Grab Your Napkins and Your Bib, Because We Are Diving Straight In
Written By: Elizabeth Morris Best Barbecue in Orange County
We’ve all heard the saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and every meat lover’s dream is a good ‘ol plate of barbecue. Whether it’s brisket, burnt ends or baby back ribs, the meats are sure to make your stomach growl. Treat yo’self to barbecue this season, because nothing says summertime like the slow-cooked, tender meats of an American classic. Countless restaurants serve meat, but not all have the rich flavors of genuine barbecue. To make your search easier, we have assembled a list of the best barbecue destinations in Orange County.
Located in Old Town Orange, Smoqued serves up their own version of California barbecue. Since California is a conglomeration of cultures, Smoqued skillfully combines traditional barbecue influences from all around the country with a SoCal flare. They take their meat seriously here, and all their meats are smoked in-house, then seasoned by hand. From barbecue plates to classic comfort foods like Mac&Cheese Shepherd’s Pie to their melt-in-your-mouth Brisket Sandwich, Smoqued is a treat for the whole family.
Native Knowledge: Smoqued has 12 on tap beers that are sure to complement any barbecue dish.
128 N Glassell St
Orange, CA, 92866
Chef and CEO Keith Prante delivers customized meals and menus as a part of his full service catering. While Hautè is known for their personalized catering, they recently introduced a new secret lunch menu that can be enjoyed in their restaurant. Their lunch menu, which is accurately called “pigged out,” will make the perfect meal because you can request any dish to be wrapped in bacon. Yes, any dish, even their Eggplant Parmesan or their Pesto Crusted Salmon if you so desired.
Native Knowledge: If you want to cater a meal for your next party, you can rent out Hautè’s restaurant, request in-home service or they can come to a location of your choice.
23552 Commerce Center Dr, Ste S
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Over at Grasslands, meat is a serious matter. They masterfully combine preparation techniques from all over the world with all your favorite cooking styles to serve up an original meat creation. Their chefs are more than just meat experts, they are Meat Masters. Their featured meats such as the Pork Flat Iron Churrasco and the 24 hour Slow Smoked Brisket will be sure to make your taste buds tingle. Grasslands also doesn’t have happy hour; they’re happy all day, everyday. With $5 Martinis, $5 Appetizers, and $5 Glasses of Wine being served—Grasslands is the perfect place to schedule your next ‘meating.’
Native Knowledge: Free one hour parking can be found in the GardenWalk parking structure right next door to the restaurant. Once inside it’s located on the Main Level below House of Blues.
400 West Disney Way, Ste 199
Anaheim, CA 92802
With delicious food at an affordable price, The Trough is a must-try sandwich shop. The fast-casual dining style offers those with a busy schedule the opportunity to snag a quality lunch in a comfortable atmosphere. Noteworthy sandwiches include the Caprese and The Braised Pork.
Native Knowledge: Trough also serves all-day breakfast from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both locations, that includes their super popular breakfast burrito, bowl and sandwich.
31441 Santa Margarita Pkwy, Suite N
Rancho Santa Margarita,CA 92688
Rustic cowboy meets classic American comfort food at Bad to the Bone BBQ. The restaurant serves up “real pit BBQ” with meats that are slow-cooked over hickory wood for 12-24 hours. Founded on Oklahoma and rodeo tradition, the restaurant offers ribs, brisket, tri-tip and pulled pork as well as traditional side dishes, beer, wine and cocktails.
Native Knowledge: Head to Bad to the Bone BBQ after work for their happy hour from 3-6 p.m.
31738 Rancho Viejo Rd
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
If you are searching for signature midwest barbecue, look no farther than Old Crow Smokehouse’s beachside barbecue. Chef Tony Scruggs has crafted his own “Scruggs Rub” and homemade barbecue sauce to create mouthwatering meats reminiscent of different American barbecue styles. Notable menu items include their Pork Baby Back Ribs and their sixteen-hour smoked Brisket. You can pair your meal with a handcrafted southern cocktails such as the Front Porch Punch and the Peach Collins.
Native Knowledge: On Friday and Saturday nights, Old Crow hosts a country band to combine classic Southern flavors with sounds.
21022 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
It’s in the name, The Smoking Ribs is the King of Ribs. Their meat is smoked daily and cooked using the freshest ingredients to ensure diners receive an unforgettable barbecue experience. Their menu is simple but packed with all the barbecue necessities, including beef and pork ribs, Pulled Pork and a Brisket Sandwich. They also offer nine classic “sidekicks” like coleslaw, onion rings and smoked beans.
Native Knowledge: For those with a daring appetite, Smoking Ribs has started a challenge menu.
14211 N Euclid St, Ste D
Garden Grove, CA 92843
7 Places in OC to Get the Best Barbecue in the West