Thrill of the Grill | East Bay BBQ

When you want to tear into some meat like a Jurassic predator, a classic session of saucy barbecue should do the trick. Pick up a pork rib or chicken drumstick and put that tireless napkin to hard work when the carnivore in you craves a good feeding.

Whether it’s a single serving with sides or combo platters to satiate a group, there are local barbecue places currently making the South proud. The following BARTable East Bay restaurants understand how to properly put together plenty of smoke, seasoning and sauce for your next culinary “trip” out into the country.

Sauced BBQ & Spirits by Walnut Creek

A spacious restaurant and bar with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light to spotlight your next feast, Sauced BBQ & Spirits does flavor and setting right. This is where barbecue, craft cocktails and changing beers on tap coalesce in Walnut Creek. There’s even outdoor seating with a fireplace. Happy hour specials and massive combination plates for sharing a bit of everything lure groups nightly, or you can dig into smoky, sauced ribs or wings all to yourself. Don’t forget the waffle fries with homemade buffalo sauce and blue cheese. Take BART to Walnut Creek and it's 13 minutes from the station on Locust St. 

Smokin Woods BBQ by MacArthur

Smokin Woods BBQ is a heavyweight in the East Bay barbecue restaurant and catering scene. At the Oakland barbecue restaurant steps from MacArthur Station, dry spice rub recipes and natural woods have been infusing each meal with seductive smoked flavors since 2013. Take your meal in a classic checkered paper-lined plate or in a to-go box and delve into your meat centerpiece with choice of classic sides (greens, biscuits and macaroni ‘n’ cheese) that round out the full-calorie feast. Take BART to MacArthur and walk six minutes to Telegraph Ave. 

Everett and Jones by 12th St/Oakland City Center or North Berkeley 

Everett and Jones has been serving “Oakland Style Barbecue” since 1973. With the first E&J restaurant having opened back in the day on 14th Street in Oakland, the iconic family-owned barbecue joint now has four locations in the East Bay.  At the Berkeley spot near North Berkeley Station, the tradition of slow-smoked meats smothered in the famous Super Q Sauce prevails. After you’ve had an in-house meal, don’t forget to take the goodness home with a jar of barbecue sauce that’s become a local hot commodity. You can also enjoy the sites of Jack London Square at their Oakland/Broadway location. Take BART to North Berkeley and walk 13 minutes to San Pablo or to 12th St/Oakland City Center and walk 15 minutes down Broadway. 

Phat Matt’s BBQ by MacArthur Station

Phat Matt’s BBQ was started by, yes, Matt. He cut his teeth barbecuing in Chicago before making his way to California to open this Oakland hotspot decades later. While Phat Matt’s keeps it real, it also keeps its dry rub spices and sauces incredibly salt-free. Try the North Carolina pulled pork, Texas-inspired brisket or Memphis-style ribs to give your palate a tour of America’s hearty barbecue traditions as you sit in a simple dining setting filled with red tables and red leather bar stools. Take BART to MacArthur and walk 10 minutes to Telegraph Ave. 

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