Soak Up Your Beer with Some Ribs: Best BBQ Drinking Spots in NYC

Soak Up Your Beer with Some Ribs: Best BBQ Drinking Spots in NYC

Summer and BBQ go together like gin and tonic. Yet this surefire combination only becomes complete in New York City when you add the appropriate alcoholic pairing to take the edge off of this sticky season’s unrelenting humidity. Enter some upscale (and less so) BBQ joints in the city that will make you think twice before ever setting foot in a Brother Jimmy’s (the barbeque chain that’s actually responsible for some really killer hush puppies…but I digress) again.

Blue Smoke (116 East 27th St.; 212-447-7733)
From the creator of such high-end eateries as the Gramercy Tavern, Tabla, and Eleven Madison Park, this more laid back restaurant by Danny Meyer emphasizes jazz, meat, and drinks. Besides the usual ‘slaw, ribs, and pepper-rubbed meat, the menu offers a beer pairing to go with its three-course lunch. Though the chill ambience certainly helps, it’s the selection of beers on tap that makes the barbeque here taste best.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (700 West 125th St.; 212-694-1777)
This renowned Harlem eatery doesn’t only take its cornbread seriously. It’s extensive beer list offers a hearty selection of high alcohol content IPAs and lagers in four-oz. “taste” portions while selling full pitchers of seasonal and year-round hoppy delights, as well. Also important, the prices are beyond reasonable for New York (at least Harlem hasn’t been completely swept up in the city-wide price increase), with cans still costing short of $4 and some pints less than $6.

Fette Sau (354 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn; 718-963-3404)
Touting dry rubbed barbeque and organic ingredients, this Williamsburg BBQ joint totally outdoes the seriously overhyped Pies ‘n’ Thighs just a few blocks away. The BBQ is definitely something to write home about. Not only extremely tasty, it also boasts the kind of presentation that screams “culinary school.” Beer purchasable in quantities up to one gallon in growlers, however, makes this a BBQ spot to return to this summer.

Neely’s Barbecue Parlor (1125 1st Ave.; 212-832-1551)
The “Parlor” in the name says it all here. In terms of attitude, it’s much more refined than your average blackened-catfish-and-country-fried-steak-selling eatery. Meanwhile, the cocktail menu frankly outdoes itself. With 13 plus types of Bourbon (as in 13 are listed on the menu, while fitting the rest on paper requires a separate, extended list), the elaborate (but still BBQ-appropriate) cocktails almost take a back seat. One of the best of those, deemed the “Screen Door,” combines Jack Daniels Black Label with blackberries, lemons and fresh mint for a truly summer-y concoction.

Hill Country Barbecue Market (30 West 26th St.; 212-255-4544)
An extensive bar menu makes this an ideal place to stop for drinks and snacks with friends if you want to satisfy a BBQ craving without going all out (or spending too much). Smoky Chipotle Deviled Eggs taste even better when washed down with beer sold at happy hour prices between 4 PM and 7 PM all week long. Go after work with your colleagues if you all want to feel like you’re living a little in spite of your many indoor hours sitting desk-side.

New York’s Original BBQ Restaurant (21 West 8th St.; 212-674-4450)
This BBQ joint really serves as more of a cover for an overly enthusiastic and, honestly, tacky bar. That being said, you can’t hate on the barbeque (ribs are ribs, and these ones aren’t bad), and the drinks are fun. Throwing back test tube shots while downing ribs and cornbread amounts to a fairly unique experience, even in New York, and their variety of frozen drinks are all huge and festive. Happy hour prices extend all the way from 11 AM to 7 PM on Mondays through Fridays, so if you don’t have a nine-to-five, you can get wasted and enjoy some Baby Back Ribs without putting yourself in financial jeopardy.

Pork Slope (247 5th Ave., Brooklyn; 718-768-7675)
With a name alone that makes it irresistible, Pork Slope is really more of a bar than it is a restaurant. Pulled Pork and Brisket Sandwiches grace the menu next to Pork Bahn Mis and Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls, while cocktails, not exceeding $12, include some New York/Southern-themed classics. A Strong Island Shandy incorporates lemon and honey syrup with Southampton Double White and Broker’s Gin, while Capone’s Cocktail mixes Rye Whiskey with Carpano Antica and Campari.

Photo via Neely's


How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!


Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!