Owlbear Barbecue

2826 Larimer St, Denver
(720) 667-1181

Recent Reviews

Todd Thomas

I had an abbreviated taste on a quick lunch, but it was good enough to come back soon and have a more extensive meal. I had the brisket and some pork shoulder. Both were flavorful. I loved that they asked me which part of the brisket I wanted. Always pick the fatty part. Well worth it. I did not try any sides or the sweet tea this time, but they better be ready for me next time.

Aaron Spencer

Looking for BBQ in Denver? Look no further.

Khaled A.

I was worried that they will be sold out of brisket when we arrived around 2:30pm on a Saturday, lucky they were not! Although after we placed our order a giant line started to form behind us so it might be risky to place a "late" order if you don't want to miss out on any meat. The place is tiny with around 20 chairs max if I had to guess. Okay for the good part! We placed an order for half a pound of brisket, half a pound of the beef pastrami and a small side of pinto beans. Everything was amazing but if I had to rank I would say the beef pastrami was my favorite. The pinto beens has no meat which is good cause many places would add pork. I would say this place is a must if you want to have some great barbecue. Ratings: Beef pastrami: 9/10 Lean brisket: 8.5/10 Pinto beans: 8/10

Chris Fellure

Wow! Not sure where to begin. Get there early if you want seating. And be prepared for amazing BBQ! I tried the lean brisket, lamb, sausage, Mac n cheese and some iced tea with the brown sugar lemonade...All of them were YES! They have BBQ sauce, but you won't need it. Melt in your mouth goodness is waiting. Stop reading and start eating! But check the hours first to make sure they are open when you're hungry.

Bryan K

Genuinely the best bbq I have ever had. This is the first review I have written because of how impressed I was with this restaurant. The brisket was juicy/tender and the meat is highlighted by the seasonings/smoke. The sausage was top notch, and the ribs were also equally delicious. Although my top pick was the brisket, everything was worth eating that we had. The mac and cheese was creamy, pasta was cooked perfectly, and the cheese crust was delicious. From the moment you walk in the restaurant, you know it is gonna be a great meal. I almost hope this place isn’t found out more than it is currently because it is a gem.

Matthew Williams

Owlbear has great BBQ, but their service model is as poor as it gets. I’ve been multiple times during the afternoon when they have been out of nearly everything on the menu. What is the point of spending half an hour trying to find a parking spot in RiNo (even though there is a parking lot on site that customers are not allowed to park in) only to not be able to order any of the food you want? I want to like it, but it’s really hard to when they don’t prepare enough of anything.

Matt C.

I almost feel bad writing a four-star review for Owlbear. The self-proclaimed foodies of Denver talk up this little spot heavily. And for good reason. It's a unique BBQ restaurant with classic and eclectic fare. Just not five-star praise from me (yet). Honestly, my favorite aspect of Owlbear is their corkiness. Wizardry, sorcery, black magic, 666, you name it. These guys wear their hearts on their sleeves. And in this day in age, we need more people to be their undeniable selves. Without question, they inject their wizardry into their 'que. I believe this is Texas-style, maybe Austin-esque, BBQ. In my opinion, it's solid. The standouts are the sandwiches, which only run $8. Soft bun, tender meat, and tangy sauces. If you had a beer or two on Larimer, this is calling you! The few times I've been, the brisket wasn't as unctuous as I had hoped for. Now, I brought this up with a few friends and was scolded immediately. But it's like just my experience and opinion, man? They recently unveiled a sausage link ($6) and this might be one of the items they'll be known for. I applaud their inventiveness and sorcery with their sides, but for me they're hit or miss. Limited hours and small menu result in "selling out." If you plan to visit Owlbear on a weekend, have a backup plan just in case. However, if you do get the chance to dine here, they're making a name for themselves for a reason. Check 'em out, support local, and keep up the black magic.

Daniel Hanley

Absolutely unbelievable. One of the best BBQ places I have been to. The brisket is my absolute favorite. The spare ribs are also highly recommended.

Eric V

Finally made it in just before closing for a quick take out order. Everything was so damn good I had to call back 20 min after they close to tell them I love them. Owlbear, I love you.

Emily Plummer

I've been to Memphis, Dallas, and Houston looking for great BBQ and Denver really surprised me because I didn't come here for the BBQ. I went to Owlbear on a whim and it is honestly THE BEST BBQ I have EVER had. The fatty brisket is out of this world, the pork loin is tender and smokie, the pork belly was melt in your mouth, and all their sides were amazing. On a Thursday we got there 10 minutes before open and it wasn't a moment to soon because within 15 minutes of opening the place had nothing but standing room. The owner, Kurt, was really nice and passionate about his business and everyone who worked there seems to be really happy and excited to be there. As a D&D nerd and food fanatic I can't recommend this place enough. I'll definitely be back Everytime I come to Denver.

Andrea S.

I finally made Owlbear bbq happen on a snowy Friday! Every time I think to try it, it's either a day they are closed, too late in the day (because I hear they always sell out quickly), or on a weekend when I really don't want to battle a crowd! I was so thrilled that they had everything at noon, including my new fav bbq, burnt ends! My husband and I split burnt ends, a pulled pork sandwich, and Mac n cheese. The burnt ends were for sure a standout for me. Really nice bark but still nice and tender. The pulled pork was nice and juicy, so juicy that the bun couldn't stand up. The Mac n cheese was pretty garlic forward, but not too overpowering. Only negatives: - super small spot which made you feel very cramped - wish the Mac had slightly more sauce because it all just clumped together - heftier bun to stand up to the juicy pulled pork

Alicia Anderson

Wonderful food... Worth every penny and then some. Loved the decor too! Try the ribs... Actually try everything! Generous portions.

Danica S.

As a southerner I'm constantly on the hunt for a decent bbq place in Denver and have really struggled. I typically find a place that has great drinks, sides, or meats but rarely all 3. I honestly went back and forth between giving this 3 or 4 stairs. Ultimately I went with a 3 because while the pulled pork was tender, it could use more flavor. And the mac and cheese was super dense I think in part because of how it was kept warm/hot. It didnt have any cheese spiciness to it and was pretty heavy. I might stop by again to give it another try though.

Nicholas Baker

Me and my Girlfriend are from Arkansas and are no strangers to BBQ (thanks in no small part to the culture of smoked meats from our surrounding neighbor states). Owlbear Barbecue is hands down the best brisket, pork loin, and pork belly I have ever had. Every one is really nice and cool too. From Kurt who came around to make sure everything was up to his standard to the guy and girl serving us up being super friendly. This place is definitely a hidden gem. And the T-shirts are awesome!

Alex Stroh

The food is AMAZING. Prices about average for Barbeque in Denver, but the quality it way above! We had brisket and duck. Mac and cheese and grits and cucumber salad for sides. Everything was perfect.

Derek Sarbou

Owlbear is a great little bbq joint that can sell out quick. I got to have the pork tenderloin sandwich which was amazing and plenty for a quick bite. With it being the tenderloin it was ok the lighter side. I will definitely be back to try more.

R

Probably the best bbq you’ll find in Denver. Fatty brisket had good balance between fat and meat, juicy. Great rub on the ribs. Very generous portions.

Mateo E.

After taking our son to the stock show, we were in the mood for BBQ. Smok or Owlbear? We flipped for it. While she won the toss, there were no winners today. 1.5 generous stars. Let's open with the positive. They start with high-quality brisket. We enjoyed the flavorful pinto beans and house-made pickles. We have many bones to pick with our experience, though there were no ribs to be had. First, we arrived about 75 minutes after they opened. They were already out of every meat except brisket and the day's special, duck. Really? With 12 people ahead of us, we waited 38 minutes to get to the lone meat cutter. That's right--one guy cutting meat. He was friendly, considering his impossible task. He was either generous or stressed, as I got 1/4 lb more brisket than I ordered or paid for. Thanks! We ordered to go, in part because there are so few seats. Take out boxes resemble those at a Chinese restaurant and are not suited for BBQ because they don't hold heat. Brisket: It looks amazing. The mouthfeel of both fatty & lean cuts ranks among the best I've had in CO. What's missing? In a word, flavor. Bite after bite, I waited for smoky flavor to assert itself. Alas, it wasn't there. I can taste the quality, but not much smoke. Duck: As one who's eaten squirrel, rabbit, quail, and elk, I know gamey taste. This duck took gamey to a new level,well out of our comfort zones. After a few bites, we stopped trying. Sides: The pintos were a clear winner--salty, but solid. Mac & cheese featured ziti (odd), but did the trick. Eat 'em while hot--once cold, they lose their luster. Sauces: Vinegar, anyone? It was overpowering in both options. We ate our meat without. Cleanliness: Dirty floors, sticky soda fountain counter. Overall, a flip of a coin left us feeling like we lost a $50 bet.

Julia C.

Best BBQ hands down. My husband and I came here on a Sunday afternoon and I am so glad we did. They only had brisket and duck left so we ordered the brisket. The brisket was fall off the bone and the Mac and cheese was amazing. Just come here.

Ben K.

When it comes to BBQ, the quality of the meats have to stand out. Been to some of the best and Owlbear is really excellent. I had the fatty brisket and it was super moist, flavorful and juicy. Super delicious. Also had the cucumber salad which is pickled and really complimented the brisket. The brisket is almost as good as Rudy's in the Springs. I would say this place is more like 4.5 stars. One thing that brought this place down a notch is the limited amount of seating. The place is super small and if you're not one of the 1st 20-30 ppl in line, you will need to eat outside or take it to go. Overall the BBQ was excellent and look forward to eating here again.

Jake Johnson

666/666 would eat every day if I could.

Tammy Trevino

This was my second visit to this place, this time I was more prepared and liked the food better. I got lean brisket with burnt ends too, both terrific. I also split a decent mac and cheese and some beans. The meat was just tops. Service was friendly, and efficient. We went later in the day so the place was pretty empty and most of the main meats were sold out. Well worth seeking out, a great addition to the LoDo/RiNo food scene.

Jason G.

It's amazing BBQ!!! I don't care where you've been in Austin, NC, Tennessee, or any known BBQ hub-- Owlbear is a Game-changer for the Denver BBQ scene. It's so elevated from the others that it will leave you drooling and speechless as you lick your fingers. This place started out as a food truck and after years of hard work they are now in their own permanent location. It's amazing! I would invite the biggest BBQ critics and snobs to see for themselves just how this place stacks up. You won't be dissatisfied. In fact you're going to be hooked and will crave you some Owlbear. My faves are the the pulled Duck, pork tenderloin, pork ribs, and burnt ends. Their brisket is divine and pretty everything on the menu will definitely showcase their BBQ skills. So if you think you know BBQ-- go to Owlbear for a real education in this craft. It's going to challenge you to be patient when their closed, as well as to reevaluate the slop you've called good BBQ up until now. This place is amazing and the best of the best you're going to find for BBQ in Denver!!

bryan brito

The brisket sandwich here is the best. The staff is amazing. And the sweet tea is the real deal

Wilson Tsang

I can tell this pitmaster has spent time in Texas. This is one of the best bbq places I’ve ever had on par with Franklin’s in Austin. This place is no hype, all real food with fair pricing!

Brian P.

Owlbear is the highest quality barbecue that I've had in Denver. Came here and got some brisket towards the end of their hours one day. The staff here were incredibly kind and welcoming. The brisket is so good I thought that I was maybe in Austin, and me and those with me devoured it. Great location, too. I'll definitely be back.

Jen L.

Amazing BBQ! I'm from Texas and this place is the best by far! Small joint but they have some seating inside. If you like BBQ you need to check this place out. I'm getting hungry just writing this review.

Scott C.

Owl bear has some damn good brisket for a reasonable price. I grew up on Texas bbq, and I'm quite the snob when it comes to anything that's southern cuisine. It's located in the rino district off of larmier with plenty of parking in the neighborhood. The staff is friendly and the environment is cozy. I ordered the half pound brisket with a side of potato salad. I asked for a mix between fatty and lean brisket. Man this brisket was so freaking delicious. Fall apart in your mouth, juicy, fatty, smoky, literally everything you want in a brisket. I had just a little bit of sweet bbq sauce that I used sparingly because I didn't want to drown out the taste of the brisket. This was one tasty lunch. Probably the best brisket in town! Check them out if you're in the area.

Martha Valle Veltri

Always fantastic and fast. Get there early to grab a seat. The brisket is the best outside of Texas.

Athena Johnson

Decided to have a beer at Our Mutual Friend, stopped into Owlbear for a snack, left with an entire meal. Super cool & friendly staff, killer music playing in the shop, and some INCREDIBLE barbecue. You truly cannot go wrong with any of the menu items. We got the ribs, brisket, and a bunch of sides, all delicious. We loved the DnD reference as well, just a really great experience. Can’t wait to come back.

Mike Trent

They make FANTASTIC meats and sides in a tiny little half-basement dive that plays loud metal all the time. It's perfect. We got the brisket, ribs, mac 'n cheese, and cole slaw. All great. You can tell these are good people working here too. There's really nothing else to say. It's exactly what I want it to be.

Chris F.

Awesome place to visit while enjoying some craft beers in Denver. The BBQ here was unique and the staff was really fun. You can tell they put a lot of thought and care into the BBQ. I highly recommend the pork belly and the brisket. Both were really good. The team gave us some samples of the BBQ and were super friendly. The sauce was just okay, but the meat was really good.

Alex B.

Not really a lot to say. That brisket was A1. I'm not even a big brisket guy. But that brisket was the best I ever had. The pork belly sandwich also HIT. And I'm just here visiting. But if you're on the fence about Denver BBQ, just stop here. It looks kind of hipstery on the outside. But that big chained smoker out front isn't just for show. They mean business in there. Well Done Owlbear.

Laura D.

Oh man the meat here is good. If you come late in the afternoon around 5, you're taking a gamble. They may be out of some things, but you might also get a few extra bites :). We had the pork tenderloin, ribs, and brisket, with a side of sesame slaw. Everything was scrumptious. Tender meats with delicious smoky flavor, and a selection of sauces to add yourself. Slaw was the perfect light, tangy compliment to the rich meats. And they have the perfect location in the middle of all of the breweries on Larimer. Only wish they stayed open later!

Nate Hinders

Awesome place. BBQ is delicious. You know the foods good when they sell out of meat before they close.

Brandon J.

Delicious BBQ! I was here a few weeks ago with a couple of friends and my partner. At that time, we got lots of delicious grilled food. The briskets were so great. The place was pretty nice and cool. The staff was very friendly and kind but the service at that time was pretty slow because at that time there were a lot of customers. However, that was a great portion of food and a memorable bonding for us.

Matt N.

Was visiting from the east coast and found this place by chance. This is no frills BBQ. Pulled pork was perfect, not at all dry and not ruined with a roll or sauce. The brisket was flawless, a perfect mix of meat and fat and the smoke rings were impressive. The cucumber salad was the perfect side, fresh and full of flavor. Can't wait to go back!

Sarah B.

Best BBQ I've ever had! The perfect bite is the pulled pork and pickled red onion. The sides are fresh made and FANTASTIC! Don't sleep on the pinto beans - they are amazing. This place sells out daily for good reason!

Paige E.

This is hands down the best BBQ in Denver. Went in for the first time today. I tried the mac n cheese, potato salad, brisket, pork belly, and pork tenderloin. Everything we had was phenomenal. You can tell a good restaurant when their sides are just as good as the main entrees and at Owlbear, they definitely are. Mac n cheese was just the right amount of cheesy and tasted very homemade and the potato salad was seasoned to perfection. None of that onion-y mayo kind of potato salad. Everything just melted in your mouth. Nothing was chewy or dry or anything of the sort. It was all cooked to perfection. While nothing really even needed BBQ sauce, they still have two kinds to choose from: sweet and tangy. Both were delicious and added great flavor. The staff was also very friendly and helpful given it was our first time in. I noticed they also had sweet tea which really seals the deal for me. I didn't partake since it was snowy out and an iced drink felt too cold but will definitely get some next time. As others have stated, they serve until they run out. We got there at about 11:40 and left at 12:15 and nothing was sold out yet. But get there early just in case! Seating is very limited so you might have to take it to-go or buy a beer at OMF so you can use their picnic tables. Overall, this is top quality BBQ and definitely worth a visit.

Chris Kim

Love the food here! OWLBEAR IS KILLING IT!!! Had the spare ribs, moist brisket, pork belly, green chili pulled pork, potato salad and Mac and cheese. No complaints about anything. The pork belly and the Mac were my favorites. Oh the lemonade is great, make sure you try it!