The Handbook has put together the best places to satiate your BBQ cravings this summer and whilst the weather might not have you rushing outside and lighting up the barbie, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. If you aren’t brave enough to face the weather/don’t know how to BBQ/can’t be bothered then head to one of London’s great barbecue restaurants – here are some of the classics:
What: Midwest Modern
Why: Having recently found a permanent home at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, Smokey Tails comes from DJ Seth Troxler, Jo Vidler and Jona Ahearne. Their food is known as ‘Midwest Modern’ to us, it’s known as darn good. Using recipes inspired by Seth’s childhood you’ll find the likes of baby back spicy BBQ pork ribs, smoked lamb ribs, Seth’s BBQ pork brioche bun and Grandma T’s fried chicken. Head over on a Sunday for their Sunday brunches which even feature Smoked Bloody Marys.
Where: Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, Hoxton N1 6NU
What: Peruvian-style BBQ
Why: When you think of BBQ it’s easy to think of an American style meaty feast, however Senor Ceviche are putting a Peruvian twist on things. Whether you try something new in the form of grilled octopus, or stick to the classics with pork ribs and BBQ sauce, Senor Ceviche’s National BBQ Week menu is sure to give a unique twist to your BBQ experience. Dig into Peruvian salad, ceviches and BBQ watermelon, and immerse yourself in culture.
Where: Kingly Court, Kingly St, W1B 5PW
What: Authentic Memphis
Why: In 2013 Porky’s opened its doors as Camden’s first BBQ restaurant. They’re clearly doing things right, as since then they’ve opened three further restaurants. Inspired by their trip to Memphis, owners, Joy and Simon are bringing American authenticity to London. Everything’s big, sticky and messy, just the way BBQ food should be done. As if that’s not authentic enough, you can get into the fraternity spirit and try your hand at beer pong… a true American pastime.
Berber & Q
What: Global inspiration
Why: The Middle East, North Africa and the Ottoman are the main inspirations for these lovers of BBQ, with food inspirations being taken from these regions and combined with Western cooking techniques – what a combination! They smoke, they marinate and they grill to maximize flavour and their season menu means things are constantly mixed up. And what’s a BBQ without a bar? These guys have a bar which they claim may be too long… you’ll have to go check it out for yourselves!
Where: 338 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA
What: Brixton BBQ
Why: The Joint started off as a pop-up four years ago before setting up shop in Brixton. They serve up a succinct menu which has comfort food written all over it. Meat comes from the Ginger Pig and the buns are made by the Bad Boys Bakery. Our favourite has to be the 16 hour slow cooked pulled pork topped with candied apple bacon, topped with cheese and guacamole. Just make sure you go hungry – it isn’t for the faint hearted or should we say stomached?
Where: 87, Brixton Village Market, Brixton SW9 8PS
What: Texan BBQ
Why: Southern soul food to the core; get your fill of brisket, corn bread, crispy fried chicken and BBQ beans at this Texan barbecue hotspot. Indulgence is key with pulled pork, burnt ends, short beef rib, lobster and New Orleans gumbo as just some of the options to get you tempted. Whilst the emphasis is heavily on a selection of meats, Blues Kitchen also offers pretty tasty sides and puddings that are not to be missed – deep fried Oreo doughnuts for example…
Where: Various locations in Brixton, Camden and Shoreditch
What: Original smoked and grilled food
Why: Neil Rankin’s Smokehouse is exactly what it says – all about the smoke. Working with the best farms in the UK to source the finest meat which they butcher on site , they create specials board bursting with coal-grilled prime cuts and slow-cooked specialities. The menu has options of rare-breed beef burger with Korean pulled pork, short rib bourguignon, and chopped brisket roll with gochujang. Wash down your meal with a cold beer; choose from 20 on tap and 60 in the bottle.
Where: The House, 63-69 Canonbury Road, N1 2DG