As we say farewell to June, we must say hello to July 4 celebrations. Forget lighting up the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs this year, and check out some of the best barbecue restaurants Chicago has to offer. From barbecue ribs to pulled pork and brisket, we can guarantee that you won’t be leaving unsatisfied.
Parson’s Chicken and Fish
This Land and Sea Dept. project has turned into a Logan Square favorite. Executive Chef Hunter Moore reinvents the classic chicken and fish combo by working against larger culinary trends. Instead, he puts his focus on creating a memorable experience with memorable cuisine. Their authentic menu includes a classic southern creamy slaw that pairs well with any entrée. Try it with their fish sandwich made with homemade potato chips. This beer battered fish is topped with American cheese, hot sauce, aioli, North Star pickles and even more slaw. Needless to say, this menu welcomes a big appetite. Head over to Parson’s Chicken and Fish, where you can enjoy indoor and outdoor seating with a side of rustic charm. 2952 W. Armitage Ave., 773-384-3333, http://www.parsonschickenandfish.com/
Green Street Smoked Meats
Located in a renovated warehouse in the West Loop, this Texas-style barbecue offers unique counter-served dishes. The inviting atmosphere and live music make guests feel at home as they enjoy their house-smoked barbecue with an array of craft beers and cocktails. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of their menu. Their curated menu focuses on the classics, making their pulled pork and brisket sandwiches the best ones yet. Before you go, make sure to order a side of their immensely popular Frito pie. 112 N. Green St., 312-754-0431, http://greenstreetmeats.com/
Chef Art Smith cooks up southern charm and comfort with upscale class at Chicago q. Using only the highest quality meats seasoned with their homemade rubs, this barbecue spot rivals true Texas flavors. Their success lies in their chef. Smith is not your ordinary pitmaster; he’s a critically-acclaimed celebrity chef that’s garnered praise for his various restaurants around the country. It is clear that his talent and experience are highlighted through this Chicago haven. As you look over the menu while sitting in the elegant Savannah-style dining room, you’ll find it filled with modern twists on the classics. The Pitmaster Mac ‘n Cheese made with bacon, pulled pork and pulled chicken defines comfort. Further down you’ll find an array of barbecue dishes, including your choice of four different ribs. But it doesn’t stop there. Chicago q is known for their vast collection of drinks, making it the perfect opportunity to check out their bourbon flights. 1160 N. Dearborn St., 312-642-1160, http://www.chicagoqrestaurant.com/
Chef Charlie Mckenna opened the doors of Lillie’s Q back in 2010 and it’s been a hot spot ever since. This joint of elevated southern favorites was named after his grandmother who taught him the basics of authentic barbecue. Prior to Mckenna’s restaurant success, he traveled the barbecue competition circuit from Memphis through the Carolinas, where he created a Lillie Q sauce unique to each region. These are now placed on each table, with the most popular one being the famous gold sauce of South Carolina. Revel in their savory flavors, and indulge in their pimento cheese hush puppies or classic brunswick stew before moving on to your entrée. The Taste of LQ lets you get the most out of your meal, with your choice of three meats and endless combination of sauces. 1856 W. North Ave., 773-772-5500, http://lilliesq.com/
At Smoque BBQ they’re passionate about what they do. The restaurant’s five owners came together with their love of good food to create sweet and savory flavors that harmonize with their pungent sauces and homemade rubs. They’ve worked hard to find the best cuts and the best spices for the overall best barbecue experience. If you’re looking for a traditional, neighborhood spot to relax and rewind, then Smoque BBQ is for you. Take a look at their menu and find utter simplicity. For them, it’s exceptional quality over variety. With all the classics such as ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken and Texas sausage, we know it can be a hard decision to make. Luckily, Smoque makes it easy. Their ‘Add a Taste’ option allows you to add a small portion of your favorite meat to any entrée or salad. Grab a seat and celebrate good food. 3800 N. Pulaski Rd., 773-545-7427, http://www.smoquebbq.com/