When you think of the food scene in Mesa, AZ, some amazing Mexican restaurants are probably the first thing that come to mind. But you should know that that’s not all Mesa has to offer! In Mesa, AZ, you can also find a variety of barbecue restaurants that serve mouthwatering barbecued meats from brisket to barbecued chicken. You might even be surprised at what innovative things Mesians are doing with BBQ. Keep reading to learn more about one restaurant’s PB&J Brisket Sandwich! Not only that, but there’s one BBQ spot that is really set apart from the rest. We’ll give you a hint: you grill your own meat! Without further ado, here are the 7 best BBQ restaurants in Mesa, AZ right now.
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Mesquite-grilled barbecue with all you can eat side dishes
500 E Main St | Mesa | waldosbarbeque.com
Locals have been going to Waldo’s BBQ since it opened in 1993 for their barbecued meats slow cooked over mesquite wood, equally delicious all-you-can-eat side dishes, and can't-miss desserts. From sandwiches and salads to racks of ribs and sampler plates, they have a plate for just about any size appetite, each delicious in its own right.
Their Baby Back Ribs, made with their premium pork rib that’s fall-off-the bone tender, are a serious hit. You can get either the half rack or the full rack, but keep in mind once you taste these ribs you will only want more. Another favorite is the Sampler, your choice of three of their famous meats from chicken, pork, beef, brisket, and sliced pit ham.
Be sure to finish off with a delicious dessert. Their Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with vanilla and whisky sauce is our personal favorite, but their Award-Winning Peach Cobbler is another great choice!
“This place has good BBQ. The atmosphere is casual, exactly what you would expect in a BBQ place. The Pig sandwich is my favorite but they have all the things you would expect in a good bbq place.” - Yelp Review
Authentic Texas style BBQ
6750 E Main St | Mesa | allisonstexasbbq.com
This family-owned and operated restaurant serves up some of the most delicious authentic Texas style BBQ you can find outside of Texas. They are dedicated to serving mesquite smoked barbeque meats and homestyle sides you will be dreaming about all the way home from their restaurant.
You can’t go wrong with your choice of meat from Sliced Brisket and Chopped Brisket to Pulled Pork, Chicken, and Ribs. As for your sides, their offerings include King Ranch Beans, Hill Country Potato Salad, Creamy Coleslaw, Green Salad, and Nanny's Corn Souffle.
When it’s available, the Buttermilk Pie should be your dessert of choice. But Lori’s Pecan Pie and a slice of Texas Sheetcake are a fair consolation prize.
“Not the largest menu but great choices. Ribs would not stay on the bones when you picked them up. Moist, smokey and even better with Sassy sauce (mustard based with a nice spice). The chopped brisket was spot on with a nice smoke flavor.” - Yelp Review
Barbecue burritos and their signature PB&J Brisket Sandwich
Barbecue burritos? PB&J Brisket Sandwiches? Yes, this place is real, and it’s called Jalapeno Buck’s.
They offer “Arizona style BBQ,” and not that of any place else! On their menu, you will find brisket and pork burritos (you can even get them deep fried if you’d like!), quesadillas, and sandwiches, as well as ribs.
They have all the sides that probably come to mind when you think of barbecue, but you can, instead, get chips with one of their signature salsas. You can play it safe with their Mild, Sweet Green, or Mango salsas, or you can try their spicy salsas Hot Mexican Red and Hot Gringo Green.
We also can’t forget to mention their signature PB&J Brisket Sandwich. If you like a mix of sweet and savory with every bite, this might be something to try.
In sum, this restaurant is entirely unique and distinctly Arizona. Jalapeno Buck’s merges Mexican and BBQ, two cuisines originating from this state’s borders, and creates something new, delicious, and unique to Arizona.
“Unique BBQ goodness! Our food was great! No complaints. I ordered the green chili shredded beef and it was amazing! I would def order that again! I got the Mexican hot salsa along with it, and it was good with a little spice.” - Yelp Review
Super affordable BBQ
1140 S Country Club Dr | Mesa | tomsbbq.com
Those at Tom’s know that eating out is a luxury that not every family can afford, so they do their best to make their barbecue as affordable as possible. Every day they offer lunch specials, and they also offer a variety of family packs.
We love how affordable Tom’s is, but we also love how good their food is! They serve some of the finest barbeque, Italian beef, and hot dogs in the Mesa area, and they’ve done so since 1988. In addition to barbecue, they carry salads, homemade side dishes, fried food favorites, Chicago favorites, burgers, chicken sandwiches, fish dinners, and desserts.
You can also look out for their Pig Rig, their hot pink food truck that carries their most popular products. To find out where the Pig Rig is going to be on any given day, check out the Pig Rig route online. And don't worry about searching far and wide, the Pig Rig is easy to spot from miles away.
“Showed up on a Sunday afternoon and ordered the pulled pork lunch meal. The meat was juicy and the bbq sauce was tangy. The fries were cooked to perfection. I will definitely be back to try more things from the menu!” - Yelp Review
The Valley’s favorite barbecue spot
2650 E University Dr | Mesa | cantstopsmokinaz.com
Can’t Stop Smokin’ Bar-B-Q is the Valley’s favorite place for barbecue, according to the locals. They serve freshly smoked meats and poultry, homemade side dishes, in-house baked pies, cobblers, and cookies.
Not only can you visit their Mesa location, but you can visit their location in Chandler or their food truck at a stop near you as well.
Popular menu items include the Any Two Meats Combo Meal with, as you may have guessed, two meats of your choice, two sides, and a drink for $13.99, and the Meats you can order by the half pound which include Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, Sirloin Tri-Tip, and Brisket.
They have an “Eat Light” menu for those who aren’t as hungry as a half pound of meat’s worth. The Blazing Bowl is ¼ lb of meat of your choice and two sides, while the Light Meal is boneless meat of your choice with one side and bread.
Be sure to check out their website for specials like the Rib Tip Combo Special with two sides and a drink until sold out for only $9.99!
“I ordered the pulled pork & rib combo with coleslaw, and baked beans. Pork was some of the most flavorful smoky meat I've had. Rustic doesn't even begin to describe the flavors going on here. Loved it, Will be back for more!” - Yelp Review
Homemade cooking served quickly
1722 N Banning | Mesa | bnfbbq.com
Big Nate’s Family BBQ offers homemade cooking served quickly. They say whether you are looking for lunch, looking for dinner, or looking to feed “hundreds of hungry rhinoceroses,” you’ve come to the right place!
Their daily lunch special, The Trinity, features mouthwatering brisket, pulled pork, and chicken quarters, with a side of signature mashed potatoes and a side of pulled pork beans.
As for feeding hundreds of hungry rhinoceroses, their Family Packs are the way to do just that. The small family pack feeds 4-6 people, the medium family pack feeds 6-8 people, the large family pack feeds 8-10 people, and the mega family pack feeds 30 people.
The Big Nate Plate is also a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It offers ¼ lb of brisket, ¼ lb of pork, chicken leg, and ¼ rack of duroc pork ribs. If you’re craving something cheesy, get the Jalapeno Cheddar Beef Sausage.
We love that Big Nate’s offers gluten free and dairy free homestyle sides in addition to their signature Loaded Mashed Potatoes, BBQ Baked Beans, Nacho Mama’s Mac, and Fresh Coleslaw.
“Absolute hidden gem in Mesa. Family owned and it shows in the bbq and the excellent homemade sauces. We split the Big Nate's plate and added some smoked jalapeno cheddar sausages - it was super good. We'll be back!” - Yelp Review
Grill your own meat at this Korean BBQ
111 S Dobson Rd | Mesa | jinbbqaz.com
Stepping away from American barbecue, Mesa also has Jin BBQ, a Korean barbecue restaurant where you can grill your own beef.
Here at Jin BBQ, they like to immerse guests into the experience of Korean spices and flavors using the best selection of local meats available. They also offer a variety of delicious side dishes to add to your Korean BBQ experience.
Their beef offerings include Premium Boneless Short Rib, Premium Beef Tongue, Premium Rib Eye, and Grilled Bulgogi, while Fresh Seared Pork Belly, Fresh Pork Jowl, Spicy Pork Bulgogi, and Soy Marinated Premium Short Rib are some of the most popular items among their pork offerings.
Are you wondering about what sides might come with Korean BBQ? Let’s just say it’s a little different than mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. Their side dishes include Spicy Cold Noodles, Kimchi Pancakes, Beef Fried Rice (because you clearly aren’t having enough already), and Steamed Egg Volcano. The Hot Stone Bibimbap might be our favorite, though!
Jin BBQ also has a late night menu so you can still get some of your favorites even if you come in later at night. You can get a Fried Whole Chicken for $12.99 off the late night menu!
This is more than just a dinner out, this is an experience that’s hard to come by, especially in Arizona. Don’t miss out!
“They not only have great food options, their hours are a dream come true for night owls like me! It's sooooo hard to find a restaurant that opens late in Mesa, but Jin is on it and gives Mesains what we want! They're open til 2am on Fridays and Saturdays!” - Yelp Review
From traditional American barbecue restaurants like Big Nate’s Family BBQ to innovative barbecue spots like Jalapeno Buck’s with their barbecue burritos and signature PB&J Brisket Sandwich to Korean barbecue restaurants open late where you can grill your own meats like Jin BBQ, there are so many different ways to experience BBQ in Mesa, AZ.
Let us know in the comments which of these restaurants you try first - we want to know if they live up to the hype! And if you wind up trying the PB&J Brisket Sandwich from Jalapeno Buck’s, let us know how it was!