Stampede and barbecue go together cowboys and their horses, like cotton candy and carnival rides. In other words, they’re the perfect pair. You seriously can’t have one without the other. And while every community/company/charity party will be grilling up their own version of meaty treats, they probably won’t come close to the real deal you’ll get at these dedicated barbecue joints.
For your hungriest friends: Bookers BBQ Grill & Crab Shack
If it’s Sunday and you’re starving, there’s only one place to turn: Bookers for all-you-can-eat ribs and crab legs. There’s nothing fancy about this joint that sits at the foot of the 4th Avenue Flyover, but the southern-style barbecue does not disappoint. We suggest going with a non-judgmental crowd, because there’s no way you’ll be able to resist licking your fingers.
316 3 St. SE, bookersbbq.com
For your most discerning BBQ-snob friends: The Palomino Smokehouse
Looking for a tried and true barbecue experience? The Palomino Smokehouse has been at it for years, perfecting the art of slow-smoking their meats and creating delicious rubs and sauces that keep the downtown crowd coming back for more. Order the Fat Ass Platter — pretty much the whole menu on one plate — so you’ll remember your faves for next time. Because there will be a next time.
109 7 Ave. SW, thepalomino.ca
For your trendiest friends: Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey
This spot just opened up in Kensington and is already making a statement with bold Texas-inspired design and an impressive menu. If you’re into dark liquor with your barbecue, these guys feature 70 different varieties to sample in their backyard “whiskey garden.” With some of the most flavorful chicken wings and beef short ribs in town, there’s a smokin’ summer ahead for this place.
1136 Kensington Rd. NW, haydenblockyyc.com
For your low-key lunch friends: Holy Smoke
Tucked away in an industrial area off of Blackfoot Trail, you’ll find the casual, unassuming storefront of Holy Smoke. Order from a simple menu at the counter, take a seat at one of their picnic tables on the lawn, and get ready to smother your brisket in their ridiculous array of homemade BBQ sauces. You’ll find a second location on 16th Avenue NE, but both are worth the drive.
4640 Manhattan Rd. SE, holysmokebbq.ca
By Lydia Nutbrown