Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 06:41 am
The Top 5 Barbecue Restaurants in Cincinnati is in a great destination for barbecue lovers, and the city offers a diverse range of options to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for classic slow-smoked meats or more modern barbecue dishes, the top five restaurants on this list are sure to satisfy your cravings. Here is why they are the best restaurants in Cincinnati for easing your BBQ craving.
1. Eli’s BBQ – Eli’s BBQ, included as one of the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a staple that has been serving up award-winning barbecue since 2011. Known for their slow-cooked meats, flavorful sauces, and savory sides, Eli’s has become a go-to destination for barbecue lovers in the Cincinnati area.
2. Montgomery Inn – Montgomery Inn, one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is an institution that has been serving up ribs, pulled pork, and other barbecue favorites since 1951. With a reputation for quality and consistency, Montgomery Inn has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
3. The Eagle OTR – The Eagle OTR, among the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a popular restaurant in Over-the-Rhine that is known for its fried chicken, but their smoked meats and barbecue dishes are not to be overlooked. Their brisket, pulled pork, and ribs are all cooked low and slow, resulting in tender and flavorful meats.
4. Just Q’in – Just Q’in, another of the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant that has quickly become a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts in Cincinnati. With a menu that includes smoked brisket, pulled pork, and ribs, Just Q’in has earned a reputation for serving up some of the best barbecue in the city.
5. Velvet Smoke BBQ – Velvet Smoke BBQ, amid the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a family-owned restaurant that is known for its Texas-style barbecue. With a menu that includes brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and more, Velvet Smoke has become a popular destination for barbecue lovers in the Cincinnati area.
Top 5 Barbecue Restaurants in Cincinnati
Address: 3313 Riverside Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45226
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:00am-8:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm
Phone Number: (513) 533-1957
Eli’s BBQ, included as one of the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a popular barbecue restaurant located in the East End neighborhood of Cincinnati. The restaurant has a laid-back, casual atmosphere, with outdoor seating and picnic tables for customers to enjoy their food. The interior is decorated with rustic wood accents and exposed brick walls, giving it a cozy, inviting feel.
The menu at Eli’s BBQ is focused on traditional barbecue dishes, such as pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and chicken. All meats are slow-cooked over wood-fired pits for up to 18 hours, resulting in tender, flavorful meats that are complemented by a variety of homemade sauces. In addition to their signature meats, Eli’s also serves up classic sides like mac and cheese, cole slaw, and baked beans.
One of the most popular items on Eli’s BBQ menu is the pulled pork sandwich. The pork is slow-cooked for 18 hours over a hickory wood fire, then shredded and served on a soft bun with a side of cole slaw. The sandwich is smoky, tender, and packed with flavor, making it a must-try for any barbecue lover.
What sets Eli’s BBQ apart from other barbecue restaurants is their commitment to using high-quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods. All meats are sourced from local farms and smoked over wood-fired pits, giving them a distinct, authentic flavor that can’t be replicated. The restaurant also has a strong focus on sustainability, using eco-friendly materials and practices whenever possible.
The service at Eli’s BBQ is friendly and efficient, with staff members taking orders at the counter and bringing food out to customers as soon as it’s ready. The restaurant is often busy, especially on weekends, but the staff does a great job of keeping lines moving and ensuring that everyone gets their food in a timely manner.
Main Menu Items:
1. Pulled Pork Sandwich – Slow-cooked pork, pulled and piled high on a bun, topped with cole slaw and served with a side of barbecue sauce.
2. Beef Brisket Plate – Tender beef brisket, slow-smoked over hickory wood, served with a choice of two sides and a slice of Texas toast.
3. Ribs – St. Louis-style spare ribs, dry-rubbed with a blend of spices, smoked for hours over hickory wood, and served with a side of barbecue sauce.
4. Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich – Smoked turkey breast served on a bun, topped with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard sauce, and served with a side of cole slaw.
5. BBQ Nachos – Tortilla chips topped with melted cheddar cheese, smoked pulled pork or chicken, barbecue sauce, jalapenos, and a dollop of sour cream.
“I had the brisket and mac and cheese and it was some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had. The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth tender and the mac and cheese was creamy and delicious. The outdoor seating area was a great place to enjoy my meal on a nice day.”
“I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and it was amazing. The meat was so flavorful and tender, and the cole slaw was the perfect addition. The staff was friendly and the atmosphere was laid-back and inviting. I can’t wait to come back!”
“I tried the ribs and they were some of the best I’ve ever had. They were smoky and fall-off-the-bone tender, and the sauce was delicious. The sides were also great, especially the baked beans. Eli’s BBQ is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.”
Overall, Eli’s BBQ is a top-notch barbecue restaurant in Cincinnati that is definitely worth a visit. The food is consistently delicious, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the commitment to quality and sustainability sets the restaurant apart from its competitors. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, be sure to stop by Eli’s for some of the best barbecue in town. They rank amid the top 5 barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati for good reasons.
Address: 9440 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45242
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00am-9:00pm, Friday-Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-9:00pm
Phone Number: (513) 791-3482
Montgomery Inn, one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a classic restaurant known for its delicious barbecue ribs and warm, welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant has a traditional American steakhouse feel, with dark wood paneling, dim lighting, and cozy booths that make it perfect for a special occasion or a romantic night out.
The menu at Montgomery Inn is focused on classic American dishes, with an emphasis on barbecue and steak. The restaurant’s signature dish is their world-famous ribs, which are slow-cooked over hickory wood and coated in a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce. In addition to the ribs, Montgomery Inn also serves up steaks, seafood, and a variety of sides and salads.
The unique thing about Montgomery Inn is the history and tradition that comes with the restaurant. Founded in 1951, the restaurant has been a Cincinnati institution for generations, and many locals have fond memories of family dinners and celebrations at the restaurant. The walls are decorated with photos and memorabilia that tell the story of the restaurant’s history, making it a nostalgic and sentimental place to dine.
The service at Montgomery Inn is top-notch, with friendly and attentive staff members who go out of their way to make sure guests feel welcome and well-cared-for. The restaurant is busy and popular, but the staff manages to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
Main Menu Items:
1. World Famous Ribs – Slow-cooked over hickory wood and basted with Montgomery Inn’s signature barbecue sauce. Available in full slab, half slab, or quarter slab sizes.
2. Filet Mignon – 8 oz. center-cut filet, grilled to order and served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes.
3. BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich – Tender pulled pork, smothered in barbecue sauce and served on a bun with a side of coleslaw.
4. Grilled Salmon – Fresh salmon fillet, grilled to perfection and served with a side of steamed vegetables.
5. Montgomery Inn Chopped Salad – A hearty salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, bacon, egg, and blue cheese crumbles, topped with a grilled chicken breast and a side of honey mustard dressing.
“I had the ribs and they were some of the best I’ve ever had. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce was the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. The service was excellent and the atmosphere was cozy and inviting.”
“I ordered the steak and it was cooked to perfection. The sides were also great, especially the mac and cheese. The restaurant has a classic, old-school feel that makes it a great place for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.”
“I came to Montgomery Inn for the ribs, but was pleasantly surprised by the seafood options. I had the shrimp scampi and it was amazing. The garlic butter sauce was rich and flavorful, and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. The service was also great – our server was friendly and attentive.”
Overall, Montgomery Inn is a beloved Cincinnati restaurant that offers classic American fare in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The ribs are a must-try, but there are plenty of other delicious options on the menu as well. The service is excellent, and the history and tradition of the restaurant make it a special and sentimental place to dine. They stand out among the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati.
The Eagle OTR
Address: 1342 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00am-10:00pm, Friday-Saturday 11:00am-11:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-9:00pm
Phone Number: (513) 802-5007
The Eagle OTR, among the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a trendy and popular restaurant located in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The restaurant serves up Southern-inspired comfort food in a casual and welcoming atmosphere. The interior of the restaurant is rustic and cozy, with warm wood paneling and exposed brick walls.
The signature dish at The Eagle OTR is their fried chicken, which is crispy, juicy, and packed with flavor. The chicken is brined in buttermilk and spices for 24 hours before being battered and fried to perfection. It’s served with a variety of dipping sauces, including honey hot, mustard BBQ, and ranch.
One unique thing about The Eagle OTR is the emphasis on communal dining. The restaurant’s seating is designed to encourage guests to share tables with strangers and strike up conversations with one another. This creates a lively and convivial atmosphere that’s perfect for a night out with friends or a casual dinner with family.
The service at The Eagle OTR is friendly and laid-back, with servers who are happy to make recommendations and help guests navigate the menu. The restaurant can get busy and crowded, but the staff manages to keep things moving smoothly and efficiently.
Main Menu Items:
1. Fried Chicken – Buttermilk-brined chicken, seasoned with a blend of spices, battered, and fried to a crispy golden brown. Served with a variety of dipping sauces.
2. Mac and Cheese – Elbow macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with crispy breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown.
3. Cornbread – House-made cornbread, served warm and topped with honey butter.
4. Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich – Fried chicken tossed in a spicy cayenne pepper sauce, served on a bun with coleslaw, pickles, and ranch dressing.
5. Blackened Catfish – Cajun-seasoned catfish, blackened in a cast iron skillet and served with a side of red beans and rice.
“The fried chicken at The Eagle OTR is the best I’ve ever had. It’s crispy and flavorful on the outside and juicy on the inside. The sides are also great, especially the mac and cheese and the cornbread.”
“I love the communal dining aspect of The Eagle OTR – it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends. The fried chicken is amazing, but so are the cocktails. I highly recommend the bourbon slushie.”
“The Eagle OTR is a must-visit if you’re in Cincinnati. The fried chicken is fantastic, but the atmosphere is what really makes the place special. It’s lively and fun, with a great mix of locals and tourists.”
Overall, The Eagle OTR is a fun and casual restaurant that serves up delicious Southern-inspired comfort food. The fried chicken is the star of the menu, but there are plenty of other tasty dishes and drinks to choose from as well. The communal dining experience adds to the overall vibe of the restaurant, making it a great spot for a casual dinner or a night out with friends. They deserve to be ranked among the top 5 barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati.
Address: 975 E McMillan St, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11:00am-7:00pm, closed Monday and Tuesday
Phone Number: (513) 386-4848
Just Q’in, another of the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a small and unassuming restaurant located in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood. The restaurant specializes in Southern-style barbecue and comfort food, with a focus on slow-cooked meats and homemade sides. The interior of the restaurant is cozy and casual, with a few tables and booths for seating.
The signature dish at Just Q’in is their brisket, which is smoked for 12-14 hours over hickory wood until it’s tender and flavorful. The brisket is served by the pound or as a sandwich on a soft bun, and it’s often paired with one of the restaurant’s homemade sides, such as mac and cheese, collard greens, or baked beans.
One unique thing about Just Q’in is the commitment to using high-quality ingredients and traditional smoking techniques. The restaurant’s owner and pitmaster, Matt Cuff, has years of experience in the barbecue industry and takes pride in every dish he serves.
The service at Just Q’in is friendly and attentive, with staff members who are happy to answer questions and make recommendations. The restaurant can get busy during peak hours, but the staff works efficiently to keep the lines moving and ensure that all guests are served in a timely manner.
Main Menu Items:
1. Brisket – Just Q’in’s signature dish is their brisket, which is slow-smoked for 12-14 hours over hickory wood until it’s tender and juicy. It’s available by the pound or as a sandwich on a soft bun.
2. Ribs – The restaurant’s St. Louis-style spare ribs are also slow-smoked over hickory wood until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender. They’re served by the half or full rack and can be paired with one or more of the restaurant’s homemade sides.
3. Pulled Pork – Just Q’in’s pulled pork is smoked for several hours until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s served by the pound or as a sandwich on a soft bun, and it pairs well with the restaurant’s tangy BBQ sauce.
4. Mac and Cheese – This classic Southern side dish is elevated at Just Q’in, with a rich and creamy sauce made with a blend of cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. It’s the perfect complement to the restaurant’s slow-smoked meats.
5. Collard Greens – Just Q’in’s collard greens are slow-cooked with smoked turkey for extra flavor and tenderness. They’re a traditional Southern side dish and a perfect complement to the restaurant’s barbecue offerings.
“The brisket at Just Q’in is out of this world. It’s so tender and flavorful, and the homemade sides are the perfect complement. I also love the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant.”
“Just Q’in is hands down the best barbecue in Cincinnati. The brisket is a must-try, but so are the ribs and pulled pork. The sides are all amazing too – I especially love the mac and cheese and the collard greens.”
“The food at Just Q’in is amazing, but what really sets the restaurant apart is the dedication to quality and authenticity. You can tell that every dish is made with care and attention to detail. The brisket is my favorite, but everything on the menu is fantastic.”
Overall, Just Q’in is a must-visit for anyone in search of delicious and authentic barbecue in Cincinnati. The brisket is the star of the menu, but the ribs, pulled pork, and sides are all top-notch as well. The restaurant’s commitment to quality and traditional smoking techniques sets it apart from other barbecue joints in the area, and the friendly service and cozy atmosphere make it a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner. They have earned the rank of the top 5 barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati.
Velvet Smoke BBQ
Address: 10515 Loveland Madeira Rd, Loveland, OH 45140
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11am – 8pm, Friday – Saturday 11am – 9pm, Sunday 11am – 8pm
Phone Number: (513) 683-8265
Velvet Smoke BBQ, amid the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati, is a casual restaurant that specializes in slow-smoked barbecue. The interior is rustic and cozy, with wooden tables and chairs, and walls adorned with barbecue-related decorations.
One of the standout items on Velvet Smoke BBQ’s menu is their smoked brisket. The beef is smoked for over 14 hours and served either sliced or chopped, and pairs perfectly with their tangy barbecue sauce.
One unique aspect of Velvet Smoke BBQ is their focus on sourcing high-quality meats from local farms. They also offer a range of creative side dishes, including smoked gouda mac and cheese, jalapeno cornbread, and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers.
The service at Velvet Smoke BBQ is friendly and welcoming. Guests order at the counter and can choose to dine in or take their food to go. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations.
Main Menu Items:
1. Smoked Brisket – Beef brisket smoked for over 14 hours and served either sliced or chopped.
2. St. Louis Style Ribs – Pork ribs slow-smoked with hickory wood and finished with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.
3. Pulled Pork Sandwich – Slow-smoked pulled pork served on a bun with your choice of side.
4. Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese – Creamy mac and cheese infused with smoky gouda cheese and topped with breadcrumbs.
5. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers – Spicy jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and smoked to perfection.
“I had the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and it was absolutely delicious. The pork was tender and smoky, and the coleslaw was the perfect balance of creamy and tangy. Can’t wait to come back!”
“The brisket at Velvet Smoke BBQ is some of the best I’ve ever had. It was incredibly tender and had a great smoky flavor. I also loved the smoked gouda mac and cheese as a side dish.”
“I came to Velvet Smoke BBQ with a group of friends and we tried a little bit of everything. The ribs, brisket, and pulled pork were all fantastic, but the standout dish was definitely the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. They were so addictive!”
Velvet Smoke BBQ offers high-quality, slow-smoked barbecue in a cozy and welcoming setting. Their smoked brisket and creative side dishes are not to be missed, and their focus on sourcing local meats sets them apart from other barbecue restaurants in the area. They can definitely be counted among the top barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati.
From the mouthwatering brisket at Eli’s BBQ to the iconic ribs at Montgomery Inn, each of these establishments offers a unique and delicious dining experience. This is why they are the best restaurants in Cincinnati for easing your BBQ craving. So, the next time you’re in the area, be sure to check out one (or all) of these fantastic barbecue restaurants in Cincinnati and enjoy some of the best smoked meats in the city!
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