Food Ideas for a BBQ Restaurant

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Barbecue restaurants have long been a mainstay in the southern United States, but many northern states boast barbecue restaurants of their own. When planning a menu for a barbecue restaurant, consider many types of foods.


Barbecue restaurants often serve appetizers that feature small portions of their smoked meats, including beef tips, nachos and sliders. Fried green beans, okra and pickles are good appetizers to serve, as are hot tamales, wings and fries. Fried cheese sticks and chicken fingers also fit in on the appetizer menu. Remember to keep plenty of barbecue sauce readily available to accompany your appetizers.


Side dishes can be the best part of eating at a barbecue restaurant. Baked beans are a common side item, as are coleslaw and cornbread. French fries are an always-popular side item, and you can serve them with toppings like chili, smoked meats or cheese. Sweet potato fries are a twist on traditional fries. Southern favorites you may want to consider include hush puppies and collard greens. And don’t forget about corn bread and mac and cheese. Bake your sides from scratch–your customers will notice the difference.

Main Courses

Having great entrees at your barbecue restaurant can keep you in business. Offer a variety of both sandwiches and platters. For example, pulled pork is a common item on a barbecue restaurant’s menu. Offer a sandwich version and an entree version that comes with one or two sides. And, don’t forget to include several different varieties of barbecue sauce. Beef brisket, pulled chicken and ribs should also be on your menu. Again, offer sandwich versions and entree versions of each. Other ideas for main courses include jambalaya, catfish, smoked ham and sausage.


Sometimes the food at barbecue restaurants is so good it’s hard to save room for dessert, but there are several classic dessert ideas you should consider for your menu. These include pecan pie, peach and raspberry cobbler, cherry pie, lemon cake and good old fashioned ice cream.