Colorado is uniquely situated, sandwiched between the pork-loving Midwest and California cuisine of the West. While both neighbors may tug on our loyalties to one cuisine or another, Denver loves its pulled pork whether it’s in between a bun or on a plate with a side of greens, beans and coleslaw. Here are some of the best spots to try this meaty delight.
Hickory House Ribs
10335 S. Parker Road
Parker, CO 80134
This rib house in south Denver is often voted by the people, for the people, as a favorite for dry rub ribs. Hickory House smoked pork shoulder will please purists who insist on only the finest ingredients. On the menu, look for “The Beast,” a hefty portion of pork shoulder with garlic bread or a roll, and a choice of two sides. Save room to add a side of ribs, you’ll be full, but not disappointed.
Steuben’s Food Truck
523 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
The Steuben’s Food Truck, better known as Pearl, is a welcome site in Denver not only for green chili cheese fries but also for the pulled pork sammie. It’s piled high with tender pork and paired with lots of tasty sides like slaw, Steuben’s fries and hush puppies. The food truck can be found at Civic Center Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but also check the website for other stops the truck may make.
1543 Champa St.
Denver, CO 80202
If you like wood-smoked meats, Boney’s is your place. Hickory is the wood of choice for brisket, ribs, pulled pork or chicken. All meats are slow-roasted and can be served in a sandwich or on a platter. Owners Lamont and Trina Lynch have brought a bit of southern hospitality to Denver with Boney’s Smokehouse, and the portions are generous. The list of sides are lengthy with house-made cornbread, hand-cut fries, Cajun coleslaw, meaty baked beans, potato salad, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, fried okra, green beans and sweet potato fries.
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237 Collyer St.
Longmont, CO 80501
So maybe Georgia Boys is a little north of Denver, but it is well worth the trip. Just plan to get here early because it is known to run out of just about everything before close. Ever since these Georgia transplants opened in a little house in Longmont, they’ve been keeping the smoker going 24/7. These boys know barbecue. Just try the pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, links and turkey. You’ll be convinced. The green bean casserole will make you swoon, as will the pecan pie.
Big Papa’s BBQ
6265 E. Evans Ave., Unit 1
Denver, CO 80222
If you are in the vicinity of Big Papa’s BBQ on Evans Avenue, let your nose guide you. Once inside, the barbecue joint will remind you of more innocent days of bobby socks and jukeboxes. Pulled pork platters come either with one side, as an entree with two sides or with just the meat. Consider the po’ boy sandwiches for pulled pork; a mile-high pile of meat on a French baguette. Sides to think about include sweet and sticky potato casserole, four-cheese macaroni and cheese and spicy coleslaw.
105 Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80226
Brothers BBQ has five locations across Denver. It’s a fast-moving place for a quick and casual barbecue meal. Dig in for a pulled pork sandwich or smaller sliders. Pair it up with slaw for a southern touch or add a side of mash and gravy or mac and cheese.
Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for Examiner.com, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.