Best Of Chicago

Chicago’s Best Smokehouses

January 14, 2011 7:00 AM

View Comments
Chicago q


A restaurant that smokes their own meat in-house, isn’t something found on every corner in Chicago. A good smokehouse features wood smoked meat, slow cooked and sauced to perfection. We’ve followed the smell of hickory throughout the streets to find some of the best smokehouses in Chicago.Have a favorite smokehouse we missed? Tell us where to find it below.

Chicago q


Chicago q

1160 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL
(312) 642-1160

Wood burning smokers and signature sauces and rubs, makes Chicago q, one of the best smokehouses in the city. House-made rubs and award winning sauces are what sets Chicago q’s smokey flavor apart from the rest. Smoked menu items include; Kobe brisket, pulled pork, chicken and ribs. I also highly recommend the House Bacon Cheddar Hush Puppies to start with–they might make you forget you’re there for the smoked meat!

The Smoke Daddy

1804 W. Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-6656

The Smoke Daddy Rhythm and Blues in Wicker Park offers some of the best BBQ in Chicago. They smoke all of their own meats and vegetables on premises in their “Lil Red Smoker”. Using only the finest hickory, apple and cherry wood, gives their food the award-winning taste they’re famous for.

While savoring their smokey staples, be sure to sit back and enjoy the free live music 7-days a week.

Risqué Café

3419 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 525-7711

Risqué Café is the best smokehouse in the Wrigleyville area. Using bourbon barrels and wood, Risqué smokes their own meats in-house. One bite and you can taste the smoked wood flavors and homemade BBQ sauce. Wash down your smoked delights with one of their 200 whiskies and bourbons, or extensive beer list. Their traditional smoked menu consists of pulled pork, brisket, ribs and chicken.

Fat Willy’s Rib Shack

2416 W Schubert Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 782-1800

With recipes from across the country, Fat Willy’s Rib Shack has brought the best of them all, right here to Chicago. House-made sauces, apple wood smoked meat and old-fashioned TLC makes this rib shack a favorite amongst Bucktown locals. Menu items include; baby back pork ribs, rib tips, hot links, chicken, beef brisket and ribs.


1727 Benson Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 475-7766

BBQ at Merle’s is slow cooked to perfection. Smoked in-house on hickory wood, meats at Merle’s literally melts in your mouth. The wide variety of sauces will give you plenty of flavor options. Smoked menu items include; brisket, pulled chicken, ribs and smoked meat platters. On Monday nights, enjoy all you can eat ribs for only $14.95.

Ribs ‘n’ Bibs

5300 S Dorchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 493-0400

At the top of the Hyde Park area smokehouses is Ribs ‘n’ Bibs. As soon as you’re 500 feet from the front door, the smell of hickory will have your mouth watering. Old-school charm, original recipes and customer loyalty is evident at this local favorite. Smoked menu items include; ribs, chicken and their famous links (pork or beef).

Have a favorite smokehouse we missed? Tell us where to find it below. —Lauren Wulf, CBS Local Chicago

View Comments
  • Alan Rubenstein

    I am surprised that smoque is not on this list

  • tahu

    Real Urban Barbecue in Highland Park. But I guess you limited the list to the city.

  • Lu

    Hello – SMOQUE!

  • Chicago Jim

    Hey Lauren
    New joint – Haymarket Brewery on Randolph and Halsted. They smoke everything and make their own sausages. I really like their Brisket sandwich. I haven’t tried the ribs yet. But I will on my next visit.

  • Goat Motor

    Ever heard of a little place called Honey1 Barbeque?! It’s on Western south of Fullerton. Talk about smoke, you can smell it from blocks away. Awesome pulled pork and rib tips.

  • Vicky

    Hecky’s, Merle’s and Robinson’s!

  • Paul

    Lillie’s Q. – 1856 w North ave. Amazing, best in the city, try the hemade sauces, I could drink the “smoky”. Go early, gets packed on the weekend. Good beer selection too

  • Erniedog

    Food critic must be ordering out.
    Forgot Smoque!

  • Dan

    …and Fat Willy’s is highly overrated!!!

  • Dave

    Smoque is the best in chicago!!!!

  • MMM

    The Smoke Daddy

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live