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Vegan spare ribs at Smoke & Barrel
Vegan spare ribs at Smoke & Barrel
Caesar S/Yelp

These Barbecue Dishes Push Beyond the Basics

Seafood, vegan items, and more

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Vegan spare ribs at Smoke & Barrel
| Caesar S/Yelp

When talking about barbecue, there are certain dishes that immediately come to mind. Pulled pork and pulled chicken, ribs, sausages, and beef brisket all work their way into the regular rotation, and can be found throughout the city on barbecue joint menus. But this style of cooking goes beyond saucy, grilled meats. The local definition of barbecue seems to get broader by the day.

Chefs are throwing everything from oysters to tofu on the grill or in the smoker and turning them into barbecue perfection. Barbecue items can also be found on more traditional restaurant menus, too.

Restaurants from Hawaiian hangouts to Japanese bars to seafood joints and smoke-centric restaurants are all churning out some nontraditional barbecue plates. Here are some of the more interesting ones in the area. Interested in more international dishes? Head to this map.

Have another favorite less traditional barbecue item from a local restaurant? Share in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Daikaya

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705 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 589-1600
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Daikaya doesn't shy away from grilling on a stick, and one of the restaurant's most unique items is its decadent, okonomiyaki-influenced pork and Brussels sprouts.

2. Del Campo

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777 I St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 289-7377
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Del Campo's grilled seafood smoke box is proof that red meat is not a barbecue requirement. The $72 two-person dish is a mix of Alaskan king crab, lobster, mussels, clams, calamari and chorizo butter oysters.
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3. Honu Hawaiian BBQ

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7524 Annapolis Rd.
Hyattsville, MD 20784
(240) 714-4041
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Experience the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch with a a barbecue-influenced twist. Dishes like boneless barbecued chicken and beef are marinated in traditional Hawaiian barbecue sauce, which invokes more unusual flavors like pineapple.

4. La Limeña

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765 Rockville Pike Ste B
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 424-8066
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Barbecued beef heart, anyone? Give it a try and order the antichuchos here, served with crispy potato and onion salsa.

5. Smoke & Barrel

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2471 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 319-9353
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This Adams Morgan spot is known for its vegetarian and vegan barbecue offerings, which include vegan spare ribs made with soy and seitan.
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6. The BBQ Joint

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2005 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 747-2377
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Though this U St. barbecue joint is mostly standard fare, the smoked tofu chili puts a creative vegetarian spin on a standard dish.

7. The Royal

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501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-7777
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The kitchen at The Royal fires up dishes like grilled squid with corn and jalapeno and grilled avocado with quinoa and lentils.

8. Republic

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6939 Laurel Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 270-3000
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Try the wood-grilled oysters at this temple of seafood. They're prepared simply with garlic butter and red chili flakes.

9. Kangaroo Boxing Club

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3412 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 505-4522
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Kangaroo Boxing Club isn't afraid to mess a little with tradition. Find smoked duck with blackberry caramelized onions, as well as a smoked cheesesteak on this barbecue restaurant menu.
Official

10. Rocklands Barbeque (Multiple locations)

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3471 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 528-9663
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Keep an eye out for Rocklands' annual "Grills Gone Wild" event, where in the past they're cooked up everything from beaver to alligator. The restaurant also plays with unique specials like grilled frogs legs.

1. Daikaya

705 6th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Daikaya doesn't shy away from grilling on a stick, and one of the restaurant's most unique items is its decadent, okonomiyaki-influenced pork and Brussels sprouts.
705 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

2. Del Campo

777 I St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Eater.com
Del Campo's grilled seafood smoke box is proof that red meat is not a barbecue requirement. The $72 two-person dish is a mix of Alaskan king crab, lobster, mussels, clams, calamari and chorizo butter oysters.
777 I St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. Honu Hawaiian BBQ

7524 Annapolis Rd., Hyattsville, MD 20784
Experience the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch with a a barbecue-influenced twist. Dishes like boneless barbecued chicken and beef are marinated in traditional Hawaiian barbecue sauce, which invokes more unusual flavors like pineapple.
7524 Annapolis Rd.
Hyattsville, MD 20784

4. La Limeña

765 Rockville Pike Ste B, Rockville, MD 20852
Barbecued beef heart, anyone? Give it a try and order the antichuchos here, served with crispy potato and onion salsa.
765 Rockville Pike Ste B
Rockville, MD 20852

5. Smoke & Barrel

2471 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Official
This Adams Morgan spot is known for its vegetarian and vegan barbecue offerings, which include vegan spare ribs made with soy and seitan.
2471 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

6. The BBQ Joint

2005 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Though this U St. barbecue joint is mostly standard fare, the smoked tofu chili puts a creative vegetarian spin on a standard dish.
2005 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

7. The Royal

501 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The kitchen at The Royal fires up dishes like grilled squid with corn and jalapeno and grilled avocado with quinoa and lentils.
501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

8. Republic

6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Try the wood-grilled oysters at this temple of seafood. They're prepared simply with garlic butter and red chili flakes.
6939 Laurel Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

9. Kangaroo Boxing Club

3412 11th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010
Official
Kangaroo Boxing Club isn't afraid to mess a little with tradition. Find smoked duck with blackberry caramelized onions, as well as a smoked cheesesteak on this barbecue restaurant menu.
3412 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

10. Rocklands Barbeque (Multiple locations)

3471 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Keep an eye out for Rocklands' annual "Grills Gone Wild" event, where in the past they're cooked up everything from beaver to alligator. The restaurant also plays with unique specials like grilled frogs legs.
3471 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

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