Where to have a barbecue in a backyard that isn't yours

By Nicole Schnitzler

Some of Chicago’s best BBQ and meat-centric joints have you covered this summer, serving up Southern staples like brisket and pulled pork in outdoor environs that scream summer’s forthcoming arrival. Here are seven local spots putting in the work to host that perfect backyard—or patio, or rooftop—BBQ, so that you don’t have to.

From afternoon to evening at Green Street Smoked Meats
It’s tough to beat the patio at this alleyway-situated eatery In the West Loop, which is best known for smoked favorites like sliced brisket, pastrami, pork ribs, and pork belly. Just be sure not to miss the sides, either—the elote-style corn is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Neighborhood: West Loop MAP

Quality beats and Nashville eats at Bub City
Country lovers (and any occasion revelers) will find good company at both locations of this honky tonk–inspired hangout, where quality live music and Southern hospitality is as vital as the food they’re providing on the patio. In this case that means go-tos like burnt ends, Nashville hot tenders, and cheesy spoon bread.
Neighborhood: Chicago MAP Rosemont MAP

A Meat and three makeover at Saint Lou’s Assembly
The “meat and three” gets a modern-day makeover in the hands of chef Carlos Cruz, who serves up a menu of mains like jerk chicken and grilled tasso ham to accompany fancied-up sides of truffled celery root gratin and eggplant piri piri. While you’re there, check out the patio, complete with tunes and a bocce ball court.
Neighborhood: West Loop MAP

Music and meats at Smoke Daddy
When live music, smoked meats, and patio weather collide, you know you’re in for one heck of an afternoon. Find all three this Memorial Day at this Wicker Park joint, where a BBQ-meets-brunch menu of pulled pork benedicts and brisket skillets will be on offer from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Neighborhood: Wicker Park MAP

No-fuss, no-rush BBQ at Barn & Company
Best to gather a group for an outing to this BBQ joint, where an enclosed patio boasts all of the federal holiday fixings: bags, ping pong, darts. Kick up your feet and stay a while—it’s the low and slow attitude that reigns here, where meats encounter an all-natural wood-burning pit for more than 12 hours on the daily.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park MAP

Southern cooking in contemporary digs at Lillie’s Q
Chef Charlie McKenna named this corner fixture after his grandma, who taught him the art of southern cooking back home in Greenville, South Carolina. Head to the patio and dive into modern takes on the classics, including shrimp and grits, pork rinds, tri-tip sandwiches, and hot links.
Neighborhood: Bucktown MAP

Red meat and rosé all day at Chop Shop
Head to this Bucktown butcher shop-meets-restaurant on Monday for their brunch menu, a meat lover’s medley that’s bound to pair up nicely with a $5 rosé all-day special. If you’re still in the grilling mood post patio time, you’re in the right place: Their in-house butcher will be on hand to dish out any cuts you’re looking to take home.
Neighborhood: Wicker Park MAP

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