May 15 2018
Meredith Bethune
4 Minutes to read

Make no mistake about it: Chicagoans know their barbecue. And because the city isn’t in the South and has no regional traditions around barbecue, the restaurants and caterers in the area aren’t wedded to any one style. Chicago BBQ catering combines the best of all worlds. You’ll find succulent St. Louis-style ribs, luscious Texas brisket, and everything in between. Check out these ten spots to get the best BBQ in Chicago.

Hecky’s Barbecue (Green Bay Road, Evanston)

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Over thirty years ago, owner Hecky Powell opened up shop on the northwest corner of Emerson Street and Green Bay Road. And ever since, this local institution has been serving up some of the best Chicago BBQ catering around. Slather the restaurant’s renowned ribs, tips, and chicken, in its beloved sauce made from a family recipe passed down from his New Orleans Creole grandmother. Complete the meal with a pile of mac and cheese, stewed greens, and a side of cornbread. Just remember to save some room for a slice of the homemade sweet-potato pie.

Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern (N. Sedgwick Street, Chicago)

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The history of Twin Anchors goes all the way back to 1932. Over the years, everyone from Frank Sinatra to celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has eaten at this Chicago institution. Today, the Tuzi family is still supplying that fine Chicago BBQ catering. Try the divine barbecued baby-back ribs. Or if it suits you better, the barbecue chicken is sumptuous and barbecue pork mini sandwiches come served with a zesty sauce and mini buns.

Chicago BBQ catering is a style of its own—you'll find some of best BBQ catering in Chicago.

Uncle Bub’s BBQ and Catering (S. Cass Avenue, Westmont)

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Family owned and operated, Uncle Bub’s has been providing Westmont with authentic, pit-smoked barbecue for over twenty years. Order the chuck-wagon buffet and sample an assortment of Uncle Bub’s Chicago BBQ catering like premium, dry-rubbed meats. It comes with pork, beef, ribs, and chicken served with butter, honey, and pickles. Just don’t forget to add on a bottle of Uncle Bub’s award-winning barbecue sauce. You will not regret it.

Kinfork BBQ & Tap (Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg)

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Look no further than Kinfork BBQ & Tap for an authentic taste of the South, smack in the middle of the Chicago suburbs. Organize your own picnic-style event with great catering packages that comes with everything you need. Build customizable sandwiches like the pulled pork, which is smoked for at least twelve hours in-house. There’s also the delicious brisket and mini buns. And you can be sure everything comes with plenty of tangy barbecue sauce. As if that’s not enough, at this Chicago BBQ catering favorite don’t forget to also pile on the smoked andouille links, tender barbecue baby-back ribs, gooey mac and cheese, crave-worthy homemade potato chips, and that signature jalapeno coleslaw with a spicy kick.

Honky Tonk BBQ (W. 18th Street, Chicago)

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Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood is known for its authentic Mexican, but as the New York Times notes, there are some other great restaurants worth checking out, including Honky Tonk BBQ. Chef and owner Willie Wagner slow smokes some of the best BBQ in Chicago, cooking pulled pork, ribs, and beef brisket over a wood-burning fire and pairing these meats with a selection of surprising sides like buttery garlic bread. And for something a little different, try the refreshing “girlfriend salad” with spring greens with jicama, seasonal berries, goat cheese, and walnuts.Chicago BBQ catering is a style of its own—you'll find some of best BBQ catering in Chicago.

Skuddlebutts (Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove)

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It all began in 1939 when founder Eddie Gall started serving sandwiches made from freshly baked bone-in hams in a small Downers Grove tavern. Although the restaurant has expanded and is today known mostly for pizza, the Gall family is still keeping this meat-loving tradition alive with full slabs of barbecue ribs and satisfying shreds of pulled pork (that can be paired with buns for making sandwiches), all coated in divinely rich barbecue sauce.

Whisk (W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago)

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Chefs, owners, and brothers Rick and David Rodriguez specialize in comfort food with a southern spin at Whisk, located in the Ukrainian Village. That means sliders filled with shards of pulled pork and zippy barbecue sauce with pickled red cabbage served on the side. Distinctive desserts like Snickers cheesecake or coconut bread pudding speckled with raisins are ideal for a sweet finish to the meal. This Chicago BBQ catering sizzles and the portions are just right for your whole crewChicago BBQ catering is a style of its own—you'll find some of best BBQ catering in Chicago.

Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe (Cass Avenue, Darien)

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Keep Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe bookmarked if you find yourself in a pinch. This local favorite can quickly assemble an order to feed a big crowd. The chuck-wagon package arrives heaving with pull-apart baby-back ribs, smoky pulled pork, tender beef brisket, and spicy chicken wings. Sides include the signature mashed potatoes and creamy mac and cheese, alongside baked beans, Cajun-style green beans, and bread. They even add Chuck’s famous cookies, perfect for a sweet treat at dessert. No wonder it’s some of the best BBQ in Chicago.Chicago BBQ catering is a style of its own—you'll find some of best BBQ catering in Chicago.

Porkchop (W. Randolph Street, Chicago)

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For some of the best BBQ in Chicago with a sophisticated twist, you have to try Porkchop. Start with a round of smoked chicken sliders, piled high with sharp provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, chipotle barbecue, and ranch. But don’t stop there. Next up, try some sticky chipotle bourbon barbecue ribs. Or, you can’t go wrong, of course, with the pulled pork smothered in chipotle barbecue sauce and served with house-made sweet relish on the side.

Smokin’ T’s Barbecue (IL-22, Long Grove)

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The two Ts of Smokin’ T’s Barbecue, Todd Stoner and Tom Gescheidle, are both Culinary Institute of America graduates and trained professional chefs. Their expertise is reflected in their tender, handcrafted meats that are some of the best BBQ in Chicago. Try four different varieties with the meatfest package. It includes your choice of beef brisket, Amish chicken, pulled pork, corned beef, or St. Louis-style ribs. As if choosing your meat from that list isn’t hard enough, try to pick from their tempting side dish options like Smokin’ Jake’s baked beans, Ma Stoner’s corn pudding, cornbread muffins, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and more. But here’s the good news: no one expects you to pick just one.

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Written by:

Meredith Bethune

Meredith Bethune is a former cheesemonger turned writer for publications like Travel + Leisure, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, CNN, Robb Report, and more. She’s also the former associate editor of Eater D.C. where she reported on Washington’s latest restaurant trends and news. In the name of journalism, she has interviewed an octogenarian tofu maker in Japan, eaten breakfast on the savanna in Kenya, and sipped rare cognac in France.

Posted in: In the Industry

Tagged with: American, Caterer Round Up, Catering, Chicago, Food Trends, IL, Lunch