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Where to Get Finger-Licking Carryout Barbecue in Metro Detroit

Pulled pork, brisket, baby back ribs, and burnt ends

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Aside from where to get the best coneys, few foods spark as much serious debate as barbecue in Detroit. Everyone has an opinion. Is meat better rubbed with spices or soaked in sauce? Vinegar-based or tomato-based? Who makes it best — Vicki’s or Parks?

After all, this is a city where neighbors cook meat in the home fireplace in the brutal winters, and fire up the grill outdoors as soon as the frost begins to thaw. Thankfully, the Motor City has an extensive list of barbecue joints — many multigenerational — that let you leave the cooking to someone else. Below, find a guide to some of the best spots for finger-licking rib tips, brisket, pulled pork, and even burnt ends.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Vicki's Barbeque

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3845 W Warren Ave
Detroit, MI
(313) 894-9906

Hole-in-the-wall aptly describes this takeout spot where there’s always a wait, yet locals and tourists have sought out Vicki's for barbecue since 1964. The specialty is the popular pork spare ribs, roasted in a pit to perfection and complemented by the homemade barbecue sauce. The fried shrimp are almost as popular. Walk in to place a takeout order.

2. Slows To Go

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4107 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 309-7560
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Slows is popular with everyone from old-school Detroiters to young hipsters. Customer favorites at this Corktown-based chain include the smoked chicken Yardbird sandwich or baby back ribs for carryout. The restaurant also sells sauces for cooking at home. Patio seating is available with a beer menu.

3. Bert's Market Place

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2727 Russell St
Detroit, MI
(313) 567-2030
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Known for its weekend barbecue cookouts, Bert’s Market Place beckons, either with the wafting aroma of smoked sausage and barbecue from the charcoal grill or the sounds of musicians crooning from the sidewalk. The fried chicken is as tasty as the ribs.

4. Parks Old Style BBQ

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7444 Beaubien St
Detroit, MI
(313) 873-7444
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In business since 1964, Parks Old Style BBQ is a destination spot in the North End. It specializes in pit-style barbecue basted with a vinegar-based sauce. Go for meat and bread only — choosing from slabs, rib sandwich, chicken, rib tips, and wing dings — or splurge on the full dinner, which comes with two sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and green beans.

5. Joe Ann's Bar B-Q

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3136 jerome
Detroit, MI
(313) 366-3775
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Started by Grace Owens in 1951, Joe Ann’s BBQ still makes open charcoal pit barbecue on a grill hand-built by one of its founders. These days, Owens’ daughter Joe Ann Proctor is keeping the family tradition alive. Customers can expect options like whole barbecued chicken, tender ribs, and pigs feet. The flash-fried shrimp paired with Joe Ann's tangy, spicy sauce and the tropical shakes are must-try items. Call ahead to place an order for carryout.

Ribs with white bread, rib tips, and fried shrimp in pools of red sauce in takeout containers. Brenna Houck

6. Nikola's

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25225 Telegraph Rd
Southfield, MI 48033
(248) 355-4695
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Ribs and chicken are the biggest draws at Nikola’s family-owned and family-run sit-down restaurant. Everything is homemade, down to the salad dressings. The carryout entrance is in the rear, but on Thursdays there are live jazz bands.

7. Nunn's BBQ

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19196 Conant St
Detroit, MI
(313) 893-7120
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Nunn’s BBQ was opened in 1984 by Wiley Nunn. Now Wiley’s son Al Nunn is carrying on his father’s legacy of smoked meats in this unassuming storefront. The ribs are cooked on a 10-foot charcoal grill before going into the smoker. Other choices include rib tips, pulled pork, turkey ribs, rotisserie chicken, and pigs feet. Make sure to leave some room for one of the desserts such as peach cobbler, banana pudding, sweet potato pie, or pound cake.

8. Lockhart's BBQ

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202 E 3rd St
Royal Oak, MI
(248) 584-4227
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Named for the barbecue capital of the Lone Star State, Lockhart's is the go-to spot in Royal Oak for Texas-style barbecue. The restaurant dry-rubs its meats and then slow-cooks them over local ash and hickory wood for hours. Sauce here is considered optional (the sweet version is made with tomatoes, grapes, and root beer).

9. Woodpile BBQ Shack

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303 E. Main
Clawson, MI

Woodpile BBQ Shack now has two locations (Madison Heights and Clawson) for low and slow-smoked barbecue. The menu ranges from Central Texas-style brisket to cheesy jalapeño smoked sausages to smoked chicken and even St. Louis-style ribs. Try a few different meats with the Texas Trinity — a combo of ribs, brisket, and sausage that will satisfy a carnivore — and don’t overlook the burnt ends.

10. Lazybones Smokehouse

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27475 Groesbeck Hwy
Roseville, MI
(586) 775-7427
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Roseville spot Lazybones offers big portions and reasonable prices. The restaurant menu pays tribute to many of the staple regional styles including Carolina pulled pork, Texas brisket, Kansas City burnt ends, and Detroit-style rib tips. Pair the meal with a side of vinegar slaw.

11. Bad Brads BBQ

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6525 23 Mile Rd
Shelby Township, MI 48316
(586) 254-7010
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With four locations in southeast Michigan (and another planned soon for Livonia), mini barbecue chain Bad Brads is doing its best to spread the gospel of hickory-smoked meats to metro Detroit. The original location in Shelby Township is open for takeout, delivery, and dine-in service. All the platter combos, St. Louis-style ribs, and smoked chicken barbecue lovers crave are here. Brad even offers “pig candy” — smoked and crisped thick-cut bacon with sugar and spices.

12. A.B.’s Amazing Ribs

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27310 Ford Rd
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
(313) 914-2159
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Dearborn smokehouse newcomer A.B.’s Amazing Ribs serves an all-halal menu with massive beef ribs, whole smoked chicken, and brisket pastrami sandwiches as well as options like fish and chips. Customers can choose from sides such as brisket macaroni and cheese, loaded potato skins, and smoked baked beans.

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1. Vicki's Barbeque

3845 W Warren Ave, Detroit, MI

Hole-in-the-wall aptly describes this takeout spot where there’s always a wait, yet locals and tourists have sought out Vicki's for barbecue since 1964. The specialty is the popular pork spare ribs, roasted in a pit to perfection and complemented by the homemade barbecue sauce. The fried shrimp are almost as popular. Walk in to place a takeout order.

3845 W Warren Ave
Detroit, MI

2. Slows To Go

4107 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Slows is popular with everyone from old-school Detroiters to young hipsters. Customer favorites at this Corktown-based chain include the smoked chicken Yardbird sandwich or baby back ribs for carryout. The restaurant also sells sauces for cooking at home. Patio seating is available with a beer menu.

4107 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

3. Bert's Market Place

2727 Russell St, Detroit, MI

Known for its weekend barbecue cookouts, Bert’s Market Place beckons, either with the wafting aroma of smoked sausage and barbecue from the charcoal grill or the sounds of musicians crooning from the sidewalk. The fried chicken is as tasty as the ribs.

2727 Russell St
Detroit, MI

4. Parks Old Style BBQ

7444 Beaubien St, Detroit, MI

In business since 1964, Parks Old Style BBQ is a destination spot in the North End. It specializes in pit-style barbecue basted with a vinegar-based sauce. Go for meat and bread only — choosing from slabs, rib sandwich, chicken, rib tips, and wing dings — or splurge on the full dinner, which comes with two sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and green beans.

7444 Beaubien St
Detroit, MI

5. Joe Ann's Bar B-Q

3136 jerome, Detroit, MI
Ribs with white bread, rib tips, and fried shrimp in pools of red sauce in takeout containers. Brenna Houck

Started by Grace Owens in 1951, Joe Ann’s BBQ still makes open charcoal pit barbecue on a grill hand-built by one of its founders. These days, Owens’ daughter Joe Ann Proctor is keeping the family tradition alive. Customers can expect options like whole barbecued chicken, tender ribs, and pigs feet. The flash-fried shrimp paired with Joe Ann's tangy, spicy sauce and the tropical shakes are must-try items. Call ahead to place an order for carryout.

3136 jerome
Detroit, MI

6. Nikola's

25225 Telegraph Rd, Southfield, MI 48033

Ribs and chicken are the biggest draws at Nikola’s family-owned and family-run sit-down restaurant. Everything is homemade, down to the salad dressings. The carryout entrance is in the rear, but on Thursdays there are live jazz bands.

25225 Telegraph Rd
Southfield, MI 48033

7. Nunn's BBQ

19196 Conant St, Detroit, MI

Nunn’s BBQ was opened in 1984 by Wiley Nunn. Now Wiley’s son Al Nunn is carrying on his father’s legacy of smoked meats in this unassuming storefront. The ribs are cooked on a 10-foot charcoal grill before going into the smoker. Other choices include rib tips, pulled pork, turkey ribs, rotisserie chicken, and pigs feet. Make sure to leave some room for one of the desserts such as peach cobbler, banana pudding, sweet potato pie, or pound cake.

19196 Conant St
Detroit, MI

8. Lockhart's BBQ

202 E 3rd St, Royal Oak, MI

Named for the barbecue capital of the Lone Star State, Lockhart's is the go-to spot in Royal Oak for Texas-style barbecue. The restaurant dry-rubs its meats and then slow-cooks them over local ash and hickory wood for hours. Sauce here is considered optional (the sweet version is made with tomatoes, grapes, and root beer).

202 E 3rd St
Royal Oak, MI

9. Woodpile BBQ Shack

303 E. Main, Clawson, MI

Woodpile BBQ Shack now has two locations (Madison Heights and Clawson) for low and slow-smoked barbecue. The menu ranges from Central Texas-style brisket to cheesy jalapeño smoked sausages to smoked chicken and even St. Louis-style ribs. Try a few different meats with the Texas Trinity — a combo of ribs, brisket, and sausage that will satisfy a carnivore — and don’t overlook the burnt ends.

303 E. Main
Clawson, MI

10. Lazybones Smokehouse

27475 Groesbeck Hwy, Roseville, MI

Roseville spot Lazybones offers big portions and reasonable prices. The restaurant menu pays tribute to many of the staple regional styles including Carolina pulled pork, Texas brisket, Kansas City burnt ends, and Detroit-style rib tips. Pair the meal with a side of vinegar slaw.

27475 Groesbeck Hwy
Roseville, MI

11. Bad Brads BBQ

6525 23 Mile Rd, Shelby Township, MI 48316

With four locations in southeast Michigan (and another planned soon for Livonia), mini barbecue chain Bad Brads is doing its best to spread the gospel of hickory-smoked meats to metro Detroit. The original location in Shelby Township is open for takeout, delivery, and dine-in service. All the platter combos, St. Louis-style ribs, and smoked chicken barbecue lovers crave are here. Brad even offers “pig candy” — smoked and crisped thick-cut bacon with sugar and spices.

6525 23 Mile Rd
Shelby Township, MI 48316

12. A.B.’s Amazing Ribs

27310 Ford Rd, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

Dearborn smokehouse newcomer A.B.’s Amazing Ribs serves an all-halal menu with massive beef ribs, whole smoked chicken, and brisket pastrami sandwiches as well as options like fish and chips. Customers can choose from sides such as brisket macaroni and cheese, loaded potato skins, and smoked baked beans.

27310 Ford Rd
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

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