15 Must-Try Michigan BBQ Joints

If you’re longing for summer and ribs right off the grill, you’re in luck! Below are 15 of our favorite barbecue restaurants in Michigan. Locally owned and fan-favorites, these gems bring an authentic, savory, saucy experience to every customer. If your mouth isn’t watering by now, we hope it is after finding a BBQ joint you’ll love:

  1. Lockhart’s- Located in the heart of Royal Oak, Lockhart’s is known for blending the warmth of Southern barbecue with Midwest and Detroit flair. Several Michigan beers on tap and lots of sauce and side combinations also bring flavor to the popular locale.
  2. Bad Brad’s-  Bad Brad’s has many locations around Metro-Detroit and a major fanbase. They offer many gluten-free options and slightly varied menus at each location for a unique experience each time you visit.
  3. Memphis Smokehouse- Smoked pork, custom burgers, and southern-style sides all bring BBQ charm to this Grand Rapids staple.
  4. R.U.B Pub- Just blocks from Comerica Park and the theater district in Detroit and centrally located in Ann Arbor, R.U.B Pub is known for real urban barbecue. R.U.B Pub has many BBQ staples (pulled pork, steak and pulled chicken, just to name a few) in addition to several unique sauce options.
  5. U.S. 31-  Solid barbecue staples in a nostalgic atmosphere make this little locale a Muskegon classic.
  6. Slow’s- We’d be remiss to not mention one of the most acclaimed barbecue joints around. Modern updates to a historic Detroit space and killer mac and cheese make Slow’s one of the best. This spring, a Grand Rapids location will emerge in the city’s Downtown Market as well.
  7. Hog Wild- Cited as one of the best barbecue joints in West Michigan, Hog Wild of Holland is known for their ribs, hand-pulled pork and fast casual atmosphere.
  8. FooJay- This Kalamazoo classic has become known for their affordable barbecue. Rib tips and special sauces also make the place unique.
  9. Hab’s Good Eats ‘n Treats- Muskegon’s award-winning restaurant has BBQ abound, but also has a full menu of pizzas, pitas and other food for pickier eaters.
  10. Union Woodshop-  Said to be backed by Detroit native Kid Rock, Union Woodshop is self-acclaimed as “big-time, small town BBQ.” Cooking up spare ribs, back ribs, brisket and more, this place’s extensive menu has it all.
  11. Hogzilla- Hogzilla has locations in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. Unique smoked-meat grinders and plentiful portions make this place a popular favorite.
  12. Redsmoke – Located in the heart of Greektown, Redsmoke embodies classic barbecue with a modern twist. You can even smell the wood burning stoves as you wait for your meal to arrive.
  13. Meat- A relative newcomer to the Michigan BBQ scene located in Lansing, Meat presents carnivorous entrees, “meatwiches” and a french fry bar.
  14. Mat’s Cafe- Comfort food in a modern, cafe setting makes this Jackson gem cozy and delectable.
  15. Satchel’s – An Ann Arbor favorite, Satchel’s is known far and wide for their chicken, pork, brisket and ribs. Be sure to dine in for picnic style set up.

Did your favorite place make the list? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Want to read more on summer and warm-weather meals? Check out these posts:  

Photo credit: The Hungry Dudes

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    1. I’ve never been there before, Ray Ray, but will have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  1. It’s a pretty grave error to overlook West Texas BBQ in Jackson that was voted the Best BBQ in Michigan by the readers and judges of Mlive. Read the review on Whining and Dining Around Jackson Michigan on Facebook. They are the real deal that slowly smokes their meats overnight on a wood fire.

  2. You incorrectly named Hog Wild to be in Howell instead of Holland. I’d wager that both West Texas BBQ and Smokehouse 52 are superior to most of these, as they’re certainly superior to Meat (the only one on your list I’ve had the chance to try.

      1. there is a hog wild in Howell, they have a store front as well as two food trucks that can be found in Brighton and Howell. However they are called ‘hog wild BBQ’

  3. There is a new BBQ restaurant in Frankenmuth. Slo’Bones BBQ Smokehaus. A 3 time state championship pitmaster works there. They opened in September 2014.

  4. Meat in lansing is by far the best bbq I’ve ever had. I’ve been down south and this beats it all

  5. If West Texas BBQ is not on the list then there is no point to this list. There are some BBQ places on this list I wouldn’t eat at a second time let alone recommend someone else to eat at.

  6. The Prized Pig in Niles. Middle of nowhere, but regularly lines out the door, people coming in from hundreds of miles away to eat, and some have even said the brisket is as good as Franklin’s in Austin.

  7. Barrett’s bbq in Portage has some of the best brisket I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot. Pulled pork chicken ham bacon they do it all.

  8. You have to try the bbq at Larks and Sons on Main St. Benton Harbor, Smoked on the premises wonderful flavor nice surroundings and good service. Best in the area

  9. The Pleasant Lake Pub has the best fall-off-the-bone ribs and pulled pork. Their little in-house smoker gets a workout. Located just 12 miles north of Jackson on Meridian and Styles Road, you want to get there when they open so you can get seated. Can’t wait for the p as tio to open. This place is a hidden gem.

  10. Burroughs Tavern in Brighton has the best BBQ hands down. I have been to eight places on your list and they don’t come close.

  11. Red rock in ypsi has one of the best pulled pork sandwiches in the state and the burnt ends are pretty good too.

  12. Well ya’ll missed the boat, Pigs Eatin Ribs located in Charlevoix should most definitely be on this list! A must need to check em out.

  13. The best BBQ I’ve had in Michigan is King of the Grill, in Lansing, near the airport. Their beef brisket, pulled pork, and flank steak is some of the best I’ve ever had in the country! Add their sides of baked beans, and cheesy potatoes, and you’ll never go anywhere else!

  14. HOUSE OF pizza & BBQ In Hillsdale has amazing smoked bbq wings and a bbq pizza with brisket, pulled pork & chicken and smoked bbq ham & bacon, it is unbelievable! Really good pulled pork and very affordable. SLAP YOU MAMA BBQ SAUCE ROCKS!!

  15. I finally got to try Ray Ray’s on Miller Rd in Kalamazoo last year. It was some of the best bbq I’ve had around. Also has awesome Italian beef & sausage.

  16. Texans re-located to Traunik in the U.P. Hickory smoked heaven. Place is called Mikulich General Store & Deli, to honor the historic building they renovated. Located at intersection of H-44 and H-01.

  17. Blue Tractor in Traverse City’s Old Town. Their happy hour rocks. $3 MI beers and $5 Slider baskets. Some of the best pulled pork sliders on pretzel buns. Don’t let the size fool you. These sliders are heaped with pork and the bbq sauce on the side is killer.

  18. Definitely, Lark’s in Benton Harbor is the best. Their pulled pork sandwiches are magnificent.

  19. I can’t believe that Bone Heads in Willis didn’t make the list! Best brisket I have ever had.

  20. The Garage in Northport is GREAT.
    The best pulled pork sandwiches.
    Order the sweet potato chips with their special sauce, amazing!

  21. My husband and have been going to The Boneyard on Telegraph in Dearborn for over 30 yrs. I’ve been to Slows, the Round House and a few others. None of them have ribs that come close to The Boneyard.

  22. My husband and I own a BBQ food truck in Grand Rapids, MI…we’ve also won a few accolades and awards and would love to have you visit

    We may not have a sit-down restaurant right now, but we think we serve great smoked BBQ and sides.

  23. You should try The Deck in Muskegon! It’s located right on Pere Marquette Beach… Awesome BBQ, mostly outdoor seating, tiki bar, bands, beach volleyball… It’s fabulous! It’s only open May-Sept though, so go in the summer 🙂

  24. I have spent an extensive amount of time in Texas and BBQ was always great, I have tried most that I hear of here in Michigan, although some of these are good, peeps you missed the smoker if you have not tried Top Butcher Shoppe at 606 E. Savidge Spring Lake,MI Their brisket is the best I have ever had bar none, ribs are also the greatest, followed by, but not last is their chicken all with great sides and a bacon infused brownie for desert, their saying is “God gave angels wings and gave us pork”

  25. Plans are underway for Le Cochon Q, All Natural and Humanly raised meats smoked on all Wood and Wood charcoal BBQ Pits. Site will be in the City of Troy.
    Stay on the look out.

  26. Michigan’s newest BBQ joint. Alvi’s BBQ 3233 Biddle Ave downtown Wyandotte MI 48192 734-283-1030. Open Tuesday thru Sunday. Great BBQ Great Staff and Awesome decor. Come check out our custom made communal tables. Full bar 8 drafts and Large selections of beers and wine. You have to come in and compare, you will be amazed. ALVI. Hope to see you soon.

  27. Great list! We just opened a new BBQ restaurant recently in the Lansing area called Saddleback BBQ. We are located in REO Town where Oldsmobile was started many years ago. We would love to have you come by and give us your feedback.

    Thanks for making this list and promoting the Michigan BBQ scene.

    1. Thanks for reading, Travis. And congratulations on your new restaurant. We hope to check it out soon. -Angela

  28. For authentic Texas bbq, try the Boatyard Pub and Smokehouse in Muskegon, Mi. They’re only open during the summer months, but you will wish they were open all year round. I was raised in Texas, but this place has the best brisket I have ever eaten. The coleslaw is not your regular coleslaw. This coleslaw is strictly for bbq. Their corn casserole is simply to die for. Not only do they have great bbq, they have the best peach cobbler and rum pudding I have ever eaten.

  29. Best BBQ ?? Try Alvi’s BBQ Wyandotte MI. Ribs, Chicken, Brisket, Pulled Pork, Catfish ,Wings, Cornbread Brisket Chilli and the best Collard Greens in the north.

  30. You guys need to try arkins bbq on southfield rd. just north of 12 mile rd. southfield mi. I I’ve been to many bbq joints, and normally they will disappoint you because they are not consistant. the owner here is hands on and believe me when I say they have the best ribs in Michigan hands down.

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