Australians love a backyard barbeque with a few snags on the grill and beers in hand. Although, the Americans know true barbeque royalty with low and slow smoked meats, spice rubs, and lip-smackingly good sauce.
While we can’t travel to Texas, or Alabama for good old American BBQ, there are a few places in Sydney that dish up BBQ that is just as good. If you’re looking for pulled pork, 72-hour smoked briskets and sauce you’ll want to swim in, here are the best restaurants in Sydney to get American BBQ.
Maroubra Smoky Sue’s is a nod to how this restaurant cooks its unusual style of American BBQ. First, the meat is sous vide then hickory smoked to retain the juiciness without compromising on flavour. They use an American-made pellet smoker from Kansas to smoke slabs of brisket, pork belly and hot links for hours. After being smoked, the meat is slathered with sticky sauce and turned into several dishes including on platters with your choice of sides, on burgers, burritos, tacos, and barbecue bowls. You can also get a smoked brownie for dessert and a selection of cocktails including a gin mule, margarita, and long island ice tea.
Pyrmont If you’ve been to Pyrmont, you’ve probably picked up some meat from Vic’s butcher, but they also have a smokehouse, serving juicy, tender cuts of meat. Their smoker is custom built by Yoder Smokers in Kansas, USA. It’s the largest custom smoker in Australia, weighing in at almost two tonnes. Holding 200kg of meat, the smoker enjoys a steady diet of ironbark. Each dish takes inspiration from a different state in the U.S. including a Carolina pulled pork and Central Texas brisket with a simple salt and pepper rub. Expect pork butts brined for 12 hours and then barbecued for 10 more hours.
Chippendale LP’s Quality Meats fills the Chippendale laneways with the smell of smoked barbeque with its Southern Pride smoker working around the clock to consistently produce tender and smoky staples. Think dry-aged rib eye and cured meats, made in-house from scratch. It’s a small restaurant, but an absolute gem of a place. Luke Powell knows meat and proves it with the Smokehouse.
Surry Hills At Surly’s, get ready to dig into soul food from Ole Hickory, a famous commercial fire-box smoker flown in straight from Missouri. The atmosphere resembles a dingy dive bar, offering an authentic slice of Nashville in Sydney’s foodie hub. As for the food, expect hearty plates of beef brisket, pulled pork, and chicken thighs—all come with a side of pickles, onion, and cornbread. If you’re after something smaller, try the burgers or load your fries with hickory bbq brisket for comfort food like no other. They even have cajun shrimp, Surly’s wings, and mac n cheese balls to share. As with any dive bar, they serve a range of beers on tap, and fun, cocktails and $8 shots. In the non-alcoholic category, expect American sodas, such as an A&W root beer, Dr Pepper, Kirk’s creaming soda, and strawberry Fanta which can all be upgraded to an ice cream float for $3. It doesn’t get any more American than that.
Barangaroo If you’re a fan of whiskey Wednesdays, there’s no better place to go than Nola in Barangaroo. Here, diners are treated to Southern hospitality and the flavours of New Orleans, which includes Spanish, Mexican, North African, and South American. Rather than focusing on Creole and Cajun styles, you’ll see a menu boasting gumbo, charred octopus, blackened chicken, candied pork cheek and southern slaw with buttermilk dressing. They also have the biggest American Whiskey collection in Sydney. Inside, diners will find artful and playful interiors, resembling the French Quarter.
Erskineville The Erko in Erskineville is the local pub, but out the back, a smoker is producing an American barbeque menu for the locals and their furry friends. This friendly neighbourhood pub puts together a tasty shredded brisket burger topped with apricot BBQ sauce, slaw, and served with a side of chips. Another crowd-pleaser is the Erko club baguette, which is stuffed with Tat’s house-cured bacon, smoked chicken, lettuce, tomato, egg, aioli, and a side of chips.
The Rocks Here, it’s all about feasting on smoked produce, vibrant salads, and house-made sauces. Not to mention the house-brewed beers. Their house-smoked meats include Angus beef brisket, bush tomato wild kangaroo and pork sausage, and smoked paprika rubbed chicken. Make it a brewer’s plate which is changed daily and comes with a selection of sides. The a la carte options include a toasted Reuben sandwich, a crowd-pleasing buttermilk fried chicken burger, and chargrilled steak with beer-battered fries.
Blacktown, Wetherill Park, and Vineyard In 2017, BlackBear BBQ opened its doors in Blacktown, slinging brisket, ribs, and sides to locals. They soon got a lot of attention and now have two more locations including Wetherill Park and Vineyard. They’re best known for their low and slow BBQ slathered in rich, sweet and tangy sauce, with the bold taste of smoked wood piercing through. Their BBQ boxes are a hit. The brisket box is filled with brisket and slaw, or there is a pork belly box with potato crisps, housemade pickles, and slaw. You can also get rolls stuffed with smoked meats and the usual suspects, of housemade pickles and BBQ sauce.
There’s plenty to celebrate this year, from new menus to restaurants throwing parties, bottomless brunches, and more.
Here, we have the latest on Sydney’s food news, from chefs taking over restaurants to limited-edition menus and feasts for all your friends to enjoy.
To celebrate World Gin Day, and for one week only, gin and food lovers can try nagashi-sōmen—translating to ‘flowing noodles’— which sees noodles sent down a bamboo chute for diners to collect with chopsticks. The one-off experience will be hosted at Kid Kyoto, where guests can enjoy their flowing noodles alongside a menu paired with delicious KI NO BI Gin cocktails. Purchase tickets here.
Tuck into a Fireball Burger
Feeling the cold? Fireball Whisky and Bar Luca have teamed up for the ultimate firey menu. Offered for a limited time only, head down to Bar Luca for $6 Fireball shots all day, a Fireball shot and cocktail on arrival, and an all-you-can-eat bites of the full “Blame Fireball” menu on Saturday, July 1. Book a spot here.
For two nights only, on Tuesday the 20th and Tuesday 27th of June, Graeme Hunt, Head Chef of Sydney’s trending late-night bar and dining venue at Zaffi, will be stepping up to the kitchen at award-winning bar PS40. Pop-up guests can expect a mosaic of colourful Lebanese-inspired bar snacks paired with exclusive midweek sips made by the mastermind behind the experimental bar, Michael Chiem.
Fan of Cinderella? The Great Hall is transforming into The Royal Palace for an enchanting high tea from July 1-2. There will be dancing and fun, and then Cinderella will run out of the venue leaving behind her glass slipper—the search for the missing beauty will begin. Tickets for the Cinderella High Tea costs $80-85 and you can purchase them here.
Grill’d has dropped two new burgers, and they’re beyond anything we could have imagined. Taking inspiration from Mexico, Grilld’s two new burgers are a Zesty Mexi and Luxe Nacho Burger. The Zesty Mexi features a black bean pattie with corn chips, tasty cheese, slaw, jalapenos, and chipotle mayo mixed with green tomatillo lime salsa. For meat lovers, the Luxe Nacho Burger is the same as the Zesty Mexi, but with a premium Wagyu pattie.