Craving for some mouthwatering barbecue in Sarasota but not sure where to go? Look no further! This article will be your ultimate guide to finding the best barbecue joints in town. From juicy ribs to tender pulled pork, we’ll take you on a flavorful journey through Sarasota’s top barbecue spots, where smoky goodness and finger-licking satisfaction await you. So get your appetite ready and let’s dive into the world of deliciousness that Sarasota has to offer.
1. Central Sarasota
1.1 Traditional BBQ Restaurants
Central Sarasota is home to some incredible traditional BBQ restaurants that are sure to satisfy your cravings. With their emphasis on slow-cooked meats and rich, smoky flavors, these establishments offer a true taste of classic BBQ.
One standout option is “Central BBQ Pit,” located on Main Street. This family-owned eatery has been serving up mouthwatering BBQ for over three decades. Their menu features all the classic favorites, from tender brisket to fall-off-the-bone ribs. And don’t forget to try their homemade BBQ sauces, which add the perfect tangy kick to every bite.
Another popular choice is “Sarasota Smokehouse.” Known for their authentic wood-smoked meats, this restaurant takes BBQ to a whole new level. Their slow-cooked pulled pork is a fan favorite, while their juicy chicken and smoked sausage are equally delicious options. Complete your meal with their signature sides, like creamy mac and cheese or tangy coleslaw, for the ultimate BBQ experience.
1.2 Fusion BBQ Restaurants
If you’re looking for a unique twist on traditional BBQ, Central Sarasota also offers some fantastic fusion BBQ restaurants. These innovative establishments combine BBQ techniques with flavors from different cuisines, creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
One standout fusion restaurant is “Smoke & Spice BBQ.” Their menu features a delightful blend of traditional BBQ flavors with hints of Caribbean spices. From their jerk chicken to their deliciously smoky ribs glazed with a tangy mango BBQ sauce, every dish is a culinary adventure that will leave you craving more. Don’t forget to try their mouthwatering plantain chips and zesty pineapple slaw for a true explosion of flavors.
For a taste of Asian-inspired BBQ, look no further than “BBQ Bao.” This trendy restaurant specializes in Baos, which are steamed buns filled with succulent BBQ meats. From their tender pulled pork to their melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket, every Bao is bursting with flavor. Add some Korean kimchi or Japanese pickles as toppings for an extra kick of zingy goodness.
1.3 Food Trucks and Stands
For a quick and delicious BBQ fix on the go, Central Sarasota’s food trucks and stands are the way to go. These mobile establishments offer a wide variety of BBQ options, perfect for grabbing a quick bite or sampling different flavors.
One popular food truck is “BBQ On Wheels.” Known for their finger-licking-good ribs and tender pulled pork, this mobile BBQ joint has garnered a loyal following. Their smoky meats are slow-cooked to perfection and served with a side of their signature BBQ sauce. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty sandwich or a BBQ platter, BBQ On Wheels has got you covered.
If you’re craving some mouthwatering BBQ with a Latin twist, be sure to check out “El Sabor BBQ Stand.” This vibrant stand offers a fusion of traditional BBQ flavors with Latin spices and seasonings. From their savory grilled chicken to their juicy chorizo, the diverse menu will satisfy any BBQ lover’s cravings. Don’t forget to try their homemade salsa and tangy chimichurri sauce to elevate your dining experience.
2. North Sarasota
2.1 BBQ Chains
In North Sarasota, you’ll find a variety of popular BBQ chains that have perfected the art of serving up delicious BBQ on a larger scale. These chains are known for their consistency and quality, making them a reliable choice for BBQ enthusiasts.
One well-known BBQ chain in this area is “Sonny’s BBQ.” With several locations across North Sarasota, this family-friendly restaurant offers a wide range of BBQ options to satisfy every palate. From their tender baby back ribs to their mouthwatering pulled pork, each bite is guaranteed to be packed with flavor. Complete your meal with their famous cornbread and tangy BBQ beans for a true Southern BBQ experience.
If you’re in the mood for some award-winning BBQ, “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit” is an excellent choice. This Texas-born chain has made a name for itself with its slow-smoked meats and delectable sides. Their ribs, brisket, and sausage are crowd favorites, perfectly complemented by their variety of BBQ sauces. And don’t forget to indulge in their mouthwatering desserts, like their famous pecan pie or banana pudding, for a sweet ending to your BBQ feast.
2.2 Local BBQ Spots
For those seeking a more homegrown and unique BBQ experience, North Sarasota is also home to some hidden gems that you won’t find anywhere else. These local BBQ spots offer a personalized touch and showcase the talents of Sarasota’s local BBQ connoisseurs.
One standout spot is “Smokin’ Shacks BBQ.” Tucked away in a cozy location, this family-owned restaurant prides itself on serving up authentic BBQ flavors with a homemade touch. Their slow-smoked meats are tender and juicy, with the perfect balance of smokiness. From their pulled pork sandwiches to their mouthwatering beef ribs, every bite is a testament to their dedication to their craft. Be sure to try their homemade BBQ sauce, which adds a unique tang to their already exceptional dishes.
For a truly unique BBQ experience, “Captain Ron’s BBQ” is a must-visit. This quirky establishment brings together the best of BBQ and seafood in one place. Their menu features a tantalizing selection of BBQ seafood dishes, including grilled shrimp skewers and BBQ-glazed salmon. The combination of smoky flavors and fresh seafood creates a culinary delight that is sure to impress even the most discerning foodies. Don’t forget to try their famous smoked fish dip as an appetizer for an unforgettable start to your meal.
3. South Sarasota
3.1 Beachside BBQ Restaurants
If you’re looking to enjoy some finger-licking BBQ while soaking up the sun and enjoying the ocean breeze, South Sarasota offers a variety of beachside BBQ restaurants that provide a stunning view and delicious food.
One popular beachside spot is “Beach BBQ Shack.” Located right on the beach, this laid-back restaurant serves up a wide selection of BBQ favorites. From their juicy burgers to their fall-off-the-bone ribs, every item on their menu is made with love. Fresh ingredients and a beachfront atmosphere make any meal here a memorable experience. Pair your BBQ delights with a refreshing tropical drink and dine with your toes in the sand for the ultimate beachside BBQ experience.
For those seeking a more upscale beachfront dining experience, “Coastal Smokehouse” is the perfect choice. This elegant restaurant offers a menu filled with BBQ classics served with a twist. Their smoky ribs and succulent brisket are expertly cooked and paired with sophisticated sauces and sides. As you dine on their outdoor terrace overlooking the beach, you’ll experience the harmonious blend of flavors and relaxation that only beachside BBQ can provide.
3.2 Hidden Gems
South Sarasota is also home to some hidden gems that may not be as well-known but offer exceptional BBQ experiences. These off-the-beaten-path locations are worth seeking out for those who want to discover something truly special.
One of these hidden gems is “Smokin’ Sam’s BBQ.” Tucked away in a charming neighborhood, this cozy restaurant is known for its mouthwatering ribs and generous portions. The tender meat is full of smoky flavor, and their homemade BBQ sauces provide the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. With its casual and friendly atmosphere, this local favorite is a must-visit for BBQ enthusiasts looking for a unique Sarasota experience.
Another hidden gem worth mentioning is “Backwoods BBQ.” Located in a converted house, this restaurant offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere that sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. The menu features an array of BBQ favorites, including their signature burnt ends and flavorful pulled chicken. Add a side of their creamy mac and cheese or crispy fried okra, and you have the perfect southern meal. Don’t be surprised if you become a regular at this hidden gem once you’ve tasted their exceptional BBQ.
4. Downtown Sarasota
4.1 BBQ Brewpubs
If you’re a fan of both BBQ and craft beer, Downtown Sarasota offers a selection of BBQ brewpubs that bring together the best of both worlds. These establishments not only serve up mouthwatering BBQ dishes but also brew their own beer, creating a unique and flavorful experience.
One standout BBQ brewpub is “J.Dub’s Brewpub & Grub.” This lively establishment offers a variety of handcrafted beers alongside a menu filled with BBQ delights. Their baby back ribs and tender pulled pork are slow-cooked to perfection and pair perfectly with their selection of refreshing beers. With a welcoming atmosphere and live music, J.Dub’s Brewpub & Grub is the perfect place to relax, enjoy great BBQ, and sip on local craft brews.
Another must-visit spot downtown is “Oak & Stone.” While primarily known for their wood-fired pizzas, this trendy brewpub also offers a mouthwatering selection of BBQ-inspired dishes. From their smoked chicken wings to their delectable BBQ burgers, every item on their menu is crafted with care and attention to detail. The addition of their in-house craft beers and extensive beer list elevates the dining experience to new heights. Whether you’re a BBQ lover or a craft beer enthusiast, Oak & Stone is an excellent choice for a memorable meal.
4.2 Modern BBQ Eateries
For those searching for a modern take on BBQ, Downtown Sarasota is home to several eateries that put a contemporary twist on this classic cuisine. These restaurants combine innovative cooking techniques and creative flavors to reinvent BBQ in exciting ways.
One of the standout modern BBQ eateries is “Made Restaurant.” This trendy establishment offers a fusion of global flavors and BBQ techniques, resulting in dishes that are as visually appealing as they are delicious. From their smoked brisket tacos to their BBQ-infused seafood dishes, every plate at Made Restaurant is a work of art. With its sleek and modern interior, this eatery provides a sophisticated atmosphere that perfectly complements its inventive dishes.
Another modern BBQ hotspot to check out is “Buttermilk Handcrafted Food.” This charming eatery prides itself on using high-quality ingredients to create modern twists on Southern comfort food, including their BBQ offerings. Whether you’re in the mood for their smoked chicken thighs or their innovative BBQ jackfruit sandwich, you can expect a flavor-packed dining experience that pushes the boundaries of traditional BBQ. Don’t forget to save room for their famous buttermilk pie for a sweet ending to your meal.
5. Siesta Key
5.1 BBQ Beach Bars
When it comes to combining BBQ with beach vibes, Siesta Key is the place to be. This sought-after destination offers a variety of BBQ beach bars where you can indulge in mouthwatering BBQ while enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and stunning views.
One popular BBQ beach bar is “Beach Buns BBQ & Island Grill.” Located just steps away from the beach, this lively bar serves up a delicious selection of BBQ favorites. From their tender pulled pork sandwiches to their flavorful BBQ chicken, their dishes are packed with smoky flavors that transport you to BBQ heaven. Pair your meal with one of their refreshing tropical cocktails and soak up the sun while savoring your delectable BBQ feast.
For a more casual and laid-back beach bar experience, “Captain Curt’s Backroom Saloon” is a must-visit. This iconic establishment has been serving up BBQ and seafood for over 40 years. Their BBQ ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, and their pulled pork sandwiches are packed with flavor. As you enjoy your meal on their outdoor patio, you’ll feel the ocean breeze and the lively energy that has made Captain Curt’s a beloved BBQ spot on Siesta Key.
5.2 Casual BBQ Joints
If you’re in the mood for a no-frills, down-to-earth BBQ experience on Siesta Key, there are several casual BBQ joints that deliver delicious food without the fuss. These eateries are perfect for grabbing a quick and satisfying meal after a day at the beach.
One standout casual BBQ joint is “Siesta Key BBQ & Catering.” This hidden gem offers a menu packed with BBQ classics that are sure to hit the spot. From their tender ribs to their mouthwatering smoked pulled pork, every bite is a testament to their commitment to quality and flavor. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make Siesta Key BBQ & Catering a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Another casual BBQ joint worth mentioning is “Smokin’ T’s BBQ.” Located in a small strip mall, this unassuming eatery offers an extensive menu of BBQ options that are bound to satisfy any BBQ lover’s cravings. Their smoked meats are tender and flavorful, and their homemade sauces add the perfect finishing touch to each dish. Whether you choose their classic pulled pork sandwich or their tasty BBQ nachos, Smokin’ T’s BBQ guarantees a memorable BBQ experience on Siesta Key.
6. Lido Key
6.1 Oceanfront BBQ Restaurants
Lido Key, with its pristine beaches and stunning ocean views, offers a selection of oceanfront BBQ restaurants that provide a picturesque setting to enjoy your BBQ feast. These establishments combine the beauty of the coastline with the savory flavors of BBQ for an unforgettable dining experience.
One notable oceanfront BBQ restaurant is “Lido Beach Grille.” Situated right on the beach, this upscale restaurant offers a menu filled with BBQ and seafood delights. From their mouthwatering smoked ribs to their exquisite grilled shrimp, every dish showcases premium ingredients and expert culinary techniques. As you dine on their outdoor patio, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the ocean while savoring the flavors of their delectable BBQ creations.
For a more laid-back and family-friendly oceanfront dining experience, “The Old Salty Dog” is a great option. This beachside BBQ restaurant is known for its casual atmosphere and delicious food. While primarily known for their seafood offerings, their BBQ options are equally impressive. From their smoky BBQ chicken to their flavorful BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, every item on their menu is crafted to satisfy. Whether you’re dining with loved ones or simply enjoying a solo meal, The Old Salty Dog offers a relaxed and enjoyable BBQ experience on Lido Key.
6.2 BBQ Grills for Rent
For BBQ enthusiasts who prefer to take matters into their own hands, Lido Key offers the option to rent BBQ grills and enjoy a do-it-yourself BBQ experience. This allows you to customize your BBQ feast and enjoy a gathering with friends and family at one of Lido Key’s scenic parks or beachfront locations.
One convenient option for BBQ grill rentals is “Lido Key Beach Services.” They offer a variety of rental packages, including BBQ grills, charcoal, and all the necessary grilling tools. Whether you’re hosting a beachside BBQ cookout or planning a picnic in one of Lido Key’s parks, renting a BBQ grill from Lido Key Beach Services allows you to unleash your inner pitmaster and create a memorable BBQ experience tailored to your preferences.
7. Longboat Key
7.1 Upscale BBQ Dining
When it comes to upscale BBQ dining, Longboat Key offers a selection of restaurants that elevate BBQ into a fine-dining experience. These establishments combine top-notch ingredients with culinary expertise to create BBQ dishes that are not only delicious but also visually stunning.
One standout upscale BBQ restaurant is “Dry Dock Waterfront Grill.” With its waterfront location and elegant ambiance, this restaurant provides the perfect setting for an upscale BBQ feast. Their menu features a variety of BBQ options, ranging from mouthwatering ribs to perfectly grilled steaks. Each dish is prepared to perfection, with an emphasis on premium ingredients and exquisite presentation. From the moment you take your first bite, you’ll understand why Dry Dock Waterfront Grill is a go-to destination for those seeking a refined BBQ experience on Longboat Key.
7.2 BBQ Catering Services
For those looking to host a special event or gathering, Longboat Key offers a selection of BBQ catering services that will take care of every detail. These catering services specialize in providing mouthwatering BBQ dishes tailored to your event’s specific needs, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities.
One noteworthy BBQ catering service is “Big E’s BBQ Catering.” With their extensive menu and commitment to quality, they ensure that every event is a success. From corporate gatherings to weddings, Big E’s BBQ Catering offers a variety of package options that include everything from savory smoked meats to delectable sides. Their experienced team will work closely with you to create a customized menu that suits your taste and exceeds your expectations. With their attention to detail and passion for BBQ, Big E’s BBQ Catering is a reliable choice for an unforgettable catered BBQ experience on Longboat Key.
8. East Sarasota
8.1 BBQ Buffets
If you have a hearty appetite and want to sample a variety of BBQ options, East Sarasota offers a selection of BBQ buffets that are sure to satisfy your cravings. These all-you-can-eat feasts allow you to indulge in an array of BBQ favorites to your heart’s content.
One top-notch BBQ buffet is “Ryan’s Grill Buffet & Bakery.” This family-friendly restaurant offers an extensive buffet packed with BBQ classics and an array of other dishes. From their tender BBQ ribs to their flavorful smoked sausage, there are options to please every palate. The buffet also includes a variety of sides, salads, and desserts, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re dining with family, friends, or hosting a large group, Ryan’s Grill Buffet & Bakery promises a satisfying and memorable BBQ experience in East Sarasota.
8.2 Family-Friendly BBQ Places
East Sarasota is also home to several family-friendly BBQ places that offer a welcoming atmosphere and tasty BBQ options for all ages. These establishments cater to families, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a delicious BBQ meal together.
One notable family-friendly BBQ spot is “Shane’s Rib Shack.” With its friendly staff and laid-back ambiance, this restaurant provides a comfortable space for families to savor their BBQ favorites. From their mouthwatering ribs to their flavorful pulled pork sandwiches, Shane’s Rib Shack delivers generous portions that will keep the whole family satisfied. Don’t forget to try their homemade BBQ sauces, available in a variety of flavors, to enhance your BBQ experience. With its commitment to quality and family-friendly environment, Shane’s Rib Shack is a go-to option for families seeking a delicious BBQ meal in East Sarasota.
9. West Sarasota
9.1 BBQ Ribs Specialties
If you’re a fan of ribs, West Sarasota is a haven for BBQ enthusiasts looking for succulent and flavorful ribs. These establishments specialize in serving up the juiciest, most tender ribs that will leave you craving more.
One outstanding BBQ spot that offers exceptional ribs is “Nancy’s Bar-B-Q.” This cozy restaurant prides itself on its dedication to slow-smoked meats, and their ribs are a true testament to their passion. Whether you prefer baby back ribs, spare ribs, or St. Louis style ribs, Nancy’s Bar-B-Q has got you covered. Every rack is cooked to perfection, with a beautiful smoky flavor that complements the tender meat. Add a side of their creamy coleslaw or their perfectly seasoned fries for a complete BBQ experience that will have you coming back for more.
For a unique take on ribs, “The Oaks BBQ Restaurant” is a must-visit. This family-owned establishment offers a variety of rib options, including their famous “rattlesnake ribs.” These mouthwatering ribs are marinated, slow-cooked, and glazed to perfection, resulting in a sweet and tangy flavor profile that tantalizes the taste buds. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere at The Oaks BBQ Restaurant makes it the perfect place to enjoy a rack of ribs and create lasting memories with your loved ones.
9.2 Authentic BBQ Smokehouses
For those searching for an authentic BBQ experience, West Sarasota is home to several smokehouses that embrace traditional BBQ techniques and flavors. These establishments prioritize slow-cooking methods and quality ingredients to deliver an authentic and unforgettable BBQ feast.
One exemplary smokehouse is “Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue BBQ.” This unique establishment not only serves up delicious BBQ but also supports a noble cause. All proceeds from the restaurant go towards supporting Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, a local nonprofit animal shelter. As you savor their mouthwatering BBQ, including their signature smoked wings and tender pulled pork, you’ll not only enjoy a fantastic meal but also contribute to a worthy cause. With its dedication to both great BBQ and animal welfare, Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue BBQ offers a truly special dining experience in West Sarasota.
Another authentic smokehouse to visit is “Coyote Moon Smokehouse.” This rustic and welcoming restaurant is known for its commitment to using traditional smoking methods and premium ingredients. From their flavorful smoked chicken to their juicy brisket, each dish at Coyote Moon Smokehouse is a labor of love. The smoky aroma that permeates the air as you step inside is a testament to the authenticity and quality of their BBQ. Whether you’re a BBQ purist or an adventurous foodie, Coyote Moon Smokehouse is a must-visit spot for an authentic and satisfying BBQ experience.
10.1 BBQ Roadside Stalls
Bradenton, located just outside of Sarasota, offers a unique dining experience for BBQ lovers with its roadside stalls. These humble establishments, often found on the side of the road or in small parking lots, serve up flavor-packed BBQ dishes that give a true taste of local flavors.
One notable roadside stall is “Back Alley Barbeque.” Nestled in a parking lot, this hidden gem surprises visitors with its exceptional BBQ. From their fall-off-the-bone ribs to their tender pulled pork, every item on their menu is a testament to their dedication to their craft. While the setting may be unassuming, the flavors are anything but. Be sure to try their BBQ beans, which are cooked low and slow for maximum flavor.
Another roadside stall worth checking out is “Wilson’s Barbeque.” This small and unpretentious BBQ joint delivers big on flavors. Their slow-smoked meats are expertly seasoned and packed with smoky goodness. Whether you’re a fan of ribs, chicken, or sausage, Wilson’s Barbeque has you covered. As you savor their BBQ in the outdoor seating area, you’ll experience the charm and simplicity that has made this roadside stall a go-to destination for BBQ enthusiasts in Bradenton.
10.2 Barbecue Festivals
Bradenton is also known for its vibrant barbecue festivals, where BBQ lovers from near and far gather to celebrate their shared love for this beloved cuisine. These festivals showcase a variety of BBQ styles and flavors, making them a must-visit for anyone seeking a true barbecue experience.
One standout barbecue festival is the “Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition and Festival.” Held annually in Bradenton, this lively event features professional barbecue teams from around the country competing for the coveted title of Grand Champion. Attendees can sample a wide range of BBQ offerings, from ribs to pulled pork, while enjoying live music and entertainment. The festive atmosphere and mouthwatering aromas make the Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition and Festival an unforgettable experience for all barbecue enthusiasts.
Another must-visit barbecue festival is “The Blues & BBQ Festival.” This event combines two beloved elements of American culture: soulful blues music and mouthwatering BBQ. Attendees can indulge in an array of BBQ offerings, including ribs, chicken, and brisket, while enjoying live performances by talented blues musicians. The combination of toe-tapping music and incredible flavors creates an electric atmosphere that will have you coming back year after year.
In conclusion, Sarasota and its surrounding areas offer a diverse range of BBQ options, ensuring that every BBQ lover can find their perfect match. From traditional BBQ restaurants to fusion BBQ joints, beachside BBQ spots to BBQ brewpubs, there is something for everyone in this vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re a fan of classic BBQ flavors or eager to explore innovative twists on this beloved cuisine, Sarasota has it all. So grab your appetite and embark on a BBQ adventure through this flavorful coastal paradise.