Manna Epicure, City Bowl
Perhaps not on everyone’s rib radar, however the quaint French-style bistro serves incredible BBQ ribs that are big enough to share. They are definitely one of the finest sticky pork ribs dishes in the city.
Saigon, City Bowl
Another unassuming rib server is Saigon. The Vietnamese restaurant gives the sticky pork ribs an Asian twist and serves them as a starter or main, both generous portion sizes.
Mulberry & Prince, CBD
Head here if you want some lamb ribs. Lamb ribs tend to be a lot more fatty, but Mulberry & Prince grill them perfectly to get get the fat nice and crispy. The ribs are coated in raw honey and spices giving it a sweet, salty and spicy flavour combination.
The Hoghouse Brewing Company, Ndebeni
One of the only proper smokehouses in Cape Town, dedicated to good quality and authentic cooking methods. Following the “low and slow” Texan ideology, meat is slow cooked for hours to get that tasty, smokey and incredibly tender consistency. They serve BBQ spare ribs sold per 100g. The idea is to share your food, so its perfect for a group.
Lefty’s, a smokehouse and dive bar, has a good loyal following due to their laid-back environment and great food. They do sticky pork ribs but also sometimes have 10 hour smoked beef short ribs, done the Texan way. They do slow cooked meats and bar food really well, so grab a beer and a rack of ribs in Cape Town’s favourite dive bar.
The Hussar Grill, Rondebosch
Hussar is over 50 years old, founded in 1964, and is one of Cape Town’s oldest steakhouses. They have mastered their skill in preparing and serving premium quality meat, which has afforded them the opportunity to open various branches over the years. Rondebosch Hussar, in particular, has the most character due to its age and its cosy interior. They serve spare ribs, as well as hog back ribs brushed in their signature basting, both in small or large portions.
Rest of Western Cape
The Hickory Shack, Elgin
Elgin’s first real Texan BBQ smokehouse. Its all about the ribs, brisket, and pulled pork. Everything is slow cooked to give the meat that smoked and fall-off-the-bone consistency. Carefully selected meat is prepared the authentic Texan way with a dry rub before smoking, and basted after its cooked.
The Smokehouse and Grill, Braamfontein
A real authentic smokehouse in a trendy, contemporary setting. Right in the vibrant hub of Braamfontein, you can enjoy beef brisket, pulled pork and a choice of three types of ribs: baby back pork ribs, St Louis pork ribs and beef ribs, all served in half or full portions.
BBQ Workshop, Sandton
Proper BBQ soul food mixed with some Middle Eastern grill items like gyros and skewers. BBQ Workshop is a large modern, industrial styled eatery with a lively atmosphere. The ribs are definitely worthwhile, as it is one of their specialties.
Stanley Beer Yard, Milpark
A quirky, eclectic space inside with a proper pub-style beer garden outside, Stanley Beer Yard is always a good choice for a relaxed beer and lunch and a great meeting spot for some festivities. The food is good ol’ pub style comfort food like burgers, and, of course, great ribs served with chips. Don’t forget about their beer though! They have a big selection of craft brews.
Smokin’ Joe’s Rib Shack, Fourways
This place has a ‘soul’ focus on ribs, and other Southern-style meat cuts and flavours. Expect the smokiest, stickiest ribs in the backyard of a house in Fourways. It’s authentic American BBQ food at its best in a rustic setting that will make you feel like you’re over at a friend’s house.
The Grillhouse, Rosebank and Sandton
This is a steakhouse favourite amongst Joburgers. Its been going for over 20 years now, serving quality cuts, ribs and seafood in an elegant, classic New York-style interior. Its a large restaurant with deco finishes and a vibrant atmosphere. They serve both spare ribs and beef ribs in small and large portions.
Mr Brown’s BBQ, Umhlanga and Hillcrest
Mr Brown’s is a classic American style sports bar and smokehouse serving real good soul food. The theme runs through the restaurant from head to toe, so you’re immediately transported to the Mr Brown’s experience once you enter. Umhlanga is the flagship store, but you will find ribs at all branches. There are three types of ribs: the original country style served with gherkins, bourbon ribs and the BBQ bacon and chilli jam ribs.
Butcher Boys, Morningside
Established in 1999, Butcher Boys has been serving prime cuts in Morningside to a loyal customer base for almost 20 years. Its a relaxed steakhouse for any occasion. The ribs are chargrilled and done in their homemade basting sauce. There is also a branch in Hillcrest.
Union Square, Durban North
A modern grillhouse serving smashburgers, wings and ribs. Their ribs can be basted in a sauce of your choice. Try the rum and chilli basting for something different! Ribs are slow cooked, so they are tasty, tender and fall right off the bone. Try out the wings and ribs special on Wednesdays. There is also a Hillcrest branch.
Butcher Block, Umhlanga
This steakhouse offers a contemporary, clean and stylish space for a fine-dining experience. Butcher Block prides itself on quality and has carefully selected meat suppliers to give customers only the best. They have two branches in Joburg due to their growing success. They serve pork and beef spare ribs with a sweet sticky BBQ basting, as a variety of rib combos.
Hillside Tavern, Lynnwood
One of Pretoria’s most beloved steakhouses, and certainly one of the oldest, Hillside has an extensive menu which includes pork, duck, seafood and a variety of prime cuts. They have been in business for around 25 years and certainly know what they’re doing in the preparation if meat! The spare ribs come in two sizes and you can choose between the traditional basting, flame grilled and basted with a sweet and sour sauce or Portuguese style, basted in a Mozambican basting.
Moo Moo, Brooklyn
Situated in Brooklyn Shopping Mall, Moo Moo is one of Pretoria’s finest, yet relaxed and unpretentious steakhouses. A contemporary interior with outdoor seating, Moo Moo serves carefully selected meat that they age and cut themselves. They serve pork and beef ribs, large or small, cut up and served in a stainless steel basket with chips.
Hogshead is a smokehouse and grill incorporating South Africa’s love for meat, with American smoking and grilling techniques. You’ll find traditional smokehouse dishes like beef brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. The ribs come in two styles, either BBQ rubbed, slow smoked pork ribs, or the grilled BBQ basted pork ribs. On weekends Hoghouse turns into a bit of a nightlife scene and on match days its a great place to watch the sport.
Cubata Portuguese Grill House, Syndenham
A family owned, warm and friendly taverna with a no-fuss approach to their cooking and decor. Simple wooden bench-tables fill up the cosy restaurant. The menu is simple with traditional Portuguese peri peri chicken, prawns and sticky, fall-off-the-bone slow-cooked ribs. They are a must, as is many of the menu items. Its a great place for sharing food and trying a little bit of everything.