Redbones Deep fried oysters
Fried Oysters (served with chipotle mayo) $6.99

Redbones has been serving up excellent Southern barbecue in Davis Square since 1987. “Pitmasters” prepare the meat at Redbones using the authentic Southern method of smoking it over an open pitfire.  The restaurant has won countless awards, most notably Best of Boston, Barbecue in 2000, 2002, and 2003. I know, it begs the question, who won all the subsequent years?

The reigning champ (up until 2009) for best barbeque was Blue Ribbon Barbecue in Arlington. But the two places really are quite different beasts and serve different purposes. Blue Ribbon is mainly a take-out place with hardly any seating. Redbones, on the other hand, has two floors of seating, 28 beers on tap, a festive ambiance, plus much more non-BBQ Southern dishes.

We decided to check out Redbones the other day to see if it was really worth the hype. Keep in mind this place often has lines out the door on weekends. Fortunately, we were able to land a table on a Saturday afternoon without any problems. Here’s a peek at some of the food we enjoyed.

Redbones jars
Sweet Tea in big jars! For some reason, I always feel that a place is much more Southern if it serves its drinks in these huge jars. Other places locally that do that include Hungry Mother and Tupelo.
Top Left: Cornbread Top Right: Fried Okra $3.99 Bottom Left: Succotash (Lima beans, corn, peppers & onions) $3.99 Bottom right: Hushpuppies (fried cornbread, flavored w/ scallions and garlic, served with vinegar sauce) $2.99
All of these were excellent! I especially enjoyed the deep fried okra and my succotash, but honestly, everything here is good!
Redbones Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork Sandwich (Solo $6.49 / Plate $8.99)
Slowly smoked pork, “pulled” & served with cole slaw, onions, pickles & sauce on a toasted roll, by itself, or with beans & potato salad
Redbones Catfish
Fried Catfish Sandwich (Solo $6.49 / Plate $8.99)
Spicy fried catfish on a bun with lettuce, tomato & tartar sauce, comes by itself or with potato salad & cole slaw.
Pulled Pork Catfish Combo
Catfish Combo $16.99 – $18.99
Catfish &amp Pulled Pork (or your choice of any other BBQ) served with Potato Salad & Cole Slaw
Redbones truck

Final Thoughts
You can’t go wrong coming here for a fun and delicious Southern meal. The BBQ is excellent, and I would highly recommend trying a pulled pork sandwich or anything with fried catfish. The fried appetizers, like the hush puppies, okra, and clams, are also fantastic. Excellent food, low prices, festive atmosphere, 28 draft beers – what’s not to like?

I guess everyone has already figured that out, which would explain the endless long lines.

  Redbones sign

Davis Square
55 Chester St
Somerville, MA 02144
RedBones on Urbanspoon

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  1. Carolyn says

    I’ve lived in the Boston area of 7 years and I STILL haven’t been to Redbones. I gotta get my groove on!

  2. says

    Redbones is great – we lived in Davis Square a few years ago and could smell the intoxicating aromas wafting from the BBQ joint up to our apartment. I think a trip back is in my near future :).

  3. oysterboy says

    Jen – the Fried oysters pictured
    Fried Oysters (served with chipotle mayo) $3.99

    are $6.99, not $3.99

  4. says

    I LOVE Redbones. Boyfriend and I have friends that live right in Davis Square, and we had a FANTASTIC time there just sampling random beers and drinks with the bartender…he was so well-versed on their selection. The basement space is just so COOL.

  5. says

    This looks like real southern food… without being expensive. I’ve always loved fried oysters, and I miss them dearly. The ice tea in mason jars are very Southern.

  6. Sioux says

    Love to go to Redbones for apps and beers – SUNDAY afternoon seems the only time we haven’t had to wait.
    We get oysters every time and corn fritters!

  7. says

    My daughter and son-in-law brought me there when I came to visit them. They love it and I did too. We shared the nachos and the pulled pork sandwich. So good.

  8. says

    Oh Goodness! I looooove Redbones! Next time you go, ask to sit at the counter near the kitchen. They don’t usually seat people there unless it’s busy, and even then, they usually ask first, so sitting there is usually faster. And it’s the best section in the house. You get a free app (usually a sausage), and you get to watch a truly well running kitchen. One afternoon, we saw one of the guys do EVERYTHING with his tongs. Moving around the ribs as easily as he did was cool, but expected. Then he fed the fire another log— all with his tongs. It’s better than a cooking show.

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