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A platter of meats and Salvadoran-influenced sides from 2Fifty Texas BBQ
A platter of meats and Salvadoran-influenced sides from 2Fifty Texas BBQ
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Where to Find Outstanding Barbecue Around D.C.

For sliced brisket, pulled pork, sausage, ribs, and more

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A platter of meats and Salvadoran-influenced sides from 2Fifty Texas BBQ
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

D.C. is notorious for its population of transient workers, so it’s only natural that the local barbecue has evolved to satisfy a range of regional sensibilities. Many popular places serve brisket, the king of Texas meats, alongside pulled pork and ribs, which are more popular throughout the Southeast. Inside the District, Federalist Pig and DCity Smokehouse have attracted some of the most fervent followings. Texas Jack’s has risen to prominence in Northern Virginia. 2Fifty Texas BBQ and Money Muscle BBQ are two impressive options in Maryland.

This list provides options for people looking to stay inside the city, and for those willing to follow their noses a little farther out.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Roots 657 Cafe and Local Market

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42301 Spinks Ferry Rd
Leesburg, VA 20176
(703) 779-9657
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Out in Loudon County, certified Master Chef Rich Rosendale owns a family-friendly market and cafe that serves barbecue by the pound and sandwiches stuffed with brisket, turkey, and pulled pork. Rosendale doesn’t adhere to a regional style. Instead, he applies a hyper-local ethos, sourcing meat and even wood from producers nearby. He says barbecue at Roots 657 is smoked for a minimum of 18 hours at lower temperatures than conventional barbecue.

Smoked pork from Roots 657
Smoked pork from Roots 657
Roots 657 [official]

2. Monk's BBQ

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251 N 21st St
Purcellville, VA 20132
(540) 751-9425
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The drive to Purcellville might be long, but settling down with a plate of Memphis nachos at Monk’s offers savory justification. Smoked cheddar and jalapenos are served atop tortilla chips with a choice of pork, chicken, brisket, or pastrami.

3. The Hideaway

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1439 Odenton Rd
Odenton, MD 21113
(410) 874-7300
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With plates like St. Louis ribs, Memphis pulled pork, and Texas brisket, the Hideaway has a diverse representation on regional favorites across America. However, it’s the dry-rubbed wings that keep customers returning to owner Bob Krohn’s smokehouse in Anne Arundel county.

4. Money Muscle BBQ

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8630 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 646-7006
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Based in Silver Spring — but able to venture further thanks to a food truck — Money Muscle pitmaster and Emporia, Virginia, native Ed Reavis augments his pulled pork, briskt, and bone-in beef ribs with standout sauces namedropping regional styles from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kansas. Load up on exceptional sides like tender collards, campenelle noodle mac and cheese, and cheddar biscuits.

5. 2Fifty Texas BBQ (Multiple locations)

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4700 Riverdale Rd
Riverdale Park, MD 20737
(323) 761-4535
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Oak smoke and fatty, wagyu-grade beef make the brisket stand out at this fairly new option for Texas-style barbecue in Riverdale Park. Owners Fernando González and Debby Portillo are part of a large restaurant family in El Salvador. Their barbecue shop, and outgrowth of a farmers market stand, offers giant beef ribs, sausage links, turkey, and pork ribs, too. In early June, the couple opened a 2Fifty’s stand with a condensed menu in D.C.’s Union Market.

6. Hammerdown Barbecue

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41153 John Mosby Hwy
Aldie, VA 20105
(703) 542-8692
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Recognized by critics for fatty, tender brisket, Hammerdown is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until it sells out. Owner Ken Soohoo spun the success of a food truck into a farmhouse full of reclaimed wood that lures city dwellers out to Aldie with a custom 1,000-gallon smoker.

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While you were sleeping.

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7. Backyard Smoke Spot BBQ

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4701 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 733-4204
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Located inside Midnight Deli on Georgia Avenue NW, Backyard Smoke Spot churns out all of chef Jason Ford’s recipes using a cherrywood smoker on the side of the corner store’s property. Find specialities like jerk ribs, lamb chops, and stuffed salmon.

8. Cinder BBQ

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800 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 450-6795
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Cinder has given Petworth’s main drag a place to get generously spice-rubbed barbecue from longtime mobile pitmaster Bill Coleman. The space that formerly housed Latin American wine bar Ruta del Vino now serves rare whiskeys from the central square bar.

9. Fat Pete's BBQ

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3407 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 362-7777
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From its perch in the center of Cleveland Park, Fat Pete’s serves a wide variety of meats with a sauce selection that acts as a regional catchall. There’s Alabama white sauce, North Carolina vinegar sauce, Texas mop sauce, sweet Memphis sauce, spicy Kansas City sauce, and South Carolina mustard sauce. Ribs are a smart order here, and speciality sandwiches include a burnt ends grilled cheese.

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Honey-glazed barbecue spareribs

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10. Federalist Pig

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1654 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 827-4400
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Rob Sonderman is one of the biggest names in D.C.’s small barbecue scene. The pitmaster was schooled at Hill Country and drew acclaim for brisket and fried onion sandwiches and crispy Brussels sprouts when he founded DCity Smokehouse. He’s gained steam at Federalist Pig, where the wings are a big hit, too. Sonderman and partner Steve Salis have secured a space in Hyattsville to plant a bigger location where they can smoke without the gas-assisted rigs they have to use in D.C. For now, there’s a barbecue trailer posted up in the parking lot.

Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

11. Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company (Multiple locations)

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2418 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-2558
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Started in Glover Park 1990, this D.C. outfit has locations in Alexandria and Arlington and a presence in Capital One Arena. In addition to mainstay meats, Rocklands has grilled lamb and a pit beef sandwich built with spicy peppers.

12. Garden District

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1801 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

Along with bratwursts and one of the better burgers in town, this beer garden on 14th Street serves a mean smoked brisket sandwich.

13. DCity Smokehouse

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203 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 733-1919
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DCity’s “brisket squad” smokes a little bit of everything for a menu boasting tender beef, wings, turkey breast, pulled pork, pork belly, ribs, rib tips, and a house half-smoke. For $10, customers can get a signature DCity half-smoke covered in brisket chili, cheddar-jack cheese, onions, and mustard.

14. Smokin' Pig

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1208 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 525-5032
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Pitmaster Shawn McWhirter, a Hill Country and DCity Smokehouse alum, opened this barbecue joint on H Street NE with a signature smoked turkey leg that can be ordered plain or loaded with mac and cheese. Expect to find platters full of pulled pork or ribs, smoked and fried wings, half-smokes served with sport peppers, and more.

15. Kenny's BBQ Smokehouse

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732 Maryland Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 547-4553
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The Capitol Hill hideaway surged to fame after former President Barack Obama paid them a visit in 2012. Dine like the former POTUS and feast on pork ribs, collard greens, rice and beans and cornbread. Secret service detail not included.

16. Hill Country Barbecue Market

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410 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 556-2050
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This outpost of a Central Texas-style barbecue joint from New York is a destination for brisket, Shiner Bock, and live music. Prices fit for tourist-heavy Penn Quarter and lapses in consistency can make Hill Country feel like a Disneyland version of Texas ‘cue, but traditional touches like sausages shipped in from Kreuz Market in Lockhart help make up for it.

17. Sloppy Mama's BBQ

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5731 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 269-2718
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Former high school teacher and football coach Joe Neuman built up enough of a following with a (now retired) barbecue truck. Neuman opened a permanent home for Sloppy Mama’s opened in an old Pizza Hut building in July 2019, and he’s using it as a home base with three separate 500-gallon smokers fueling production for every location.

Sloppy Mama’s owner Joe Neuman
Sloppy Mama’s owner Joe Neuman
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

18. Smokecraft Modern Barbecue

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1051 N Highland St
Arlington, VA 22201
(571) 312-8791
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When he’s not collecting awards at local barbecue competitions, chef and owner Andrew Darneille is usually up well before sunrise prepping his meat to welcome hungry customers at this Clarendon hotspot. Smokecraft promises that every item on their menu is smoked, from the blue cheese on the smoked apple prosciutto crostini to the Chesapeake smoked crab cakes and St. Louis-style ribs. Even sweet treats like chocolate brownie s’mores start with a cedar plank smoked brownie.

19. District BBQ (Multiple locations)

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O Dunn loring metro, 2670 Avenir Pl
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 573-2370
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Owners Ahmad and Aladdin Ashkar started this place as an Oklahoma Joe’s franchise, then split off on their own a couple years ago to focus on barbecue from their hometown of Kansas City. So burnt ends caramelized in barbecue sauce are a speciality.

20. Texas Jacks Barbecue

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2761 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 875-0477
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Thick, peppery bark marks some of the area’s best brisket at this polished smokehouse in Arlington. In addition to hefty beef ribs, St. Louis style spare ribs, and Duroc pork belly, there’s a quinoa salad and a smoked portobello mushroom sandwich.

21. Ruthie's All-Day

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3411 5th St S
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 888-2841
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The family-friendly spot tucked away in suburban Arlington guarantees all-day plates of smoked brisket, pulled pork shoulder, grilled salmon and squash from chef and owner Matt Hill. Thanks to the “meat and two/three” format, diners can also load up on sides of fingerling potato salad, grits, roasted sweet potatoes with an apple cider glaze and, of course, mac and cheese. In addition to a spacious indoor venue and patio, Ruthie’s All Day also offers takeout and delivery.

22. Smoking Kow (Multiple locations)

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3250 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 888-2649
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The restaurant has two prime locations in Alexandria and Arlington, along with two food trucks that circle around in between both areas. Find classic barbecue plates in addition to tacos and an unexpected entrée called Mac n Meat: any choice of meat on top of a bed of jalapeno, garlic macaroni, and cheese.

23. B & J Carry Out Inc

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15805 Livingston Rd
Accokeek, MD 20607
(301) 292-5631
Visit Website

Fans of Eastern North Carolina style barbecue should consider making the drive to this classic carry-out off Indian Head Highway in Accokeek, Maryland, for pulled pork sandwiches topped with vinegar sauce and slaw.

1. Roots 657 Cafe and Local Market

42301 Spinks Ferry Rd, Leesburg, VA 20176
Smoked pork from Roots 657
Smoked pork from Roots 657
Roots 657 [official]

Out in Loudon County, certified Master Chef Rich Rosendale owns a family-friendly market and cafe that serves barbecue by the pound and sandwiches stuffed with brisket, turkey, and pulled pork. Rosendale doesn’t adhere to a regional style. Instead, he applies a hyper-local ethos, sourcing meat and even wood from producers nearby. He says barbecue at Roots 657 is smoked for a minimum of 18 hours at lower temperatures than conventional barbecue.

42301 Spinks Ferry Rd
Leesburg, VA 20176

2. Monk's BBQ

251 N 21st St, Purcellville, VA 20132

The drive to Purcellville might be long, but settling down with a plate of Memphis nachos at Monk’s offers savory justification. Smoked cheddar and jalapenos are served atop tortilla chips with a choice of pork, chicken, brisket, or pastrami.

251 N 21st St
Purcellville, VA 20132

3. The Hideaway

1439 Odenton Rd, Odenton, MD 21113

With plates like St. Louis ribs, Memphis pulled pork, and Texas brisket, the Hideaway has a diverse representation on regional favorites across America. However, it’s the dry-rubbed wings that keep customers returning to owner Bob Krohn’s smokehouse in Anne Arundel county.

1439 Odenton Rd
Odenton, MD 21113

4. Money Muscle BBQ

8630 Fenton St, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Based in Silver Spring — but able to venture further thanks to a food truck — Money Muscle pitmaster and Emporia, Virginia, native Ed Reavis augments his pulled pork, briskt, and bone-in beef ribs with standout sauces namedropping regional styles from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kansas. Load up on exceptional sides like tender collards, campenelle noodle mac and cheese, and cheddar biscuits.

8630 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910

5. 2Fifty Texas BBQ (Multiple locations)

4700 Riverdale Rd, Riverdale Park, MD 20737

Oak smoke and fatty, wagyu-grade beef make the brisket stand out at this fairly new option for Texas-style barbecue in Riverdale Park. Owners Fernando González and Debby Portillo are part of a large restaurant family in El Salvador. Their barbecue shop, and outgrowth of a farmers market stand, offers giant beef ribs, sausage links, turkey, and pork ribs, too. In early June, the couple opened a 2Fifty’s stand with a condensed menu in D.C.’s Union Market.

4700 Riverdale Rd
Riverdale Park, MD 20737

6. Hammerdown Barbecue

41153 John Mosby Hwy, Aldie, VA 20105

Recognized by critics for fatty, tender brisket, Hammerdown is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until it sells out. Owner Ken Soohoo spun the success of a food truck into a farmhouse full of reclaimed wood that lures city dwellers out to Aldie with a custom 1,000-gallon smoker.

41153 John Mosby Hwy
Aldie, VA 20105

7. Backyard Smoke Spot BBQ

4701 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011

Located inside Midnight Deli on Georgia Avenue NW, Backyard Smoke Spot churns out all of chef Jason Ford’s recipes using a cherrywood smoker on the side of the corner store’s property. Find specialities like jerk ribs, lamb chops, and stuffed salmon.

4701 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20011

8. Cinder BBQ

800 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Cinder has given Petworth’s main drag a place to get generously spice-rubbed barbecue from longtime mobile pitmaster Bill Coleman. The space that formerly housed Latin American wine bar Ruta del Vino now serves rare whiskeys from the central square bar.

800 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

9. Fat Pete's BBQ

3407 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

From its perch in the center of Cleveland Park, Fat Pete’s serves a wide variety of meats with a sauce selection that acts as a regional catchall. There’s Alabama white sauce, North Carolina vinegar sauce, Texas mop sauce, sweet Memphis sauce, spicy Kansas City sauce, and South Carolina mustard sauce. Ribs are a smart order here, and speciality sandwiches include a burnt ends grilled cheese.

3407 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

10. Federalist Pig

1654 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Rob Sonderman is one of the biggest names in D.C.’s small barbecue scene. The pitmaster was schooled at Hill Country and drew acclaim for brisket and fried onion sandwiches and crispy Brussels sprouts when he founded DCity Smokehouse. He’s gained steam at Federalist Pig, where the wings are a big hit, too. Sonderman and partner Steve Salis have secured a space in Hyattsville to plant a bigger location where they can smoke without the gas-assisted rigs they have to use in D.C. For now, there’s a barbecue trailer posted up in the parking lot.

1654 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

11. Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company (Multiple locations)

2418 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Started in Glover Park 1990, this D.C. outfit has locations in Alexandria and Arlington and a presence in Capital One Arena. In addition to mainstay meats, Rocklands has grilled lamb and a pit beef sandwich built with spicy peppers.

2418 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

12. Garden District

1801 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Along with bratwursts and one of the better burgers in town, this beer garden on 14th Street serves a mean smoked brisket sandwich.

1801 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

13. DCity Smokehouse

203 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

DCity’s “brisket squad” smokes a little bit of everything for a menu boasting tender beef, wings, turkey breast, pulled pork, pork belly, ribs, rib tips, and a house half-smoke. For $10, customers can get a signature DCity half-smoke covered in brisket chili, cheddar-jack cheese, onions, and mustard.

203 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

14. Smokin' Pig

1208 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Pitmaster Shawn McWhirter, a Hill Country and DCity Smokehouse alum, opened this barbecue joint on H Street NE with a signature smoked turkey leg that can be ordered plain or loaded with mac and cheese. Expect to find platters full of pulled pork or ribs, smoked and fried wings, half-smokes served with sport peppers, and more.

1208 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

15. Kenny's BBQ Smokehouse

732 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

The Capitol Hill hideaway surged to fame after former President Barack Obama paid them a visit in 2012. Dine like the former POTUS and feast on pork ribs, collard greens, rice and beans and cornbread. Secret service detail not included.

732 Maryland Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

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16. Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

This outpost of a Central Texas-style barbecue joint from New York is a destination for brisket, Shiner Bock, and live music. Prices fit for tourist-heavy Penn Quarter and lapses in consistency can make Hill Country feel like a Disneyland version of Texas ‘cue, but traditional touches like sausages shipped in from Kreuz Market in Lockhart help make up for it.

410 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

17. Sloppy Mama's BBQ

5731 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207
Sloppy Mama’s owner Joe Neuman
Sloppy Mama’s owner Joe Neuman
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Former high school teacher and football coach Joe Neuman built up enough of a following with a (now retired) barbecue truck. Neuman opened a permanent home for Sloppy Mama’s opened in an old Pizza Hut building in July 2019, and he’s using it as a home base with three separate 500-gallon smokers fueling production for every location.

5731 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

18. Smokecraft Modern Barbecue

1051 N Highland St, Arlington, VA 22201

When he’s not collecting awards at local barbecue competitions, chef and owner Andrew Darneille is usually up well before sunrise prepping his meat to welcome hungry customers at this Clarendon hotspot. Smokecraft promises that every item on their menu is smoked, from the blue cheese on the smoked apple prosciutto crostini to the Chesapeake smoked crab cakes and St. Louis-style ribs. Even sweet treats like chocolate brownie s’mores start with a cedar plank smoked brownie.

1051 N Highland St
Arlington, VA 22201

19. District BBQ (Multiple locations)

O Dunn loring metro, 2670 Avenir Pl, Vienna, VA 22180

Owners Ahmad and Aladdin Ashkar started this place as an Oklahoma Joe’s franchise, then split off on their own a couple years ago to focus on barbecue from their hometown of Kansas City. So burnt ends caramelized in barbecue sauce are a speciality.

O Dunn loring metro, 2670 Avenir Pl
Vienna, VA 22180

20. Texas Jacks Barbecue

2761 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Thick, peppery bark marks some of the area’s best brisket at this polished smokehouse in Arlington. In addition to hefty beef ribs, St. Louis style spare ribs, and Duroc pork belly, there’s a quinoa salad and a smoked portobello mushroom sandwich.

2761 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

21. Ruthie's All-Day

3411 5th St S, Arlington, VA 22204

The family-friendly spot tucked away in suburban Arlington guarantees all-day plates of smoked brisket, pulled pork shoulder, grilled salmon and squash from chef and owner Matt Hill. Thanks to the “meat and two/three” format, diners can also load up on sides of fingerling potato salad, grits, roasted sweet potatoes with an apple cider glaze and, of course, mac and cheese. In addition to a spacious indoor venue and patio, Ruthie’s All Day also offers takeout and delivery.

3411 5th St S
Arlington, VA 22204

22. Smoking Kow (Multiple locations)

3250 Duke St, Alexandria, VA 22314

The restaurant has two prime locations in Alexandria and Arlington, along with two food trucks that circle around in between both areas. Find classic barbecue plates in addition to tacos and an unexpected entrée called Mac n Meat: any choice of meat on top of a bed of jalapeno, garlic macaroni, and cheese.

3250 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314

23. B & J Carry Out Inc

15805 Livingston Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607

Fans of Eastern North Carolina style barbecue should consider making the drive to this classic carry-out off Indian Head Highway in Accokeek, Maryland, for pulled pork sandwiches topped with vinegar sauce and slaw.

15805 Livingston Rd
Accokeek, MD 20607

Related Maps