Growing up, I was never a fan of red meat. While I indulged in the occasional McDonald’s cheeseburger as a kid, I treated steak and bacon like the plague. But after living in Dallas for five years, I was reintroduced to my carnivorous side. I discovered the magical world of southern BBQ! And now that I’ve moved back, I often find myself craving a tender brisket sandwich or juicy baby back ribs. If you’re looking for a taste of the South in all it’s smoked and charred glory, here’s your guide to Wine Country BBQ. So start planning your next family date night, because each restaurant listed is family-friendly too!
6 Family-Friendly Wine Country BBQ Restaurants
**click the name of the restaurant to be taken to their webpage for more information.
975 First Street, Napa CA 94559
Located in downtown Napa, Bounty Hunter not only has delicious BBQ, but their wine and whiskey selection is off the charts. They have over 40 different wines available by the glass! While they are known for their Beer Can Chicken, I can’t resist ordering the Bounty Hunter Smokin’ BBQ Platter every time, which includes pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. Their brisket is very tender and the ribs come right off the bone. And even though the platter comes with a variety of sauces, this BBQ is so well-seasoned that extra sauce is unnecessary.
3413 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma CA 94952
When driving down Petaluma Blvd North, you can’t miss the smoke billowing from their multiple smokers. Lombardi’s is my favorite spot for BBQ takeout. Tri-tip is their specialty, but their pork ribs are perfectly seasoned and melt off the bone. And my kids are huge fans of their BBQ chicken. With their extensive menu of speciality sandwiches, salads, and sides, I’d recommend stopping here before your next trip to the beach or winery for a picnic.
151 Petaluma Blvd South #129, Petaluma CA 94952
It is impossible to leave Sauced hungry. From their appetizers to their main dishes and sides, I have a hard time not ordering everything on the menu. I’m a sucker for loaded fries, and their Swamp Fries are a glutton’s paradise. But my favorite menu item is their Burnt Ends. Influenced by Kansas City BBQ, these twice-smoked and twice-rubbed brisket nuggets are the best and most flavorful part of the brisket.
229 Water Street North, Petaluma CA 94952
Until recently, I’ve only visited Brewsters for lunch. I love the laid-back atmosphere, their revolving beer list, and the super-fun kids area where I can watch the kids play while I enjoy the aforementioned adult beverage. But wait, there’s more! If you come here for dinner, you can treat yourself to Wine Country BBQ with a little South Carolina charm. While their brisket was a bit salty for me, their ribs were top-notch. And paired with coleslaw and smoked beets, my wanna-be Southern heart was happy.
304 Center Street, Healdsburg CA 95448
When you’re asked if you want your brisket lean, fatty, or mixed, you know this restaurant takes their BBQ seriously. Their brisket was perfectly flavored and their ribs fell right off the bone. But what really made me feel like I was back in Texas was their selection of sides. One word: Frickles! I frickin’ love frickles (a.k.a. fried pickles). Along with Spiced Sweet Potato Tater Tots and Drunken Hush Puppies, I’m in BBQ heaven.
1531 South Novato Blvd, Novato CA 94947
The Speakeasy BBQ is the newest addition to the Wine Country BBQ repertoire. Both their brisket and pulled pork had the right amount of tenderness and flavor. From their Texas BBQ Pork Belly Tacos and Burnt Ends to their Crawfish Sautee, they pay homage to all Southern BBQ styles. I only wish their servings were a bit more Texas-sized.
Love BBQ? Let me know about your favorite Wine County BBQ restaurant in the comments!