8 Of The Best Rib Joints In Britain

Leave it to the experts for your next barbecue fix

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In the midst of the Great British summer, there's nothing more we like to do than throw a proper BBQ.

But, sometimes it's better to let the experts do it for you and nothing beats an authentic all-American BBQ feast (after all, who has the time to slow cook ribs in their back garden?).

With that in mind, here's our pick of the eight best places across the country to sink your teeth into those sticky, charry racks of perfection.

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Since opening in 1991 this legendary barbeque and crab shack eatery has been serving extra meaty St Louis ribs, butter-dripping lobsters and lethal cocktails to the affluent Chelsea crowd.

Slow smoked over hickory wood, their dry-rubbed St Louis pork ribs is drenched in BBQ sauce and accompanied by pit-smoked beans, slaw and potato salad to cut through the fattiness of the ribs (we're not complaining). Larger and meatier than babyback ribs, the St Louis cut is a prime piece of pig for the ultimate indulgence.

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332-334 King's Rd, London SW3 5UR, bigeasy.co.uk

 

A haven for all meat-eaters, Grillstock Smokehouse is where all the Bristolians go for a slap-up BBQ feast. They also happen to be the guys behind the UK’s biggest ‘low’ n’ slow’ BBQ competition, which means, when it comes to cooking Smokehouse Ribs they know what they’re talking about.

To ensure that each slab is cooked to perfection, they dedicate several hours each morning to removing the skin from the back of the rack. The ribs are then given a generous shake down with their in-house rub consisting of smoked salt, paprika, sugar and smoked chillies before left to marinate for 6 hours.

After hitting the hickory wood smoker for 4 hours the ribs are brushed over with their BBQ sauce and then placed back in the smoker to achieve the ultimate sticky excellence.

41 Triangle West, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1ER, grillstock.co.uk

 

Founder of Islington’s The Fish and Chip Shop and the brains behind decadent brasserie The Holborn Dining Room, Q Grill is Des McDonald’s latest venture. Located on bustling Chalk Farm Road, this eatery is dedicated to providing diners with an array of barbeque styles from Memphis-style Smokehouse to charcoal grills of South America.

Serving up some of the best beef ribs in the capital, the meat is marinated for 20 hours and then smoked for two hours before being slow cooked in a charcoal oven for 8 hours. This ensures that the beef effortlessly falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Served with a dollop of sweet potato mash and veg, this is one unforgettable culinary experience.

29 - 33 Chalk Farm Road London, NW1 8AJ, q-bbq.co.uk

 

Opened in 2012, this boozer-turned-restaurant offers diners the true taste of America’s deep south.

Using imported American smokers to recreate the authentic fire pits, their free-range pork ribs are smoked for 6-8 hours over hickory and apple-cherry wood served with a side of slaw to cut accompany the slab of meat.

As for their grass-fed free-range Irish beef rib, that’s smoked for up to 16 hours and presented in true Texas fashion with a beautiful blackened bark.

33 Downham Road, De Beauvoir Town, Hackney, N1 5AA, dukesbrewandque.com

 

It sounds more like a dodgy barber than a BBQ joint but this East End haunt has been flocking in the carnivorous crowd since it made the leap from popular pop-up to a permanent fixture in Shoreditch in 2012.

Their rich, thick BBQ sauce infused with coffee, chilli and soy sauce is smothered over their St Louis ribs and then charcoal grilled for several hours before being served with a side of fennel and coriander slaw and crispy onions to compliment the intensity of the ribs.

And in case you were wondering, the name comes from a literal translation of French words ‘barbe a cue’.

77 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3BS, beardtotail.co.uk

 

With bulls’ skulls, leather banquettes and overhead fans, you feel as though you’ve been transported to the Wild West.

Incredibly passionate about serving up the best St Louis ribs this side of the pond they have a dedicated pit master that carefully inspects each rack before they’re flavoured with their in-house rub and smoked for approximately 10-14 hours.

Just as they do in Kansas, they glaze it with BBQ sauce before its finished on the grill for a crisp outside. But just in case you didn’t think they invest time in their other meats, they have a second pit master who takes care of the beef ribs and brisket.

37 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NN, reddogsaloon.co.uk

 

Although this Manchester haunt has only been open for a few months (their first establishment is based in Leeds) they’ve already received rave reviews for serving up some of the best Beef Longs in the city.

A truly carnivorous experience, their tender fat-marbling beef ribs (also known as Jacob’s Ladder) are covered in their rough textured ‘Dalmatian’ rub – a blend of salt, pepper herbs and spices and left to marinade for 24 hours.

They then mop the ribs with their homemade BBQ sauce and smoke for 8-12 hours over hickory and fruitwoods in custom built Oklahoman smokers before slathering it up with one final layer of sauce for that intense natural bark on the flesh.

22 Lloyd Street, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 5WA, truebarbecue.com

 

Located in the heart of Covent Garden within a three-storey converted warehouse is Joe’s Southern Kitchen and Bar.

Using only the finest long Horn or Red Poll beef from Taste Tradition in North Yorkshire, surprisingly, their ribs are steam roasted – not smoked – for 8 hours. This allows the meat to lock in all the intense flavour of the spice rub, which contains Cajun spice, hot smoked paprika, garlic powder, fresh thyme, brown sugar and seasoning.

34 King St, London WC2E 8JD, joessouthernkitchen.co.uk

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