20 essential metro Detroit barbecue spots to get your meat sweats on right now

You know you haven’t gotten laid during quarantine if the words “dry-rubbed and smoked low and slow” get you all hot and bothered. Well, keep your clothes on and grab a moist towelette (sorry), because these essential metro Detroit barbecue joints are doing god's work: filling our stomachs — which, to no fault of our own, have been filled with canned soup and Pop-Tarts for, like, three months now — with brisket, pulled pork, and, yes, burnt ends. Vegans, you'll have to sit this one out because we've got it bad. P.S. Our safe word is “rib tips.” 

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A.B.’s Amazing Ribs
27310 Ford Rd., Dearborn; 313-914-2159; abamazingribs.com
Two words: Fucking Waygu brisket. OK — so that’s three words, but this Dearborn classic has the most important word right in the damn name. 
Photo via A.B.’s Amazing Ribs/Facebook

A.B.’s Amazing Ribs


27310 Ford Rd., Dearborn; 313-914-2159; abamazingribs.com
Two words: Fucking Waygu brisket. OK — so that’s three words, but this Dearborn classic has the most important word right in the damn name.

Photo via A.B.’s Amazing Ribs/Facebook
Arkins Sweet BBQ Pit
30140 Southfield Rd., Southfield; 248-731-7397; arkinsbbq.com
All truly great barbecue comes with a secret, and no, we’re not talking about, like, the time you hit your neighbor's car and didn’t leave a note. We’re talking about Arkins Sweet BBQ Pit and their top-secret meat rub, which they use for their St. Louis pork ribs, chicken, beef brisket, and their friggin’ rack of lamb. 
Photo via Arkins Sweet BBQ Pit/Facebook

Arkins Sweet BBQ Pit


30140 Southfield Rd., Southfield; 248-731-7397; arkinsbbq.com
All truly great barbecue comes with a secret, and no, we’re not talking about, like, the time you hit your neighbor's car and didn’t leave a note. We’re talking about Arkins Sweet BBQ Pit and their top-secret meat rub, which they use for their St. Louis pork ribs, chicken, beef brisket, and their friggin’ rack of lamb.

Photo via Arkins Sweet BBQ Pit/Facebook
Bad Brad’s BBQ
Various locations; badbradsbbq.com
Sometimes it feels good to be bad. Such is the case for one of metro Detroit’s top spots for finger-lickin’ barbecue, Bad Brad’s, which has several locations. Hours before we wake up, the Bad Brad’s team is already awake, caffeinated, and doing god’s work: smoking meat. From the smoker to the plate, everything at Bad Brad’s is made from scratch, including six barbecue sauces. Our favorite? The 321 — three parts sweet, two parts spicy, and one part sour. 
Photo via Bad Brad’s BBQ/Facebook

Bad Brad’s BBQ


Various locations; badbradsbbq.com
Sometimes it feels good to be bad. Such is the case for one of metro Detroit’s top spots for finger-lickin’ barbecue, Bad Brad’s, which has several locations. Hours before we wake up, the Bad Brad’s team is already awake, caffeinated, and doing god’s work: smoking meat. From the smoker to the plate, everything at Bad Brad’s is made from scratch, including six barbecue sauces. Our favorite? The 321 — three parts sweet, two parts spicy, and one part sour.
Photo via Bad Brad’s BBQ/Facebook
Lee's Texas Style Bar-B-Q
14001 Fenkell Ave., Detroit; 313-452-4940
Everything’s bigger in Texas — but what they don’t tell you is that, well, everything is a bit tastier, too. Family-owned and operated Lee’s Texas Style Bar-B-Q specializes in ribs and chicken, along with seafood and all the made-from-scratch soul food sides like the rich five-cheese mac and cheese. Don’t forget the sweet potato pie because, well, duh.
Photo by Tom Perkins

Lee's Texas Style Bar-B-Q

14001 Fenkell Ave., Detroit; 313-452-4940
Everything’s bigger in Texas — but what they don’t tell you is that, well, everything is a bit tastier, too. Family-owned and operated Lee’s Texas Style Bar-B-Q specializes in ribs and chicken, along with seafood and all the made-from-scratch soul food sides like the rich five-cheese mac and cheese. Don’t forget the sweet potato pie because, well, duh.

Photo by Tom Perkins
Bert's Market Place
2727 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030; bertsentertainmentcomplex.com
If you haven't been to Bert's Saturday morning barbecue cookout, you're missing out. The slabs of ribs and smoked sausage are cooked on a massive outdoor charcoal grill, filling Eastern Market with mouthwatering smells. Plus, they have karaoke.
Photo via Bert’s Marketplace/Facebook

Bert's Market Place

2727 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030; bertsentertainmentcomplex.com
If you haven't been to Bert's Saturday morning barbecue cookout, you're missing out. The slabs of ribs and smoked sausage are cooked on a massive outdoor charcoal grill, filling Eastern Market with mouthwatering smells. Plus, they have karaoke.

Photo via Bert’s Marketplace/Facebook
The Bone Yard Bar-B-Que
31006 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-851-7000; originalboneyard.com
We know you’re sick of being home but trust us when we say the award-winning homestyle ribs at The Bone Yard Bar-B-Que make it all better. If you can smoke it and slather it in sauce, the Bone Yard in Farmington Hills probably has it — and then some. Let the drooling commence. 
Photo via Bone Yard Bar-B-Que/Facebook

The Bone Yard Bar-B-Que

31006 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-851-7000; originalboneyard.com
We know you’re sick of being home but trust us when we say the award-winning homestyle ribs at The Bone Yard Bar-B-Que make it all better. If you can smoke it and slather it in sauce, the Bone Yard in Farmington Hills probably has it — and then some. Let the drooling commence.

Photo via Bone Yard Bar-B-Que/Facebook
Sweetwater Tavern
400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-2210; sweetwatertavern.net
There's reason to be skeptical of old-school Detroit restaurants considered to be the best at certain dishes. Oftentimes, what passed for good for decades is now mediocre. But Sweetwater, a perennial favorite for wings, doesn't disappoint. These are what wings should be: vinegary, spicy, and charred but still moist. Where mere mortals will pack wings with too much salt or rely heavily on cayenne and heat, the wing gods at Sweetwater know about balance and how to produce a piquant wing that lives up to the hype.
Photo by Tom Perkins

Sweetwater Tavern

400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-2210; sweetwatertavern.net
There's reason to be skeptical of old-school Detroit restaurants considered to be the best at certain dishes. Oftentimes, what passed for good for decades is now mediocre. But Sweetwater, a perennial favorite for wings, doesn't disappoint. These are what wings should be: vinegary, spicy, and charred but still moist. Where mere mortals will pack wings with too much salt or rely heavily on cayenne and heat, the wing gods at Sweetwater know about balance and how to produce a piquant wing that lives up to the hype.

Photo by Tom Perkins
Uptown BBQ Detroit
15700 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-861-7590; uptownbbqdetroit.com
Uptown, a barbecue and soul food legend, sits on Livernois between the Lodge and the University of Detroit. Even if you've never been there, you might have caught a whiff of its huge, black smoking cans parked out front of the shop. Uptown's racks come coated in a thick glaze of deep red, slightly sweet sauce that's wrapped up neat in your carryout container. Mention Uptown in conversation and the sides will invariably come up. Don't miss the mac and cheese and black-eyed peas.
Photo by Tom Perkins

Uptown BBQ Detroit

15700 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-861-7590; uptownbbqdetroit.com
Uptown, a barbecue and soul food legend, sits on Livernois between the Lodge and the University of Detroit. Even if you've never been there, you might have caught a whiff of its huge, black smoking cans parked out front of the shop. Uptown's racks come coated in a thick glaze of deep red, slightly sweet sauce that's wrapped up neat in your carryout container. Mention Uptown in conversation and the sides will invariably come up. Don't miss the mac and cheese and black-eyed peas.

Photo by Tom Perkins
Delray Barbecue 
600 Solvay, Detroit; 313-437-3412; delraybarbecue.com
OK — so we know that when you think of culinary destinations that Delray in Southwest Detroit may not, you know, be the first spot you think of. But Delray Barbecue fired up the smoker to serve you classic barbecue staples like ribs, brisket, pulled pork, kielbasa, chicken, and burnt ends.
Photo via Delray Barbecue/Facebook

Delray Barbecue


600 Solvay, Detroit; 313-437-3412; delraybarbecue.com
OK — so we know that when you think of culinary destinations that Delray in Southwest Detroit may not, you know, be the first spot you think of. But Delray Barbecue fired up the smoker to serve you classic barbecue staples like ribs, brisket, pulled pork, kielbasa, chicken, and burnt ends.

Photo via Delray Barbecue/Facebook
Detroit 75 Kitchen 
4800 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-843-3215; detroit75kitchen.com
This artisanal Southwest Detroit food truck has a little bit of everything — and a lot of it is barbecued to perfection — from chicken shawarma, chicken tenders, to barbecue chicken egg rolls, beef subs, and hickory-smoked chicken. 
Photo via Detroit 75 Kitchen/Facebook

Detroit 75 Kitchen


4800 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-843-3215; detroit75kitchen.com
This artisanal Southwest Detroit food truck has a little bit of everything — and a lot of it is barbecued to perfection — from chicken shawarma, chicken tenders, to barbecue chicken egg rolls, beef subs, and hickory-smoked chicken.

Photo via Detroit 75 Kitchen/Facebook