Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to



Introducing: Smoke BBQ House, Harbord’s new no-nonsense barbecue joint

Owner Francesco Grandi and chef Tony Gallippi (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Harbord’s new Smoke BBQ House is the latest restaurant in Toronto dedicated to straightforward southern barbecue. Unlike places like Barque, which offer more elaborate presentations, Smoke serves the goods straight up, with the sauce on the side and a silicone brush to apply it with. First-time restaurateur Francesco Grandi, who still works at an ad agency by day, outfitted the formerly abandoned space with communal picnic tables and a big new picture window facing the street. In the kitchen is head chef Tony Gallippi, whose devotion to barbecue was cemented on trips to across the border to Detroit while he was running a restaurant in Windsor (Motor City, it turns out, has a surprisingly healthy barbecue scene).

Smoke’s menu contains the smoked classics you’d expect, like baby back ribs ($25), half chicken ($15) and Texas-style brisket ($15). There’s also a corned beef brisket ($12) which is brined for 48 hours, dry-rubbed and then smoked for 14 hours. Gallippi tells us they plan to rotate in a new sauce each month; the current selection includes a house mayo and a South Carolina–style apple cider vinegar–based number. For drinks, there are craft brews like Hop City’s Barking Squirrel, and Oliver Stern of the Toronto Temperance Society is putting the finishing touches on a cocktail list (expect plenty of bourbon).

Smoke BBQ House, 536 Manning Ave., 647-342-1840,

Our Introducing series explores newly opened restaurants, bars and shops throughout the GTA
This is not a review.
Toronto Life’s starred reviews can be found in their entirety in our
Restaurant Guide. Got restaurant news, tips or rumours? Send them to

  • nashley

    looks awesome!

  • DryDry

    are you fantastic bastards open for lunch so I can git a sandwich or what

  • jhall

    does anyone know who designed this space? I love the burnt wood walls!

  • Smoke BBQ House

    Us bastards will be open for lunch in the New Year. See you then.

  • burtbrumme

    Nice looking interior, super friendly attentive staff but the sauces taste like sugary ketchup (akin to Diana’s if that’s what you like) and the meat is dry and over-cooked. Food needs serious, immediate attention. Hope they fix it and thrive as it would be a nice addition to the neighbourhood.

  • Material Archive

    Opening hours don’t appear to be listed on the website or on the outgoing voicemail message. Also no FB or Twitter page…are you open today?

  • s_ings

    Looks good but you can’t learn about Texas brisket in Detroit. I’ll get my proper BBQ fix in Texas, thanks.

  • Michael Tomasek

    Rank amateurs. Service slow . Food is strictly OK to poor. Sauces don’t save it.