Barbecue lovers, rejoice! BBQ season is here, and we have just the thing to help you plan for all the fun summer nights ahead. Orlando is full of diverse, delicious options to satisfy all taste buds, from southern soul food to inventive BBQ food trucks. Whether you're a slow-smoked traditionalist or you like a little something extra with your brisket, we have just the place for you. Get ready to celebrate in finger-lickin' style with our list of the best local BBQ spots in Orlando.

Updated May 2024 by Meghan Roth.

Simple and Traditional BBQ

Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ

336 Moore Rd, Ocoee, FL 34761
1391 Citrus Tower Blvd, Clermont, FL, 34711
153 Sugar Belle Drive, Suite M, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Ellie Lou's promises to “rub you the right way,” and with mouthwatering platters, several delectable BBQ sauces, and a growing list of locations, you're sure to leave this family-owned restaurant satisfied. Pair St. Louis style ribs, chopped BBQ platters, sandwiches, and more with southern specialties like corn muffins, fried green tomatoes, and 3 cheese mac.

If you're lucky enough to visit on a Sunday, try the Gospel Grits, cheddar and smoked gouda grits made with tomatoes, corn, green onions, and special seasoning. Inject a little regional flair with Kansas City, Memphis, Carolina Gold, Alabama White sauce, or Mississippi Comeback Sauce, or spice things up with the habanero and ghost pepper-infused Southern Lava sauce.

Visit Ellie Lou's in Ocoee, Clermont, and their new third location in Flamingo Crossings!

Date night tip: Head to the Clermont location and take dinner to-go for a delicious picnic date at Clermont Waterfront Park. Round out date night with craft beer from Suncreek Brewery or dessert from Montrose Street Market.

sandwich and cole slaw from Ellie Lou's BBQ
Ellie Lou's BBQ – @ellielousbbq

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que

5818 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32835
1049 East Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Stop by one of Bubbalou's two Central Florida locations for award-winning, always-delicious Southern-style BBQ with a laid-back vibe. You'll find smoked Texas brisket, pork, and chicken on the menu, as well as more unique Southern specialties like gizzards, catfish, and even gator meat. Baskets come with fries and baked beans, and combos also include coleslaw and garlic bread.

Everything is super affordable, so you can splurge on extra specialty sides, desserts, and beverages. Keep things simple with mustard or mild, sweet, hot, or killer BBQ sauce, and bring that Southern flavor home with a chilled beer or wild cherry Cheer Wine.

Get out of your comfort zone and try something new together, like Bubbalou's fried gator bites or chicken gizzards.

4 Rivers Smokehouse

Multiple locations

You know it. You love it. 4 Rivers Smokehouse has been serving up some of our favorite southern comfort food since 2009, when they opened their first smokehouse in Winter Park. With five locations across Central Florida, a line of savory BBQ sauces and rubs, and more often than not, a line out the door, 4 Rivers proves that sometimes the best things really are worth waiting for. Try their signature angus brisket, served lean or moist, or go for the burnt ends, a blend of chopped brisket and pulled pork that will literally make your mouth water. We hear the double-smoked, slow-roasted vegan burnt ends make a great meat-free alternative!

Pair your meal with homestyle sides like creamy mac and cheese, smokehouse corn, or fried okra, and remember to save room for dessert from the 4 Rivers Bakery! We know, it's a big ask.

Date night tip: Portions here are huge! Share a platter and order extra sides so you can try a little bit of everything. And whatever you do, don't skip the bread pudding.

Bonus: If you’re in the mood for something a little different, don’t miss the 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa food truck at Disney Springs! You’ll find the same incredible smoked meat served Tex-Mex style in birria tacos, burrito bowls, a jaw-dropping taco cone, and more.

Related: Must-Try Disney Springs Snacks

Southern and Soulful BBQ

Munchie’s Live BBQ

100 E 4th Ave, Mt Dora, FL 32757

Visit this hidden gem in Mount Dora. Munchie's serves grilled and smoked BBQ with juicy, flavorful Memphis and North Carolina style BBQ with classic BBQ sauce, mac and cheese, and cornbread, or go island style with jerk BBQ, yellow saffron rice, and black beans. All sauces, sides, teas, and lemonades are made fresh in-house. 

Date night tip: If you want something specific, like the brisket, call in an advance order at (407) 879-6761 so you don't miss out!

Angel’s Soul Food & BBQ

2516 Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32773

Head out to Sanford for some traditional Southern soul food, from BBQ chicken and pulled pork to smothered pork chops with candied yams. Don't sleep on the desserts, like peach cobbler, banana pudding, and butter pound cake. Portions are huge, so you get plenty for your money and can try even more tasty sides!

Date night tip: Fort Mellon Park and the Sanford Riverwalk are just a couple of miles away. Take your food to go and enjoy a quiet picnic and waterfront stroll with your meal.

Briskets BBQ Shack & Grill

298 Geneva Drive, Oviedo, FL 32765

Their “Smoke Render Tender” (SRT) meat smoking process delivers what many say is “The best smoked meats they have ever had”. That is a compliment that they don't take lightly, that's big for sure. They use many smokers to fulfill the volume of requests, they don't give in by using large commercial gas or electric smokers, they just keep it simple and use lots of small offset smokers just burning wood (No charcoal, gas or electric heat sources) which delivers the best smoked meats holding true to enjoying what real smoked BBQ is all about.

Date night tip: This is a small “shack” with only outdoor seating at picnic tables, so bring your patience and a hat!

Unique and Creative BBQ in Orlando

Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa

1326 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803

This buzzworthy smokehouse in Orlando's hip Mills 50 district serves more than your grandma's classic pulled pork. Pig Floyd's combines traditional fire, smoke, and pit cooking methods with globally-inspired flavor influences to create an all-new kind of smokehouse – one that satisfies BBQ purists and gastronomes alike. Sure, you could order the Plain Jane sandwich, with oakwood smoked brisket or pulled pork atop a sweet roll, and pair it with hot or sweet BBQ sauce.

Better yet, dress up a classic BBQ platter with fresh, house-made chimichurri or honey sriracha sauce, or go all out with local favorites like the Banh Mi pork belly sandwich, topped with lucky dragon sauce, pickled veggies, jalapeño, and garlic ginger aioli on a toasted baguette. Enjoy mouthwatering shareables and sides, like Mexican street corn and sticky ribs, and round out your meal with a crisp draft beer. Keep an eye out for a second location opening later this year!

Yellow Dog Eats

1236 Hempel Ave, Windermere, FL 34786

Not a traditional spot for BBQ in Orlando, Yellow Dog Eats is not strictly a BBQ restaurant – you'll find tons of inventive sandwiches, wraps, salads, and deli-style sides here. That said, the craft BBQ section of their menu is not to be missed! Everything starts off with a base of tender pulled pork and signature Fish's Gold BBQ sauce on a fluffy bun. From there, pile on sweet or savory toppings like gouda cheese, spicy pickles, pecan-smoked bacon, or even thick-cut brie for a meal that will tease your taste buds. You can also get a full or half rack of baby back ribs, doused in Fish's Gold sauce and served with kettle chips and slaw.

Everything is served inside a historic home in downtown Gotha, making Yellow Dog feel like a delicious locals-only secret. Plus, it's pet-friendly, so you can bring the whole crew!

Date night tip: Impress your date with off-menu specials that showcase Yellow Dog's culinary creativity. Specials are posted daily on Instagram. Enjoy your meal on the patio or in the garden for a chill backyard atmosphere, and enjoy live music when it returns.

Brisket Sandwich from Yellow Dog Eats
Brisket Sandwich from Yellow Dog Eats | @yellowdogeats

The Polite Pig

1536 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830

This Disney Springs quick service staple has a local flavor you might not expect. It's owned by James and Julie Petrakis, the team behind local restaurants The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, as well as by Brian Petrakis of Greens & Grille. The menu highlights the seasonal flavors of Florida for a fresh, modern take on BBQ. Savor a mouth-watering array of wood-smoked or grilled BBQ sandwiches, platters, fried chicken, and market sides, washed down with craft beer, small batch cocktails, or one of 60+ selections from the bourbon bar. 

Date night tip: Try the butcher board! It's made for two people, and includes pork, smoked chicken, prime brisket, and cheddar sausage, paired with slaw, pickles, cornbread, and two market sides for just $44. If you want even more variety, add an additional three market sides for $16. After dinner, take a stroll around Disney Springs and catch a live performance by the water.

Smoke & Donuts

601 N. Primrose Drive, Orlando, FL 32803

This family-owned food truck combines the best of both worlds: savory smoked BBQ and sweet handmade donuts. What's not to love? Order your donuts separately if you like, or go all in with brisket sliders served on vanilla and Mediterranean sea salt donuts. And the fun doesn't stop there. Husband-and-wife duo Ian Russell and Juliana Peña just opened their first brick-and-mortar location in the Milk District.

Try the 1,121 Mile Road Trip, a brisket and pork sandwich inspired by a ten-month motorcycle journey Ian took through the U.S., stopping at Southern roadside BBQ joints along the way, before enrolling in culinary school. Grab several donuts for your own journey home – once you see all the varieties up for grabs, you won't be able to choose just one! We're especially enamored with The Lou, a hybrid donut topped with Maker’s Mark® Bourbon & maple glaze, Hershey’s chocolate chips, Heath bar, and brisket burnt ends. Want something lighter? Try the Sun & Moon & Stars, featuring candied lemonade, blueberry compote, and ginger snap dust.

gooey bbq sandwich from Smoke and Donuts
Smoke and Donuts | @smokeanddonuts

Smokemade Meats + Eats

1400 S Crystal Lake Dr, Orlando, FL 32806

After three years of delighting Orlando residents as a pop-up, Smokemade Meats + Eats finally has its own brick and mortar spot. The brisket and the ribs will absolutely blow you away, but save rooms for delicious sides like potato salad, cucumber and tomato salad (perfect for summer), and decadent mac & cheese. Expect a line – but it is worth it!

BBQ in Orlando Food Trucks & Pop-Ups

Up in Smoke

Another hard-to-find eatery with a tasty payoff, Up in Smoke serves small batch Memphis style BBQ in Orlando and beyond. Try hearty BBQ bowls and sandwiches like the Macdaddy (pork topped with mac and cheese) or the Huckleberry (chicken topped with blackberry dijon and fried onions), plus classic sides like cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad. Find them at local food truck fairs, and stay tuned to social media to see where they'll pop up next.

Date night tip: Find a food truck event near you and meet some friends for a fun food truck group date!