Top 5 barbecue places around Gainesville 

David's BBQ served BBQ sliders at the GCM Food Fest.
David's BBQ served BBQ sliders at the GCM Food Fest.
Photo by Olivia Hanna

The days are getting longer and almost as hot as the grills firing up in backyards around Gainesville. Summertime is coming, and there’s almost nothing that pairs better with a day by the pool than barbecue.  

Whether you’re hosting a cookout or want to go to one being served up in a restaurant, here’s a list of the best barbecue places around Gainesville to kick off summer.

Sonny’s BBQ  

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First on the list is the place that served as Gainesville’s first local BBQ joint. Sonny Tillman and his wife Lucille opened the Waldo Road location back in 1968 looking to influence the community with “slow-smoked BBQ slathered in Southern hospitality.” Make sure to jump on the $6 Pork Big Deals and $10 Pork & Rib Combos on Wednesdays in May

  • Location: 2700 NE Waldo Rd., Gainesville, or 15935 NW US Hwy 441, Alachua 
  • Hours: Sunday thru Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday thru Saturday 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. 

Adam’s Rib  

You’ll find “Gator Meal Deals” at Adam’s, large enough to feed a whole cookout. The sides like potato salad, mac n’ cheese, coleslaw and BBQ baked beans are all homemade. If sides are all you’re in the mood for, there’s an option to get them as your entire meal. 

  • Location: 2109 NW 13th St., Gainesville 
  • Hours: Monday thru Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Friday thru Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday closed 

David’s BBQ & Catering 

What would a BBQ be without a local favorite Dave’s BBQ? The catering means the same quality BBQ that’s served Gainesville since 1978 can come straight to you without having to leave your backyard. 

  • Location: 5121 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville 
  • Hours: Monday thru Saturday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

Pearl Country Store and BBQ  

Half country store selling local goods and in-season produce, and half restaurant selling Big Jim’s barbecue, Pearl Country Store and BBQ has it all. Owners David and Peggy Carr have turned the former convenience store that sold Gatorade, chips and lottery tickets into a local flavor hangout. 

  • Location: 106 NE Highway 441, Micanopy 
  • Hours: Monday thru Thursday 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday thru Sunday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. 


The name means “You are addicted to barbecue!” It might seem like when you boil it down, barbecue is barbecue. But Beque-Holic offers Korean-style barbecue where the meats are prepared on the table right in front of you.  With enough seating for more than 200 people, it’s a great spot to bring your entire cookout indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate, or if you just want to be part of the grilling experience. 

  • Location: 3812 Newberry Rd., Gainesville 
  • Hours: Monday thru Thursday 4:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. 

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Wes Markham

Glad to see Dickey’s BBQ is NOT on this list.

They say it’s Texas’ version of barbecue fast food style, but the portions and quality are terrible compared to these top area places. Send Dickey’s back home!


What about Mojo Hogtown Bar-b-que?


Sonny’s with the addition of Shannon Snell took their bbq to the next level ! Y’all left out 4Rivers the brisket is well worth the traffic on Archer