If you’ve got a hankering for some mouth-watering, finger-licking good barbecue, then you’re in the right place.
We’re diving deep into the sizzling, smoky world of the best BBQ joints in Rochester, NY—a city where the food scene is as diverse as it is delicious.
I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a city that knows how to put the ‘roc’ in ‘broccoli’? That’s right, this city’s culinary game isn’t just strong—it’s legendary.
Ah, Rochester. Not only is it known for its scenic beauty, like the Genesee River and the glistening waters of Lake Ontario, but it’s also a hidden gem when it comes to food. You’ve got everything from food truck rodeos to high-end restaurants.
But today, we’re zeroing in on the BBQ scene because, let’s face it, there’s nothing like that smoky aroma and the sticky-sweet goodness of BBQ sauce to make your day complete, right?
Picture this: you’re taking a stroll down Park Avenue or perhaps Monroe Avenue, and suddenly, the air is filled with the alluring scent of smoked meat.
It’s like following a treasure map where X marks the spot; only here, the treasure is a plate heaping with tender, succulent ribs, brisket, or pulled pork. Hungry yet? Yeah, thought so.
So, what makes a BBQ restaurant stand out in a city brimming with flavor? Is it the secret rub, the type of wood used for smoking, or perhaps the love and care that goes into each dish?
Strap in, because we’re about to explore Rochester’s BBQ havens in all their smoky glory. Ready for the ride?
My Top Three Picks of the Spots For The Best BBQ Restaurants In Rochester NY
|Restaurant||Top Pick||Our Rating|
|Texas BBQ Joint||Apple BBQ Glazed Chicken||5/5|
|Texas de Brazil – Rochester||Lamb||4.5/5|
The 6 Best BBQ Restaurants In Rochester NY
99 Court St, Rochester, NY 14604, United States // +15853257090
First, let’s talk about a place that’s basically a rite of passage for anyone who claims to love barbecue—Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester, NY.
Founded by the BBQ guru himself, John Stage, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill BBQ joint; it’s a full-blown experience.
With its retro vibes and occasional live music, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a Southern oasis right in the heart of downtown Rochester.
Now, onto the good stuff—the food. Let’s just say the first bite I took of that brisket was a moment of revelation. Seriously, the meat was so tender that using a knife felt like an insult to the chef.
And don’t even get me started on their cornbread. I had to ask for extra pieces to take home; it was that addictive.
You know how most places give you collard greens steeped in pork brine? Well, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que raises the bar with greens simmered in turkey broth.
Trust me, it’s a game-changer. But the crown jewel? The ribs. Oh, those ribs! They’re smoky, tender, and practically fall apart as you pick them up. No knife is needed, folks.
What really struck me was the team’s commitment to hospitality and quality. It’s no wonder they’ve nabbed accolades from publications like Men’s Health and Eating Well.
They’re not just feeding you; they’re giving you an experience. Got dietary restrictions or preferences? No problem. They’ve got Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Vegetarian options. Just give your host or server a heads-up.
But wait, there’s more! Planning a special event? Their upstairs private hall has you covered. It’s decked out with a full bar, internet access, and even an iPod dock. Perfect for gatherings of 40-50 people.
What truly melted my heart? The dog-friendly touch. Yep, you can swag out your pup with one of their bandanas. How awesome is that?
Whether you’re picking up, getting it delivered, or hosting an event, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s got the full spectrum of services.
I walked out of there not just satisfied but genuinely impressed that this level of BBQ exists outside of the Southwest U.S. So if you’re in or near Rochester, do yourself a flavor favor and check out Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
3160 W Ridge Rd, Rochester, NY 14626, United States // +15852276474
I’ve got to spill the beans on a spot that’s near and dear to my foodie heart—Texas BBQ Joint in Rochester, NY.
You’ll understand why I’m raving about it when you pull up to this family-owned sanctuary of smokiness.
No joke, the aroma of Mesquite Smoked BBQ hits you even before you walk through the door. It’s as if the universe itself is saying, “Prepare to be amazed.”
So let’s dig into the delectable details, shall we? First up, the meat—talk about tender and juicy! This is the kind of BBQ that makes you reconsider every other BBQ experience you’ve ever had.
Texas BBQ Joint’s chefs are clearly doing something right; they work in small batches with high-quality ingredients, taking no shortcuts on their journey to BBQ greatness.
Their tireless dedication to quality makes them strive to be the best BBQ spot in the Rochester area.
Now, about the sides. Folks, the broccoli cheddar casserole was a revelation. I thought I knew good casserole until this dish entered my life.
And the cornbread muffins? I’m just going to say it—they’re the best in Rochester, hands down! If you could package happiness, it would taste like these muffins.
But wait, there’s more to love. They also have various flavors on their menu, including Pulled Pork and Apple BBQ Glazed Chicken.
I mean, who wouldn’t want a Family Package Apple that’s like an array of BBQ heaven?
Their catering services are top-notch for those of you planning an event or a shindig. I’ve heard their catering team serves up not just exceptional BBQ, but also service with a genuine smile.
Oh, and did I mention they have another branch in Spencerport, NY? Talk about spreading the BBQ love!
What’s that? You’re wondering about gift options? Boom, they’ve got special gift certificates to surprise your family and friends. What better gift than the gift of lip-smacking BBQ?
So, why keep this gem all to myself? You need to experience Texas BBQ Joint in all its glory.
135 W Commercial St, East Rochester, NY 14445, United States // +15852031576
I’ve got to tell you about a place that’s completely redefined my BBQ experience—Good Smoke BBQ & Pub in Rochester, NY. First of all, let’s just set the record straight: the owners are multi-award-winning BBQ chefs.
That’s right; we’re talking about BBQ royalty here. This isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a barbecue kingdom where smoked meats reign supreme.
Now, let’s get into the food. The chicken wings are a must-try, my friends. These babies are smoked to perfection—tender but with just enough bite—and then fried to a crisp.
And their Buffalo sauce? It’s like they captured the essence of Buffalo wings and took it to a gourmet level. It’s got this fantastic earthy quality that perfectly complements the tang and heat.
But hold up, that’s not all I tried. I ventured into their menu and went for the Tennessee Tacos and smoked chicken salad. Let me tell you, these dishes are like a round-trip ticket to Flavor Town.
And for my fellow rib lovers out there, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried their crispy ribs. They’re the kind of ribs that make you want to write poetry, you know?
If you’re a Bourbon enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. Their Blood and Bourbon Ol’ Fashioned cocktail is nothing short of revolutionary.
It’s made with a blood orange puree that literally makes you sit up and say, “Where have you been all my life?”
The sides? Man, they’re like the perfect backup singers to a rockstar lead—each one holds its own. The Cajun corn has just the right amount of spice, and the Mac n Cheese is comfort food at its best.
But the mashed potatoes with gravy? They were so good they might as well come with a “Caution: Highly Addictive” sign.
What really makes this place shine, though, is the people. The staff are the kind of down-to-earth folks who make you feel like you’re part of the family.
They’re not just serving you food; they’re serving you a feast fit for BBQ royalty, and they take immense pride in that.
So, next time you find yourself in Rochester or just passing through, hit Good Smoke BBQ & Pub.
830 Jefferson Rd, Rochester, NY 14623, United States // +15852925544
Next on the list we have a place that can only be described as the carnivore’s cathedral, Sticky Lips BBQ Juke Joint in Rochester, NY. And believe me when I say, this isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an experience.
First off, walking in was a breeze. No long waits or crowded entryways, just a warm greeting and the tantalizing aroma of smoked meats. The building itself? Spacious! It’s clear they’ve prioritized giving each guest a generous slice of space.
Now, I consider chili a genuine comfort food, and their chili? It’s got body and a bold flavor that had me nodding in approval with each spoonful. And let’s talk about the pulled pork and chicken breast – sheer perfection!
Each bite was a testament to the meticulous art of BBQ. I went for the Cajun corn and French fries to round off the meal. If there’s a way to make corn and fries moreish, Sticky Lips has figured it out.
What sets this place apart is its vast menu. It’s not just about the meat, though that’s stellar. They cater to all, including our vegetarian pals. I mean, where else can you find top-notch smoked meats and vegetarian BBQ on the same menu?
The beer connoisseur in me did a little jig when I saw the 50+ taps. Their collaboration with local breweries makes it all the more special.
It’s an ode to Rochester, supporting local businesses and showcasing some post-shutdown brews.
But what truly made the evening memorable was the ambiance. There’s a stage set up for live bands, giving the place an energetic, vibrant feel.
The staff? Oh, they’re like the cherry on top—upbeat, efficient, and downright professional.
If you ever find yourself in Rochester with a meaty craving or just in the mood for some great tunes and vibes, you know where to go.
1691 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620, United States // +15852443200
Sometimes you stumble upon a spot that’s more than just a restaurant; it’s like finding a hidden treasure map, and X marks the spot at Country Sweet Chicken & Ribs in Rochester.
Tucked away in a strip mall, this place may not look like much from the outside, but oh boy, wait until you get a taste of what they offer!
First things first, let’s talk about those wings. Not just any wings—these are wings that you want to write sonnets about. Tangy and sweet, each bite is a literal burst of joy in your mouth. But it’s not just the sauce that makes these wings; it’s the texture.
Have you ever bitten into something and just found yourself contemplating how they’ve achieved that perfect mouthfeel? Yeah, that’s what happens here.
It’s like they’ve got a wizard in the back, doing some sort of culinary magic on these wings. And let’s keep it that way; some things are better left a mystery.
Now, if you’re looking to expand your palate, let me point you toward their Wing Dinner or the Half Chicken Dinner, especially with the Mild sauce. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.
And they come with two sides, one of which has to be—HAS TO BE—the macaroni salad. If you think you’ve had macaroni salad before, you’re mistaken. This is THE macaroni salad.
But a word of caution, my friends: patience is a virtue here. For some reason, it takes a little longer than usual to whip up these heavenly dishes. But trust me, it’s worth every extra minute.
As for the ambiance, well, you’re not here for the mood lighting or the artwork on the walls. The dining room is simple, adorned with diner-style booths, but honestly, who cares?
You’re here for some good old, mouth-watering BBQ, and on that front, Country Sweet Chicken & Ribs delivers big time.
22 Celebration Dr, Rochester, NY 14620, United States // +15854732013
This place is not just a restaurant; it’s a feast for all your senses!
You walk in, and the atmosphere envelops you like a warm embrace from an old friend. There’s something in the air—besides the mouth-watering aroma of grilled meats—that makes you feel instantly at ease.
The decor is chic and inviting, replete with vase-encased blooms and sprawling windows that invite daylight to dance across the tables.
And don’t even get me started on that massive fake plant near the salad bar—it’s like the cherry on top of this visually delightful sundae.
Now, let’s talk about how things go down at this gastronomic wonderland. Unlike your typical eatery, Texas de Brazil offers a unique dining concept. Given the times, the salad bar operates on a write-it-and-receive-it basis.
Jot down your choices on a slip, and the attentive staff will bring your selections straight to your table.
As you wait, you’re treated to warm cheesy bread, fluffy mashed potatoes, and baked bananas dusted with cinnamon sugar—each a delicious precursor to the main event.
And oh, the main event—prepare yourselves. Just when you think you’ve peaked in your culinary journey, the meat parade begins.
Skilled waiters weave through the restaurant, brandishing succulent chicken, beef, pork, and lamb skewers.
It’s like a carnivore’s dream come true! You’ve got this nifty two-sided token: green means “keep the meat coming,” while red signifies a (temporary) surrender.
When the place is bustling, the meat may arrive at a slightly slower pace, but let’s be real—good things come to those who wait.
Plus, the staff’s attention to health protocols, regarding masks and gloves, just adds to the overall sense of care this place exudes.
And while the experience may fall on the pricier side, let’s be honest: quality like this doesn’t come cheap, and it’s worth every penny.
So, the next time you’re in Rochester and have a desire for something extraordinary, do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Texas de Brazil.
It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience that will have you plotting your return visit before you’ve even left the parking lot.
What makes Rochester’s BBQ scene unique?
Rochester isn’t Texas, Tennessee, or Kansas City, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do BBQ! Rochester’s BBQ restaurants blend Southern tradition and good ol’ Rochester innovation. Ever had a pulled pork egg roll? Yeah, they do that here.
Do any BBQ places offer something more upscale?
Fancy some high-end BBQ? Texas de Brazil is your jam. It’s an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse that takes BBQ to the next level. Carved tableside and everything. Trust me, it’s a feast for both the eyes and the belly.
Are there any BBQ spots with unique drink options?
If Bourbon is your spirit animal, Good Smoke BBQ & Pub is your sanctuary. They’ve got a mind-boggling selection of Bourbons. Try their Blood and Bourbon Ol’ Fashioned; it’s a revelation.
Wrapping Up: The 6 Best BBQ Restaurants In Rochester NY
As we wrap up this culinary adventure through Rochester’s BBQ scene, it’s clear that the city is more than just a pit stop for those in search of incredible barbecues.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Rochester offers a tempting array of flavors, techniques, and atmospheres that make its BBQ restaurants stand out like hickory smoke on a crisp fall day.
From the melting pot of styles—ranging from Southern to Texan and even touches of Brazilian flair—to innovative approaches to timeless classics, there’s something for every palate.
One of the great joys of Rochester’s BBQ scene is its inclusivity. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking for a plant-based feast, a carnivore searching for the juiciest brisket, or a cocktail enthusiast eager to sip the perfect bourbon pairing, you’re in for a treat.
And let’s not forget the wide range of price points; it’s entirely possible to feast like a king without emptying your wallet.
Beyond the food, what really makes Rochester’s BBQ joints sing is their ambiance and the people who bring them to life.
Whether it’s the live bands that set the mood, the culinary teams that pour their heart and soul into every dish, or the friendly patrons who’ll give you unsolicited—but spot-on—menu recommendations, the sense of community makes dining out here so special.
So, as you embark on your own BBQ journey through Rochester, remember that the magic isn’t just in the rubs, the marinades, or the smoking techniques. It’s in the way each restaurant weaves a unique tapestry of flavors, memories, and experiences that you’ll carry with you long after the last bite.
Visiting other destinations in the region? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 5 Must-Try Vegan Pizza Brooklyn
- 10 Must-Try Jersey City Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Rochester NY
- 5 Best Restaurants in LeRoy, New York
- 7 Must-Try Batavia Restaurants
- The 7 Best East Tremont Restaurants
- 5 Best NYC Ice Cream Shops
- The 15 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In NYC
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever