Your Guide to the Best Barbecue in Milwaukee

9 places to get good bbq

Map of Milwaukee BBQ Restaurants


1) Ashley’s Bar-B-Que

Locals follow the aroma of smoke on Center Street to the walk-up window inside. Best bets are the BBQ dinners (ribs, rib tips, chicken) and family meals (pan of shoulder, ribs, tips, etc.). Head down on Thursday night for the weekly special gumbo.
1501 W. Center St., 414-372-7666

2) DOC’s Commerce Smokehouse

New Milwaukee location of a chain (with two other Midwest locations) that specializes in hickory-smoked meats. Meats include pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and Usinger’s sausage.
754 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., 414-935-2029

3) Double B’s BBQ

Two things to consider when you’re here – brisket burnt ends and St. Louis-style ribs. The latter are hickory-wood-smoked for four-plus hours. The slow-smoked chicken wings are also a must-try. They come naked or with one of five sauces (Thai chili, Kansas City, buffalo).
7420 W. Greenfield Ave., 414-257-9150

4) Heaven’s Table Catering and BBQ

Quickly making a splash at the East Side food hall Crossroads Collective, Heaven’s Table creates heavenly plates of slow-smoked Texas brisket, hickory-smoked St. Louis-style ribs, pork shoulder, sausage and smoked chicken. Get the brisket!
2238 N. Farwell Ave., 414-732-7109

5) Iron Grate BBQ Co.

A sharp focus on meats, including the great Milwaukee Rib. Grits and mac and cheese are among the sides.
4125 S. Howell Ave., 414-455-1776

6) Pitch’s

A supper club/BBQ place just south of Brady Street. If you like your baby-back ribs to fall off the bone, then Pitch’s is for you. The half-chicken and rib BBQ combo is a natural ordering destination here, smothered in the house sweet Pitch’s BBQ sauce.
1801 N. Humboldt Ave., 414-272-9313

7) Saz’s State House

Known for its baby-back ribs and BBQ pork sandwich (order the sandwich with the chive fries) and some pretty good wings, with sauces ranging from white BBQ cilantro to Saz’s sassy sauce.
5539 W. State St., 414-453-2410

8) Smoke Shack

A lot of smoked options here, including baby-back and spare ribs, pulled pork and chicken, beef brisket, andouille sausage, even BBQ seitan for vegans.
332 N. Milwaukee St., 414-431-1119

9) Speed Queen Bar-B-Q

This institution is still a classic for pork shoulder served with white bread.
1130 W. Walnut St., 414-265-2900



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.