BBQ Restaurants in Live Oak

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Bruno's was named runner-up in the Best Barbecue category of Good Times Santa Cruz's Best Food & Drink list in 2010. The restaurant has a four-star average rating from Yahoo! Locals, a 3.5-star average rating from Yelpers, and 76% of Urbanspooners like it:

230 Mount Hermon Rd
Scotts Valley,
CA
US

Hankerings for classic, all-American barbecue can easily be satisfied at Carmona's BBQ Deli, an eatery that operates out of a Watsonville deli and a mobile trailer powered by barbecue sauce rather than gasoline. Juicy burgers, all-beef hot dogs, and buffalo wings represent just three of many specialties that can be washed back with a cold beer or a glass of wine. But the menu doesn’t stop there. Cooks also create fusion barbecue with Asian, Italian, and Latin flavors. They crown pulled-pork sandwiches with guava-chipotle barbecue sauce, daub ribs with housemade hoisin sauce, and marinate chicken in coconut milk and lemongrass. At catered events, they can feed as many as 1,000 people with options such as korean short ribs, pots of award-winning clam chowder, and whole pigs, lambs, and goats roasted on a rotisserie spit.

1040 East Lake Avenue
Watsonville,
CA
US

In the 1920s, decades before it became The Cats Restaurant & Tavern, the Cats Roadhouse was known around town as a notorious speakeasy and bordello. The identity of the 19th-century building changed several times afterward, from realty office to gun shop to sporting-goods store, before reemerging as a tavern in 1967. These days, the renovated space pays homage to old-timey saloons?in the Wild West days of shot sheriffs and not-shot deputies?with touches such as stagecoach wheels and a curved mahogany railing from San Jose's oldest courthousek.

When it comes to food, however, the tavern adheres to a different tradition. The Cats stick to BBQ made by pitmasters who have all been certified by barbecue legend Paul Kirk. Cooks slow-smoke pulled pork and St. Louis ribs for at least six hours, plus sear chops and steaks?including a 16-ounce bone-in ribeye?over oak fire at up to 1,200 degrees. Local wine and craft beer complement succulent feasts, which unfold amid nightly live music; view the upcoming music calendar here.

17533 Santa Cruz Highway
Los Gatos,
CA
US

From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Mushroom Medley - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Pork Gyoza Dumplings, and Chicken Karaage. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, grilled ahi tuna, or chicken with basil sauce until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.

19620 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino,
CA
US

Before he opened the Smoking Pig BBQ restaurant in downtown San Jose in 2011, Paul Reddick worked as a semiconductor sales manager. Eventually, though, life led him to southeastern barbeque. It's a good thing it did because the Smoking Pig is incredible. Try a uniquely-named appetizer like the Chicken Lollipops, Redneck Sundae, and Potato Grenade. Settle on ribs covered with secret sauce and smoked for 4 to 6 hours or beef brisket rubbed with a top secret brisket rub and smoked for over half a day. Pulled pork is pork shoulder roast that is smoked until it literally falls off the bone. It’s then hand-pulled for sandwiches and multi-meat combos. Desserts are chef’s choice each day. And what would good food be without music? Check the Smoking Pig website for its schedule of live music. Open seven days a week.

1144 N 4th St
San Jose,
CA
US

At Rib-licious, barbecue connoisseurs work tirelessly behind veils of smoke to outfit fresh cuts with savory dry rubs before slow-cooking them to juicy perfection. Anchoring the diverse menu, customizable combo meals treat diners to one of five meaty masterworks. Signature Rib-licious ribs join forces with the customer's choice of brisket, chicken, or a hot link to form a succulent tag team, which forcibly suplexes hunger and deems someone a nonvegetarian with each smoky bite. Alongside protein-packed main acts, classic southern sides arrive in the form of macaroni salad, baked beans, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. Garlic bread accompanies each meaty dish, and homemade barbecue sauce lends an extra dose of flair to bites and full-body bibs.

1969 Tully Rd
San Jose,
CA
US