Best BBQ in Bloomington, IL

BBQ Ribs

If you’re not from around here, you might think of Bloomington-Normal as just a college town, but we know better. There’s plenty to do — and plenty to eat — in our Central Illinois gem. There are enough Bloomington, IL restaurants to eat out every night with ease, but finding a good BBQ joint can be a little tougher. We’re here with some local specialities and Midwest favorites.

Annie’s Eats Carry-Out and Catering

Annie’s Eats Carry-Out and Catering (606 N. Clinton) provides some of the best BBQ in the Bloomington-Normal. Everything at this restaurant is slow roasted with delicious seasoning to provide you with flavor you will not forget. The menu is hand-written on a board, updated with the daily offerings – be sure to drop by when they’ve got St. Louis Ribs on the menu (do yourself a favor and get the full rack).

Longhorn Smokehouse

Longhorn Smokehouse has been watering mouths for decades, with their Texas-style smoked BBQ with all the fixins. Stepping into their dining room at 5 Currency Drive feels like heading out to a family reunion: familiar, smiling faces and delicious food. Order by pound from the barbecue pit or have them slice some off onto a sandwich for a quick lunch. If you’ve never been before, we recommend a Meat Combo plate and some cobbler for dessert.

Bandana’s Bar-B-Q

Now that we’ve touched on a couple of Bloomington-Normal staples, we think it’s time to bring up a popular Midwest BBQ chain. Bandana’s Bar-B-Q made a splash on the Bloomington restaurant scene years ago and stands out for their sauceless meats, seasoned with a dry rub and hand-cut straight out of the smoker. The slow-cooking process gives Bandana’s a taste as unique as their expansive menu – it’s easy to try something new every time you visit their 502 IAA Drive location.

BBQ Sandwich

Famous Dave’s

Like Bandana’s, Famous Dave’s is another BBQ chain that got its start in the Midwest – Minnesota, in fact – and we recommend them for folks new to Central Illinois but looking for some BBQ like they used to get at home. A BBQ chain that still manages to make you feel at home, Famous Dave’s (1603 Morrissey) has been a favorite for years, and part of why we like it is that us barbecue lovers can find our favorite meat combos while there are signature sandwiches and burgers for anyone who doesn’t have a strong opinion on dry rub vs. BBQ sauce.

Head to Bloomington, IL for the Best BBQ!

We know you’ve got no trouble finding restaurants in Bloomington, IL, but the next time you want BBQ in Bloomington-Normal, pick one of our fave four. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best places to go rock climbing!

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