BBQ Restaurants in Northwest Philadelphia

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Named not for the 19th-century novelist who wrote The Portrait of a Lady, but rather its location near the intersection of Henry Avenue and Jamestown Street in Roxborough, the Henry James Saloon is a no-frills neighborhood pub that has been propping up local drinkers for years. Housed in a tiny one-story rectangular building with a sign that suggests you should “Eat, Drink and Don’t Hurry,” the Henry James embodies the same easy-going attitude inside. Red walls, neon beer signs and multiple TVs constitute the majority of the atmosphere, while the pub menu is surprisingly extensive, with a long list of favorites like roast pork sandwiches, patty melts, pizzas and more. The more impressive “mealwiches” are a fitting portmanteau, stuffed sandwiches that eat like a full meal, combining chicken tenders, cheese, bacon, ranch dressing and more all under one outsized bun.

577 Jamestown St
Philadelphia,
PA
US

Restaurant owner and chef Valerie Erwin keeps the Zagat-rated Geechee Girl Rice Café wheeling and dealing with the help of her four sisters and a tome of inherited low-country recipes. Saddle up for dinner and encourage taste buds to wade into the tangy waters of the Carolina pulled pork, a dish that skyrocketed shoulders into the pantheon of palatable joints with house-smoked and slow-roasted pork shoulder enlivened by coleslaw, barbecue black eyed peas, and cornbread ($17). To create the shrimp and grits, chefs sauté plump shrimps and sizzling shallots in a decadent sauce before hoisting the concoction onto a bed of stone-ground grits and verdant greens ($17).

6825 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia,
PA
US

In a city known for its cheesesteaks, it can be difficult to find a beef brisket smoked to Midwestern perfection. Enter Anastasio Botsaris, the chef and owner of Phoebe's Bar-B-Q. Botsaris and his pit crew call forth a wide array of Oklahoma-style barbecue meats from the fires of their kitchen. They stress simplicity above all else, letting their smoked rotisserie chickens and pulled-pork sandwiches speak for themselves. They don't skimp on the sides, either, which include candied yams and collard greens, which are best washed down with a tall pint of barbecue sauce.

5002 Umbria St
Philadelphia,
PA
US