It’s pretty cool that someone decided one day that smoke could make food taste good—that a smoggy chemical reaction created by incinerated wood chips is the best thing you can do to pork and brisket. Science rules.
Wood Shop BBQ gets it. Whether we’re grabbing takeout or kicking back on their patio, this food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar in the Central District consistently serves some of the best barbecue in town.
If you closed your eyes and chaotically pointed at the menu a few times, you’ll likely end up with a tasty assortment of rubbed brisket, brined chicken thigh, and sandwiches stacked with things like pulled pork or portobello machaca on brioche. Even a terrific kale caesar is in the cards, too. But Wood Shop’s two greatest contributions to the world are as follows: their ribs, and their smoked jalapeño mac and cheese.
The ribs are perfectly soft and pink, held in by a crust of spice and crackling, with a level of salt just powerful enough where you could add a healthy drizzle of housemade barbecue sauce—or dive into them as is. Then there’s the mac and cheese. Whether ordered on its own, as a bowl topped with shredded meat, or breaded and fried in a ball, the slightly spicy, effortlessly velvety mac and cheese is the best dish here, and without a doubt the number-one cheesy macaroni in Seattle. Better luck next time, Beecher’s.
We love Wood Shop year-round, but come summertime, it’s one of the city’s great happy places. Their gravel patio is lined with picnic tables, games of cornhole are set up, and there’s the occasional live music performance to keep the good vibes coming as you and your friends gnaw on ribs. Pork meeting smoke is indeed a great chemical reaction, but so is dopamine meeting your brain—and you can thankfully experience both at Wood Shop.
Smoked Jalapeño Mac & Cheese
Hands down the best mac and cheese in the city. It’s smoky, rich, and spicy, and the goofily oversized elbow noodles (with ridges!) are perfect for catching the sauce. Fail to order this and you’ve made a real mistake.
These are often a special, and if they’re available, you’ll want an order or three. Imagine the same mac and cheese we described above, but molded into a sphere, breaded, and deep-fried. The breadcrumbs make a magnificent shell, and the accompanying spiced mayo dip is so fantastic that it deserves to be in a tableside squeeze bottle just as much as the barbecue sauces.
Kale Caesar Salad
No one comes to a BBQ restaurant for a curly kale salad. Unless we’re talking about Wood Shop’s. It’s covered in a peppery caesar dressing and grated parmesan, and forms a dynamic duo with the mac when ordered together.
Smoked Pork Ribs
If you can only choose a single type of meat, allow us to choose the pork ribs for you. Take the last one, and be prepared for everyone at the table to be really angry.
A solid smoked brisket that’s delicious with the house sauce. Ask for it sliced on the thicker side if you can swing it, since the charred edges are the best part.
Pulled Pork Sandwich
The combination of pulled pork, creamy buttermilk slaw, and pickled onions is the stuff of dreams. We only wish that they used a squishier brand of bun—the bread can be a bit stiff. You’re better off ordering the pork in a mac and cheese bowl instead.