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Five New Spots for Good Barbecue in San Diego

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It's no secret that barbecue is not exactly San Diego's strong suit; fans of the fine art of low and slow have long bemoaned the lack of real deal smoked meat in town. But our barbecue scene is growing in quality and quantity; case in point, here are five spots that have opened in the last year or so and are getting it pretty right.

Note: map points are not ranked.

[Photo via Iron Pig Alehouse/Facebook]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Iron Pig Alehouse

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Opened last fall and offering a modern take on barbecue, Iron Pig is doing admirable work in the field of meat thanks to chef Rick Daniels, a son of Texas and an alum of Whisknladle. Try his Texas-style brisket or dry rubbed pulled pork and spare ribs; don't miss the hickory-smoked chicken wings, served with regular or spicy barbecue sauce and homemade ranch.

The Whole Hog

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Specializing in all things pork, from pulled pork offered with Kansas City or Carolina sauce to pork-infused sides (collard greens, potato salad, black-eyed peas), this eatery opened last December and offers other barbecue favorites on special; St. Louis ribs are available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday while rib tip plates and sandwiches are featured just on Sunday.

Ranchwood BBQ & Catering

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This farmer's market favorite went brick-and-mortar in 2014, with a La Mesa eatery that also delivers food to the wine bar next door called Next Door. The signatures here include a layered parfait of meat, mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce and their root beer-baked beans, plus a smorgasbord of barbecue meats ranging from tri-tip, ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket to smoked chicken breasts and hot links.

Mark's Bark BBQ

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Popping up last year in the front space of a catering kitchen, Mark's Bark is only open to the public on Sundays. Best bets are his brisket and ribs, which often run out by day's end, served with Texas-style sauce. [Photo via Yelp]

Sonny's Southern California BBQ

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Also known as SQUE BBQ, this tiny corner spot in Sherman Heights is best for takeout; get the rib tips or pork ribs with twist sauce. Must-try sides include the fresh-cut fries, cornbread and sugar-sweet yams. [Photo via Yelp]

Iron Pig Alehouse

Opened last fall and offering a modern take on barbecue, Iron Pig is doing admirable work in the field of meat thanks to chef Rick Daniels, a son of Texas and an alum of Whisknladle. Try his Texas-style brisket or dry rubbed pulled pork and spare ribs; don't miss the hickory-smoked chicken wings, served with regular or spicy barbecue sauce and homemade ranch.

The Whole Hog

Specializing in all things pork, from pulled pork offered with Kansas City or Carolina sauce to pork-infused sides (collard greens, potato salad, black-eyed peas), this eatery opened last December and offers other barbecue favorites on special; St. Louis ribs are available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday while rib tip plates and sandwiches are featured just on Sunday.

Ranchwood BBQ & Catering

This farmer's market favorite went brick-and-mortar in 2014, with a La Mesa eatery that also delivers food to the wine bar next door called Next Door. The signatures here include a layered parfait of meat, mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce and their root beer-baked beans, plus a smorgasbord of barbecue meats ranging from tri-tip, ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket to smoked chicken breasts and hot links.

Mark's Bark BBQ

Popping up last year in the front space of a catering kitchen, Mark's Bark is only open to the public on Sundays. Best bets are his brisket and ribs, which often run out by day's end, served with Texas-style sauce. [Photo via Yelp]

Sonny's Southern California BBQ

Also known as SQUE BBQ, this tiny corner spot in Sherman Heights is best for takeout; get the rib tips or pork ribs with twist sauce. Must-try sides include the fresh-cut fries, cornbread and sugar-sweet yams. [Photo via Yelp]

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