Barbeque – and I’m talking smoky, tender, fall off the bone barbeque here – can be a tricky menu item to pull off anywhere, never mind China. So the fact that Shanghai has seen the number of Western barbeque joints increase tenfold in the last few years says quite a bit about the increasing influence of expat cuisine. That being said, there will always be people who argue that due to the quality of meat, lack of key ingredients, etc., etc. that it is impossible to create Western barbeque in Shanghai that is as good as, well, barbeque in the West. And I have to say that I agree. However, this city has done a mighty fine job of making the best of what it has which has resulted in some downright delicious barbeque offerings. And with that, I introduce the list of Shanghai’s best Western barbeque restaurants. Feel free to add your own picks in the comments section!
1) Tock’sView In Map
The new kid on the block has come out of the gate running – and thank God. The only Montreal style deli in Shanghai, Tock’s is a perfect example of how to do just about everything exactly right. The meat (which you can order lean, medium fatty, or fatty) is cooked for ages and sliced just before being put on your plate. The smoky flavor mingles perfectly with a melt in your mouth tenderness, resulting in an astonishingly good dining experience. The sandwiches come with a giant stack of meat and little bitty pieces of bread, making it the perfect meal for those feeling carnivorous. Oh, and the smoked duck is pretty freaking awesome too. Hands down the best Western barbeque place in Shanghai.
Add: 221 Henan Zhong Lu, near Fuzhou Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 152 2113 3516
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00
2) Bubba’s BBQView In Map
The old barbeque stand by, Bubba’s BBQ has started sliding by on its reputation alone in recent years. However, its Hongqiao location is still one of the best places to grab a platter of freshly smoked chicken, ribs, and pulled pork. The smell of the smoker during the spring and summer months is enough to lure you in, and you won’t be sorry you visited. A warning to the wise: avoid their Bubba’s on the Beach location at all costs. The meat is all transported from their Hongqiao location anyway, and it shows. The quality is so much lower at this location that I hesitate to even associate it with the Bubba’s name. So Hongqiao it is!
Add: 2262 Hongqiao Lu, near Jianhe Lu (branch), Shanghai
Tel: 021 6242 2612
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-24:00 (kitchen closes at 22:00)
3) Southern BelleView In Map
Southern Belle is mostly known as a great drink place, and for good reason. Its food menu is hit or miss to say the least, but one thing they certainly do get right is pretty much anything they cook on their outside grill. If you’re sitting on their beautiful outside deck, you can actually watch the food being grilled right there in front of you. Their wings and ribs come off piping hot, with that deliciously familiar smoky flavor that instantly transports you back to summer grill outs at home. Order some with an icy cold beer, and you can almost imagine yourself at a backyard.
Add: 433 Changle Lu, near Xiangyang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5403 3218
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-02:00
4) Stubb’s Bar-B-QView In Map
With a full menu of pulled pork, smoked brisket, ribs, and chicken, Stubb’s has an impressive menu selection that should satisfy most meat lovers. As is often the case, however, some dishes are better than others. The pulled pork sandwich is a common favorite, as are the ribs. The chicken tends to come out a bit dry, though, so that should be avoided unless you’re in desperate need of a poultry fix. Overall, a perfectly good place to satisfy your barbeque craving (just avoid the live music unless you’re a fan of high volume).
Add: 550 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5459 1202
Opening hours Daily, 16:00-24:00
5) City BullView In Map
Another Canadian owned entry on this list, City Bull is a favorite of families in both Puxi and Pudong. With its comfortingly generic dining room, it manages to pull off some impressively decent slow cooked ribs and pulled pork sandwiches that should satisfy adults and kids alike. While it’s certainly not the best on the list (see that other Canadian import at the top), you won’t leave feeling hungry, that’s for sure!
Add: 288 Jinyan Lu, near Jinxiu Lu (branch), Shanghai
Tel: 021 6845 0398
Opening hours: Daily, 08:00-22:00
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Keywords: Shanghai’s best Western barbeque restaurants
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