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The Pitmaster’s Nap at Bark City BBQ includes turkey, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork with a number of sides
The Pitmaster’s Nap at Bark City BBQ
Brooke Jackson-Glidden / EPDX

17 Standout Barbecue Restaurants and Carts in Greater Portland

Where to find excellent American barbecue around the city and its suburbs

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The Pitmaster’s Nap at Bark City BBQ
| Brooke Jackson-Glidden / EPDX

Far from the heartlands of traditional American barbecue, the last decade has seen Portland become home to an expanding multitude of exciting restaurants and carts dishing out racks of ribs that fall off the bone, slabs of smoky brisket, juicy sausages, and pulled pork tossed in a smattering of sweet, spicy, and tangy sauces. It’s even made headlines in Texas, where Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn said Portland is home to some of the best Texas BBQ outside of Texas. Here, we nail down a list of the best spots in Portland where locals and Southern ex-pats are doing the most, from smoking peppery beef ribs to slathering savory vegan sauces on seitan. BBQ-curious? Dive in hands first , and don’t hesitate to ask for extra napkins.

As always, this list is organized geographically and unranked. For a look at Portland’s equally dynamic Korean barbecue scene, find highlights here.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Daddy D’s Southern Style BBQ

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In much of Texas and the Deep South, “gas station food” means something quite different from nuked-from-orbit hot dogs and Little Debbie’s. In some communities gas stations are venues for the best meal in town, local styles of mouth-watering fried chicken, tacos, chili, or, yes, barbecue. So don’t let Daddy D’s Shell station location fool you; pitmaster Donnie Vercher’s Louisiana-style low and slow smoked meat is as good as the Northwest has on offer. And unlike some of Portland-proper’s more celebrated spots, the portions here are highly generous. Can’t decide between brisket, chicken, or ribs? The 3-meat combo is a terrific deal. (Sadly the catfish is only available at the Woodland, Washington brick and mortar location). Daddy D’s is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 to 7 p.m.

A sauce-drenched barbecue sandwich on a hamburger bun
Barbecue sandwich at Daddy D’s
Daddy D’s Southern Style BBQ

The Smokin’ Oak Pit

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With the The Smokin’ Oak Pit opening in 2017, Vancouverites no longer need cross the Columbia to Northeast Portland to enjoy smoky, succulent Texas-style brisket. Daily specials can include specialty favorites like pork belly, beef rib, and smoked meatloaf, but the brisket is the main attraction here. On site diners over 21 can enjoy the amply stocked full bar, younger folks and families with kids have their own dining section. The Smokin’ Oak is open Tuesday through Sunday and takes no reservations — first-come first-serve for ‘cue until it runs out.

Homegrown Smoker

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The cheery, bright cafe that put vegan barbecue on the map in Portland serves faux meats like smoked tempeh ribs with hush puppies, barbecue beans, and “macnocheeese.” The platter of vegan barbecue meats is always a safe bet, but regulars often opt for sandwiches or burritos with macnocheese and smoked soy curls. It is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for dining in as well as takeout and delivery.

Podnah’s Pit BBQ

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Rodney Muirhead, the man behind Podnah’s, expanded the awareness of Portland’s barbecue scene when he opened his shop in 2006. More than a decade later, it’s still a popular destination for smoked meats, with the best example being the Pitboss Platter. The monster plate comes with Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, ribs, a sausage link, a pair of sides, and cornbread. Podnah’s is open Wednesday to Sunday for outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

Wonderboy’s Smokestack

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Think the jam-packed barbecue corridor between North Interstate and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard doesn’t have room for yet another meat smoker? Wonderboy offers their smoked meats in a traditional meat-plus-sides format, or incorporated into loaded BBQ nachos, tacos, or a wild “mac and meat” featuring queso, pickled peppers, and green onions with choice of smoked meat. House-made sauces are similarly non-traditional, including tangy raspberry and mango pineapple sauces. Wonderboy’s is typically open Thursday through Monday, with occasional spot openings on Tuesday or Wednesday. Takeout or enjoy your barbecue in the limited seating at the Killingsworth Station pod.

Three paper trays of smoked meats and sides on a red-checkered paper background
Meat assortments at Wonderboy’s
Wonderboy’s Smoke Stack

Verajames Kitchen

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Recently re-located from East Portland to its new berth next to Stoopidburger on NE 42nd, the bright green Verajames truck is a hidden gem soul food spot, with staples like collard greens and fried catfish. Barbecue lovers flock to the wicked-juicy barbecue chicken and tender ribs, speckled with char. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday, from Noon to 8 p.m. for takeout and delivery, with limited outdoor seating.

Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen

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Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen is not, strictly, a barbecue-only food cart. But on the frequent occasions smoked brisket or pulled pork graces Kee’s dinner plates, it’s far too good not to include on this list, forging a mighty combo of expert smoking and downright magical sauce-work. Chef Kiuna Nelson is not kidding when it comes to “loaded,” these plates are stacked — so come hungry. Be advised that this popular destination can sell out early, particularly on nice-weather days. #Kee’s is typically open Thursdays through Sundays, but check the instagram account for the particulars.

Matt's BBQ

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In December 2015, pitmaster Matt Vicedomini made his landscape-altering entrance to Portland’s barbecue scene, smoking Texas-style, pink-ringed brisket, marbled with fat and fall-apart tender. He now operates out of the Prost Marketplace on Mississippi, with a Beaverton location as well as forays into Thai food and BBQ tacos. All the Texas-style meats are up for grabs in half- or full-pound portions, including brisket, turkey, pork belly, jalapeno sausage, and beef ribs available only by advanced reservation. Alongside these meats are Matt’s signature sauces, like the tangy peach mustard and spicy-sweet cherry chipotle. Matt’s BBQ is open seven days a week for outdoor dining at the pod, takeout, or delivery.

Miss Delta Restaurant and Bar

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North Mississippi has no shortage of dining choices, but this cozy Southern restaurant offers a solid roster of po’boys, catfish sandwiches, gumbo, and other southern staples alongside some especially smoky barbecue. The bang-for-buck move here is the Miss Delta Meats, a $34 pick-three of pulled pork, baby back ribs, andouille sausage, blackened chicken, or brisket. This is big, oak-smoked flavor with a barbecue sauce that hits tangy with lingering pepper notes. Miss Delta is open Thursday to Monday for dine-in, delivery, and takeout.

ribs, brisket, sausage, pickles, and barbecue sauce are seen in a take-out box
Ribs, brisket and sausage from Miss Delta
Ron Scott/EPDX

Southern Kitchen PDX

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Right on the south section of Mississippi street, Southern Kitchen serves Georgia-style Southern comfort food. The menu here includes much more than just barbecue, but the incredibly saucy spare ribs merit the trip on their own. The sides and other options are all naturally great pairings with the ribs, especially the golden hush puppies and crispy-fried fish. Open Wednesday to Sunday for takeout and delivery, or dining on covered seating at the cart pod.

The People’s Pig

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Cliff Allen started serving barbecue in this town from a cart before moving into the permanent location on North Williams in 2014. Smoked pork and chicken are the focus here, along with less-common offerings like leg of lamb and porchetta. The sauce is on the sweet, tomato-based side of the spectrum. The décor is an eclectic combo of rustic and 40s diner, with seating both inside and out. The Pig is open Thursday through Sunday for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.

A small blue structure and sidewalk are shown
The People’s Pig
Ron Scott/EPDX

Lawless Barbecue

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Pitmaster Kevin Koch taught himself how to make the Kansas City-style barbecue of his childhood, first opening Lawless BBQ as a kind of ghost kitchen before moving into the Little Beast Beer Garden in October of 2021. There, diners can find his Kansas City-style barbecue sauces atop tender ribs, succulent brisket, and the signature pulled pork. However, where Lawless shines brightest is perhaps in its sides. Koch was adamant that dishes like slaw, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad could stand up to the meatier mains, and poured time and research into perfecting each side; the results speak for themselves. Lawless slings meat every day of the week for takeout and dining on Little Beast’s sprawling patio.

Botto’s BBQ

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After transitioning from a cart in Northwest Portland, Botto’s BBQ is now bringing its back-to-basics mantra of “salt, pepper, and smoke” over on SE Milwaukie Ave, in the former Pok Pok Wing space. While the juicy and tender brisket and gooey mac and cheese are the main attractions here, the cheesy brisket hash is an absolute must. Botto’s also smokes turkey, kielbasa, and carnitas chili verde over white oak. It is open Wednesday through Sunday for takeout as well as outdoor dining.

Bark City BBQ

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Recently relocated to the food carts at John’s Marketplace on SE Powell, Bark City BBQ resides somewhere near the realm of Carolina-style barbecues, heavy with North Carolina vinegar-based and South Carolina mustard sauces. But its Oregon-oak-smoked meats bring local flavor into favor, from slabs of tender brisket with bright pink smoke rings to saucy chopped pork. It is open Wednesday to Sunday for takeout and delivery, with seating available at the Taps and Garden Bar.

Wolf’s Head Smokehouse

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While Beaverton’s diverse cart pod BG’s Food Cartel is home to not one, but two great barbecue carts, we like Wolf’s Head for its variety of stellar sauces and meticulous smoking technique. Pitmasters Jason Wittek and Roy Doty combine barbecue methods from Texas to the Carolinas, serving burnt ends, brisket, ribs, and chopped pork and sausage. Wolf’s Head stands out with its selection of sandwiches, burgers, and even a mac-and-cheese-stuffed brisket burrito. It’s currently open from Wednesday to Sunday for walk-up orders, with seating provided by BG’s.

Cornbread and brisket are sitting atop pork ribs
Brisket, ribs, cornbread, and coleslaw from Wolf’s Head
Ron Scott/EPDX

Reverend’s BBQ

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From the team behind Laurelhurst Market, this family-friendly Sellwood restaurant brings Carolina-style chopped pork shoulder alongside barbecue favorites like St. Louis-style ribs and smoked brisket from Brandt Beef. It also fries chicken and wanders into Creole territory with andouille sausages, hush puppies, and chicken and sausage gumbo; however, the under-the-radar hit is the silky, creamy grilled polenta with creamed corn and tasso ham. Those looking for vegetarian items can find smoked tempeh sandwiches and meatless sides and salads. Reverend’s is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. for dine-in and patio dining, along with takeout and delivery.

Smoke Squad

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Formerly known as Jeka’s, Smoke Squad has relocated into the Munchies Food Pod in Tigard where the aromas wafting by from the massive smoker lure in patrons from other nearby carts. Smoke Squad smokes tri-tip and spare ribs super slow, over a mix of oak and fruit woods. Owners Jeka Storozhuk and Jacob Nicholson aren’t beholden to any particular region’s barbecue rubs or sauces of choice, instead preferring to put their own spin on barbecue, using techniques from a variety of regions. The cart is open Tuesday to Saturday 7 p.m. until close — for takeout, or to dine at the pod’s outdoor or indoor tables.

A black food cart is shown with the owner, Jeka, inside wearing a face mask, holding a jar of sauce
Smoke Squad Food Cart
Ron Scott/EPDX

Daddy D’s Southern Style BBQ

A sauce-drenched barbecue sandwich on a hamburger bun
Barbecue sandwich at Daddy D’s
Daddy D’s Southern Style BBQ

In much of Texas and the Deep South, “gas station food” means something quite different from nuked-from-orbit hot dogs and Little Debbie’s. In some communities gas stations are venues for the best meal in town, local styles of mouth-watering fried chicken, tacos, chili, or, yes, barbecue. So don’t let Daddy D’s Shell station location fool you; pitmaster Donnie Vercher’s Louisiana-style low and slow smoked meat is as good as the Northwest has on offer. And unlike some of Portland-proper’s more celebrated spots, the portions here are highly generous. Can’t decide between brisket, chicken, or ribs? The 3-meat combo is a terrific deal. (Sadly the catfish is only available at the Woodland, Washington brick and mortar location). Daddy D’s is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 to 7 p.m.

A sauce-drenched barbecue sandwich on a hamburger bun
Barbecue sandwich at Daddy D’s
Daddy D’s Southern Style BBQ

The Smokin’ Oak Pit

With the The Smokin’ Oak Pit opening in 2017, Vancouverites no longer need cross the Columbia to Northeast Portland to enjoy smoky, succulent Texas-style brisket. Daily specials can include specialty favorites like pork belly, beef rib, and smoked meatloaf, but the brisket is the main attraction here. On site diners over 21 can enjoy the amply stocked full bar, younger folks and families with kids have their own dining section. The Smokin’ Oak is open Tuesday through Sunday and takes no reservations — first-come first-serve for ‘cue until it runs out.

Homegrown Smoker

The cheery, bright cafe that put vegan barbecue on the map in Portland serves faux meats like smoked tempeh ribs with hush puppies, barbecue beans, and “macnocheeese.” The platter of vegan barbecue meats is always a safe bet, but regulars often opt for sandwiches or burritos with macnocheese and smoked soy curls. It is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for dining in as well as takeout and delivery.

Podnah’s Pit BBQ

Rodney Muirhead, the man behind Podnah’s, expanded the awareness of Portland’s barbecue scene when he opened his shop in 2006. More than a decade later, it’s still a popular destination for smoked meats, with the best example being the Pitboss Platter. The monster plate comes with Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, ribs, a sausage link, a pair of sides, and cornbread. Podnah’s is open Wednesday to Sunday for outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.

Wonderboy’s Smokestack

Three paper trays of smoked meats and sides on a red-checkered paper background
Meat assortments at Wonderboy’s
Wonderboy’s Smoke Stack

Think the jam-packed barbecue corridor between North Interstate and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard doesn’t have room for yet another meat smoker? Wonderboy offers their smoked meats in a traditional meat-plus-sides format, or incorporated into loaded BBQ nachos, tacos, or a wild “mac and meat” featuring queso, pickled peppers, and green onions with choice of smoked meat. House-made sauces are similarly non-traditional, including tangy raspberry and mango pineapple sauces. Wonderboy’s is typically open Thursday through Monday, with occasional spot openings on Tuesday or Wednesday. Takeout or enjoy your barbecue in the limited seating at the Killingsworth Station pod.

Three paper trays of smoked meats and sides on a red-checkered paper background
Meat assortments at Wonderboy’s
Wonderboy’s Smoke Stack

Verajames Kitchen

Recently re-located from East Portland to its new berth next to Stoopidburger on NE 42nd, the bright green Verajames truck is a hidden gem soul food spot, with staples like collard greens and fried catfish. Barbecue lovers flock to the wicked-juicy barbecue chicken and tender ribs, speckled with char. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday, from Noon to 8 p.m. for takeout and delivery, with limited outdoor seating.

Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen

Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen is not, strictly, a barbecue-only food cart. But on the frequent occasions smoked brisket or pulled pork graces Kee’s dinner plates, it’s far too good not to include on this list, forging a mighty combo of expert smoking and downright magical sauce-work. Chef Kiuna Nelson is not kidding when it comes to “loaded,” these plates are stacked — so come hungry. Be advised that this popular destination can sell out early, particularly on nice-weather days. #Kee’s is typically open Thursdays through Sundays, but check the instagram account for the particulars.

Matt's BBQ

In December 2015, pitmaster Matt Vicedomini made his landscape-altering entrance to Portland’s barbecue scene, smoking Texas-style, pink-ringed brisket, marbled with fat and fall-apart tender. He now operates out of the Prost Marketplace on Mississippi, with a Beaverton location as well as forays into Thai food and BBQ tacos. All the Texas-style meats are up for grabs in half- or full-pound portions, including brisket, turkey, pork belly, jalapeno sausage, and beef ribs available only by advanced reservation. Alongside these meats are Matt’s signature sauces, like the tangy peach mustard and spicy-sweet cherry chipotle. Matt’s BBQ is open seven days a week for outdoor dining at the pod, takeout, or delivery.

Miss Delta Restaurant and Bar

ribs, brisket, sausage, pickles, and barbecue sauce are seen in a take-out box
Ribs, brisket and sausage from Miss Delta
Ron Scott/EPDX

North Mississippi has no shortage of dining choices, but this cozy Southern restaurant offers a solid roster of po’boys, catfish sandwiches, gumbo, and other southern staples alongside some especially smoky barbecue. The bang-for-buck move here is the Miss Delta Meats, a $34 pick-three of pulled pork, baby back ribs, andouille sausage, blackened chicken, or brisket. This is big, oak-smoked flavor with a barbecue sauce that hits tangy with lingering pepper notes. Miss Delta is open Thursday to Monday for dine-in, delivery, and takeout.

ribs, brisket, sausage, pickles, and barbecue sauce are seen in a take-out box
Ribs, brisket and sausage from Miss Delta
Ron Scott/EPDX

Southern Kitchen PDX

Right on the south section of Mississippi street, Southern Kitchen serves Georgia-style Southern comfort food. The menu here includes much more than just barbecue, but the incredibly saucy spare ribs merit the trip on their own. The sides and other options are all naturally great pairings with the ribs, especially the golden hush puppies and crispy-fried fish. Open Wednesday to Sunday for takeout and delivery, or dining on covered seating at the cart pod.

The People’s Pig

A small blue structure and sidewalk are shown
The People’s Pig
Ron Scott/EPDX

Cliff Allen started serving barbecue in this town from a cart before moving into the permanent location on North Williams in 2014. Smoked pork and chicken are the focus here, along with less-common offerings like leg of lamb and porchetta. The sauce is on the sweet, tomato-based side of the spectrum. The décor is an eclectic combo of rustic and 40s diner, with seating both inside and out. The Pig is open Thursday through Sunday for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.

A small blue structure and sidewalk are shown
The People’s Pig
Ron Scott/EPDX

Lawless Barbecue

Pitmaster Kevin Koch taught himself how to make the Kansas City-style barbecue of his childhood, first opening Lawless BBQ as a kind of ghost kitchen before moving into the Little Beast Beer Garden in October of 2021. There, diners can find his Kansas City-style barbecue sauces atop tender ribs, succulent brisket, and the signature pulled pork. However, where Lawless shines brightest is perhaps in its sides. Koch was adamant that dishes like slaw, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad could stand up to the meatier mains, and poured time and research into perfecting each side; the results speak for themselves. Lawless slings meat every day of the week for takeout and dining on Little Beast’s sprawling patio.

Botto’s BBQ

After transitioning from a cart in Northwest Portland, Botto’s BBQ is now bringing its back-to-basics mantra of “salt, pepper, and smoke” over on SE Milwaukie Ave, in the former Pok Pok Wing space. While the juicy and tender brisket and gooey mac and cheese are the main attractions here, the cheesy brisket hash is an absolute must. Botto’s also smokes turkey, kielbasa, and carnitas chili verde over white oak. It is open Wednesday through Sunday for takeout as well as outdoor dining.

Bark City BBQ

Recently relocated to the food carts at John’s Marketplace on SE Powell, Bark City BBQ resides somewhere near the realm of Carolina-style barbecues, heavy with North Carolina vinegar-based and South Carolina mustard sauces. But its Oregon-oak-smoked meats bring local flavor into favor, from slabs of tender brisket with bright pink smoke rings to saucy chopped pork. It is open Wednesday to Sunday for takeout and delivery, with seating available at the Taps and Garden Bar.

Wolf’s Head Smokehouse

Cornbread and brisket are sitting atop pork ribs
Brisket, ribs, cornbread, and coleslaw from Wolf’s Head
Ron Scott/EPDX

While Beaverton’s diverse cart pod BG’s Food Cartel is home to not one, but two great barbecue carts, we like Wolf’s Head for its variety of stellar sauces and meticulous smoking technique. Pitmasters Jason Wittek and Roy Doty combine barbecue methods from Texas to the Carolinas, serving burnt ends, brisket, ribs, and chopped pork and sausage. Wolf’s Head stands out with its selection of sandwiches, burgers, and even a mac-and-cheese-stuffed brisket burrito. It’s currently open from Wednesday to Sunday for walk-up orders, with seating provided by BG’s.

Cornbread and brisket are sitting atop pork ribs
Brisket, ribs, cornbread, and coleslaw from Wolf’s Head
Ron Scott/EPDX

Related Maps

Reverend’s BBQ

From the team behind Laurelhurst Market, this family-friendly Sellwood restaurant brings Carolina-style chopped pork shoulder alongside barbecue favorites like St. Louis-style ribs and smoked brisket from Brandt Beef. It also fries chicken and wanders into Creole territory with andouille sausages, hush puppies, and chicken and sausage gumbo; however, the under-the-radar hit is the silky, creamy grilled polenta with creamed corn and tasso ham. Those looking for vegetarian items can find smoked tempeh sandwiches and meatless sides and salads. Reverend’s is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. for dine-in and patio dining, along with takeout and delivery.

Smoke Squad

A black food cart is shown with the owner, Jeka, inside wearing a face mask, holding a jar of sauce
Smoke Squad Food Cart
Ron Scott/EPDX

Formerly known as Jeka’s, Smoke Squad has relocated into the Munchies Food Pod in Tigard where the aromas wafting by from the massive smoker lure in patrons from other nearby carts. Smoke Squad smokes tri-tip and spare ribs super slow, over a mix of oak and fruit woods. Owners Jeka Storozhuk and Jacob Nicholson aren’t beholden to any particular region’s barbecue rubs or sauces of choice, instead preferring to put their own spin on barbecue, using techniques from a variety of regions. The cart is open Tuesday to Saturday 7 p.m. until close — for takeout, or to dine at the pod’s outdoor or indoor tables.

A black food cart is shown with the owner, Jeka, inside wearing a face mask, holding a jar of sauce
Smoke Squad Food Cart
Ron Scott/EPDX

Related Maps