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Omaha Magazine

Smokin' Hot Barbecue in Omaha

May 27, 2021 04:16PM ● By Linda Persigehl
plate of barbecue and cornbread

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Omaha may be best known for its prime steakhouses, but the metro should get more recognition for its quality barbecue joints serving beef brisket, burnt ends, and other savory smoked meats. Don’t forget all those scrumptious sides…warm cornbread, mmm. Here’s a sampling of six of Omaha’s favorite barbecue spots. All six feature dine-in or carry out, and some have other options.

Jim’s Rib Haven
3801 Ames Ave. | 402.451.8061

Described online as an ‘unfussy counter-serve eatery,’ Jim’s Rib Haven has been serving traditional barbecue in North Omaha since 1967. The family-owned joint serves baby back ribs, rib tips, potato salad, saucy baked beans, whole smoked chickens, and more. Jim’s is also known for its economical Boney Box—a sampling of rib varieties in a to-go box—and has a convenient drive-thru.

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Porky Butts BBQ
15475 Ruggles St., Suite 105

Pitmaster Blane Hunter opened his south Texas-style restaurant in northwest Omaha in June 2019. His culinary education and 27 years of experience have helped him win several titles, including Kansas City Barbeque Society’s national grand champion in 2016. Porky Butts serves Porky Platters, pit ham, smoked turkey sandwiches, and award-winning ribs, as well as black-eyed pea dip, apple slaw, blueberry bread, and loaded grits. Catering available.

Smokin Barrel BBQ
13508 Discovery Dr. | 402.598.4855

Smokin Barrel is a Texas-style barbecue joint in southwest Omaha owned and operated by Air Force veteran Wayne Dinges and his wife, Karla. Smoked meats are sold by the half pound, as a sandwich, or loose, and include brisket, sausage links, pork spare ribs, and pulled pork. They also take pre-orders for whole turkey breasts, briskets, and pork butt, with meat priced by weight after cooking. Staples such as creamy slaw, potato salad, trail beans, and brisket chili are sold by the pint or quart.

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Smoking Jay’s BBQ
2524 S. 13th St. | 402.763.9071

Local chef Jackie Griffin owns and operates Smoking Jay’s in downtown Omaha. In addition to quality smoked meats, Jay’s offers a large sandwich menu, including a patty melt and Jay’s Philly sandwich with sautéed peppers and onions. Appetizers and sides include traditional fare, as well as pork nachos, gizzards, and smoked chicken wings. The store also offers family-style meals with large sides and muffins included. Catering available.

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Swine Dining BBQ
12120 West Dodge Road | 402.991.4744
204 E. Mission Ave., Bellevue | 402.292.7427

Swine Dining’s original location is in Olde Towne Bellevue, but in 2017, this popular ’cue place opened a second in west Omaha. Swine’s Kansas City-style smoked meats include thinly sliced brisket, sausage links, chicken wings, spare ribs, and a mixed-meat sandwich called All in the Pool. It also has daily specials such as brisket chili, barbecue street tacos, or turkey legs. Sides include smoked brisket mac ‘n’ cheese, corn mix (corn, sausage, peppers, onions), and bread pudding. Curbside, delivery, and catering available.

Tired Texan BBQ
4702 S. 108th St. | 402.991.9994

Chip and Christine Holland opened Tired Texan in May 2017 in a former Perkins restaurant at 108th and L streets. The place is named after a barbecue joint Chip grew up visiting in Birmingham, Alabama, known for its inclusive vibe and killer smoked meats. Tired Texan’s menu lists Texas Tumbleweeds (deep-fried cheesy potato balls) and Navajo frybread sliders among its appetizers, and hickory smoked St. Louis-style spare ribs, Texas-style sliced brisket, and the Roadrunner fried chicken sandwich as main dishes. Curbside and delivery available. 

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

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