Well, it isn’t the Deep South, so you might not expect to find authentic barbecue options in Santa Cruz. However, because this city is a tiny melting pot alongside the Pacific Ocean, you can actually score some tasty barbecue options at a couple of the local haunts found around town.
Gilda’s Restaurant serves up a few solid BBQ choices in the form of ribs, burgers and steaks. You can get some of the best BBQ ribs in town, here, actually, and everything is cooked to order. Yes, this means you may have a longer wait, but when you are licking the sauce off of your fingers as you chew through those ribs, you may find that the longer wait was well worth it for authentic BBQ this good west of the Mississippi.
Cole’s BBQ & Catering is another local spot for great BBQ. You can get chicken, ribs and steaks here, and many of the items can be combined onto larger-than-life plates that are guaranteed to send you home for a nap after ingesting those BBQ delights. The Hindquarter Bar & Grill is generally more American in terms of the fare it offers; however, you can enjoy any American dish here done BBQ style, which makes it a popular spot for those seeking BBQ food in Santa Cruz.