With everything from authentic USA style smokehouses to weekend roasts by the Thames, Keegan Strandness rounds up north and south London’s best barbecue restaurants


South London

The Joint
At only 16 months old, this venue was born out of the classic love story of chef meets baker. What started as a pop-up turned into a permanent residency at street food Mecca Brixton Village. There, duo Warren Dean and Daniel Fiteni perfectly combine the experience of both their crafts by serving slow-cooked meats on freshly-baked buns to critical acclaim.  87 Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8PS; the-joint.co

Red Dog Saloon
If you’ve got a taste for authentic barbecue flavour, look no further. Emphasising its roots in the South of the USA, this award-winning venue prepares meats on a smoker imported straight from the states. Meat at the Red Dog Saloon stays in the smoker for up to 16 hours, taking its flavour from traditional American woods such as Hickory and Mesquite. If you’re feeling especially daring, bib up for the Saloon’s Hot Wing Challenge or the ever-daunting Devastator Challenge. This is the second venue for the Red Dog pack, its first is in Hoxton. 27-31 Bedford Road, SW4 7SH; reddogsaloon.co.uk

The best barbecue restaurants in London

Challenge yourself to Red Dog’s Devastator

The Ship
While The Ship’s famous Sunday roasts draw in the crowds in the winter, when the sun shines, it’s the barbecue that takes centre stage and with a huge outside area, plenty of seating and a buzzing atmosphere it’s no surprise that this is one of SW London’s favourite summer spots. The barbecue cooks up classics like sausages, burgers and cajun chicken, as well as fancier offerings in the form of sea bream with samphire, pulled pork and lamb steak with couscous. 41 Jews Row, London, SW18 1TB; theship.co.uk

Big Easy
Big Easy has been standing strong for 22 years, and cooks old school barbecue food with two key ingredients: wood and time. There is no shortage of options, and the menu offers varying styles of cooking such as Texas, Memphis, Carolina and Kansas barbecues. With a focus on home-style food and easy-going life, this venue is a double-threat of great atmosphere and expert cooking. 332-334 King’s Rd, London SW3 5UR; bigeasy.co.uk

The Jam Tree
Set right in the heart of Old Town Clapham, The Jam Tree’s atmosphere pulls in the punters but it’s the food that makes them stay. Weather permitting, the barbecue is served on Thursday and Friday nights, as well as all day on Saturday and Sunday. It also does barbecue packages for groups of 15 people and more, so why not make it a party?13 Old Town, London, SW4 0JT; thejamtree.com

North London

The Albion
Voted “Best Sunday Lunch 2009” by The Observer Food Monthly awards and one of The Independent’s “Top 50 Sunday Lunch Venues,” The Albion has a right to boast about its roast. But in the summer, the menu at this Islington gastropub is all about the barbecue, which is served in the pretty walled garden. And, if you’re looking to go all out, order the whole roast suckling pig with all the trimmings (but you’ll need to give the chef 72 hours notice!). 10 Thornhill Rd; London N1 1HW; the-albion.co.uk

The Smokehouse
“This is the place to show us why man discovered fire,” so says Fay Maschler of The Smokehouse. The name says it all really, Korean pulled pork, brisket, smoked duck leg, this is not a place for a vegetarian. But neither is it all great slabs of bloody meat and grungy interiors. The space is artfully decorated, candles light the tables inside, while it’s fairy lights twinkle in the garden. Food is sourced locally, cooked passionately and served with a smile. 63-69 Canonbury Rd London N1 2DG; smokehouseislington.co.uk

Brixton Burger joint The Joint

Brixton Village burger restaurant The Joint

The Alwyne Castle
This venue lives up to its name, serving royally delicious meals in a spacious environment. With outdoor space for 300 of your closest friends, The Alwyne Castle’s garden is a prime spot on balmy summer evenings. The barbecue operates when the sun shines and throws out all the usual suspects, plus there are occasional hog roasts. 83 St Paul’s Rd, London N1 2LY thealwynecastleislington.co.uk

The Garden Gate
For those wanting a laid-back and scenic barbecue experience, this 19th century pub garden is the place to be. Boasting fresh homemade burgers and a covered dining area, The Garden Gate is a chilled out destination. There are craft beers and home-cooked pub food alongside the barbecue, and you can even bring your pooch to the dog-friendly pub. 14 S End Rd, London NW3 2QE; thegardengatehampstead.co.uk

The Stag 
With its roof terrace and a colourful beer garden with cabanas for groups, The Stag is one of Hampstead’s most popular pubs. Every Sunday in the summer it hosts roasts, barbecues (weather permitting) and acoustic music sessions from 5pm. This Saturday, 26th July, is The Stag’s Summer of Love Garden Party, book a cabana and while away a laid-back sunny day. 67 Fleet Rd, London, NW3 2QU; thestaghampstead.com

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