Barbecue may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New Mexican cuisine. But the folks at these 13 BBQ joints definitely know how to grill. Some of these restaurants are influenced by Texas – unsurprising since that’s the closest barbecue powerhouse – but other styles are also represented. So the next time you have a hearty appetite and a hankering for meat cooked low and slow, check out any of these 13 delicious restaurants.
1. Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ & Espresso, 115 Franklin Street, Hatch
In addition to making some of the best green chile cheeseburgers in the state, Sparky's also serves up wood-fired barbecue. Visitors rave about both the pulled pork and brisket. And the homemade BBQ sauce delivers a one two punch of sweetness chased by heat.
2. Peppers Ole Fashion BBQ, 303 San Pedro Drive NE, Albuquerque
If you're a fan of sweet barbecue, head on over to Peppers. You expect the meat to be stellar at BBQ joints, but the sides - from the dirty rice to the fried okra - here are just as scrumptious.
3. Ranchway BBQ & Mexican Food, 604 N Valley Drive, Las Cruces
Locals adore this Las Cruces restaurant where meat falls right off the bone - try the pork ribs.
4. Mad Jack’s Mountaintop Barbecue, 105 James Canyon Highway, Cloudcroft
Everything's homemade at Mad Jack's from the sides to the pies. Portions are ginormous - if you're there on a weekend ask about the DINO beef ribs. This restaurant is also renowned for its tender brisket.
5. Henry’s Barbecue, 811 W Main Street, Artesia
Hand chosen apple wood gives Henry's barbecue its signature flavor. One of the most popular dishes is the green chile brisket.
6. Whole Hog Café 320 S Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe
Whole Hog has won numerous awards for its barbecue, especially for ribs. The array of sauces alone make this restaurant worth a visit. There are seven different ones so you can customize your meal according to your preferences. If you're up for a challenge, ask for the Volcano sauce. It delivers so much kick that it's kept behind the counter!
7. Watson’s BBQ 502 S Lake Street, Tucumcari
Tucumcari is brimming with Route 66 style kitsch. So naturally, Watson's BBQ is housed inside a general mercantile store! Aside from a fun location, this restaurant prepares yummy ribs, sausage and brisket.
8. Danny’s Place, 902 S Canal Street, Carlsbad
Danny's Place serves wonderfully smoky pit BBQ. Menu highlights include the pulled pork, smoked turkey, and brisket. Choose between two sauces - sweet and vinegar.
9. Berco’s Smokehouse & Grille, Moriarty 101 Route 66 E, Moriarty
This place is a local favorite and also a popular pit stop for travelers along I-40. In addition to offering great smoked meat, there's also a surprisingly good salad bar and homemade mini pies.
10. Can’t Stop Smoking BBQ, 418 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso
Can’t Stop Smoking has two locations: one in Ruidoso (pictured) and a second restaurant in Alamogordo. Servings are generous and you can add your own sauce from a selection. The smoked turkey, ribs, and pork carnitas are particularly memorable.
11. Cowgirl BBQ, 319 S Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe
Cowgirl's is quite the experience. As the name suggests, this sprawling restaurant showcases the American cowgirl, with many vintage photos hanging on the walls. While dinners gush over the mesquite-smoked ribs, there are plenty of other menu items in case someone in your party isn't in the mood for barbecue. Cowgirl's is also a popular live music venue.
12. Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Que, 2321 Carlisle Boulevard NE, Albuquerque
At Rudy's, it's all about the brisket. And the jalapeño sausage. This beloved regional chain has two New Mexico locations in Albuquerque.
13. Mesilla Valley BBQ,
1340 E Lohman Avenue,
The pitmaster at Mesilla Valley BBQ likes to experiment, preparing barbecue with a New Mexico twist. Expect hints of green and red chile in many menu items, which ratchets up the flavor.
Which of these places have you visited? What’s your favorite BBQ joint in New Mexico?