First Place: Joe’s Real BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Road
Joe’s Real BBQ has been keeping it real since 1998, serving up the best pecan-wood-smoked brisket, ribs, chicken and spicy hot links you’ll find anywhere.
At a lot of barbecue joints, the meats are the stars and the sides seem like an afterthought. Not here. Families adore the homemade applesauce, coleslaw, pit beans and gigantic baked potatoes.
Kids and parents also love the delicious homemade root beer and enjoying their meals out back in the picnic park.
The interior of the downtown 1929 brick building, a Safeway back in the day, pays homage to Gilbert’s agricultural roots with a larger-than-life mural and a restored vintage John Deere tractor.
Second Place: Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q
7300 W. Chandler Blvd.
Third Place: Tom’s BBQ
5005 E. McKellips Road, Mesa