Support Us Button Widget

A guide to some of the best barbecue spots in Indy

Whether you like it Texas-style, Carolina-style, or just-how-my-grandma-used-to-make-it-style, there’s a barbecue restaurant in Indy for you.

INDYtoday: INDY_Pa and Ma's Backyard BBQ barbecue_APR24

The sides available at Pa and Ma’s are always changing, from mac and cheese to green beans to hot water cornbread.

Photo by @amandainindy

In any American city, good barbecue is a rite of passage — and as the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is fortunate to have its fair share of delicious restaurants to choose from. Here are just a few standout spots around town.

Pa and Ma’s Backyard BBQ, 3469 N. College Ave. | You’ll wonder if you’re in the right place when you walk into this nondescript building, but the delicious aromas should quickly dissolve any doubts. Established in 1995, this joint has a strictly “visual” menu that changes daily, so every time you visit you’ll probably get to taste something new.

INDYtoday: INDY_Half Liter BBQ_APR24

Even if you’re not a huge barbecue lover, Half Liter BBQ has something for everyone — including salads and the notably delicious gluten free and vegetarian kimchi tots.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Half Liter BBQ, 5301 Winthrop Ave., Ste. B | If you’re a fan of Texas-style barbecue, then you’re already familiar with Half Liter. Alongside delicious standard barbecue offerings, it also offers housemade beers, which you can enjoy in the spacious beer garden when the weather’s nice. And it’s located right along the Monon Trail, meaning easy walking/biking access to work off that extra helping of mac and cheese.

King Ribs BBQ, 3145 W. 16th St. | Who said barbecue has to be slow? King Ribs opened one of the first drive-thru barbecue restaurants in Indiana in 1990 and hasn’t slowed down since. It boasts award-winning sauces alongside its fresh charcoal-grilled meats.

His Place Eatery, 6916 E. 30th St. | His Place is much more than just barbecue. With everything from chicken and waffles to in-house smoked meatloaf to sweet potato cheesecake on the menu, you’re gonna have to loosen your belt a bit here.

Smokin’ Barrel Barbeque, 2316 S. German Church Rd. | Smokin’ Barrel had a humble start as a backyard competition and has since expanded into its own brick and mortar restaurant, plus mobile catering. Pro tip: If you’re counting your carbs, you’ll be delighted to know that all the dry rubs Smokin’ Barrel uses are keto-friendly.

Bar-B-Q Heaven, Multiple locations | Fun fact: Owner Ronald Jones got his start selling barbecue on his childhood street at the age of 11. Now, over 70 years later, Bar-B-Q Heaven is still going strong, with meats and sauces so delicious you can buy them by the gallon.

Did we skip a spot that you love? Let us know.

More from INDYtoday