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Toronto’s five best restaurants for smoky, tender, chin-dribbling barbecue

Barque’s baby backs. (Image: John Cullen)
No. 1
Tom Davis of The Stockyards loads up his smoker with pork butts, beef brisket, bacon, whole chickens and salty-sweet pork ribs. It all emerges perfectly tender—heavenly with his vinegary sauce. 699 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-9666.

No. 2
Barque’s wood-burning Southern Pride smoker turns out moist, full-flavoured chickens, fine peppercorn-rubbed brisket, creamy beef ribs and tender baby backs (shown above). 299 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-532-7700.

No. 3
In a Newmarket strip mall, Big Bone BBQ and Wicked Wings makes the best chicken wings in the GTA—skinless, marinated, smoked, then finished on the grill—along with candy-crunchy pork ribs. 207 Eagle St., Newmarket, 905-853-9888.

No. 4
Family-run Paul and Sandy’s Real Barbecue is the spot for superior pulled pork: it’s fatty and dribbly, with a good caramelized crust and a choice of two vinegary, tomato-based hot sauces. 4925 Dundas St. W., 416-233-7032.

No. 5
Despite its location in an industrial mall next to a power plant in Whitby, Buster Rhino’s Southern BBQ offers excellent pulled pork, beef brisket and baby-back ribs slow-smoked over real maple wood. 2001 Thickson Rd. S., Unit 7, Whitby, 905-436-6986.

(Image: John Cullen)