Barbecue: the soul of the culinary South, where the roasting and smoking of meat is a slow and smooth process. Finger-lickin’ fact: Did you know Norfolk is home to some downright delicious barbecue? This list highlights Norfolk’s top barbecue joints where you can go for tender ribs, pulled pork, brisket and all the side dishes you adore. Let’s dig in.
Main image: Redwood Smoke Shack
Southern wraparound porches will catch your eye when you drive by Bar-Q’s location nestled inside Bold Mariner Brewing Company. Then, your attention will quickly divert to the oversized meat smoker that cooks up some of the tastiest barbecue around. Bar-Q has an à la carte menu, but we highly suggest filling up a platter with their moist brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, rich mac and cheese, spicy jalapeño and cheddar links, classic cornbread and more! Pitmaster Jayme Campbell is a barbecue pro who embraces his creative side on the regular.
Get your favorite barbecue offerings like pulled pork, chicken, brisket and pork ribs, plus some unexpected items like pulled pork nachos, cornbread drizzled with honey and irresistible sliders. Take advantage of their weekly specials (Military Mondays and Taco Tuesdays, for instance) and their extra meaty combos.
Doumar’s is well known in Norfolk for creating the world’s first waffle cone. They still serve cones made from the original machine, along with a helping of nostalgia via their drive-up diner atmosphere complete with friendly car service. Their secret weapon, however, might just be their pork barbecue sandwiches. Created classically since 1904, these juicy creations are piled high and minced with combinations of slaw, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Extra hungry? Go for the double meat. Watch them in City With Bite!
Located inside a newly restored, 100-year-old building, part warehouse and part single-family home is The Fishin’ Pig restaurant. Original to Farmville, VA, The Fishin’ Pig is a creative collaboration of Memphis-style barbecue (we recommend the brisket) and Southern seafood dishes, like their catfish tacos! What you can expect from the barbecue side of the menu is delicious brisket that tenderly falls apart, ribs that are worth the messy hands and delicious pulled pork and chicken options that are best when topped with extra barbecue sauce, of which they have multiple options to choose from at the table.
Gogi Guys Korean BBQ offers a fresh, creative and respectful interpretation of Korean cuisine. Enjoy the wide variety of fresh meat grilled right at your table. Their all-you-can-eat menu features favorites like beef and pork bulgogi, brisket, ribeye, pork belly, soy garlic pork chop and chicken, garlic shrimp, squid and more.
This backyard hangout on North Colley is known for their fun and games, including foosball, giant Connect 4, ping pong and more. One thing they don’t play around with, however, is their barbecue, which is smoked right in the backyard. Choose from Hank’s pulled pork, smoked chicken or vegan jackfruit for a tasty BBQ plate or sandwich. Enjoy these same barbecue options sprinkled atop a plate of Totchos, crispy, air-fried tots with Hank’s BBQ sauce, beer cheese, pickled jalapeños and onions. Feeding the whole family? Opt for a BBQ or Brisket Family Pack to enjoy a quart of smoked pulled pork or brisket with all the fixings from the comfort of your own backyard.
The bubblegum pink storefront at Megallons is both welcoming and fitting, as the cozy cafe is loaded with pigs! Here you’ll find delicious barbecue and all the homemade sauces and fixings to pair. Husband and wife restaurateurs Don and Brenda use persimmon wood to smoke the meats to perfection. Hushpuppy fan? It’s been said that Megallons has the best hushpuppies in town. Eat in or take out! Once you try Megallons, you’ll have a new favorite local go-to.
Mojo Bones is where the barbecue is sticky, the pulled pork is juicy, and the sweet tea is extra sweet! Mojo serves up all your barbecue favorites such as slow-smoked brisket and tender, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs. To increase the mojo, they offer more than 40 craft and domestic beers to pair with your favorite barbecue options.
You’ll feel right at home at My Mama’s Kitchen where Owner and Chef Motier “Moe” Stevenson proudly shares his family’s Southern comfort recipes with excited patrons at his East Beach restaurant. The brisket melts in your mouth, the cornbread is fluffy, the sauce is tangy, and the mac and cheese is oh so creamy. Their best barbecue options include baby back ribs, BBQ Sammich and pulled pork or beef brisket, each offered in the form of a sandwich or dinner. Watch them in City With Bite!
Bob Roberts, pitmaster and owner of Redwood Smoke Shack, is a creative thinker who turned his part-time hobby into a full-time profession. Redwood Smoke Shack is a Texas-inspired barbecue joint located in the historic Ghent neighborhood serving up delicious dishes packed with flavor! Customers can become involved in the process by selecting and assembling barbecue meats and sides to make it just the way you like it. Featuring beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs, Redwood is indeed a barbecue lover’s dream. Check out their daily specials for a real treat.
Sam’s is a hidden gem serving up killer subs, like the fan favorite: Black & Blue featuring slow roasted brisket, blackened seasoning, blue cheese, onions, mushrooms, and mayo. Other popular options are The Everything Homemade BBQ, signature brisket slow cooked in Texas-style barbecue sauce and topped with coleslaw, and Sam’s Famous Brisket Chili served with cheese, onions and sour cream. Watch them on City With Bite!