3 BBQ joints you need to try in Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay region is full of exquisite BBQ concepts. Restaurants offer up myriad interpretations of the cuisine, experimenting with rubs and sauces to surprise the taste buds of eager customers. It’s near impossible to rank one above the other when it comes to the cream of St. Pete’s BBQ crop, but we thought we’d give mention to just a few of our favorites.

Did we miss your favorite BBQ spot? Let us know in the comments. We’re always down for some brisket and BBQ beans.


It’s impossible to take about BBQ in the Burg without bringing up the EDGE District’s oft lauded Dr. BBQ restaurant. The sprawling menu can satisfy every diner and dietary restriction. There are ample gluten-free and vegan options — we cannot recommend the vegan BBQ pasta enough.

But what truly takes the proverbial cake here are the fiery gator tacos.Cajun spiced gator filet, flour tortillas, blue cheese bacon slaw, ghost pepper comeback sauce, guajillo red sauce and frisée.

Don’t leave this restaurant without trying the nachos. Que the Nachos features certified Angus Beef brisket, crispy house- made pork rinds, Sweet Lee BBQ sauce, tequila habanero aged cheddar queso, pico de gallo, lime crema and pickled onions.

Dr. BBQ, 1101 1st Avenue South


This BBQ company has been feeding Tampa Bay since 2001. They went from a food truck and catering company to a full on restaurant just a few years ago, and they’ve spiced up 16th Street.

The sauce here is straight fire, too, so if you’re a diner who really needs a quick, M-N-M has you covered. The pulled chicken here is delicious, and we cannot resist a Dunn Dog or hunk of smoked salmon.

M-N-M BBQ, 2827 16th Street North

Smokin’ J’s BBQ

Before we even get started on the BBQ, we’d just like to sing the praises of Smokin’ J’s pickles. The savory pre-meal chips are the perfect filler while you wait for one of the finest piles of pulled pork in the region. Yes, Smokin’ J’s is in Gulfport, and it’s worth the trip.

Ribs, pulled pork, brisket, whatever you’re BBQ inclination, Smokin’ J’s can satisfy it. If you’re someone with a huge appetite, try and take on the 1-pound BBQ challenge. The massive sandwich consists of sliced brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork, sliced sausage and a boneless rack of ribs, pickles and nions on a bun with a jalapeno.

Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ, 5145 Gulfport Boulevard

Need more BBQ inspiration? Here are the 8 best BBQ joints in the St. Pete area, according to Yelp.

  1. Dr. BBQ, 1101 1st Avenue South
  2. M-N-M BBQ, 2827 16th Street North
  3. Urban Brew & BBQ, 2601 Central Avenue
  4. Baker’s Hogley Wogley Barbecue, 846 49th Street South
  5. House of Mama D’s Barbecue And Seafood, 530 34th Street South
  6. Smokin’ J’s BBQ, 5145 Gulf Boulevard
  7. Famous Jay, 5155 Haines Road North
  8. Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q Largo, 9040 Ulmerton Road



Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.