Whether it’s summer or winter, it’s hard to find someone in San Jose who doesn’t enjoy some fine BBQ.
And while San Jose isn’t really known for its BBQ, that doesn’t mean there aren’t favorite spots to try out. With influences from various regional and international versions, the local barbecue scene in San Jose offers a wide range of BBQ options that can hold their own.
Here in San Jose, BBQ places vary in terms of décor, conceit, and inspiration, but they are all smoking meat with real wood and collectively show how strong the state of BBQ is in San Jose right now. Here are the top BBQ spots to try out in San Jose.
The next time you visit San Jose and want to surprise your partner or friend, consider getting them a GiftYa virtual gift card. These cards are completely customizable and you can use the gift card for any occasion including any of the restaurants on this list. Before sending the gift card, make sure you add a personalized message or even add an image or a short video clip to it.
1144 N 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112 smokingpigbbq.net
We know your craving for the best slow-smoked ribs has been high lately. Why not try Smoking Pig BBQ spot? This BBQ spot is popular for serving slow-smoked meals, hand-made sides, and mixed signature cocktails for generations. Just like you guessed, the recipe runs within the individuals that own it but they have included a little twist by adding a mixture of the current trends to enhance the already delicious flavor.
Curious to know what’s on the menu? For a start, you can get the original appetizers such as The Original Wolf Turds that contains fresh jalapenos served with cheese blend with bacon wrapping and slow-smoked to absolute perfection. You can also pick the pressed-up Chicken Lollipops grilled to perfection.
When it comes to the variety of meats served here, you can be sure to get mountains of beef, brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, homemade sausage, and even smoked turkey. You can also order the meat combos and you get a choice of any two or three items on the menu served with the house-made cornbread or steamed white rice and a choice of side.
If you’re in the mood for desserts, they have got a lot of options to choose from. Don’t forget to grab your favorite drink to go along with your meal.
1110 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95128 samsbbq.com
Hungry for real Kansas City-style BBQ ribs? Then you should head down to Sam’s Bar-B-Que spot. Inspired by the need to offer friends and locals in San Jose the warm tastes of slow-cooked BBQ, this restaurant has still retained its culture of preparing the best homemade style food in the entire San Jose. Whether you want Carolina pulled pork, seasoned to perfection, the tangy Southwestern chicken to hand-cut-rib-eye steak, Sam’s place has everything you want, and it's smoked for hours over oak wood with lots of savory flavors and juice locked in.
When it comes to meat, they offer a wide variety including baby back ribs, Sam’s Salsa chicken, beef brisket, BBQ pork, chicken breast, grilled pork chops, and more, all served with garlic bread and a choice of two of the following: potato salad, coleslaw, chili beans, and macaroni salad. The party doesn’t end there; they also serve delicious sandwiches especially The Bootlegger – the Italian sausage sandwich with one of their savory sides.
If you have kids, they will have a great time at Sam’s BBQ spot with options such as ribs on a small order, hamburger, hot dog, and other options on the kid’s menu. Wines and beers are also available to ensure you have something to drink along as you enjoy your favorite meal.
301 W St John St, San Jose, CA 95110 Henry's World Famous Hi-Life
If you want to try out delicious pork chops or even that grilled chicken in San Jose, be sure to check out Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life BBQ joint. Every day, Henry’s barbeque kitchen fires up its grills to produce the best BBQ in San Jose. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite, or even enjoy plenty of barbeque options with a group or family.
There are lots of classic favorites here to try. They have great lunch entrees such as baked potato, garlic bread, and salad. You can also have sandwiches and burgers served with Chili beans, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. All their burgers are made in-house. Add one of their delicious salads such as cheese, vinaigrette, thousand islands, and more and you have a meal and a spot to keep visiting every time you crave a great meal. At Henry’s, they even say it’s up to you to decide how much to order.
They also have a family menu and a kids’ menu just in case you decide to hop in with your family or group. They have a wide variety of savory sides to go along with your BBQ meals including coleslaw, cheese, and more. While at it, don’t forget to grab a drink or two to go along with your meal when you visit Henry’s Famous BBQ joint.
1362 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128 swinchesterbbq.com
Opening its doors in 2015, South Winchester BBQ has quickly become a hidden gem within San Jose and has been described as the go-to craft BBQ restaurant in San Jose. They are popular for serving a wide selection of smoked meats, fresh products, and carefully selected ingredients that create the most amazing food and barbeque. The restaurant’s BBQ is inspired by different regions, from California to the Carolinas, to create something unique they can call their own.
Want to know the delicious options that South Winchester sells and is known for? They prepare delicious St. Louis Style pork rib meals, smoked beef briskets, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and more. Each cut of meat is first dry-rubbed then slow-smoked with oak wood. The result is what they call “Smoke Ring” where the meat turns PINK after hours of smoking.
South Winchester also makes different BBQ sandwiches that contain their smoked meats including pulled pork, ribs, shredded chicken, and even Tri-Tip which is just meat and bread hand-cut and smoked to perfection. Cold drinks are in plenty and you can enjoy as much as you want over your favorite cut of meat.
61 Curtner Ave, San Jose, CA 95125 famousdaves.com
Perhaps you’re craving some great barbeque specials, so why not try the classics at Famous Dave’s BBQ joint today! Located on Curtner Avenue, Famous Dave restaurant is known for serving authentic smoked BBQ meals, salads, and other tasty goodies.
If you think this is the place you’re looking for, then why don’t you hear the kind of delicious meat that they serve? Famous Dave restaurant serves award-winning ribs, beef ribs, pulled pork, brisket, smoked sausage, and more. They are also popular for serving BBQ burgers and sandwiches with their favorite meat cuts such as pulled pork, beef ribs, briskets, and more. If you still have some space, you can order their handmade desserts and a small portion of their salad to go along with your main dish.
Stop by Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que today for some delicious BBQ and other delicious options.
2071 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95124 armadillowillys.com
Armadillo Willy’s barbeque chain started off in 1983 by four friends who were inspired after going on a road trip to Texas. They decided to team up and pursue their passion for preparing the best BBQ in the country. The restaurants feature 100% wood-fired BBQ and they have added a couple of new options in their menu to ensure they serve only the best and most unique selections that locals in San Jose want. Options such as Texas BBQ ribs, baby back ribs, prime brisket, trinity BBQ plate, pulled pork, and more can be found on the menu.
Apart from BBQ options, Armadillo also serves delicious burgers, sandwiches, classic sides, soups, and salads. You will also find many different sides on the menu including garlic parmesan fries, beer-battered onion rings, sweet potato fries, chicken tortilla soup, among others. Each main dish comes with two sides, so you will have lots of food to eat and maybe even have something left for later. Drop by Armadillo Willy’s barbeque today and enjoy whatever is on the BBQ menu that day.
255 N White Rd #102, San Jose, CA 95127 koreanfusionbbq.com
There is nothing better than some perfectly smoked BBQ for lunch or dinner! If you crave such BBQ in San Jose, then you may want to take a trip down to the Korean Fusion BBQ spot. Meat lovers are welcome here with tons of delicious food especially the spicy pork, chicken, short ribs, California roll, just to mention a few. Still on the menu, you’ll find delicious small dishes for those who want a quick bite such as homey fried shrimp served with honey wasabi, calamari, fried beef potstickers, large fish and ships, and also spicy Korean fried chicken which is a favorite among regulars here.
They also serve delicious Korean fried pancakes with a choice of filling and green onion, Korean rice bowls especially the Bi Bim Bab (COLD) – a choice of beef, spicy pork, chicken, or tofu, and a wide variety of seafood options such as pan-fried sole fish, spicy sauteed squid, Combo-Bokki, and more. Make sure you try out their homemade side dishes and some of the soft tofu soups, and party tray options. Extremely delicious right? Don’t forget to order your favorite drink to enjoy along with your meal.
Whether you looking for your favorite brisket or you want to try something new, perhaps even a twist on the usual pulled pork, San Jose has all the BBQ joints you could possibly wish for. This list should help you narrow down your choices of the best BBQ spots in San Jose. Which BBQ spot do you want to visit next? Let us know in the comments!