5 of the Best BBQ Restaurants in Des Moines

We're missing backyard grill outs just as much as the next guy, so we've put together a list of our favorite BBQ spots to hold us over until summer time!

The Emmenecker Slider at Jethro's!

  1. Smokey D's BBQ. A classic on the Des Moines BBQ scene, this once tiny, dine out only restaurant has turned into a widely known favorite. Smokey D's has been awarded over 90 state BBQ championships and over 1,000 local, regional & national awards! Try their giant plate of BBQ nachos to share and of course their ribs and burnt ends. Not feeling traditional BBQ? These chicken strips have a special secret - they're made with CEREAL in the batter! Don't knock it until you try it!

  2. Jethro's. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, there's BBQ in every meal! With locations all across the metro area, each with their own twist on BBQ, you're guaranteed to find something delicious. Jethro's gathered it's fame from The Adam Emmenecker on Man vs. Food. Order this giant sandwich alongside a pound of waffle fries and finish it in 15 minutes and it's FREE!

3. Big Al's. While technically in West Des Moines, this BBQ is worth the drive! Known for their true southern twists, try just about everything smoked, or something as simple as a burger. Big Al's is a family owned business, beginning in 2012 with Al and his father-in-law Hal, and continuously growing - both in size and in BBQ knowledge & talent!

4. Cactus Bob's. Now THIS is BBQ you want to tell your mom about! Located in Johnston, their St Louis style ribs are worth the drive. If you're still in love after your meal, their store sells everything from pickles & jalapeños to their signature sauces!

5. Kue'd Smokehouse. This smokehouse is unassuming, and absolutely delicious. Kue'd was the winner of the prestigious Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ World Championship, and their food shows it! Try their delicious brisket or share the BBQ sampler with a friend or two!


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