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A platter from Blue Oak BBQ.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

11 Essential Barbecue Joints in and Around New Orleans

Where to find the best ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and burnt ends for classic summertime dining

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A platter from Blue Oak BBQ.
| Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

The New Orleans barbecue scene is booming. It wasn’t so long ago that the closest thing to barbecue found in local restaurants were New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp; otherwise your best bet was seeking out one of the excellent vendors at city second lines and parades. In the last decade or so, that has changed in a big way, thanks in part to the annual Hogs For the Cause fundraising event, a crowd favorite that provides hundreds of variations on smoked pork and has helped inspire local purveyors. The below pitmasters have helped solidify barbecue’s place in New Orleans’s food culture, all offering smoky, piggy goodness.

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Walker's BBQ

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This New Orleans East barbecue outpost is well-known for providing its famous cochon de lait poboy at Jazz Fest, Satchmo Fest, and other high profile local occasions (even its website URL puts the attention on the cochon de lait), but don't overlook its pork and other barbecue favorites. Pitmaster Jonathan Walker calls it, "New Orleans-style, baby.”

Blue Oak BBQ

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Blue Oak is undoubtedly New Orleans’s hottest barbecue joint, with one of the most fiercely loyal and widespread fanbases to be had. The sprawling Mid City space, both indoors and out, is a fun, lively setting for high quality smoked meat platters, sandwiches, sausages, amazing wings, and classic sides — not to mention their wildly popular fried chicken sandwich. Be sure to check out daily specials, they’re always excellent.

Frey Smoked Meat Co.

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Frey Smoked Meat Co. gets its name from the owner Ray Gruezke's great-great-grandpa, who was a sausage maker in the French Quarter in the 19th century. This Mid City barbecue spot not only turns out incredible sausage, barbecue sandwiches, and platters (try the St. Louis Ribs), it's also home to some of the best biscuits and cornbread in town, and is host to a wealth of snack options, from loaded brisket fries and four different kinds of mac and cheese to craft cocktails and gigantic milkshakes.

Look Inside Frey Smoked Meat Co., Brasted/Eater NOLA

Cochon King BBQ

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Chris “Shaggy” Davis’s two favorite food groups are boiled crawfish and barbecue. While the Franklin Avenue shop, Nola Crawfish King Seafood & Barbecue, is on hiatus, the Cochon King food truck is still rolling, and can be found ost regularly at the Broadside. Most sandwiches are served on Leidenheimer rolls, with names like the Pit Boss, low and slow-smoked brisket with onions, pickles and house made barbecue sauce and the Gentilly Reuben, house-smoked brisket pastrami with swiss, ‘kraut, and special sauce on marbled rye.

Bourbon & Bailey's BBQ

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This friendly barbecue joint on N. Claiborne opened fairly quietly a few years ago, and has since built a loyal fan base for its ribs, pulled pork, fried corn, and mac and cheese. On the seafood side, try the grilled oysters for sure. Open for casual dining and pickup from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Très Bon Cajun Meats

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For the closest taste of Cajun country specialties outside of Cajun country, look no further than Très Bon in River Ridge, where the atmosphere is also in line with Acadiana’s best boudin stops. Dine in for a hot plate special of burnt ends or try the Cajun sampler, a combo of boudin links, boudin balls, and cracklin. It’s also a good place to load up on smoked meats, boudin, and meat pies to take home.

The Joint

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This Bywater landmark known for its pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and locally made chaurice sausage is one of the city’s oldest and best, a true classic. The dining room is open, a joyful thing indeed for the many fans who can’t wait to tuck into the brisket burnt ends and some of the juiciest ribs in town. Homemade pie by the slice? Yes please. Daily fruit daiquiri specials? Indeed.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Central City BBQ

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This Central City spot housed in a corrugated metal building opened in late 2016 with a trio of custom-built cookers for smoking meats and an eye for pushing boundaries. Burnt ends, which even come on a salad, are one specialty, Hogs for the Cause award-winning smoked wings are another. Also check out the spoon bread, meat pies, and Brussels sprouts.

Cochon Butcher

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Although they do a lot more than just barbecue, swine is king at Cochon Butcher, where full-time butchers break down 2,000 pounds of meat in-house each week. The kitchen uses only all-natural meats and whole hogs from local farms for snout to tail dishes and smoked meats including sauced BBQ pork Carolina style on a bun with slaw and a rotating smoked prime rib special served with Hasselback potatoes.

Gonzo’s Smokehouse & BBQ

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Started as a New Orleans festival vendor and brewery pop-up favorite, Gonzo’s now serves its award-winning smoked brisket, the star of the show, as well as ribs, pork mac and cheese, Mexican corn, and other traditional barbecue sides out of a strip mall storefront in Luling, LA. This place is so highly rated by customers that it draws a large number of Orleans Parish residents for weekly Friday visits.

LA 23 BBQ

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This Belle Chasse barbecue stand, manned by New Orleanians Bobby Monsted III and Aaron Gelfand (who started as fishing guides and friends and backyard barbecuers), is modeled after a central Texas trading post and has been a favorite of locals and critics for years. This is the spot for Texas-style barbecue (try the Texas brisket, which is moist and flavorful).

Walker's BBQ

This New Orleans East barbecue outpost is well-known for providing its famous cochon de lait poboy at Jazz Fest, Satchmo Fest, and other high profile local occasions (even its website URL puts the attention on the cochon de lait), but don't overlook its pork and other barbecue favorites. Pitmaster Jonathan Walker calls it, "New Orleans-style, baby.”

Blue Oak BBQ

Blue Oak is undoubtedly New Orleans’s hottest barbecue joint, with one of the most fiercely loyal and widespread fanbases to be had. The sprawling Mid City space, both indoors and out, is a fun, lively setting for high quality smoked meat platters, sandwiches, sausages, amazing wings, and classic sides — not to mention their wildly popular fried chicken sandwich. Be sure to check out daily specials, they’re always excellent.

Frey Smoked Meat Co.

Frey Smoked Meat Co. gets its name from the owner Ray Gruezke's great-great-grandpa, who was a sausage maker in the French Quarter in the 19th century. This Mid City barbecue spot not only turns out incredible sausage, barbecue sandwiches, and platters (try the St. Louis Ribs), it's also home to some of the best biscuits and cornbread in town, and is host to a wealth of snack options, from loaded brisket fries and four different kinds of mac and cheese to craft cocktails and gigantic milkshakes.

Look Inside Frey Smoked Meat Co., Brasted/Eater NOLA

Cochon King BBQ

Chris “Shaggy” Davis’s two favorite food groups are boiled crawfish and barbecue. While the Franklin Avenue shop, Nola Crawfish King Seafood & Barbecue, is on hiatus, the Cochon King food truck is still rolling, and can be found ost regularly at the Broadside. Most sandwiches are served on Leidenheimer rolls, with names like the Pit Boss, low and slow-smoked brisket with onions, pickles and house made barbecue sauce and the Gentilly Reuben, house-smoked brisket pastrami with swiss, ‘kraut, and special sauce on marbled rye.

Bourbon & Bailey's BBQ

This friendly barbecue joint on N. Claiborne opened fairly quietly a few years ago, and has since built a loyal fan base for its ribs, pulled pork, fried corn, and mac and cheese. On the seafood side, try the grilled oysters for sure. Open for casual dining and pickup from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

Très Bon Cajun Meats

For the closest taste of Cajun country specialties outside of Cajun country, look no further than Très Bon in River Ridge, where the atmosphere is also in line with Acadiana’s best boudin stops. Dine in for a hot plate special of burnt ends or try the Cajun sampler, a combo of boudin links, boudin balls, and cracklin. It’s also a good place to load up on smoked meats, boudin, and meat pies to take home.

The Joint

This Bywater landmark known for its pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and locally made chaurice sausage is one of the city’s oldest and best, a true classic. The dining room is open, a joyful thing indeed for the many fans who can’t wait to tuck into the brisket burnt ends and some of the juiciest ribs in town. Homemade pie by the slice? Yes please. Daily fruit daiquiri specials? Indeed.

Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Central City BBQ

This Central City spot housed in a corrugated metal building opened in late 2016 with a trio of custom-built cookers for smoking meats and an eye for pushing boundaries. Burnt ends, which even come on a salad, are one specialty, Hogs for the Cause award-winning smoked wings are another. Also check out the spoon bread, meat pies, and Brussels sprouts.

Cochon Butcher

Although they do a lot more than just barbecue, swine is king at Cochon Butcher, where full-time butchers break down 2,000 pounds of meat in-house each week. The kitchen uses only all-natural meats and whole hogs from local farms for snout to tail dishes and smoked meats including sauced BBQ pork Carolina style on a bun with slaw and a rotating smoked prime rib special served with Hasselback potatoes.

Gonzo’s Smokehouse & BBQ

Started as a New Orleans festival vendor and brewery pop-up favorite, Gonzo’s now serves its award-winning smoked brisket, the star of the show, as well as ribs, pork mac and cheese, Mexican corn, and other traditional barbecue sides out of a strip mall storefront in Luling, LA. This place is so highly rated by customers that it draws a large number of Orleans Parish residents for weekly Friday visits.

LA 23 BBQ

This Belle Chasse barbecue stand, manned by New Orleanians Bobby Monsted III and Aaron Gelfand (who started as fishing guides and friends and backyard barbecuers), is modeled after a central Texas trading post and has been a favorite of locals and critics for years. This is the spot for Texas-style barbecue (try the Texas brisket, which is moist and flavorful).

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