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

By Maryse Chevriere

We get it: pulling off the perfect Memorial Day barbecue is a lot of work—and on what is supposed to be a vacation day no less! Who wouldn’t be tempted to pass the planning, the sweating, and the grilling onto a trained professional? That’s why for Memorial Day this year, we’ve put together a list of our favorite spots with barbecue and outdoor dining, where you can channel all the spirit, fun, and great food of the backyard summer BBQ, without actually hosting it yourself.


4505 Burgers & BBQ (Credit: Ed Anderson)

4505 Burgers & BBQ
If you’re going to treat yo’self to a cooking-free Memorial Day barbecue, you may as well entrust that job to the smoked meat specialists at this perennially popular joint. Caveman-grade ribs, juicy pulled pork shoulder, snappy jalapeño-Cheddar hot links, brisket, and smoked chicken, not to mention the “Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger”—they’ve got it all. And, you can enjoy that feast on their relaxing, airy street-side patio.
Neighborhood: NOPA MAP

Everett and Jones BBQ
This location of the hyped East Bay BBQ institution has an added bonus: a charming little outdoor seating area. Their King Kong–sized “slab of ribs” plate—literally, a whole slab of pork ribs covered in their famous Q sauce—comes with three sides and cornbread for the ideal centerpiece to gluttonous group dining.
Neighborhood: Oakland MAP

Smoke Berkeley BBQ and Beer Garden
It’s true: Meatlovers can find quality, finger-lickin’-good BBQ amid Berkeley’s crunchy granola culinary landscape. Chef-owner Tina Ferguson-Riffe makes just about everything from scratch and specializes in the style of her native Texas—and her smoked beef brisket and beef links with their original smokey sauce are not to be missed. There’s also a great no-frills outdoor area attached so you and your crew can spread across a couple picnic tables and go hog on one of their Party Pack combo spreads.
Neighborhood: Berkeley MAP


Biergarten

Biergarten
If you feel like mixing it up this year and going for more of an international BBQ experience, there’s no better place than this festive little outdoor Bavarian-style beer garden. Trade the traditional Memorial Day hot dogs for a Bratdog with mustard and house=made kraut, or the grilled pork Currywurst with a curry-ketchup sauce. They also make a pretty mean burger too, if you’re so inclined. Plus, there’s plenty of that other essential backyard BBQ ingredient: Beer!
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley MAP

Park Chalet Garden Restaurant
Ok, so it’s not technically a full-on BBQ joint, but, you can’t deny that it is one of the city’s absolute best spots for gorgeous, bask-in-the-sun-and-scenery outdoor dining. And while there are plenty of tempting options to choose from on the menu, this park-enclosed oasis does serve up some pretty damn good ‘cue, too—if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Choose between either a juicy, slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich with Texas BBQ sauce or smoky St. Louis-style pork ribs slathered in a spicy Bourbon sauce.
Neighborhood: Golden Gate Park/Outer Richmond MAP

The Pub
If you prefer your ‘cue with a view, check out this spacious waterfront spot, located right in Ghirardelli Square. The comfort food–heavy menu offers barbecue classics like a Carolina pulled pork sandwich and St. Louis–Style ribs, as well as some more creative spins, like BBQ pot roast and a brisket Reuben sandwich, all of which are worth checking out. Then snag one of the tables outside and take in the landmark sights.
Neighborhood: Ghiradelli Square MAP

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