Critically acclaimed Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint is San Francisco’s longest, continuously running barbecue restaurant celebrating the time honored American tradition of classic, slow smoked Southern-style barbecue and sides, alongside trendsetting specials. Located at 576 Haight Street, not far from the famed Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, Memphis Minnie’s has lived in its Lower Haight location since 2000. Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint has been featured in many local and national publications including KQED’s Bay Area Check Please, SF Examiner, SF Weekly, Eater SF, Thrillist SF, Serious Eats, and Chowhound, and featured in many books including, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America, America’s Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America’s Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants, and 100 Things to Do in San Francisco Before You Die.
At Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint we slow smoke our meats over the heat and smoke of burning white oak logs from 4 to 18 hours, without the additional use of gas or electric heat, because doing so just ain’t the way to make real smokehouse barbecue. Despite the name, Memphis Minnie’s does not represent Tennessee style barbecue — the restaurant is named after our founder’s mother, Minnie, who was from Memphis. At Memphis Minnie’s we may be more representative of Texas-style barbecue, in part, because we use whole oak logs similar to what you’ll find in Central Texas that create a flavor profile that is generally considered smokier than other regional styles, but we also exclusively serve all our meats with sauce on the side.
Memphis Minnie’s crafts all four of our sauces on-site which includes three distinct Southern regional representations including tomato, mustard, and vinegar based sauces, none of which are cloyingly sweet. Memphis Minnie’s founder Bob Kantor’s philosophy of barbecue was simple, “Real, slow smoked Southern-style BBQ gets its flavor from the meat, the seasonings, and the smoke generated during the cooking process and does NOT require any sauce.” In spite of Bob’s passionate anti-sauce campaign, he had to be contrary and make some incredible barbecue sauces with tremendous amounts of flavor that have developed quite a fan following from locals and traveling aficionados alike.
While we miss the presence of our Captain every day, you’ll find you’re in good hands with Tom Campbell, General Manager of Memphis Minnie’s, who started working at Memphis Minnie’s in 2002 and has worked on and off at Minnie’s encompassing 10 years’ worth of experience, overseeing the execution of Bob’s purist passion for authentic barbecue — preserving the heritage of a craft which is most often the hardest to execute in its simplest form — but by far the easiest to enjoy.