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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.

1. Iron Pig Alehouse

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1520 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 412-4299
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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.

2. The Whole Hog

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3749 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92103

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.

3. Ranchwood BBQ & Catering

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7229 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 337-0740
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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.

4. Mark's Bark BBQ

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3641 Madison Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 994-7493

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]

5. Sonny's Southern California BBQ

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549 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 677-2039
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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]

1. Iron Pig Alehouse

1520 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

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.

1520 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

2. The Whole Hog

3749 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92103

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.

3749 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92103

3. Ranchwood BBQ & Catering

7229 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

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.

7229 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115

4. Mark's Bark BBQ

3641 Madison Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

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]

3641 Madison Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

5. Sonny's Southern California BBQ

549 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102

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]

549 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102

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