Baby Blues BBQ

By Irvin Lin

It isn’t easy to find a pile of ribs slicked with piquant sauce in our City by the Bay, but Baby Blues BBQ delivers on every craving. With four different sauces on the table, ranging from the Kansas City (dark and sweet as molasses) to the sassy, vinegary kick of North Carolina, there’s a house-made sauce for anyone who swears loyalty. Their signature Texas-style beef ribs are Flintstone in size, with a thin layer of fat, while the smoky and savory Memphis-style pork ribs are dry rubbed and finished on the grill. All the ribs are slow-smoked over hickory and apple wood, which adds a surprising hidden depth. Located right where Bernal Heights meets the Mission, the friendly, charming staff—with leopard-print tattoos—is pure SF. The BBQ, though, is out of this world.

sweet seats

The large and spacious restaurant (a former Rexall Pharmacy) has ample seating for groups big and small. The communal table right near the front door gives a view of the entire dining room or the street-- both filled with lots of local color. No matter where you sit, there are wet wipes in baskets strategically placed down the long wooden tabletop.

chew on this

Baby Blues BBQ has three other locations around the country, but lest you think they are some “chain” restaurant, trying to hustle into the San Francisco scene, the Baby Blues (two in the Los Angeles area and one in Philadelphia) are all owned and run by family members.


Sun–Thu 11:30 AM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 11:30 AM–11 PM

price range

Sandwiches: $8.25 (BBQ chicken) to $9.95 (shrimp po’boy)
Platters: $13.95 (beef brisket) to $34.50 (four meats and three sides)