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Smoked brisket at the new America Eats Tavern.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Hottest Barbecue Restaurants Around D.C.

Where to find fork-tender brisket, spice-crusted ribs, and more

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Smoked brisket at the new America Eats Tavern.
| Photo by Rey Lopez/Eater DC

While “local barbecue” is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when pondering the DMV dining scene, the quality and quantity of restaurants producing dizzying arrays of smoked everything — think: chicken, pork, beef, turkey, and sausage — continues to rise.

Here are eight impressive smokehouses that have opened in the past 18 months.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. BBQ Bus Smokehouse

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5830 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

This popular food truck opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Brightwood — a move that’s apparently testing weak-willed locals. “I was trying to lose weight and you all opened up over here,” a D.C. cop fake complained to the crew member hosting a half rack of spare ribs (the meat smacks of salt, smoke, and molasses) into a carryout container for him. The struggle is real.

A pickle-topped, sauce-covered barbecue sandwich at Bbq Bus Smokehouse.
Bbq Bus Smokehouse/Facebook

2. Dcity Smokehouse

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203 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 733-1919
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No longer stuck in a narrow carryout spot, the new DcIty Smokehouse boasts a spacious, J-shaped bar, family-friendly dining room, and airy outdoor patio. Smoked chicken wings sport a spicy-sweet rub, chopped brisket bolsters chili packed with bell peppers, onions, beans, and shredded cheddar, while savory smoked turkey and juicy pork belly continue to make magic in the carryover Meaty Palmer sandwich.

A platter of mixed barbecue and sides at Dcity.
Dcity Smokehouse/Facebook

3. Sloppy Mama's

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1309 5th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

In addition to serving breakfast burritos on U Street NW and keeping Union Market diners in all the smoked ribs they can eat, this ever-expanding local enterprise is now scheduled to open a new food stand inside Ballston’s hospitality-packed Quarter Market food hall.

A pulled pork sandwich at Sloppy Mama’s.
Sloppy Mama’s/Facebook

4. America Eats Tavern

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3139 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 450-6862
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The grilled fare at this roving restaurant is not cheap ($15-$40 per order). But those interested in seeing how James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef José Andrés handles barbecue will not be disappointed by smoky offerings including plump pork sausages, succulent brisket, and meaty spare ribs. Pounce on the giant spice-crusted beef ribs if available.

St. Louis-style spare ribs at America Eats Tavern.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

5. Liberty Barbecue

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370 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 237-8227
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The team behind Arlington’s Liberty Tavern group has branched out to Falls Church with this market-style smokehouse. While the neighborhood restaurant serves other comfort foods (burgers, fried chicken), the focus is on smoked meats including brisket (fatty or lean), ribs, pulled pork (good rub; even better with a few squirts of vinegar), and chicken. Still hungry? Asian-style pork belly is tangy-sweet and all too easy to inhale.

A trio of smoked meats at Liberty Barbecue.
Warren Rojas/Eater DC

6. District BBQ

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2670 Avenir Pl
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 573-2370
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Formerly part of the Oklahoma Joe’s chain of restaurants, District BBQ is now a standalone spot doing its own thing. In addition to serving saucy burnt ends (textbook meat candy), well-seasoned spare ribs, and juicy brisket, this innovator has woven in some extras. Customers are welcome to bring in beer from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays, and the restaurant serves halal brisket and chicken on Sundays for those with dietary restrictions.

A mountain of smoked chicken at District BBQ.
District BBQ/Facebook

7. Smoking Kow

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3250 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 888-2649
Visit Website

Another local food truck big dreams, the new Smoking Kow is luring in locals with its self-styled barbecue. Customers camp out on the communal picnic tables, knocking back cold beers while picking apart spare ribs with expertly spiced pork that just falls off the bone. Pulled chicken is good; adding the spicy-sweet mambo sauce makes it great. Staff tends to favor the mac and cheese; creamy potato salad is a better bet for those looking to cool off.

Assorted offerings at Smoking Kow.
Warren Rojas/Eater DC

8. Myron Mixon's

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220 N Lee St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 535-3440
Visit Website

Competitive barbecue champ Myron Mixon is smoking all manner of meats at his restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. Chicken enrobed in spicy-sweet seasoning is best, followed by beefy smoked sausage smothered in piquant red onions. Loaded baked potato lives up to its name, delivering plenty of potato, cheese, and herbs in every bite.

Trays of barbecue waiting to go out at Myron Mixon’s.
Myron Mixon’s/Facebook

1. BBQ Bus Smokehouse

5830 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20011
A pickle-topped, sauce-covered barbecue sandwich at Bbq Bus Smokehouse.
Bbq Bus Smokehouse/Facebook

This popular food truck opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Brightwood — a move that’s apparently testing weak-willed locals. “I was trying to lose weight and you all opened up over here,” a D.C. cop fake complained to the crew member hosting a half rack of spare ribs (the meat smacks of salt, smoke, and molasses) into a carryout container for him. The struggle is real.

5830 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

2. Dcity Smokehouse

203 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
A platter of mixed barbecue and sides at Dcity.
Dcity Smokehouse/Facebook

No longer stuck in a narrow carryout spot, the new DcIty Smokehouse boasts a spacious, J-shaped bar, family-friendly dining room, and airy outdoor patio. Smoked chicken wings sport a spicy-sweet rub, chopped brisket bolsters chili packed with bell peppers, onions, beans, and shredded cheddar, while savory smoked turkey and juicy pork belly continue to make magic in the carryover Meaty Palmer sandwich.

203 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. Sloppy Mama's

1309 5th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
A pulled pork sandwich at Sloppy Mama’s.
Sloppy Mama’s/Facebook

In addition to serving breakfast burritos on U Street NW and keeping Union Market diners in all the smoked ribs they can eat, this ever-expanding local enterprise is now scheduled to open a new food stand inside Ballston’s hospitality-packed Quarter Market food hall.

1309 5th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

4. America Eats Tavern

3139 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
St. Louis-style spare ribs at America Eats Tavern.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The grilled fare at this roving restaurant is not cheap ($15-$40 per order). But those interested in seeing how James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef José Andrés handles barbecue will not be disappointed by smoky offerings including plump pork sausages, succulent brisket, and meaty spare ribs. Pounce on the giant spice-crusted beef ribs if available.

3139 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

5. Liberty Barbecue

370 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046
A trio of smoked meats at Liberty Barbecue.
Warren Rojas/Eater DC

The team behind Arlington’s Liberty Tavern group has branched out to Falls Church with this market-style smokehouse. While the neighborhood restaurant serves other comfort foods (burgers, fried chicken), the focus is on smoked meats including brisket (fatty or lean), ribs, pulled pork (good rub; even better with a few squirts of vinegar), and chicken. Still hungry? Asian-style pork belly is tangy-sweet and all too easy to inhale.

370 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046

6. District BBQ

2670 Avenir Pl, Fairfax, VA 22031
A mountain of smoked chicken at District BBQ.
District BBQ/Facebook

Formerly part of the Oklahoma Joe’s chain of restaurants, District BBQ is now a standalone spot doing its own thing. In addition to serving saucy burnt ends (textbook meat candy), well-seasoned spare ribs, and juicy brisket, this innovator has woven in some extras. Customers are welcome to bring in beer from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays, and the restaurant serves halal brisket and chicken on Sundays for those with dietary restrictions.

2670 Avenir Pl
Fairfax, VA 22031

7. Smoking Kow

3250 Duke St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Assorted offerings at Smoking Kow.
Warren Rojas/Eater DC

Another local food truck big dreams, the new Smoking Kow is luring in locals with its self-styled barbecue. Customers camp out on the communal picnic tables, knocking back cold beers while picking apart spare ribs with expertly spiced pork that just falls off the bone. Pulled chicken is good; adding the spicy-sweet mambo sauce makes it great. Staff tends to favor the mac and cheese; creamy potato salad is a better bet for those looking to cool off.

3250 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314

8. Myron Mixon's

220 N Lee St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Trays of barbecue waiting to go out at Myron Mixon’s.
Myron Mixon’s/Facebook

Competitive barbecue champ Myron Mixon is smoking all manner of meats at his restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. Chicken enrobed in spicy-sweet seasoning is best, followed by beefy smoked sausage smothered in piquant red onions. Loaded baked potato lives up to its name, delivering plenty of potato, cheese, and herbs in every bite.

220 N Lee St
Alexandria, VA 22314

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