Pappy's is surely the pinnacle of Memphis-style barbecue in St. Louis, with meat smoked for 14 hours over apple and cherry wood and served with its signature sauce. Pappy's sticks to the classics (and your ribs!), with the traditional pulled chicken, pulled pork and smoked sausage, accompanied by baked beans, cole slaw and corn on the cob. Note that due to its popularity it can be crowded at peak times and the nostalgic picnic tables are a bit large for smaller children, so consider carryout and enjoy it from the comfort of your own back deck.
Pappy's Smokehouse is located at 3106 Olive St., St. Louis, MO, 63103. Call 314-535-4340 for information.
Though a relative newcomer to the St. Louis barbecue scene, Sugarfire Smokehouse has proven to be a scene stealer. Though it's known for its perfectly cooked brisket, pulled pork and smoked turkey, and a selection of sauces too lengthy to name, this smokehouse's sides are more than the traditional potato salad and baked bean fare (though those are pretty good, too); the smoked fried artichoke hearts with lemon aioli and any form of macaroni and cheese are not to be missed. And it's the handcrafted pies, milkshakes and desserts that put the "sugar" in the Sugarfire, raising the question, is this a great barbecue joint with delicious sweet treats, or a sweet shop with tantalizing barbecue? We'll leave that to your palate to decide.
Sugarfire Smokehouse has locations in Olivette, St. Charles and Winghaven, and will soon add a location on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. Visit their website for more information.
Another icon in the St. Louis barbecue scene, Bogart's marries the flavors of fruit and smoked meats in its apricot bruleed ribs and the Pineapple Express, a tart and tangy barbecue sauce with a pineapple juice base. Prefer to bring the heat? Drizzle your order with the VooDoo Sauce.
Bogart's Smokehouse is located at 1627 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, MO, 63104. Call 314-621-3107 for more information.
For hungry diners who prefer to enjoy their barbecue in a comfortable, sit-down restaurant, Hendrick's BBQ delivers. Located in Historic St. Charles, Hendrick's atmosphere is as tantalizing as its menu. Hendrick's dishes up a moonshine vibe with a side of Memphis blues, served alongside an extensive and varied menu that includes fried green tomatoes, backyard burgers and milkshakes (both of the grownup and kid variety) in a range of flavorful concoctions like peanut butter and jelly, caramel corn and maple bacon crunch.
Hendrick's BBQ is located at 1200 S. Main St., St Charles, MO, 63301. Call 636-724-8600 for more information.
Salt + Smoke
With a long list of bourbons and cocktails and a trendy interpretation of the traditional backyard barbecue, Salt + Smoke is an optimal destination for an adults-night-out. Featuring smoked trout, falafel burgers, and fried jalapeno and cheddar bologna, this University City establishment caters to the adventurous palate.
Salt + Smoke is located at 6525 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63130. Call 314-727-0200 for more information.
While other establishments might push the envelope a bit, Sawmill BBQ in Cahokia offers a traditional take on the American institution of barbecue, with spare ribs, cheeseburgers and the weekend pork steak, all served in a down-home farm atmosphere.
Sawmill BBQ is located at 4060 Mississippi Ave., Cahokia, IL, 62206. Call 618-332-3000 for more information.
In a bind and need to fill that picnic table with slow-cooked food for a crowd, ASAP? Stop by PM BBQ in Chesterfield for ribs, smoked chicken and brisket. For a more relaxed evening out, stop by and enjoy chicken wings, BBQ Queso dip or Hillbilly Nachos, loaded with smokehouse beans, cheddar cheese and your choice of meat.
PM BBQ is located at 161 Long Rd., Chesterfield, MO, 63005. Call 636-536-1966 for more information.
Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Best Bets do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.