: Grasslands Barbecue

Where to Find BBQ Everywhere in Oregon

Follow your nose to these smoky, succulent meals fit to please every appetite.
January 29, 2020 (Updated October 9, 2023)

Nothing beats the tangy, smoky, spicy-sweet magic of a pile of masterfully prepared barbecue. We’re talking briskets smoked for most of a day and chicken thighs so succulent they fall off the bone. Then there are the delightfully messy, tender ribs. Toss in a side of slaw and — well, are you hungry yet? 

Finding tasty BBQ in Oregon is easy, too, where the pitmasters are among the best at crafting creations that wow. “Barbecue is a never-ending story,” says Drew Marquis, a co-founder of Grasslands Barbecue in Hood River. “The more you learn about it, the more you realize you don’t know. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to do it right.” 

Here are some don’t-miss spots that definitely do it right. 


From Smoked Meats to Jackfruit Ribs in Portland

Recognized by Texas Monthly magazine as home to “the best barbecue scene outside of Texas,” Portland is proud of its smokers. That’s thanks in no small part to Matt’s BBQ, which earned pitmaster Matt Vicedomini a Food Cart of the Year award from The Oregonian and a top 10 slot on Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants of 2019. Try Matt’s BBQ Tacos for the same wonderful meats served on homemade tortillas, cooked to order with all the taco fixings. 

Not to be outdone, Podnah’s Pit Barbecue has its own accolades from the Food Network and Willamette Week. Podnah — Texan slang for “partner” — offers meats like brisket and chicken by the quarter-pound, done the way pitmaster Rodney Muirhead’s grandfather, a Texan butcher, would approve of. 

For lighter fare, Homegrown Smoker in St. Johns proves “vegan barbecue” isn’t an oxymoron with savory jackfruit ribs, chili cheese fries and Philthy Nocheesesteaks with seitan and the yummiest “nocheese” sauce ever.

Smoked Pork Belly and Portobellos Near Hood River

It’s only been a few years since three friends founded Grasslands Barbecue in Hood River, but the smoky “Tex-ish” sorcery these guys unleash tastes like it took a lifetime to master. Delight in pulled pork smoked for 12 hours, pepper-crusted bites of pork belly glistening in a ginger-soy and serrano glaze and a smoked portobello sandwich. Look for them in action on weekends only next to Ferment Brewing Company

About 16 miles south in Parkdale, Apple Valley BBQ distinguishes itself by using cherry wood from local orchards to smoke pork ribs and other meats. The Skyway Bar and Grill in Zigzag bills itself as a roadhouse-style barbecue joint, and that’s exactly what it is. Try the sampler plate, which comes with brisket, pulled pork and a quarter-rack of ribs. 

A plate of BBQ pork, chicken wings and ribs.
Courtesy of Storrs Smokehouse

Creative Cures and Sauces in the Willamette Valley

If you’re looking for homemade beef bacon or slow-smoked brisket topped with smoked cheese, look no further than DW Smokehouse in Eugene. The food truck gets rave reviews for corn beef brined for nearly a month and homemade jerky. Not too far away, Paper Plate BBQ serves up citrus-brined chicken alongside mac and cheese or cornbread muffins slathered with honey butter. 

In Newberg Storrs Smokehouse — a sister property to The Painted Lady Restaurant — serves meaty St. Louis-style pork ribs, whole chickens and Southern sides like collard greens and three-bean salad. 

Cascade BBQ in Corvallis does specials from time to time like smoked chalupas with a roasted red pepper sauce, as well as smoked Cuban sandwiches, wood-fired chicken and tri-tip and burnt ends. The outfit also sells rubs, sauces and seasonings for you to up your own barbecue game at home. In Salem, the massive brisket sandwiches slathered in mac ‘n’ cheese at Roger That BBQ will leave you longing for your next visit.

Smoke on the Water — or Nearby It — on the Coast

Serving smoked mac, delicious tri-tip and more, all within a short distance of the sea, Gold Beach BBQ’s motto of “Smoke on the Water” is rather fitting. You can load up on steak chili or super-tender brisket, or keep it coastal with clam chowder garnished with smoky paprika. 

In Coos Bay, Elkhorn BBQ, now in the new Front Street Food Truck Court, offers tri-tip you can have served over yakisoba noodles, among other delights. Up north in Warrenton, Ribs by Rob does basically two things — ribs and fully loaded jalapeno poppers — both of which come with the expertise of owner Rob Wirt’s two decades of experience.

A plate of pulled pork and pickles, with a side of bbq chips and sauces.
Courtesy of Pop's Southern BBQ

Working the Pit in Central Oregon

Baldy’s Barbeque — named after the smooth-headed brainchild behind the enterprise, Brian Dioguardi — has been voted Bend’s best barbecue every year since 2005. These days you can still find Dioguardi working the pit at one of Baldy’s three locations, two in Bend and one in Redmond, making sure each batch of his baby-back ribs comes out as award-winning as the next. Try the BBQ sundae: a mashed potato, baked bean and meat masterpiece. 

Leave it to a former fire chief, Jeff Johnson, to understand the nuances of fire and smoke to create delicious meats at Sisters Meat and Smokehouse. You’ll taste the mesquite, oak and alder smoke in landjäger sausages, kielbasa and brats. It also serves more unique treats like elk, lamb and wild-caught seafood. It now has a new location in Redmond, too. 

Located in The Barn, a food-cart pod in Sisters, Pop’s Southern BBQ does Texas-style meats — think dry rub, no sweet sauces — as well as pork sandwiches and smoked wings. Don’t miss the loaded chili.

Head East for Slow-Cooked Pork

Located in La Grande, the Smokehouse Restaurant has been serving pork and ribs since the 1960s, while farther south in Burns, Juniper Cookhouse makes juicy pulled pork and tri-tip sandwiches as well as home-baked pies. You could come for breakfast, too, with biscuits and gravy as well as breakfast sandwiches stacked with ham, sausage and bacon on a homemade dinner roll. 

Southern (Oregon) Barbecue Done Right

In Klamath Falls, Wubba’s BBQ Shack cooks Kansas City-style barbecue that has made this eatery a landmark since 2008. Try the Wubba-rrito, a burrito filled with pulled pork or chopped chicken with creole rice and barbecue beans. In Central Point and Grants Pass, Mary’s BBQ Place keeps it simple, relying on classic family recipes and a sauce so good, she sells it to go. Don’t miss the pulled pork on a stuffed baked potato. 

About The

Tim Neville
Tim Neville is a writer based in Bend where he writes about the outdoors, travel and the business of both. His work has been included in Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing and Best Food Writing, and earned various awards from the Society of American Travel Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists. Tim has reported from all seven continents and spends his free time skiing, running and spending time with his family.

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