The Very Best Barbecue Restaurants In London

Smoked ribs, grilled chops and pulled pork: Summer is almost here and BBQ food is all we can think about. Thankfully, the capital is stuffed with meat meccas that serve up just that. In honour of National BBQ Week, we’ve pulled apart our favourite five…


Ditch the DIY BBQ effort at home and head to Shoreditch’s Smokestak, where superlative slow-cooked, wood-smoked meats are a speciality. Hits from the menu include brisket bun with pickled red chilli; thick-cut pork ribs with pickled cucumber; and crispy ox cheek with anchovy mayo. When the sun’s out, make sure to book a spot on its rustic terrace and soak up the atmosphere with one of its dangerous rhubarb sours. And if you still want to fire up the grill back at home? You can purchase a 15-hour smoked whole brisket, gift wrapped and sold alongside homemade barbecue sauce and pickles.

35 Sclater Street, Shoreditch, E1 6LB



We first fell for Rök when it opened its original Shoreditch site in 2015. An intimate setting with a focus on slow-cooked meats and innovative cocktails, this Scandinavian-inspired restaurant centres around its custom-made open wood fire grills and incorporates a strong focus on preservation techniques such as pickling, fermenting and smoking. The team also cultures its own dairy products and brews its own probiotic drinks. Expect to tuck into the likes of scallop roasted in the shell with nduja and seaweed; and duck with lingonberry and bacon jam. Veggies are well catered for too – the kitchen’s blackened cabbage with nori rice, macadamia nuts and Västerbotten cheese is a delight.

149 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1RA and 26 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3NZ


Pitt Cue

From a trailer on the South Bank, then a tiny spot in a former Soho corner shop, to the vast site in Devonshire Square in the City where it currently resides, Pitt Cue’s rise has been an incredible feat to witness. Today its Spitalfields site is home to a colossal bespoke grill (made in Michigan at a rumoured cost of £60,000), which is responsible for charring, smoking and grilling everything from pig’s jowl (served with apple ketchup) and smoked beef neck through to grilled octopus and crispy monkfish. The dishes might not be picture-perfect, but they’re definitely some of the tastiest in town – make sure to sample the blood cake and caramel ribs.

Devonshire Square, City, EC2M 4YP


Temper Soho

Curry and pizza might be the focus at Neil Rankin’s newer Temper restaurants, but the fired tacos served in this glossy Soho basement give some of the capital’s Mexican restaurants a real run for their money. The barbecue-heavy fillings within his tacos and tostadas might be unconventional – think aged cheeseburger, nduja with pineapple, smoked goat, and beef fat – but they’re memorable and delicious, and make the most of Rankin’s barbecue background. We suggest grabbing a gang and opting for the £50pp feasting menu for the fullest experience (in both senses of the word).

25 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 0DF



Another Neil Rankin number – the guy just knows how to do a barbecue right! -  this Islington dining room is a former neighbourhood boozer. And you can tell (in the best possible way): original wood panelling and a bar lined with dimpled glass tankards remain, as does its ‘beer garden’. Rankin might have left in 2016, but his region-spanning influence remains: many of the dishes that stole the show when it launched are still on the menu today (Korean chopped brisket roll with gochujang; pork tacos with green sauce and chipotle aioli; smoked gammon steak with jalapeño, pineapple and duck egg). We recommend leaving room for dessert – the white chocolate peanut cup is a sensation.
63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington, N1 2DG

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