Barbecuing is a distinctly American art form, much like listening to jazz music and feigning an understanding of jazz music. Celebrate patriotic cuisine with today’s Groupon to Honey Bear’s BBQ, valid at the locations on Van Buren Street and Central Avenue in Phoenix and Priest Drive in Tempe. Choose between the following options:
- For $10, you get $20 worth of anything on the menu.
- For $35, you get one family meal (up to a $73.89 value). Click here for an overview of the menu.
Since opening its doors in 1986, Honey Bear’s BBQ has been raking in superlatives for its Tennessee-style fare, including the recently awarded title of Best BBQ Sauce by the Phoenix New Times. The barbecue joint is the brainchild of childhood friends and business partners Gary Clark and Mark Smith, whose secret family recipes, sauces, and spices have been passed down for more than 50 years through word of mouth and padlocked spice racks. Cooked over an open flame, Honey Bear’s pork ribs and whole chickens are rubbed with spices as heat sears golden-brown skin atop tender meat imbued with signature Tennessee flavors. Meals are trimmed with sides such as potato salad and cowbro beans, a house specialty overflowing with peppers, hot links, and the wreckage of capsized spoons.
Honey Bear's BBQ
Mark Smith and Gary Clark wouldn’t be where they are today without a 50-year-old barbecue recipe. When the two childhood friends started a catering service in college to cover their living expenses, they soon became renowned for their barbecue, made with a Tennessee-style recipe passed down through several generations. Bolstered by demand, they bought a truck and a portable barbecue pit—but soon traded these for a brick-and-mortar location, a rustic storefront on East Van Buren Street. More than 25 years later, the pair are still serving smoked meats at Honey Bear’s BBQ, boosting their output with a second location on North Central Avenue and a separate catering center.
Their recipe has only improved with age, earning them accolades such as the Phoenix’s Best BBQ Sauce 2010 Award from the Phoenix New Times. Inside the Honey Bear BBQ kitchens, chefs brush this signature Tennessee sauce onto pulled pork, shredded chicken, and beef brisket, which they serve by the pound, pile onto sandwiches, or stuff into face-level catapults. They complement the mesquite flavors with traditional Southern sides such as potato salad, cowbro beans, collard greens, and tater tots. For faraway fans, they also bottle and ship their signature sauce around the country.