15 Best BBQ Restaurants in Denver Colorado
Nothing indicates the beginning of summer like sweet tea, mayo-slathered salads, and, of course, smoked meats! Denver has not always been known as a BBQ destination. But, over the past years, the city has seen the establishment of more and more fine BBQ joints!
Some of these joints are available in trendy neighborhoods, doing Texas tributes and Kansas City riffs. You’ll be surprised to find some joints serving classic BBQ here! So, whenever you’re hungry, try out one of the best barbecue joints in Denver listed below.
15 Best BBQ Restaurants in Denver Colorado
Yazoo BBQ Company
Address: 2150 Broadway St, Denver, CO 80205, United States
After learning BBQ tricks in Memphis, Tennessee, Don Hines decided to share his BBQ craft with Denverites. And that’s how Yazoo BBQ Company found its way in Denver in 2001. Today, this Memphis-style BBQ spot has a large following of loyal customers. The original location is in the North East of Downtown Denver. Furthermore, the restaurant has a 2nd location in Greenwood Village.
If you’re familiar with Memphis-style BBQ, you know that the meats are dry-rubbed. Those meats are then smoked over pecan to add flavor. At this joint, they use 4 kinds of spice rub in their cooking process. Although Dines claims that BBQ sauce is optional, you’ll find homemade sauce on each table.
Yazoo’s BBQ has a dining space off the back as well as a fancy upstairs/ rooftop patio for warm weather BBQ dining. Their menu serves various barbecue standards such as; brisket, shoulder, chicken, ribs, and links. Sides include down-home southern staples such as green beans and coleslaw. Also, they provide self-sauces that you can experiment with on the side. Everything served here is done to perfection and reasonably priced.
There is ample parking space on the street or site. If you get there at lunchtime, you’ll find the place crowded with downtown blue workers mingling with office types. Luckily, they offer a fast walk-up counter service, so you’ll not wait for long!
Address: 2826 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205
Pitmaster Karl Fallenuis started his BBQ business at Finn’s Manor on Larimer St. in 2015. When he started, he operated a food truck that gathered a massive following because of its Central Texas-style BBQ.
Karl acquired the skills of smoking meats from the famous Franklin BBQ in Austin. In 2017, he found a restaurant space and started planning to turn it into a permanent spot. This is the place that is currently occupied by the restaurant in RiNo on Larimer Street. The counter-service 2000 sq. ft. the restaurant has 18 seats and serves some of ‘the best BBQ’ in Denver. Owlbear sits next to the Mutual Friend Brewing Company.
Meats are smoked on one of the 2 offset smokers alongside fixings like mac n’ cheese, coleslaw, pinto beans. The smoked meats include; spare ribs, Texas-style brisket, belly cuts, pulled meat, double smoked barbecued bacon, smoked duck, and tenderloin. You can also the pudding served on their dessert menu.
This restaurant is open Friday through Sunday, starting from 11 am to 7 pm or until they sell out. Head out to this spot and enjoy their perfectly smoked and seasoned meats and delicious sides!
Address: 1543 Champa Street, Denver, CO 80202
Owned by husband and wife, Lamon & Trina Lynch, this restaurant was established in 2005. Initially, they operated from a staple food cart on 16ths Street Mall in Downtown. But relocated to the bonafide joint in Champa Street, and later moved to the large space next door.
The current location at 1543 Champa St. can accommodate up to 200 diners. They specialize in slow-smoking, pit-style BBQ with influences from various regions like Louisiana, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas. Therefore, you can get things like Carolina-style pulled meat, Texas beef brisket & hot links, and St Louis style ribs here.
All meats are smoked on-premises, while the sauces and rubs are house-made. To pair these smoked meats, they have side options like fried okra, coleslaw, and fried pickles. Afterward, you can wash down your meal with their sweet tea.
Regarding the dining space, it’s a step up from most BBQ joints. While it isn’t a white-tablecloth restaurant, space features a brick-colored tile floor and dark woods. Thus creating a beautiful dating and dining scene.
When you get to this joint, you pass through their vintage lobby of the building and descend the steps. During lunchtime, expect to find a line, but it moves quickly. Order your favorite meal at the counter, pay your bill and you’ll be given a number to place on your table. Within a few minutes, your food will be brought to you by the servers.
This joint also has a full bar that is usually operated by Trina Lynch. At the full bar, you can enjoy various drinks.
AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q
Address: 2180 S Delaware Street, Denver, CO 80223
Formerly operating as BBQ Supply Company, Amanda and Jared Leonard rebranded this joint in 2019 and renamed it AJ’s Pit BBQ. Amanda and Jared also own other restaurants like Au Feu (Zeppelin Station) and the Bulldog Hot Chicken. These restaurants are operated under a restaurant group known as Stone Soup Collective.
Besides changing the name of the restaurant, they extended the operation hours and culinary offerings. This south Denver location specializes in Texas-style BBQ. To cook their meats, they use a 1000-gallon Camelback smoker that’s fired by Texas post oak. Their added offerings include dishes like spicy beef sausage, smoked wagyu brisket, smoked turkey and side dishes like truffle mac n’ cheese. Their menu still serves Jared’s signature items like juicy shoulder, ribs, and brisket.
You can dine-in at this industrial joint in Overland neighborhood Tuesday through Sunday starting from 11 am to 9 pm. Furthermore, you can order your meat by the pound or even online. Not to forget, they have various drink options like craft drinks on tap, barrel-aged cocktails, and whiskeys. While the closing time is usually 9 pm, they’re usually sold out by 8 pm. So, get there early!
Smokin Yard’s BBQ
Address: 900 W 1st Avenue, Denver, CO 80223
The first Smoke Yard’s restaurant was opened by Alan Yard and his three sons in Idaho springs in 2008. Years later, they opened a second location in Denver’s Baker neighborhood. This Denver location has become a popular go-to BBQ destination in the area. And it’s still operated by the Yard’s family.
Smoke Yard’s BBQ focuses on preparing Southern-style BBQ. So, expect to find favorites like brisket, burnt ends and pulled meat, as well as all the classic sides. They also serve other notable offerings like sloppy joes, fried catfish, and fried okra.
At this joint, meats are cooked in the Ole Hickory smoker, giving them that Southern flavor. Don’t leave without trying their Carolina-style pulled meat sandwich. This sandwich is loaded with tasty hunks, mustard sauce, and spicy coleslaw. You can also try their burnt end sandwich which is served plain so that you can enjoy the smoky, black-edged brisket.
They offer 3 BBQ sauces, but you can opt for the sliced purple onions, jalapenos and pickles to complement your meats. However, these meats are delicious on your own and you don’t have to use any supporting cast.
Check out any of their locations and enjoy a great dining experience!
Address: 3330 Brighton Boulevard #202, Denver, CO 80216
Smok BBQ is situated inside the Source Hotel in RiNo. It is well known for its diverse offering of delicious smokehouse flavors. The restaurant was opened by Chef Bill Espiricueta in 2018.
When opening this joint, it was influenced by Bill’s upbringing in Austin Texas, Missouri, and Kansas City. He also worked as a chef in joints like Oak at Fourteenth & Acorn. So, it’s not a surprise that this spot serves out deeply smoked brisket, spare ribs, and rich belly.
You can either choose your meat by the pound or from sandwiches like smoked fish, brisket, and fried Nashville hot chicken. For the side dishes, they have cornbread, coleslaw, creamed corn, and mac n’ cheese.
To wash down your barbecue, you can order a cold drinks. But their full bar has a wide selection of boozy slushies and craft cocktails. Regarding the parking, there’s free street parking in front of the building. You can also park your car at the parking garage of the Source Hotel, which is complimentary for the first hour.
Ragin’ Hog BBQ
Address: 4361 Lowell Boulevard, Denver, CO 80211
Owned by pitmaster Colleen Vantuyl, this Denver barbecue joint only serves southern-style BBQ. Meats are smoked every day to ensure that diners only get the freshest options available. Whenever you’re in Northwest Denver, this is the spot to go-to for the best Southern BBQ in the area!
Since Colleen hails from Alabama, you can feel the southern taste in every bite of dishes like hot links, smoked meat, and collard greens. The meat is served dry and its flavor stands out on its own.
They offer 5 different BBQ sauces that cover the unique flavor of classic BBQ regions. These sauces include; Memphis, Georgia, sweet, hot, and Carolina. So, whether you prefer, spicy, sweet, or anything in between, you will love this spot. Even better, you can enjoy the sweet smoky meat alongside the Cajun-influenced specials such as crawfish etouffee. Not to forget the delicious homemade sides and sauces.
However, note that you cannot dine-in at this spot, but they offer delivery and takeaway. They’re open Wednesday through Saturday, starting from 11 am to 7 pm!
Globe Hall Bar-B-Q
Address: 4483 Logan Street, Denver, CO 80216
Established in 2015, Globe Hall is located in a 100+-year-old building that has been home to many bars over the years. The building has also served as a tavern and a meeting hall. Before, the establishment of Globe Hall, the building was occupied by the Sidewinder Tavern.
The 1903 historic building is located in RiNo (River North) area in Denver. When the construction of the building was completed, it served as the home to St. Joseph Hall, a Slovenian/Croatian meeting lodge. It was also one of the first Globesville saloons. Other establishments that have occupied this building include; the Logan Grill, 16 to 1 Exchange, and the Golobvich & Slogar Saloon.
This venue, bar, and restaurant are currently offering authentic Texas-style BBQ. It also features a backyard patio, music venue, and a full bar. The joint is so popular in the area and you’ll find various local artists performing here. Moreover, you’ll always find live music and show going on here!
Dining options include wood-fired BBQ dishes done in various styles. They include; chopped brisket tacos, loaded nachos, meat by the pound, pulled meat sandwiches, smoked turkey, and sampler plates. These dishes are accompanied by delicious sides like potato salad, smoked cheddar mac n’ cheese, and sweet citrus apple slaw.
After enjoying your meal, order their cheap cocktails and drinks from the full bar. You’ll be surprised at how friendly the bartenders and staff are at this spot. Check it out for drinks, Texas-style BBQ, and live music!
Address: 6499 Leetsdale Drive, Denver, CO 80224
Just by looking at the name, you can easily tell that this restaurant is owned by brothers! Indeed, it’s owned by Nick and Chris O’Sullivan who established it in 1998. Since then, this award-winning joint has continued to grow and it’s currently available in multiple locations in the Denver Metro area.
Before starting this restaurant, Nick’s car racing career had taken the 2 across the nation. This enabled them to sample various styles and explore their passion for cuisine. For that, this joint doesn’t specialize in a particular BBQ style. Instead, their barbecue is influenced by BBQ styles of various regions.
They have everything you expect to find in a traditional BBQ joint. This includes; pulled meat, hot links, ribs, chicken, and brisket, all covered with a selection of homemade BBQ sauces. You can either order your meat on special plates, by the weight, family packs, or in sandwiches. This joint also offers all the standard barbecue side dishes, including sweet & tangy baked beans, French fries, potato salad, and creamy coleslaw.
Brothers BBQ also full catering services to various events. They can cater for events with 10 to 10,000 guests. So, if you’ve any upcoming event in Denver, you can hire their services!
Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que
Unlike most BBQ joints on this list, Roaming Buffalo BBQ takes a local approach. It focuses on Colorado-sourced meat to prepare what is referred to as Colorado-style BBQ! Therefore, their menu offers items like Colorado lamb shack, Colorado lamb shoulder, and Colorado bison short ribs.
This joint was established by Coy and Racheal W. in 2015, near Denver University. Having grown up in Texas, Coy loved smoking meats with his father in the backyard using pecan wood. While Racheal, who was born in Colorado, had worked in different fine to casual dining joints since she was fifteen. When they got married in 2014, they decided to venture into the restaurant business. They bought a small burger joint on Downing Street, which has since then transformed into roaming Buffalo BBQ!
In addition to serving Colorado-style BBQ, they serve classic barbecue items like ribs, beef brisket, and chicken wings. These items are seasoned lightly and then smoked gently until the meat flavors pop out.
To complement the perfectly smoked meats, they’ve classic sides like mac n’ cheese and honey-lime coleslaw. This spot is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, but they’re usually sold out by the late afternoon. To avoid missing out, make sure you get there early!
Moe’s Original BBQ
Address: 530 North Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
Moe’s Original BBQ is a restaurant chain based in Colorado, specializing in serving up Alabama-style pit-smoked BBQ. The joint was established in Jeff Kennedy, Mike Fernandez, and Ben Gilbert.
While the joint was just a little spot when they were starting, it has developed to become one of the best BBQ restaurants in Denver, in the country. Today, they have more than 12 locations spread across the country, with 3 of them in the metro area.
This casual BBQ joint offers various tasty protein-laden dishes. Some of the items offered by the menu include; pulled meat, beef brisket, BBQ sandwiches, smoked turkey, ribs, catfish, smoked chicken, and more. These meats are low and slow-cooked fresh every day to give you a mouthwatering dining experience.
They also have traditional side dishes like potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. These are supplemented by their rotating daily specials. For vegetarians, they offer smoked tofu.
This joint is dog-friendly since it has 2 outdoor picnic tables. There’s also a small bowling alley where diners can knock down pins as they scarf down their BBQ! It’s also kid-friendly, especially with its arcade where your kids can enjoy it. This provides a family-friendly and fun experience that everyone will enjoy!
In addition to great food, Moe’s has a wide selection of Colorado craft drinks that you can enjoy after a meal. You can also hire them to cater to your event in Denver and they’ll come with their food truck. This restaurant is open every day starting from 11 am to 8 pm.
Hank’s Texas Barbecue
Address: 5410 E Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80220
Located at 5410 E Colfax Avenue, this joint occupies the building that was the home to Goose Sorensen’s Solera. After Goose closed his business, he leased the space to Chef Christopher Nicki, the owner of Hank’s Texas BBQ in 2018.
Nicki transformed Solera’s dining space and fine-dining kitchen into a counter-service joint with a meat counter and a more open floor plan. This allows customers to see their options being sliced from racks of ribs and whole briskets among others. The open floor plan and décor also create a relaxing and cool atmosphere.
Meats are smoked in the Tejas smokers placed on the joint’s back patio. They’re seasoned lightly and smoked over mesquite or post oak for more than 12 hours. This technique allows the meat’s flavors to come out. Although this joint focuses on brisket, they also serve shoulder & spare ribs, turkey, chicken, and beef hot links. They also have portabello mushrooms and smoked jackfruit.
Sides dishes include creamy mac n’ cheese, green beans, collard greens, coleslaw, and potato salad. While the full bar serves Lone Star & Shiner in bottles, cocktails, and a small selection of drinks in cans.
If you want to taste Hank’s delicious BBQ, check them out Wednesday through Sunday starting from 11 am to 8 pm.
Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que
Address: 7557 E 36th Avenue, Denver, CO 80238
The original Famous Dave BBQ was founded by Dave Anderson in 1994. Dave took elements of southern BBQ shacks, which comprises of wood-paneled walls featuring counter service and various BBQ sauces. The joint also features a smoker position in the chicken. Years later, the restaurant has expanded into multiple locations spread the country and even in Canada.
Before famous Dave opened the first restaurant, he had spent twenty-five years touring many barbecue joints. So, it’s not surprising that this joint is doing so well in the nation’s BBQ scene. You can also find Famous Dave’s branded sauces in grocery stores. Over the years, this restaurant chain has won more than seven hundred BBQ awards.
The Denver location is situated in 7557 East 36th Avenue. It is known for its St. Louis varieties and baby back ribs. Everything is made from scratch and they only use top quality meats. These meats are dry-rubbed with fresh spices and slow-smoked to perfection.
If you’re a food lover, make sure you get to this American West-themed BBQ joint in Denver. You can enjoy their wood-smoked meats and side dishes any day since they’re always open from 11 am to 9 pm!
Russell’s Smokehouse is situated in the basement of a building near Larimer Square. The restaurant is owned by Frank Bonnano, the proprietor of Bonanno concepts. Besides Russell’s Smokehouse, Bonanno operates other venues in Colorado including Green Russell, Salt & Grinder, Vesper Lounge, and Mizuna among others.
This joint retains the lively atmosphere of Colorado West. While its bar features some architectural remnants of Denver’s history. This includes; oversized church windows, stone arches from the bed of River Platte, and a dance floor-turned bar top.
Chef Bonanno is dedicated to offering fresh, simple items in this restaurant as well as homemade, buttery side dishes. Russell’s specializes in serving up slow-smoked meats as well as small-batch drinks. Some of the items offered here include; belly, braised brisket, and house-made BBQ sauces. This American-style BBQ joint is influenced by Colorado West’s flavors.
This restaurant served diner Monday through Sunday and lunch Monday through Saturday. Make sure you visit this casual BBQ joint hidden under Larimer Square for some of the simple and delicious food!
Post Oak Barbecue
Address: 4000 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212
Post oak wood is one of the woods used to smoke meats in the Lone Star State. This is because it is readily available in Texas. Moreover, it provides mild smoke and burns slowly. So, just by looking at the name of this restaurant, you know what to expect: Texas-style smoked over post oak!
After mastering to smoke meats in competitions and backyard cookouts for 20+ years, Nick prince opened his BBQ joint in 2019. For all those years, Nick only depended on post oak wood for the best flavors. His restaurant is located at 4000 Tennyson St. and it’s named after the wood he uses to smoke his meats.
The joint occupies the space that the former home to Block and Larder. When Nick took over space, he placed a 4-tonne smoke at the back of the joint. And turned thee upscale restaurant into a counter-service joint featuring a full bar.
This family-friendly restaurant serves up authentic, high-quality, hand-smoked meats. Since Post oak doesn’t grow in Colorado, it’s imported from Central Texas. The menu offers; Prime Angus brisket, St. Louis ribs, chicken, turkey, shoulder, and 2 styles of house-made sausages. While the sides include; Brussels sprouts, jalapeno-bacon mac n’ cheese, fried okra, and loaded baked potatoes.
As for the full bar, they serve Texas Shiner drinks, Colorado craft drinks, and more than 60 whiskeys. They are open for dinner and lunch every day except on Mondays starting from 11 am.
Over the last 10 years, Denver’s BBQ scene has been advancing steadily. This has resulted in several BBQ joints in the city, serving up different BBQ styles. So whether you want Colorado style or even southern-style BBQ, you’ll get it here.
If all you’re looking for is the best BBQ in Denver CO, try out one of the restaurants listed above. And will probably become your next favorite BBQ spot any time you’re in town!