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Salvage Barbecue
Salvage Barbecue
Courtesy Salvage Barbecue

The 12 Essential Barbecue Restaurants in Maine

Because we can't all live in the south, but we all want pork from a pit.

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Salvage Barbecue
| Courtesy Salvage Barbecue

Fact: nobody heads north for authentic barbecue. Nevertheless, Mainers are known for their resourcefulness, and the south doesn't have a monopoly on smoked meats. If you find yourself surrounded by Yankees but craving pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, here are twelve spots that will help.

Note: map points are listed south to north.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Salvage BBQ

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919 Congress St
Portland, ME 04102
(207) 553-2100
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Order food up front, get a beer from the excellent and extensive draft list, and seat yourself at one of the large picnic tables. This is the perfect Portland restaurant for large groups, with a communal feel and large trays of expertly smoked meat. The sides and pies are worth saving room for — just don't bring any vegetarians, as they're likely to go hungry here.

2. Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill

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448 Cottage Rd
South Portland, ME 04106
(207) 619-1948
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Don't miss the brisket, which tends to sell out first at this South Portland destination. Better yet, order the Tornado Sandwich, which has three types of meat including the brisket, with coleslaw and pickled onions, all served on a pretzel roll.
Tom Minervino/Eater Maine

3. Buck’s Naked BBQ

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568 Route 1
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-0600
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A local chain with locations in Freeport and Windham, Buck's has an extensive menu to satisfy fans of many southern styles. Not in the mood for catfish? Stick to the tender ribs.

4. Moe's Original Bar B Que

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650 Broadway
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 992-9000
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An Alabama-style, Colorado-based chain, Moe's now has restaurants in Bangor and South Portland. But friendly local franchisee Dewey Hasbrouck insists Moe's makes its food from scratch daily, and the pulled pork in particular gets rave reviews from fans.

5. Beale Street Barbeque

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215 Water St
Bath, ME 04530
(207) 442-9514
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Try the pulled pork, which the restaurant calls "the only thing you really need to live a happy life." Have it with jalapeño cornbread, which the Boston Globe once called "the perfect companion to, well, everything."

6. Smokin' Good BBQ

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212 Mayville Road
Bethel, ME 04217
(207) 824-4744
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A roadside trailer — no frills, just good, slow-cooked food. For something a little different, try the Pork Sundae: "a slab of cornbread, piled with NC Pulled Pork and topped with BBQ sauce, beans, cole slaw, pickles & smoked cashews," the menu explains.

7. Riverfront Barbeque & Grille

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300 Water St
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 622-8899
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It's hard to go wrong at Riverfront, one of the top options in Maine's capital city. Try the pulled pork, chicken, or brisket atop grilled cornbread, or go for Memphis rub ribs. Pickled onion rings complement any of the smoked meats.

8. Spring Creek Bar-B-Q

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26 Greenville Road
Monson, ME 04464
(207) 997-7025
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Truly a special place off the beaten path, Spring Creek got some well-deserved recognition on the Maine episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Fans can't say enough good about the Texas-style smoky and spicy meats available here, especially at unusually low prices. Just don't forget to call ahead to check on availability and hours.

9. Mainely Meat on Main

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193 Main St
Ellsworth, ME 04605
(207) 664-5239
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One of three locations (the others are in Bar Harbor, including one connected to Atlantic Brewing Company), this spot offers simple, succulent meats that can be doctored up with housemade sauces. Better still, the sides stand up to the mains, the veggie burger is more than an afterthought, and there's live music most days of the week on a dedicated stage.

10. Terlingua

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52 Washington Ave
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 808-8502
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This “boutique barbecue” restaurant brings smoked meats to an up-and-coming section of Portland’s East End. The daily specials include smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken and sell out early. If it's gone, don't despair as there’s plenty of smoked meats on the regular menu, from the brisket chili to the beef tongue and cheek tacos.
Adam H. Callaghan/Eater Maine

11. Gingerella's BarBQ

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14 Water St
Castine, ME 04421
(207) 326-2350
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The smell of smoked meat lures people to Gingeralla's BarBQ in Castine. Pitmaster Eric Gingerella prepares ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket, and even sweet potatoes in his smoker and serves them with generous portions of comfort food sides.
Edith Young/Eater Maine

12. 4Points BBQ and Blues House

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145 Main St
Winterport, ME 04496
(207) 223-9929
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Barbecue fans love the meat served at this biker bar with a vigorous live music scene. Fans of regional barbecue styles will love the variety of sauce on hand from Carolina style to Kansas City’s sweet sauce. Don’t miss the highly desired but limited quantities of burnt ends.

1. Salvage BBQ

919 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102
Order food up front, get a beer from the excellent and extensive draft list, and seat yourself at one of the large picnic tables. This is the perfect Portland restaurant for large groups, with a communal feel and large trays of expertly smoked meat. The sides and pies are worth saving room for — just don't bring any vegetarians, as they're likely to go hungry here.
919 Congress St
Portland, ME 04102

2. Elsmere BBQ and Wood Grill

448 Cottage Rd, South Portland, ME 04106
Tom Minervino/Eater Maine
Don't miss the brisket, which tends to sell out first at this South Portland destination. Better yet, order the Tornado Sandwich, which has three types of meat including the brisket, with coleslaw and pickled onions, all served on a pretzel roll.
448 Cottage Rd
South Portland, ME 04106

3. Buck’s Naked BBQ

568 Route 1, Freeport, ME 04032
A local chain with locations in Freeport and Windham, Buck's has an extensive menu to satisfy fans of many southern styles. Not in the mood for catfish? Stick to the tender ribs.
568 Route 1
Freeport, ME 04032

4. Moe's Original Bar B Que

650 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401
An Alabama-style, Colorado-based chain, Moe's now has restaurants in Bangor and South Portland. But friendly local franchisee Dewey Hasbrouck insists Moe's makes its food from scratch daily, and the pulled pork in particular gets rave reviews from fans.
650 Broadway
Bangor, ME 04401

5. Beale Street Barbeque

215 Water St, Bath, ME 04530
Try the pulled pork, which the restaurant calls "the only thing you really need to live a happy life." Have it with jalapeño cornbread, which the Boston Globe once called "the perfect companion to, well, everything."
215 Water St
Bath, ME 04530

6. Smokin' Good BBQ

212 Mayville Road, Bethel, ME 04217
A roadside trailer — no frills, just good, slow-cooked food. For something a little different, try the Pork Sundae: "a slab of cornbread, piled with NC Pulled Pork and topped with BBQ sauce, beans, cole slaw, pickles & smoked cashews," the menu explains.
212 Mayville Road
Bethel, ME 04217

7. Riverfront Barbeque & Grille

300 Water St, Augusta, ME 04330
It's hard to go wrong at Riverfront, one of the top options in Maine's capital city. Try the pulled pork, chicken, or brisket atop grilled cornbread, or go for Memphis rub ribs. Pickled onion rings complement any of the smoked meats.
300 Water St
Augusta, ME 04330

8. Spring Creek Bar-B-Q

26 Greenville Road, Monson, ME 04464
Truly a special place off the beaten path, Spring Creek got some well-deserved recognition on the Maine episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Fans can't say enough good about the Texas-style smoky and spicy meats available here, especially at unusually low prices. Just don't forget to call ahead to check on availability and hours.
26 Greenville Road
Monson, ME 04464

9. Mainely Meat on Main

193 Main St, Ellsworth, ME 04605
One of three locations (the others are in Bar Harbor, including one connected to Atlantic Brewing Company), this spot offers simple, succulent meats that can be doctored up with housemade sauces. Better still, the sides stand up to the mains, the veggie burger is more than an afterthought, and there's live music most days of the week on a dedicated stage.
193 Main St
Ellsworth, ME 04605

10. Terlingua

52 Washington Ave, Portland, ME 04101
Adam H. Callaghan/Eater Maine
This “boutique barbecue” restaurant brings smoked meats to an up-and-coming section of Portland’s East End. The daily specials include smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken and sell out early. If it's gone, don't despair as there’s plenty of smoked meats on the regular menu, from the brisket chili to the beef tongue and cheek tacos.
52 Washington Ave
Portland, ME 04101

11. Gingerella's BarBQ

14 Water St, Castine, ME 04421
Edith Young/Eater Maine
The smell of smoked meat lures people to Gingeralla's BarBQ in Castine. Pitmaster Eric Gingerella prepares ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket, and even sweet potatoes in his smoker and serves them with generous portions of comfort food sides.
14 Water St
Castine, ME 04421

12. 4Points BBQ and Blues House

145 Main St, Winterport, ME 04496
Barbecue fans love the meat served at this biker bar with a vigorous live music scene. Fans of regional barbecue styles will love the variety of sauce on hand from Carolina style to Kansas City’s sweet sauce. Don’t miss the highly desired but limited quantities of burnt ends.
145 Main St
Winterport, ME 04496