Top 6 BBQ Restaurant Picks by San Francisco Locals

February 3, 2021
Food & Drink
jason wolfe

Even though it’s winter, that can’t stop us from craving a fresh hamburger or rack of ribs every once in a while. And even though the Bay Area isn’t really known for its BBQ, that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of fun options to try out. From upscale steakhouses to neighborhood BBQ joints, San Francisco has everything a BBQ lover could ever want. 

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for your loved ones, surprise them with a virtual GiftYa card! GiftYa cards can be applied to a number of different restaurants in San Francisco, including the ones we featured below. The next time your loved one is craving a nice slow-smoked brisket, they can purchase one with their GiftYa card!


1. Baby Blues BBQ

Popular BBQ joint known for its Memphis-style brisket and extensive drink list

Up for a plate of baby back ribs? Image courtesy of Yelp.

3149 Mission St. | Bernal Heights, Mission | babybluesbbq.com

Baby Blues BBQ is a popular hybrid-style BBQ joint located in the Mission district. Many of its recipes are sourced from traditional family BBQ dishes. Its most popular selections include the Butcher’s Block, Memphis-Style Ribs Platter, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Texas-Style Sliced Brisket. An extensive beer list is also available. Not only do locals love the restaurant, but so do food critics. Baby Blues BBQ has been featured on The Travel Channel, Food Network, and Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. 

“Best BBQ in the Mission or even the whole city. I live close by so I got to try a few things here. My favorite is Beef Brisket Sandwich. The meat is different when you order a bun.

I love the 4 choices of sauce, especially the BBQ sauce and Sweet & tangy sauce. Both are non spicy. The owner is very nice and courteous to customers. I felt very welcome whenever I visited. 5 stars for the sandwich as well as the service.” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa card for Baby Blues BBQ. 


2. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

Pulled pork, smoked beef brisket, and more await you at this lively BBQ spot

Enjoy a plate of the bomb brisket in the California sunshine. Image courtesy of Yelp

705 Divisadero St. | NoPa | 4505burgersandbbq.com

Since 2009, 4505 Burgers & BBQ has enjoyed a stellar reputation as one of the best BBQ restaurants in San Francisco. Pulled pork shoulder, beef brisket, and more classic BBQ dishes await you. 

4505 Burgers prides itself on its partnerships with local farmers and ranchers to provide high-quality BBQ from animals that were raised humanely. 4505 Burgers is also home to one of the area’s last remaining wood-fired BBQ pits. 

4505 is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Guests can stop by and order at the counter or order for pick up online. No matter where you order and enjoy your food, you will be impressed by the 4505’s juicy and savory plates. 

“The food: we each got a 'one meat' brisket plate with coleslaw, fries and potato salad as sides. The sides and parker house roll. were probably my favorite part. The potato salad was probably the winner of the three, but they were all good. For the brisket, we each got three slices of meat and they were a bit dry. Considering it was $2 extra for brisket, I'll try something else next time.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for 4505 Burgers & BBQ. 


3. Hardwood Bar & Smokery

Rustic BBQ restaurant featuring a full bar inside a lively atmosphere

Treat yourself to a plate of their smoked beef brisket sliders. Image courtesy of Yelp

680 8th St. Suite 170 | Mission Bay | hardwoodsf.com

Located in the Mission Bay neighborhood, Hardwood Bar & Smokery is another popular destination for fun and delicious BBQ! All of the BBQ dishes are smoked over Northern California white oak and local almond wood. 

While the restaurant has gone into hibernation due to the recent stay-at-home order, you should still keep an eye out for the bar once it reopens. When it does, you can enjoy popular dishes like the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, Smoked Pork Spare Ribs, and Mesquite BBQ Chicken inside its warm and cozy dining room. 

“By far one of the best if not the best BBQ I've ever had. Would frequent Hardwood before the shut down. They just opened up again for takeout (just in time for the 4th!) and I will admit I was a bit apprehensive due to other of our favorite places not being as good given the current situation but they were just as hands down delicious. The ribs and brisket is super juicy and tender. The BBQ sauce is soo good! It's tangy, slightly sweet and spicy but feels a little on the lighter side which I love!”

Purchase a GiftYa card for Hardwood Bar & Smokery. 

4. Smokin’ Warehouse Barbecue

Popular BBQ restaurant serving delicious meals through a small walk-up window

The Chicken Tender Sandwich always hits the spot. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1465 Carroll Ave. | Bayview-Hunters Point | smokinwarehouse.blogspot.com 

If you’re looking for a more casual BBQ joint, you should check out Smokin’ Warehouse Barbecue. Despite its unassuming and no frills appearance, it actually serves some of the best BBQ in the city. 

Beef ribs, pulled pork, fried catfish, and more can be cooked and served counter-style at this casual joint. While you probably aren’t attending an office party or birthday party anytime soon, you should still add Smokin’ Warehouse Barbecue to your catering list for upcoming events. Its special catering menu includes favorites like the pulled pork, beef brisket, and fried catfish. 

“Really tasty BBQ! The spicy sauce was tasty but not super hot. The hot links were divine! And really solid pulled pork and fall apart brisket. We also tried the catfish po boy and surprisingly — DELICIOUS! The fish was fried crisp and the spicy mayo was on point. Not exactly a Louisiana style Po Boy but would 100% buy again! Finally, the cornbread was amazing! Sweet and moist with a crunchy top!” - Yelp Review

5. SF Honey Pig Korean BBQ

Casual Korean BBQ joint that offers an appetizing selection of platters 

Enjoy a hot bowl of Hot Stone Bibimbap for your next dinner. Image courtesy of Yelp

4217 Geary Blvd. | Inner Richmond | sfhoneypig.com

We would be remiss to not include one of the city’s most popular Korean BBQ restaurants to this list. Situated in the Inner Richmond neighborhood, SF Honey Pig Korean BBQ offers a wide selection of sizzling and savory dishes. For $11.99, you can purchase the Lunch Special, which comes with rice and a side dish. On the dinner menu, you’ll find numerous combos and chef specials. Dishes under these respective sections are designed for two people, making them perfect for sharing with a friend or partner. Popular alcohol beverages like Soju, Bek Se Ju, and Mae Chui Soon are available to enjoy alongside your dishes. 

“The food was reminding us of eating in Korea--hearty, colorful, and flavorful. We ordered a set for 2--including galbi/pork belly BBQ, japchae, seafood tofu soup and 6 free appetizer dishes. The kimchi tasted homemade--not too salty, refreshing and crunchy. The galbi was amazing--tender, melts in your mouth. The Japchae was our daughter's favorite--really good chewy texture, sweet-salty sauce coated every noodle piece, and lots of sauteed fresh veggies.” - Yelp Review

6. Pig in a Pickle BBQ

Popular restaurant that serves Southern-style BBQ inside a rustic dining room

Pig in a Pickle serves some of the juiciest BBQ pork in San Francisco! Image courtesy of Yelp.

341 Corte Madera Town Center | Corte Madera | piginapickle.com 

Pig in a Pickle is the quintessential Millennial dining destination. The second you step inside, you are greeted by a warm and rustic atmosphere. All of the restaurant’s Instagram-worthy dishes are made from scratch using only fresh, local ingredients. 

Speaking of the food, which is the restaurant’s main draw and reason why we’ve added it to the list, you’ll find a wide selection of classic BBQ dishes on the menu. Brisket, baby back ribs, and more await you at this classic BBQ joint. An extensive craft beer selection is also available to-go, allowing you to enjoy most of the Pig in a Pickle experience from the safety of your home. 

“I ordered the beef brisket sandwich - a generous portion of succulent meat served on top of a chewy milk bun and a side of the most delicious, artery-clogging mac & cheese I've ever had. Every table comes equipped with a variety of BBQ sauces of all levels of spice/heat. The friendly staff really went out of their way to make me feel welcome. They even brought out some complimentary homemade potato chips and offered to replenish the pickles on my plate.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Pig in A Pickle BBQ. 

San Francisco is home to a wide variety of bustling BBQ restaurants. The next time you’re in the mood for some beef brisket or ribs, you can try one of the restaurants we featured above. Which one do you plan on visiting next? Let us know!

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