It isn’t just the South dishing out some of the best barbecue around. Maine is home to some high-quality restaurants serving up the best versions of this smoky and savory classic. From pulled pork sandwiches to a rack of juicy ribs, Maine’s top-notch barbecue joints are serving up some seriously good eats. Here are the 9 best in the state.
After a massive barbecue-filled road tour through North Carolina and Texas, the owners of Salvage BBQ opened Portland’s first dedicated barbecue joint in an old railroad post office building on Congress Street. Since then Salvage BBQ has been busy every night with Portlanders looking for the perfect smoked meat. Meat is smoked just outside in the “smoke shack” and the seating is communal. Barbecue doesn’t get much better than this in Maine.
Buck’s Naked BBQ is a family-friendly local barbecue chain in Freeport, Windham, and Portland. The Southern style menu is extensive with favorites like brisket, gumbo, catfish, and baby back ribs. Having a party? Buck’s also does catering!
Too tired to cook after a long day of skiing at Sunday River? Pick up a delicious smoked dinner from the Smokin’ Good BBQ food cart outside the Good Food Store in Bethel. With a trailer named “Graceland,” you know the food is good. They only use the finest fresh meats, which are dry rubbed to perfection with secret spices. Your stomach will thank you.
Moe’s Original BBQ may be a Colorado-based chain, but its Alabama-style barbecue is some of the best in the Bangor area. Moe’s food is made fresh from scratch daily and they have tons of daily specials, like the Thanksgiving Sandwich. The locals love the pulled pork.
Much like many Southern barbecue joints, some of the best are in small towns. Located in Monson, Spring Creek Bar-B-Q proudly serves as much Maine local products as possible. With over 17 years of experience, you’ll love their menu of fall-off-the-bones-ribs, mouth-watering mac and cheese, and homemade desserts.
Nestled in the family-friendly Willard Beach neighborhood of South Portland, Elsmere BBQ & Wood Grill is a local favorite serving up all natural meats and vegetables. The restaurant is located inside a renovated garage featuring reclaimed wood and whiskey barrel making you think you’re in the South. The slow-smoked meats are delicious and Elsmere even has vegetarian and vegan options.
Terlingua is not your typical barbecue joint. Chef Wilson Rothschild combines house-smoked meats with Caribbean, South-West, and Mexican flavors. Small batches of smoked barbecue meats are smoked onsite by owner Pliny Reynolds and comes off the smoker daily at 5 p.m. Get there early if you want any! The daily menu has brisket chili and beef tongue, but the real winners are the smoked ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.
Riverfront Barbeque & Grille brings the world-class flavors of Memphis to the capital city. Located along the historic riverfront, the barbecue joint offers a large menu filled with all your favorites from fresh seafood to Memphis dry rub ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. Most ingredients are purchased locally.
It’s not often you’ll see Southern-style barbecue ribs served up in the middle of a blizzard. The Rib Truck in Presque Isle has quite the following. The owner is friendly and has no problem cooking up racks of ribs in the snow. Order the pulled pork parfait, a bowl of barbecue baked beans topped with pulled pork and barbecue sauce. It’s worth it!