Best Barbecue in Cleveland winner is Ol’Chefski’s BBQ in Aurora!

August 28, 2018

Best Barbecue in Cleveland winner is Ol’Chefski’s BBQ in Aurora!

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- We’ve reached the end of Cleveland’s Best Barbecue contest and the winner is a small joint that hasn’t been around for very long, and operates out of a small shed -- Ol’Chefski’s BBQ in Aurora. Congratulations to Ol’Chefski’s BBQ!

Ol’Chefski’s BBQ, located at 1199 E. Garfield Road, beat 19 other finalists to earn the title of Cleveland’s Best BBQ, as voted on by cleveland.com readers. The contest began with 40 restaurants competing in the first round.

Ol’Chefski’s BBQ won with 28 percent of votes, edging Blazin Bills of Burton and Sides To Go! BBQ of Macedonia. 

Cleveland’s Best reporters Brenda Cain, Yadi Rodriguez and Kristen Davis, along with celebrity host/comedian Mile Polk, traveled all over Northeast Ohio during this contest to taste the foods. If you are looking for some great barbecue, be sure to check out any of these Top 20 places. Click the restaurant names below to see photos and what we thought of the BBQ from our taste test.

And watch as we surprised the winner on cleveland.com’s Facebook page during a visit Tuesday to Ol’Chefski’s BBQ.


Congratulations to the restaurants that made it into the Top 20 (listed in alphabetical order) Click on the names to see more about our visit.

Barabicu Smokehouse

Big B’s Bar-B-Que

Blazin Bills

Burnside Barbeque

Butcher’s Pantry

Butch’s Saloon

Lager Heads Smokehouse


Mabel’s BBQ

Maple City Taps & Eatery

Oak and Embers Tavern

Ohio City BBQ

Ol’Chefski’s BBQ

Open Pitt Barbeque Carryout

Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzerria

Sides To Go! BBQ

Smokin Q’s BBQ

The Morehouse

The Proper Pig Smokehouse

Woodstock BBQ

Thank you to everyone who participated in the nomination and voting processes and a special thanks to the staffs at each restaurant for their hospitality. We were welcomed and treated like family during the visits to the 20 finalists and enjoyed meeting the owners, chefs, employees and patrons.

We had so much fun during this contest, which has lasted more than a month. We sampled all kinds of BBQ throughout the Greater Cleveland area.

Check back at cleveland.com/best this week and next week as we award superlatives, including the best ribs we tasted, the top brisket, the most delicious sides, and more.

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