St Louis BBQ: Must Try

As a southerner, I’m no stranger to BBQ. Announcements from restaurants “the best BBQ”You can find them all across the south. BBQ is so good here, I’m skeptical to even try it in other parts of the country. However, I was surprised to see how many billboards were displayed in St Louis during my visit. “St Louis BBQ”It was so delicious that I tried it again and compared it with south barbecue. Turns out…pretty darn good! It might be said that it was even better than I thought. Do they want to take away my southerner card?

St Louis BBQ Style

Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I didn’t even know that there was a “style”St Louis BBQ. It is a term used to describe meats or ribs that are cooked over a barbecue, instead of being slow-cooked with indirect heat using smoke.

This also depends upon the cut. St Louis’s most loved cut The ribs are the best BBQ selection. To make the bones rectangular, trim the ends of the ribs. The St Louis BBQ sauce tends to be thicker than the vinegary and sweeter.

Another thing I saw frequently on menus is what’s called burnt ends. The cut of meat that is taken from a beef brisket called “burnt ends” Although they were initially made in Kansas City and can be found elsewhere in Missouri, you will also find them there. Slice the meat and cook in sauce till it becomes tender.

St Louis BBQ

To be honest, I really don’t have much knowledge of what makes what a certain BBQ style. It’s just that I like barbecue, so I decided to try some St Louis barbecue. In no particular order, because I liked them all, here’s what I tried.

Pappy’s Smokehouse

BBQ, to me, is what I mean by barbecue Pappy’s is what comes to mind. It’s the big daddy, granddaddy of them all. Located in the midtown area of St Louis, don’t be surprised to find a line out the door when you go.

Because I knew how packed it could be, I chose to visit on a weeknight in order to avoid the masses. The line was short, which I appreciated because it was so close to my table. It was fast because the majority of people in line were residents who knew exactly what they needed.

You will eventually reach the counter to place your order after you have moved through the queue. You will be served your food.

Pappy’s BBQ Style

Interestingly, instead of St Louis style BBQ, Pappy’s serves Memphis style BBQ. The specialty of Pappy’s is the ribs. After dry-rubbed the ribs, they smoke them with apple and cherry wood. Pappy’s has all the other popular meats and cuts; pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey, smoked chicken, sausage and burnt ends. They also had generous portions. I don’t like paying $10 to get a small portion of meat. It was way too expensive for the pulled pork sandwich.

The meat can also be sauteed at your choice. Three types of sauces are available: Sweet Baby Jane’s Original and Hoo Doo. I’m more of an acidic or vinegary sauce than sweet, so I preferred the Original and the Hoo Doo.

Some Restaurants are so focused upon the barbecueThat they forgot about the sides. Not Pappy’s. The perfect side dish to accompany their meats. That means they accompany – not outshine the BBQ. You can also get baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, sweet potato fries and sweet potato fries.

The beans and potato salad were both delicious. Pappy’s was a favorite and probably some of the best BBQ I’ve had ever.

A pulled pork sandwich from Pappy's Smokehouse St Louis BBQ

Sugarfire Smokehouse

Sugarfire is a a local award winning Missouri chain of restaurants with locations in St Louis and a few surrounding states. The website describes the barbecue they offer as “taking all the best traditions of the best BBQ cities in the USA to create a St Louis style BBQ that’s all its own”.

Although there was plenty to choose from in the area, I decided on Olive Street west of Olivette as my lunch spot. Even though it wasn’t as crowded as Pappy’s – and it was earlier in the day – it was still pretty busy.

Sugarfire’s BBQ Style

You can choose from pulled pork, brisket and ribs. You can also order salmon and burgers as well as salads. Sugarfire has something for everyone, even those who don’t eat meat or are picky eaters. You can also order chef-created dishes. You can also find specialty sandwiches at their Olive Street location. You also have the option to get a PBLT. A PBLT is also available. Meat Daddy sandwiches, which appear to include every kind of meat, are piled high onto a bun.

The best BBQ places were used to make their sauces. There is a Texas Hot and an Alabama White Sauce. They also offer a Carolina Mustard.

Like Pappy’s, they’ve definitely put some thought into their sides. I loved their mac n cheese even though now their website doesn’t mention them having it now. Other sides they serve are hand cut French fries, potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw.

My biggest regret was that I didn’t try one of their homemade milkshakes, or even a pie shake. Pie shakes are milkshakes that contain one full pie. Your milkshake can contain more pie. I’d go back just for that.

Sugarfire Smokehouse St Louis

Bogart’s Smokehouse

Located in the vibrantly French community of Solard – I loved not only the BBQ at Bogart’s but the location and the neighborhood. Bogart’s website says they are open “until they sell out”. It’s not surprising considering the number of people there on the day I went.

There was a line out front and it went down the street. What’s the best thing about waiting in line? You can get smoked wings as you wait. Although they may offer you other foods, I was offered wings on Sunday. Delicious, succulent wings.

Bogart’s BBQ Style

You can also order other BBQ favourites like pulled pork, brisket and smoked turkey as well as pastrami and ribs. I ordered my usual pulled pork along with something I’d never seen anywhere before, deviled egg potato salad. It is quite an achievement to create this salad. And the baked beans were some of the tastiest I’ve ever eaten. It’s thick, rich, and packed with meat.

The only and I really mean the only, down side to Bogart’s is the size of the restaurant. You order at the counter, just like other restaurants. Because the line was so long, people were holding seats so I couldn’t even get a seat for one. The Sweet Maegen Ann was the only sauce I could try. It’s a thick, sweet and smokey sauce and was delicious. The wait was well worth it.


Salt and Smoke

Latest – The last time I was in St Louis – when I first wrote this post – I ran out of time and didn’t have the chance to try Salt + Smoke like I had intended. I recently went on a roadtrip which took me through St Louis and I-70. Never one to turn down an opportunity, I decided l couldn’t be that close and not try some more St Louis BBQ. Salt + Smoke was my choice for takeout.

Salt and Smoke serves St Louis style BBQ with a big selection of bourbon and craft beer. You can find five of these locations in St Louis. Four locations are located in St Louis, with one outside the city. While I would have stopped in St Charles, but I really wanted to see the downtown area so I went to Clark Avenue at Ballpark Village. Disclosure: being from out of town, I didn’t know this location was at Ballpark Village when I decided to go. I’m just glad there wasn’t a game or anything going on or it would have been a big delay. You get bonus points for having curbside parking available that’s ready and waiting.

Salt + Smoke’s BBQ Style

Salt + Smoke’s BBQ is St Louis Style and they smoke the pork and brisket over post oak wood. Their website states that this wood creates intense flavors and is very intense. “deep and long finish to their smoked meats”. You can also order pulled chicken or salmon that has been smoked in cherrywood, pork, and brisket. You can also order wings and chicken skins. Interesting.

For simplicity and comparison, I ordered my standard pork sandwich that I had ordered at all the other St Louis BBQ restaurants I’ve tried. Salt + Smoke includes a side to every sandwich. Let’s talk about their sides. So many choices that it was hard to decide which I preferred. The choices include fries, pit beans with bacon – they smoke their own bacon by the way – potato salad, cole slaw, creamed corn and more.

Because it was windy and cool outside, I decided to order the mac with white cheddar cracker. I thought mac n’ cheese would be perfect for a cold day. And I was correct. Actually the mac n cheese is so good – it’s kind of life changing. I’ve thought about it at least weekly since I’ve been home. It even tasted good cold. I saved half since it’s such a hardy portion and ate it later. The flavor was delicious. It may just be the best mac n cheese I’ve ever had.

The star of the show – the pork – was amazing as well. You can taste that rich oak smoke flavor and it’s incredibly tender. Salt + Smoke’s sandwiches are served on a lightly toasted bun with tasty pickles on the side. You can also create amazing sauces with them. Hotangy and My Sweet Bestie were also great toppings for my sandwich. Perfect! Overall, I enjoyed Salt + Smoke’s food. It’s just that I need to be able to dine in while enjoying a bourbon.

pulled pork from Salt + Smoke in St Louis, MO

Last Thoughts on St Louis Barbecue

St Louis is an amazing city. It’s full of cool neighborhoods, unique experiencesDonuts made to perfectionIt’s also a good place to enjoy delicious barbecue. It’s turned out to be one of my favorite BBQ towns. It’s a place I want to return and I can only imagine the delicious food. Tell me about your St Louis favorite barbecue, so that I can add them to my must-try collection.


The Best St Louis BBQ Places You Must Try

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