The Best BBQ in Melbourne for a Sumptuous Feast
Get your hands dirty digging into the best BBQ eats in Melbourne.
For true meat lovers, nothing comes close to good old-fashioned barbeque. Deliciously slow-cooked and smoky cuts, rubbed with spices or coated in sauce, paired with moreish sides – it’s messy work, but someone’s gotta do it, right? Over the years Melbourne’s fallen in love with proper BBQ, with authentic Southern-style smokehouses (plus a few South American-inspired spots) appearing across the city. Next time the craving hits, assemble a crowd and order everything on the menu at these top spots.
Since its opening in 2015, this intimate American barbecue restaurant has turned Preston into a dining destination. Here the chefs break down all their cuts onsite before smoking, sous-viding and chargrilling their way to supple deliciousness. Start with a serving of hot smoked lamb ribs and their famed brisket-filled ‘meat doughnuts’ before moving onto killer plates like caramel short rib, apple glazed pork belly and cinnamon-rubber chicken. All mains are accompanied by pickles, fried bread and their heavenly bone marrow mash.
456 High Street, Preston
Fancy Hank’s is a longtime CBD favourite, loved for their juicy American-style barbecue served straight from the smoker – think brisket, links, ribs – and paired with classic Southern sides. They’ve got loaded tater tots, buffalo wings, crunchy slaw, schmaltz smothered corn bread and even Boston smoked beans, all washed down with refreshing boilermakers and beers. If you’re keen to keep the party going, you can head upstairs to their rooftop bar Good Heavens for spritzes in the sun.
1/79 Bourke Street, Melbourne
At Bluestone, pitmaster Alvaro Malel combines inspiration from his Uruguayan heritage with a passion for American barbecue. The result is remixed classics like smoked short rib with chimichurri and Cuban-style pulled pork with lime mojo. The jazzy little venue goes big with portions – perfect for sharing with family and friends alongside their stellar selection of whiskeys and cocktails.
470 Sydney Road, Coburg
Converted from a 1930s motor garage into an vibrant playground of barbecue, MeatworksCo is a mouthwatering option for dinner. Their epic smoked meat platter is loaded with over a kilo of 24-hour smoked wagyu brisket, dry rubbed pork ribs, pulled pork, sausages and more, made for pairing with delicious veg sides and luxurious desserts. Turn it into a night out as their bar pours an extensive range of local wines, craft beers and punchy cocktails.
28/30 Ross Street, South Melbourne
Bluebonnet has lived many lives – first as a pop-up, then a food truck and finally a rustic restaurant. In each iteration it’s kept true to its mission of sharing authentic Texas barbecue with Melbourne diners, cooking up to half a tonne of meat per day over their 100% woodfired Ole Hickory Pit smoker. They use only free range meat in their wagyu brisket, pastrami beef cheek, pulled lamb, smoked pork belly and house made sausages, which you can mix and match into the BBQ plate of your dreams. Cap it off with a pecan bourbon pie for the full American experience.
124-126 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Specialising in all things meat, this offbeat basement eatery and bar is a must-do for avid carnivores. Using an in-house custom-made smoker and dryer, a huge amount of love and time goes into their prime cuts – from dry-aging beef for 40 days to achieve maximum flavour, to smoking their brisket for 20 hours until it’s fall-apart tender. The neon-lit restaurant does contemporary bites too, like grilled octopus with lime aioli and crispy burnt ends with horseradish – great for snacking alongside a dirty martini.
195 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Burn City Smokers are best known for delivering premium BBQ meat, vegetables and desserts straight to your door, but did you know that they also have a test kitchen restaurant in South Kingsville? Here they try out all their mouthwatering recipes before taking them on the road, cooking up smoked pork belly with spiced plum, cheese kranskies, chermoula chicken and more for your eating pleasure. Enjoy a casual dinner here before ordering more barbecued goods for the home.
31A Vernon Street, South Kingsville
Seven days a week, Up In Smoke's massive double-barreled smoker pumps out juicy brisket, ribs and sausages for hungry meat eaters. Combination trays allow you to try a selection of their wares alongside Southern sides like mac'n'cheese, slaw and pickles, or you can have them jammed inside saucy sandwiches. A spacious dining area and plenty of al fresco seating makes it a good place for group dinners, with craft brews flowing quickly as the night falls.
28 Hopkins Street, Footscray
B'Churrasco brings the sizzling art of Brazilian barbecue to Melbourne. Here you’ll be able to see long, sword-like skewers of beef, pork lamb and chicken cooked over open flames then carved straight onto your plate. The whole experience is packed with theatre and surprise, as waiters bring a procession of salads, sides, meats and desserts to you – no menus needed. All you have to do is eat until you’re stuffed to the gills.
61 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
B3 stands for burgers, brews and barbecue, arguably three of the best things in life. The American-slash-Vietnamese diner doesn't take things by halves, plating up thick burgers filled with slow cooked pork and jerk spiced chicken, as well as dry rubbed and smoked barbecue meats like beef brisket, lamb shoulder and pork ribs. Cut through all that protein with zingy Vietnamese coleslaws and fresh rice paper rolls – a combo you never knew you needed until now.
1a/460 Victoria Street, Brunswick
I'd love to live near