3 Barbecue Places to Go Out of Your Way For

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Three places to go out of your way for.

The BBQ Joint

Sawdust covers the floor at this Eastern Shore spot, but don’t be fooled by the humble surroundings—chef/owner Andrew Evans went from fine-dining kitchens to winning over judges on the national barbecue-competition circuit. When we tear into crunchy-sweet wings, 15-hour brisket, or pulled pork doused in tarheel vinegar sauce, we can see why. 216 E. Dover St., Easton.


At this Friday-through-Sunday stand in the Vanish Farmwoods Brewery compound, which sits on a hops farm, brisket and pulled pork are a draw. But it’s the humble chicken that steals the spotlight. The size of the menu varies—a recent trip saw an abbreviated lineup of sandwiches and porky barbecue nachos, which were so good we ordered seconds. 42245 Black Hops Ln., Leesburg.

Hammerdown BBQ

Some of the best, most tender and unapologetically fatty brisket we’ve found on the East Coast is at this no-frills smokehouse in Loudoun County. (Look for the stacks of wood and the vintage Coke machine out front.) Baked beans and slabs of dry-rubbed spare ribs—which fall off the bone just enough—are close runners-up. 41153 John Mosby Hwy., Aldie.

This article appeared in the May 2018 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.