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Where's the Best Barbecue in Highland Park?

Vote for your favorite in our weekly Readers' Choice series.

Last week's taste of summer might've had you busting out the charcoal and firing up the grill. Others of you might have taken the chance to indulge in your favorite barbecue place around town.

While the weather's chilled, those dreams of smokey-flavored rib tips and pulled pork sliders carry on. It's with this in mind that we want to know: where's the best BBQ in Highland Park?

Here are the nominees:

  • —610 Central Ave.
  • —594 Roger Williams Ave.
  • —589 Elm Pl.
  • —710 Central Ave.
  • —1855 Deerfield Rd.

You can vote through our poll below and also let your voice be heard by reviewing your favorite eatery in our business directory.

Also, let us know if we've missed a spot and we'll add it to the list!

Winners will be decided by a combination of poll votes and reviews on their directory page. Polls close at 9 a.m. Friday and we'll announce the winner later that day. (Official rules are )

Z man March 29, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Z Man Real Urban Barbecue is AWESOME from there moist rich flavored ribs, mouth watering baked beans to there zesty BBQ sauces. And let's not forget about the incredible burnt ends. There food keeps my family coming back and we live over two hours away in Wisconsin. Keep up the good work guys!
Richard Oleff March 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Joe, I think you're being a little harsh on RUB's ribs and it seems like you're in the minority here on the comments page. Their food is great all around.
Pam March 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Best BBQ ever. Makes you want to come back for more!!! Pam
Bob Levi March 29, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I find the RUB brisket sandwich to be great! And their sauces are a delight. Nice assortment.
John March 29, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Ruba dub dub. I love the grub at RUB!!!!!!!
Fred Westbrook March 29, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Players Grill is by far the best. I come from a far away suburb to eat. Their food is always consistent! I know when I come here to eat the product is always gonna be great!! I have been to other places in HP and have never had a pulled pork sandwich as good as I do at players. Also their brisket sandwich is so tender and their ribs are excellent! I will not go any where else on the northshore for BBQ!!!!
Ernie D March 29, 2012 at 07:44 PM
RUB is the tops. I love the burnt end sandwich!
Jody Schwartz March 29, 2012 at 08:47 PM
RUB has been featured on Chicago's Best, channel 7 Hungrey Hounds, FOX tv, in Chicago magazine and today when I was there for lunch was being filmed for 190 North! That says it all! I've never seen the other restaurants on TV so much! RUB has put HP on the map with its fabulous food!
jordan t March 29, 2012 at 09:49 PM
i agree with the comment above from alex. if you compare players grill, you may as well put mcdonalds in the running. my kids do like their nuggets... dont get me wrong, i do love the max sandwich at players but dont call them a bbq place. sorry patch... not a fair fight this time. rub is the only and best bbq in hp.
Al Harris March 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Got to be Real Urban! I've been following Jeff's BBQ for years now. Like it enough to drive from Bensenville to Highland Park to get it. Keep up the great work!
Morris Pattenson March 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I agree and disagree with Joe - give RUB one more chance, but make sure you ask for the ribs that have not been sitting in the warmer. It took me 3 (1 great and 2 terrible) times to figure out that the ones coming out of the warmer bite @%$@. When they come out 'fresh', they are actually very good and definitely better than Bluegrass (although Bluegrass is better than any others mentioned here).
hp girl March 29, 2012 at 11:43 PM
HP GIRL have you been to rub? hands down no competition players is good, eat there often i carry in there burgers a lot i do not go there for brisket, pork or ribs rub is the real deal maybe you should give it a try then you will have two restauraunts you might like in hp!
Alexander March 29, 2012 at 11:46 PM
PLAYERS GRILL!! Players Grill has the best BBQ in Highland Park. Although its not strictly BBQ and doesn't have BBQ in the title like many of the other places, it offers some of the best barbecue dishes. Ribs that don't fall off the bone and are cooked to perfection. BBQ beef sandwiches, BBQ chicken sandwiches, and ask for BBQ burger with anything you want on it (I personally suggest bacon, grilled onions, and American cheese). BBQ chicken, BBQ brisket, BBQ your steak, heck, put BBQ on anything because Players has the best BBQ sauce, period. Understand the competition has nothing to do with parking, service, location, value, or any other factors mentioned. The contest explicitly asks "Where is the best barbecue in Highland Park?" which in itself does not define the term "barbecue", Stacy. While barbecue is traditionally the method of slow cooking the meat for a number of hours, barbecue is also a verb which refers to the act of cooking on a grill and traditionally using, you guessed it, BBQ sauce. Hence why we all say "Lets have a BBQ" on a nice warm summer day, I doubt you let your meat slow cook or smoke before you have a "Barbecue". So lets all please refrain from lecturing, as I just unwittingly did, and vote on the best food that uses BBQ sauce, which is hands down PLAYERS GRILL. The votes don't seem to agree with these comments, besides Fred, because if they did rub would be in the lead, which thankfully it IS NOT! GO PLAYERS!
The Epicurean Foerch March 29, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Real Urban BBQ ... No one can meet the challenge.... tantalizing aroma upon entering the restaurant...superb service... aesthetics astounding... sweet, mouth watering delight...better than your mama's sauce can drench the melt in your mouth delicate meat of your choice !
Alexander March 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Ok, we won't call them a BBQ place, just like we won't call you an expert on food, or even a person who has any idea what they are talking about. The only smart thing you said was that Players has a good Max sandwich. Besides that.. stick to what you know, which is obviously nothing. By the way, if it weren't a fair fight, rub would be in the lead...
Alexander March 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Why would you ever go to a restaurant that "bites @%$@" 2 out of 3 times? That's just idiotic. You should never have to worry about food coming out of a warmer and biting phallus when you go out to eat, it should always be cooked fresh. Any place that doesn't provide this service every time deserves no praise.
Cori Michelle March 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Really Alexander? There are people who drive all over the country for BBQ, but now we'll have to spread the word... just go to Player's for a burger with American cheese, bacon & bbq sauce... Watch out Texas - I think your tourism will drop after word on Players Grill gets out.... Let's not even get into the horrible service there, because that has nothing to do with their bbq. Actually, someone's gotta keep Player's in business... thanks!
G.Golly March 30, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I've lived in H.P for 45 years. I have been to all the above mentioned "BBQ" restaurants. My vote is for Real Urban BBQ. I have been going to R.U.B since they opened, at least one a month. I have had indepth conversations with the owner & staff. (very nice people all around) What people are calling "warmers" are actually holding boxes. The ribs & chicken are finished on the grill in front of you. R.U.B smokes it's maxium amount of meats and runs out SO THEY DON'T have food left over. I've been there when they open & I've been there when they close, I've seen the raw meat go in & I've seen it come out, throughout the day. I can't phathom Players winning this poll, but if they do, I don't think R.U.B will consider this a "make it or make it" loss. They are by far THE best BBQ in H.P.
G.Golly March 30, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Obviously Players, after 21 years, has a VERY large customer email list, hence all the votes. I got the email from Players, but I voted for R.U.B.
Chitownguy March 30, 2012 at 02:29 AM
The Brisket and Ribs from Real Urban are to die for. It's nice to see the smokers and know it's coming from there - true BBQ
Livesincrystallake March 30, 2012 at 02:36 AM
I live in Crystal Lake, but I am from HP and I go back often. RUB is extraordinary! I make sure I go most every trip there. It's authentic BBQ and one of the best in all of Chicagoland.
George Jinko March 30, 2012 at 02:50 AM
RUB is amazing! Player's Grill...seriously...that's just a hole in the wall place! RUB has quality BBQ unlike Player's Grill!
william cavada March 30, 2012 at 02:38 PM
RUB has the best Grub....
Mario Crivello March 30, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Rub is the best BBQ.
Fred Westbrook March 30, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Hp girl you are assuming that i have not been to RUB, I have been there 3 times and all 3 times it wasn't good. Maybe instead of just eating burgers at players grill you should try something else on there menu, you might actually like it.
jordan t April 01, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Amazing... even with all of Alexander's rude comments and the fact that he voted 500 times. (I mean, seriously, don't you have anything else to do?) RUB still won! Alexander is the perfect example of the service and behavior your get when you visit Players. I have encountered this many times, I guess he just likes being treated this way. Personally, I don't. Anyway, great job REAL URBAN BBQ - keep it up!!!!!
Lucy L. April 14, 2012 at 12:55 AM
BLUEGRASS!!!
Sherry Peterson April 14, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Bluegrass is the only one in my book too! Sooo good!
alan j April 14, 2012 at 01:16 AM
bluegrass?
Stu Pidasso April 14, 2012 at 02:37 AM
STASH"S!!! they have everything else!!

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