Spare ribs are a staple of Chicago's culinary scene. With so many restaurants and diners offering their take on this classic dish, it can be tough to determine which locations serve the best spare ribs.
Whether you prefer your ribs smoky, sweet, or spicy, there's a spot in Chicago that's sure to satisfy your cravings.
Chicagoans take their spare ribs seriously. These succulent, meaty cuts of pork are slow-cooked to perfection, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a mouthwatering experience.
The best spare ribs in Chicago are tender, juicy, and packed with flavor – the kind of dish that leaves you licking your fingers and reaching for seconds.
But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. From traditional barbecue joints to upscale restaurants, there's no shortage of places to indulge in some spare ribs.
Whether you're a lifelong Chicagoan or just visiting the city for the first time, you're sure to find a spot that meets your needs.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best places to enjoy spare ribs in Chicago. We'll cover classic barbecue spots, trendy restaurants, and hidden gems that you might not have heard of before.
So sit back, grab a napkin, and get ready to discover the best spare ribs in the Windy City!
1. Smoque BBQ
Smoque BBQ is a popular spot for those looking for delicious spare ribs. The ribs are cooked to perfection, with a clear smoke ring visible upon cutting them open.
The restaurant is confident in their meat's flavor, as they serve the sauce on the side.
The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. The patio area in the back is a nice touch, and the service is friendly and attentive.
If you're in the mood for some mouth-watering ribs, Smoque BBQ is a must-visit spot.
2. Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern
Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern is a neighborhood tavern and barbecue restaurant founded in 1932. It has a long history of serving excellent ribs and seasonal cocktails.
The fall-off-the-bone ribs are a must-try, and the zesty/spicy sauce is flavorful. The service is friendly and attentive, making guests feel welcome.
Although it can get crowded during dinner, it's worth visiting for a late lunch or on weekdays.
The patio section is a nice place to enjoy the food and drinks, and the cozy atmosphere adds to the overall experience. Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern is a true Chicago gem that is sure to satisfy any rib lover.
3. Gale Street Inn Chicago
Looking for the best spare ribs in town, look no further than Gale Street Inn Chicago. This hidden gem offers flavorful and delicious spare ribs that are cooked to perfection.
The limited menu has enough options to satisfy everyone, including chicken, fish, and large salads.
The friendly and knowledgeable staff provide excellent service in a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
With ample free parking and a full bar, Gale Street Inn Chicago is a must-try for anyone in the vicinity.
4. Carson's Ribs
Carson's Ribs is a classic steakhouse and rib-joint that serves slow-smoked American barbecue.
They are known for their signature baby back ribs that are perfectly cooked and delicious. The coleslaw is also a must-try, as it is one of the tastiest around.
The staff is friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is comfortable and well-appointed.
If you're looking for a great place to enjoy some mouth-watering ribs, Carson's Ribs is definitely worth checking out.
5. Da Hit BBQ & Jerk
Da Hit BBQ & Jerk is a hidden gem for delicious spare ribs. The chicken and turkey tips are seasoned to perfection and the sauce is a must-try.
The diverse menu offers something for everyone, including tasty sides like mac and cheese and cajun corn.
The customer service is outstanding and the food is always hot and fresh.
This is a great spot to satisfy your barbecue cravings without breaking the bank. Try it out and you won't be disappointed!
6. City Sons BBQ
City Sons BBQ is a must-try for anyone who loves spare ribs.
Their portions and prices are unbeatable, making it an easy household favorite.
The pulled pork sandwich, sliced brisket sandwich, and mac and cheese were all delicious and left a lasting impression.
Without a doubt, this barbecue restaurant will be a go-to for anyone looking for a satisfying meal.
7. Soul & Smoke – West Loop
Soul & Smoke – West Loop is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious spare ribs.
The meat is tender and flavorful, making it a treat for the taste buds. The staff is friendly and fast, ensuring that customers have a great experience.
The restaurant also offers a variety of sides, including mac and cheese and apple slaw, that perfectly complement the ribs.
This barbecue restaurant is the perfect spot for a casual lunch or a dinner with friends. Don't miss out on the chance to try these amazing spare ribs at Soul & Smoke – West Loop.
8. SoJu BBQ
SoJu BBQ is a modern Korean eatery that serves up creative and delicious fare.
Their spare ribs are a standout dish, perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. The menu offers a variety of options, including halal choices.
The service is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience.
Whether you're in the mood for Korean barbecue or Asian fusion cuisine, SoJu BBQ is a must-visit spot.
9. Joker's Cajun Smokehouse
Joker's Cajun Smokehouse is a must-visit for anyone looking for great spare ribs. Their smoked meats are sublimely smoky and cooked to perfection.
The menu has a wide variety of options to choose from, including baby back ribs, pulled pork, beef burnt ends, and smoked wings.
The sauces are top-notch, with the slightly sweet and spicy chipotle being a standout. The sides are equally delicious, with the dirty rice and Mac and cheese being customer favorites.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, making for a pleasant dining experience. Don't miss out on this gem of a restaurant.
10. Weber Grill Restaurant
Weber Grill Restaurant is a meat lover's paradise. Their spare ribs are cooked to perfection and the hickory smoked flavor is out of this world.
The staff is welcoming and attentive, making the dining experience even better.
The menu is diverse and offers something for everyone, but the ribs are the real star of the show.
If you're in the mood for some mouth-watering spare ribs, Weber Grill Restaurant is the place to go.
11. Jiang Niu BBQ House
Jiang Niu BBQ House is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious spare ribs. Their all-you-can-eat option is great value for money, and the quality of the meat is top-notch.
The staff is attentive and helpful, and the robot delivery system adds a unique touch to the dining experience.
The restaurant has a lively atmosphere, and the decor is beautiful. Parking can be a bit tight, but the restaurant is definitely worth the effort to find a spot.
If you're in the mood for Asian fusion barbecue, Jiang Niu BBQ House is the place to go.
12. Leon's Barbecue
Leon's Barbecue is a fast food restaurant that serves up some of the best BBQ ribs and chicken in town.
The portions are large and the prices are reasonable. The staff is friendly and the turn-around time for an order is fast.
The South Carolina style sauce may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it adds a unique flavor to the meat.
The sausage links are also worth trying. The place is a counter-serve fixture for BBQ standards and a must-visit for any BBQ lover.
13. The Fireplace Inn
The Fireplace Inn is a cozy tavern that serves up delicious BBQ ribs and American fare.
The atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends, with multiple areas to grab a drink and plenty of tables to sit and enjoy the food. The oversized vodka-lemonades are a must-try, and the staff is friendly and attentive.
The ribs are the real star of the show, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and flavorful seasoning that will leave you wanting more.
Whether you're in the mood for a hearty meal or just a few drinks, The Fireplace Inn is a great spot to check out.
14. Honky Tonk BBQ
Honky Tonk BBQ is a rustic eatery that specializes in Memphis-style barbecue.
The food is cooked to perfection, with crispy exterior and juicy interior. The rib tips and brisket are highly recommended.
The menu offers a variety of meats and sides, and the BBQ sauces are amazing. The service is attentive and helpful, and the atmosphere is intimate and nostalgic.
Live entertainment is available on certain days. Honky Tonk BBQ is a great place to go for some A1 day1 BBQ.
15. Honey 1 BBQ
Honey 1 BBQ is a casual counter-serve storefront that offers hickory-smoked BBQ classics.
Their rib tips are a must-try, as they are tender and juicy, and the hot links are spicy and flavorful. The BBQ sauce is on point, not too sweet, but customers might want to ask for extra.
The staff is friendly and provides great customer service. Prices are reasonable for the amount of food served.
While there might be a wait due to cooking to order, the food is worth it. Honey 1 BBQ is a great place to satisfy your craving for delicious BBQ.
16. Lem's Bar-B-Q
Lem's Bar-B-Q is a takeout only restaurant that serves some of the best spare ribs in the city.
The line can be long, but the wait is worth it. The rib tips are tender and meaty, while the hot links are equally delicious.
The JBL special is a must-try, with perfectly cooked meat that doesn't even need the sauce.
The neighborhood may not be the safest, but the food is worth the risk. It's a Southside institution that has been serving up amazing barbecue for years.