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Joe\'s Real BBQ

Joe's Real BBQ

301 N. Gilbert Road

Gilbert, AZ 85234


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You never know when a good idea may strike. For Joe Johnston, inspiration struck on his frequent business trips to Texas, where he sampled the goods at every barbecue joint he stumbled upon. By the time he found the perfect spot to open a barbecue restaurant in his hometown — a 1929 brick building in downtown Gilbert — he'd already perfected his business plan. And now Joe's Real BBQ stands as a testament to all the good grub he had in the Lone Star State, hawking the best barbecue in the Valley. From smoky, slow-cooked brisket, served sliced or chopped, to chicken, hot links, and ham, the menu of pecan-smoked meats is a carnivore's dream.

Pulled pork is served relatively unadorned, a heap of moist, savory shreds that you can dress up with Joe's original recipe barbecue sauce, or the tangy, hot habanero version. And the pork ribs are as mouthwatering as candy — tender inside, with a thick, brown crust coated in sweet, sticky sauce. BBQ pit beans, old-fashioned cole slaw, and gooey mac 'n' cheese topped with buttery baked crumbs are just a few of the fabulous side dishes, and homemade root beer is a tasty way to wash it all down. When you make your way through Joe's cafeteria-style line, be sure to grab a few toothpicks and wet naps. Trust us, you'll put 'em to good use.

My Voice Nation Help

The best things about BBQ are the complex smokiness and crustiness of the meat. The food at Joe's Real BBQ is good, but I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't satisfy my BBQ fix at all.

On several different visits, I've had the ribs, brisket, and chicken. As I write this, I just finished eating some of Joe's ribs. The texture of all the meat is okay, but it's missing those qualities I look for in stellar BBQ. I'm not a fan of BBQ that tastes like it's been cooked in the oven, and while the BBQ at Joe's is not quite that simplistic, the meat is definitely missing something. The sauce tries hard to make up for what the meat is lacking in depth.

I've yet to find a BBQ spot in the valley that will satisfy my fix, but I've heard good things about Stacy's and The Pitts Again.


I used to live right down the street and not is the food great but so is the atmosphere. Don't forget the great rootbeer and red cream soda.

amy brines
amy brines

Best BBQ!! I have tries every bbq place here and hands down this is well worth it for me to drive 45 minutes. The pulled pork is out of this world along with the mac and cheese and other tasty sides!!! Love It!!


I beg to differ! Joe's is the best BBQ! And if you go on your birthday, you get a free meal and dessert :0)


If you like small portions of bland BBQ, you'll love Joe's!

Great atmosphere and an authentic experience, but best BBQ it is not.


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