with a Kimchi Remoulade, and the Half Rack Baby Back Pork Ribs (who could resist!) which absolutely blew us away! Treat yourself to a full sized portion of these sticky and sweet, Bourbon BBQ covered delights – they are without doubt the best dish on the menu and perfect for impressing your date with your Rib eating etiquette.
Bukowski are famous for their legendary burgers, and their swanky new Soho joint is no different. We sampled fan favourite The Smoky Beast Burger, which, piled high with moreishly salty tobacco onions, and juicy pulled pork, is most certainly a two hand job! For a little stray away from the usual fare, we also indulged in Bukowski’s Soft Shell Crab Sandwich, which combines crispy and flavourful deep fried crab with a super soft demi brioche bun, avocado, spring onions and sriracha mayo for a fiery kick, to create an epic sweet, spicy and very messy concoction.
If all that isn’t enough to fill the void, fear not – soft serve ice cream is here to save the day! Bukowski’s special Salted Caramel soft serve, comes adorned with peanut butter brittle and is sure to satisfy even the sweetest of sugar cravings. Don’t forget to pop back for brunch at the weekend for even more inventive BBQ delights – we particularly liked the BBQ Benedict with Pulled Pork and Spicy Hollandaise along with our mimosas (of course)! Unbeatable for both value and location, in a short space of time Bukowski has become a London BBQ heavyweight.
Boxpark Unit 61,
10-11 D’Arblay Street,
London, W1F 8DT
020 3857 4756
Low, Slow & Juke
There is a place tucked away in the street of St. James, London that is all about smoke. Low, Slow & Juke is the latest on the London scene to fuse food with a stylish drink menu. Taking the stairs to the basement bar you are transported to a double height space that features neon lighting and decor is undoubtedly Americana themed. Smoked cocktails such as the Smoked Cherry Manhattan are the pick of the moment both for depth of flavour and theatrical presentation. In the centre of the bar is the restaurants smoker in a specially built tiny house called the ‘smoker room’. Brought over from the States, this is where the meat is slow cooked up to 12 hours at a time to give it that authentic flavour and softness that slow cooked meat should have. The southern states of the USA do this food day in day out and it’s the pride of the south- however, it’s difficult to find an establishment this side of the pond that does it well. Low, Slow & Juke do it how it should be cooked! What we love is that the restaurant accompanies its food with their very own sauces, with certain degrees of spiciness. These are great to mix up and compliment the meat. We started off our meal with bacon fat popcorn that is so moreish and baby back ribs that have been maple glazed. Great to get your hands all messy. On offer for mains are a variety of southern dishes such as beef brisket, St. Louis slab ribs and chicken, as well as a great selection of burgers. Be sure to get the pit beans on the side. These are beans that have been cooked alongside the meat and soak up all the juices that fall from the slow cooking yumminess. Delicious!
The BBQ joint also serves great beers and ales and feature none other than Beavertown whose psychedelic designed cans will definitely bring some colour to your table top.
Low, Slow & Juke is open weekdays only from 11am – 11pm.
Low, Slow + Juke
1 Abbey Orchard Street
London – SW1P 2LU
020 7222 5084
Maybe you would rather visit the Alternative BBQ Joints in London… hero-and-leander.com/top-alternative-bbq-joints-in-london