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The Big Belly Tour—A Complete List of Ontario's BBQ Joints

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The Big Belly Tour—A Complete List of Ontario's BBQ Joints

Doing it right at Muddy's Pit BBQ in Keene, Ontario

#ontariomotoroads

Delicious BBQ paired with the ideal motorcycle route to get you there. Bring your appetite!



After a long day's ride (or even a short one), nothing hits the spot quite like some good old-fashioned BBQ. If you've ever taken a trip to the southern U.S., you may have visited one of the pit BBQs or rib joints and thought how lucky you are to be in the only place that can actually do BBQ right. Well, guess what? We're doing BBQ up here north of the border and what's more: it's actually better in Ontario! While most places look to the south for inspiration—Memphis and Carolina BBQ styles are well represented—you will find a northern touch in many of the menus of these fine establishments.

Fall off the bone back ribs smoked with maple and Beechwood at Get Ribbed in Timmins

This is a big list, totally worthy of Ontario's enviable girth, so we're going to need a lot of help finding the very best in the province. Let us know your favourite BBQ joints to stop in at while riding in Ontario.

Northern Ontario

Northeastern Ontario 

Timmins

Recommended Route: The Great Legends Tour

Get Ribbed Smokehouse & BBQ Pit
A family-owned business where "authenticity takes time," Get Ribbed serves delectable meats cooked to perfection in their custom-built Texas smoker (the only authentic fruitwood smoked southern BBQ joint in Northern Ontario). Located right on the Mattagami River in beautiful Timmins, it's the ideal spot to pull over and refuel the belly.

North Bay

Recommended Route: The Lake Temiskaming Tour
 
This local drinking hangout has been transformed into a top-notch restaurant and pub located on the shores of Lake Nipissing, right there in downtown North Bay. An ideal stop for a group ride lunch or dinner. Or start the day off with their famous brunch. The Back Ribs and Chicken is a sure bet, but check out whatever they have on special. 

Sudbury

 
This classic smokehouse on Paris St features a range of southern cuisine and BBQ, including lighter fare like wraps and salads - every single one featuring smoked chicken. The brand is strong with this one. You definitely won't leave hungry.
 

Cochrane

Recommended Route: The Great Legends Tour
 
Fall-off-the-bone ribs just off the Trans-Canada. This Tex-Mex themed resto also does good chicken. Large portions ensure you'll leave with a full tummy. 

Algoma Country

Sault Sainte Marie

Recommended Route: The Grand Algoma 
 
Located right in downtown Sault Ste. Marie with a patio and smoker on site, this is a perfect destination for the weary traveller looking to get their fill of BBQ and beer. 
 
Traditional pub serving pizza, ribs, wings and all the usual comfort food at affordable prices. Check their Facebook page for specials and evening entertainment.  

St. Joseph Island

Recommended Route: The Grand Algoma 
  
Located right on the water and attached to the Hilton Beach Inn, this is the best place to hunker down for a night or make your homebase for the weekend while cruising Algoma Country. Their smokehouse is pumping out the best ribs and pulled pork on the island.

Northwest Ontario

Kenora

Recommended Route: The Nor' Wester
 
Located on Rabbit Lake Road, just north of Kenora city centre and beautiful Lake of the Woods, this casual bar and restaurant has a choice menu with tasty daily specials. A perfect stop on a long Northern Ontario ride. 

Thunder Bay

 
This food truck is the go-to place to pull over while on the Ride Lake Superior motorcycle route. Try their "Thrilled Cheese"—the traditional cheese-lover's favourite sandwich stuffed with BBQ pork, or take a pound of brisket for the road. The truck pops up in various locations around town so check their Facebook page before you go.

Vermilion Bay

Recommended Route: The Nor' Wester
 
Just west of Vermillion Bay on Highway 17 you'll see the signs (with moose antlers in the logo) for a place called Busters Barbecue. You may think your eyes and stomach are getting the best of you, but this is actually a really amazing BBQ restaurant way up north. With a Canadian twist on regional southern barbecue, this award-winning restaurant has been featured on the Food Network and has been winning top awards for almost 10 years. People come from all over to fill up on ribs and brisket and bring home some of the best sauces. Perfect stop for a day cruising in Ontario's Northwest. 

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Southern Ontario

Ontario's Southwest

Leamington

Recommended Route: Cruise the Coast
 
Classic ribhouse in Leamington with solid specials like Wednesday's 1/2 rack of ribs for $10 and Thursday's $5 wings. Check the restaurant for details and different specials throughout the year.

London

Recommended Route: Visit Middlesex Route
 
London's first and best BBQ and smokehouse. Southern comfort food specializing in smoked everything—brisket sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, smoked chicken and whatever else they feel like smoking from ribs to wings to fish. Big portions and awesome food. You can't go wrong here. 
 
Good prices, big portion sizes and award-winning ribs make Boss Hog's the perfect choice for a stop in London. They're bottling their famous BBQ sauce now so you can take some of the goodness home with you.
 
Excellent affordable BBQ joint known for its fast and friendly service. Lots of solid choices on the menu including the Z-man burger which comes with pulled pork and creamy garlic sauce. Great spot to stop in and fuel up for a ride.

St. Thomas

Recommended Route: Experience Elgin County
 
The best pulled pork sandwich in St. Thomas. Perfect place to watch the game and unwind from a day's riding in Ontario's Southwest. 

Windsor

 
Recently moved to a larger location to accommodate the number of locals coming back for more, this place is solid in all respects but the smoked meat is the real draw. Pulled pork, smoked wings, ribs and impressive sides, but most of all you've got to try the pulled pork sundae. 
 
Great ribs and a variety of sauces all at reasonable prices. The portion sizes are nothing to complain about either, but in case you are still hungry, they have 12 made-in-house desserts.  

Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington

Cambridge

As Cambridge's first smokehouse BBQ, this place has earned a reputation for serving up the most mouthwatering platters in the region. From the St. Louis Side Ribs to the Pulled Pork Platter, you can't really go wrong here. 

Kitchener-Waterloo 

Casual place with a unique take on favourite comfort foods. Suitable for both vegetarians and carnivores. Features are the homemade sauces, smoked meat poutine and a killer pulled pork sandwich.
 
Serving the same mouth-watering pit BBQ you may have tried from their trailer but now available seven days a week at their restaurant location. Look forward to eating in a licensed setting featuring new items like Pulled Pork Poutine with Carolina sauce. 
 
The Lancaster Smokehouse
This Kitchener favourite has a simple mission: keep it local, keep it fresh and homemade. All of their locally sourced meat is smoked over 100% Hickory hardwood using their own recipes for the rub and sauces. They use only the freshest ingredients and nearly all of the menu is made from scratch. Open Monday to Saturday. Watch for regular blues nights. 

Bruce Peninsula, Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe

Barrie

Recommended Route: 5-Hour Lake Simcoe Tour
 
These guys have been at it for 20 years and have racked up over 50 BBQ championships for ribs, chicken and sauces. 

Collingwood

Recommended Route: Grey-Bruce Waterfall Tour
 
Offering traditional fare like smoked ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork alongside more adventurous numbers like smoked trout, smoked balls of meat, smoked beef short ribs, smoked portabella mushroom burger, wild boar bacon and smoke banana ice cream all in a casual atmosphere. The Smoke experience isn't complete without taking some time out on their patio to relax and wind down from a day's ride. 

Midland

Recommended Route: Georgian Bay Coastal Route
 
On the banks of the Wye River lies one of Canada's most glorious BBQ treasures. Sourcing locally and preparing most of the food on the premises using their 8 shelf smoker, deep wood fire pit and Adobe oven for BBQ and baked goods, Mad Cravings is well worth a drive out to Midland!  

Port Elgin

 
Ideal spot for BBQ just off the shores of Lake Huron in downtown Port Elgin. Monday and Tuesday it's Rib  Night, Wednesdays are 1/2 price wings and Friday offers a steak special. Relax on the patio or in the cooler months you can warm up next to the fireplace.

Recommended Route: Cruise the Coast 

Brantford

With their sister restaurant operating out of Alabama, you can count on Camp 31 to serve real southern bar-b-que. Includes road-trip-worthy ribs, tremendous sides and homemade Iced Tea. This is one of the best BBQ joints this side of the 49th.
 
This place ahs something for everyone. Specials throughout the week including all-you-can-eat ribs on Wednesdays and a full Prime Rib dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Kids eat free on Sundays.
 
Feeding the meat-lovers of Brantford since 1937, Strodes has become famous for it's sausages and smoked kielbasa. They do everything from pulled pork to chicken schnitzel to lasagna. Everything is made fresh on-site. 

Georgetown

This is a very popular spot in Georgetown serving a wide variety of meats in the authentic southern tradition. They use a hickory-fired smoker and cook their meats "low & slow," giving them that distinctive hickory flavour. 

Hamilton

Serving southern BBQ and 50's drive-in classics, this is notable for its breakfast menu—try the Sausage Bacon Biscuits. The perfect way to start off a day before exploring the renowned riding roads between Winona and Lake Erie.

Milton 

Recommended Route: Forks of the Credit
 
Long-time source for Southern BBQ in the area. Winner of over 50 BBQ championships for ribs, chicken and sauces. Great food and lots of it. You will leave satisfied. 

Niagara

Recommended Route: Niagara Parkway

Niagara Falls

This is the place to go for a special dinner on a night out in the Niagara Region. With unlimited portions and 12 succulent cuts of meat carved at your table and a huge buffet, you can't go wrong here. Best cuts are the ribeye and beef bottom.

St. Catharines

A wide variety of foods from smoked brisket to pulled pork to homemade burgers all at really low prices—Everything is under $10! A value-seekers top option for where to eat in downtown St. Catharines.

York, Durham and the Hills of Headwaters

Bowmanville

Chip truck serving fries since 1971. Kick it up a notch with the rack of smoked baby back ribs or a pulled pork grilled cheese.

Orangeville

A casual dining experience in Grand Valley, just outside of Orangeville. Using all fresh ingredients and local meats has made it a very popular spot among the locals. The best is their hormone, antibiotic and additive-free, dry-aged for 21 days steaks. Serving an ever-evolving choice of cuts. 

Oshawa

The inspiration for putting this list together, this is THE place for motorcycling and BBQing in Ontario. With a huge weekly motorcycle cruise-in every Thursday at 5 pm, riders have been coming to this iconic landmark to meet and eat with friends for years. If you haven't been before, it's worth planning a trip around. As for the food, the name say it all. But why choose one over the other when you can have the best of both worlds with a Chicken & Rib Combo?
 
Nice little bistro in the 'schwa with good prices for good BBQ. Favourites are the pulled pork sandwich for lunch or the BBQ ribs for dinner.
 
Their new restaurant is conveniently located in downtown Oshawa, just a couple of minutes off the 401 and has live music on Friday nights and great choices from local microbreweries. Buster Rhino's serves delicious ribs, juicy brisket and a host of mouthwatering BBQ goodies. Their killer sauce is carried by a number of restaurants in the area but why not treat yourself and go straight to the source?!

port perry

After three years of winning so many awards at the various ribfests around the province, they've finally opened up a restaurant in Port Perry. Serving killer ribs, wings, sandwiches, sides and award-winning sauce, this place is already a big favourite among the locals. Open Tuesday through Saturday.

Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes & Northumberland

Blue Mountain

 
The perfect place to break from an afternoon cruise in the Blue Mountain area. Rusty's is right at the base of the mountain, has a nice wooden decor and most important of all: the brisket sandwich is huge and really tasty. 

Bobcaygeon

Recommended Route: Where to Ride in the Kawarthas
 
Serving gourmet comfort food made with fresh, local ingredients, Bistro 49 is always serving something new and creative. Try their Baseball Steak cooked on the outdoor BBQ grill served with Mushroom Beurre Blanc Sauce, Smashed Potatoes and Veggies.

Brighton

Recommended Route: The Roads of Northumberland
 
With a big menu to please everyone and including a hand-cut AAA charbroiled New York Striploin streak, this classic resto is an easy choice for any group visiting the Kawarthas. 

Kawartha Lakes

Recommended Route: Where to Ride in the Kawarthas
 
Voted Lindsay's favourite Breakfast, Lunch and Family Restaurant, their ever-changing menu feature familiar standby's alongside unique creations like the "Revved-Up Rostis." A perfect side of the road stop.

Keene

Recommended Route: Where to Ride in the Kawarthas
 
With motorcycle parking, live music, amazing slow-cooked ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and specials throughout the season, this may be our favourite choice for Ontario BBQs. Only open from April to the end of December so make sure to get there as often as you can this season!

Cornwall

 
A beloved family-owned family restaurant specializing in barbecued chicken and pizza for the classic small-town Ontario experience. 

Forest

 
A family-friendly restaurant with a menu to suit everyone's tastes including great chicken dinners and wings.  

Kingston

 
Kingston's favourite for wings. Also serving sandwiches, salads and appetizers, but it's the wings that keep people coming back for more.

Ottawa and Countryside

Ottawa

Recommended Route: Ride the Ottawa Valley
   
Big portions of top-quality Canadian meats done right using Quebec maple and Ontario applewood in the smoker. From Jamaican jerk to Tennessee chicken they pay delicious homage to BBQ's roots. Favourite: Pulled Pork Sandwich.
 
This is a great place to watch the game and eat some dry rub ribs. They also have an All You Can Eat special every Monday from 4 pm till close.

Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley

Harcourt

Recommended Route: The Highlands Fall Loop
 
Traditional Southern BBQ served at it's finest in the heart of the Haliburton Highlands. It's all homemade and done over a maple wood fire. Located right on the side of an excellent riding road, Loop Road.  

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