Sweet, Spicy, and Smoked: Boston BBQ Catering’s Best Bets
- Jacqueline Raposo
- 4 Min Read
Smart Boston eaters identify and enjoy oh-so-Southern barbecue. They love the thrill of wood-fired grills and sweet smokers so much so that Eater even crafted a dedicated list of the best BBQ in Boston and beyond, with stops as far west as Sturbridge and up north in spooky Salem.
Of course, the Boston BBQ catering scene delivers those impressive eats—three on Eater’s hot list bring smoky ribs and crispy grilled chicken straight to your courtyard or conference room. To make sure you’ve got the best Boston BBQ catering companies ready to deliver, we’ve taken the liberty in adding a few of our favorites, ready to bring you sweet, spiced, and smoked barbecue by the buffet, box, or truck. Just in time for spring.
Larry J’s BBQ Cafe (D Street, Boston)
One of Eater’s Boston BBQ catering top picks, Larry J’s delivers Texas-style eats as big in flavor and proportions as the great state in which its style hails. Customers rave about the budget-friendly “Feed Deal”: choose three types of meat, three sides, and pints of sauce. Guests mix, match, and then slather their favorites on fluffy rolls. Maybe one needs fork-tender smoked brisket and mac and cheese smothered with spicy Arkansas Red sauce? Another juicy pulled chicken with wilted collard greens and sweet honey chipotle? With the best BBQ in Boston on one buffet, all leave happy.
Big Pig Barbecue & Catering (Newbury Street, Peabody)
“If you grill it, they will come.” That’s the party Big Pig Barbecue brings to the Boston BBQ catering scene. For a taste of the best eats hot off the grill, the “Finger Lickin’ BBQ” package makes sure each guest gets sweet smoked St. Louis-style ribs, decadent pulled pork sandwiches, and bone-in barbecue chicken with a crinkly crackly crust. Plus, all the fresh spring salad, chopped slaw, sweet-and-smoky barbecue baked beans, and creamy mac and cheese a food-faithful barbecue requires.
Tennessee’s BBQ (Andover Street, Peabody)
Another of Eater’s favorite favs, you’ll taste the triple threat of apple, cherry, and hickory woods in this award-winning barbecue. Packages feed large groups on a budget and don’t skimp on details that matter to those planning events for a large crowd—like food labels on dishes and accommodations for those with dietary allergies. Pulled pork, chicken, and brisket come seasoned “dry” with only the heat of their three special rubs. Or “mop” your barbecue with a chocolate-laced sauce in sweet, tangy, and spicy variations. The extensive sides list includes vegetarian choices like super-moist cornbread and a lightly pickled cucumber salad customers can’t stop raving about. Tennessee’s is the best BBQ in Boston for literally everyone on your list!
The Smoke Shop (Kendall Square, Cambridge)
Andy Cousins spent twenty years on the barbecue competition scene, grilling up old-school Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas-style barbecue. In 2016, he opened The Smoke Shop in Cambridge, adding some contemporary Boston dining flair to classic barbecue flavor. To indulge in the fattiest part of the brisket cooked down into bits of pure barbecue love, order up some Burnt Ends, available with catering packages. Hot wings come sweetened with agave. Mac and cheese get some heat from pimento. When classic and contemporary meet, barbecue really heats up.
Smokey’s Longhorn Catering (Main Street, Stoneham)
Smokey’s Longhorn has been some of the best BBQ in Boston’s corporate catering scene since 1974. Their customer-favorite BBQ Chicken & Pulled Pork Package makes sure you have all the tender meat, sweet and smoky sauces, decadent cornbread, and desserts you need. Then choose two classic sides, or go crazy with options like tortellini pesto pasta salad, cinnamon-raisin apples, or coconut jasmine rice. Want to step it up even more? Upgrade those proteins to add lobster and mussels to that barbecue chicken for full-on barbecue decadence.
Handy’s Cafe (Columbia Road, Boston)
Handy’s wants to make sure your event offers “a little of everything,” so the catering company offers packages that put massive parties together in a snap. Entree options include barbecue chicken (brilliantly separated into options like leg quarters, wings, and pulled-apart light and dark meat), sirloin steak tips, and ribs. Other options like chicken and broccoli ziti, spiral ham, and pot roast can help formalize an event. Side standouts like candied yams, butter beans, and four-cheese baked macaroni make all eaters swoon. When planning a barbecue with room for a little something more on the menu, Handy’s is your trusty standby caterer with a barbecue soul.
BBQ International (Canal Street, Malden)
Repeat customers swear BBQ International is the home for the best BBQ in Boston when it comes to super-moist cornbread, juicy pulled pork, and wood-grilled ribs that fall right off the bone. For a social barbecue that brings the backyard to the boardroom, the party platter serves up St. Louis-style barbecue ribs, rotisserie chicken, pulled pork, and cornbread. Plus, your choice of two satiating sides come with influence from around the world, like tzatziki sauce, green beans in red sauce, and marinated grilled veggies.
Sons of Shephanie’s (Columbia Road, Boston)
This family owned barbecue joint uses Southern-style recipes for not only beef ribs customers call “the best ever,” but also fried chicken and fish sandwiches that come with that divinely salty crunch. Need some pulled pork on a bun? Sons of Shephanie’s has got that, too. And a pro tip suggests adding a side of barbecue slaw and then slathering it on your plate. Cornbread dressing, black-eyed peas, creamed spinach, and must-order mac and cheese are on the decadent sides list. And for dessert, don’t skimp on chocolate bread pudding or peach cobbler. It’s old-fashioned soul food with an extra dose of soul.
The Bacon Truck (Terminal Street, Boston)
The team at the Bacon Truck believes “bacon is superior.” And they certainly prove it, tossing the sweet, smoky, crunchy deliciousness in pretty much anything they can put on a menu. Sure, you can get an entree of past with house-made marinara. But why not upgrade to baked ziti with bacon Bolognese? Think you know mac and cheese? Cause they’ve got that as an entree, too, but it’s got bacon in it! A side of brussels sprouts? Yep, there’s bacon in that, too! And in the deviled eggs, potato salad, and roasted garlic mayo! Even dessert gets the love: bacon truffles and Nutella-covered bacon satiate the sweet-salt spot you didn’t know sat unfilled deep inside of you.
Morrell’s BBQ (Washington Street, Stoughton)
Morrell’s has a reputation for being the best BBQ in Boston when it comes to bold flavor bursting through classic barbecue favorites. With generations of Morrell Presley’s family having manned the grill, every rack of ribs and slab of brisket tastes like home. The simple menu of hot-link sandwiches, super juicy pulled pork, and tender sides of mac and cheese and collard greens please with perfection, time and time again. And with a boozy rum cake to finish off the meal, all end dizzied by food and the friendship good ol’ barbecue inspire.
Did you barbecue your face off this season? Don’t worry—you still have time.