We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Love this place!!”

Real Urban Barbecue
Ranked #6 of 109 Restaurants in Highland Park
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue
Description: Real Urban Barbecue has four Chicagoland locations in Downtown Highland Park (610 Central Ave. #177), Vernon Hills (1260 S. Milwaukee Ave.), Oak Brook (2119 Clearwater Drive) and Skokie, IL (5328 W. Touhy Ave). Real Urban Barbecue specializes in dine in, carryout, and private or corporate catering. Their menu features homemade BBQ sauce and slow-smoked items like their famous burnt ends, award winning ribs, pulled pork, turkey, brisket and chicken, all slowly rotated on 11 Cookshack smokers capable of smoking 12,000 pounds of meat daily. RUB also offers sandwiches, fresh salads, comfort sides… And come for the barbecue, stay for the dessert! Real Urban Barbecue has recently expanded their spread of baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth courtesy of the Real Urban Bakery.
Restaurant details
Description: Real Urban Barbecue has four Chicagoland locations in Downtown Highland Park (610 Central Ave. #177), Vernon Hills (1260 S. Milwaukee Ave.), Oak Brook (2119 Clearwater Drive) and Skokie, IL (5328 W. Touhy Ave). Real Urban Barbecue specializes in dine in, carryout, and private or corporate catering. Their menu features homemade BBQ sauce and slow-smoked items like their famous burnt ends, award winning ribs, pulled pork, turkey, brisket and chicken, all slowly rotated on 11 Cookshack smokers capable of smoking 12,000 pounds of meat daily. RUB also offers sandwiches, fresh salads, comfort sides… And come for the barbecue, stay for the dessert! Real Urban Barbecue has recently expanded their spread of baked goods to satisfy your sweet tooth courtesy of the Real Urban Bakery.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Everything here is great. Period. Ribs, brisket, even the turkey! The sides might be the 5th star, because too many BBQ places do not have the selection of sides that you will find here.

Thank Steve O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (139)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

104 - 108 of 139 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2013

If you're taking your Lake Forest College student out for lunch or dinner this is a good spot. As barbecue goes I would rate it average, about the same as Famous Dave's. There are a lot of side dishes to choose from. It's very casual and easy to spot if you see the large Egg ceramic grills smoking away outside the door. The cafeteria style of service combined with the layout causes people to stand inline right through the middle of the dining room and out the door plus it obstructs people from sitting down and exiting. The dining room is oddly shaped relative to the doorway, there's a wall that splits the two dining areas and the long cafeteria counter that runs along the back that has a narrow passage you have to navigate through carrying a tray after you purchase your meal.. Not well thought out, As you move down the cafeteria line, viewing the half-full or almost empty steam trays with side dishes and the staff standing behind them doesn't make the food look very appealing topping that off with juggling your wallet and tray then reliving your experience to an unfriendly cashier at the end of the line. They should look at how McDonald's lays out restaurant. I have enjoyed various sandwiches and combination plates with side dishes. Nothing is that outstanding that I would drive out of the way for if you are a barbecue connoisseur. It's over priced for no wait staff, a bin for plastic forks, Styrofoam cups and plates, plastic trays,a self-service soda fountain and poor seating. After writing this review and reliving my experience, I reduced my rating. You would have equivalent barbecue, better sides, superior service, superior dining experience and much better value at a Famous Dave's. For this money you can do much better.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank edobernig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

REAL is the key word. Being a transplant from the south, we've been looking for a real BBQ joint that doesn't simply bake their meat in an oven, but actually smoke it. Their menu includes all the must haves (pork & beef ribs, brisket, pork, turkey, chicken, sausage) and an extensive sides menu that is a bit eclectic (smokes BBQ bean with 6 or so different beans, roasted fuji apples, and sugar biscuits). I like the fact that you can order your meat (especially ribs) dry, wet, or rubbed. You place your order and the meat is carved in front of you so you see what you're getting and where it came from.

PROS: Smoked food without the entire place smelling of smoke, good portions, authentic, vast menu, sauce variety.

CONS: A little pricing, tight and limited seating, bottleneck forms when ordering slowing down the line.

The seating is tight and the lines was out the door starting at 6pm on a weekend so get their early or come a little later than normal.

I rated this a 4 star instead of 5 because of places we've tried around the country, but it is 5 stars for this area.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Wm R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Tucked away, a bit difficult to find as address lists Central Ave, but you enter off of 2nd street. I agree with reviewer the said ribs were too sweet. They were for me too. The were good, meaty and not fatty. If you like falling off the bones, this is not the place for you. Me, I like to pick up the rib and eat, so these were perfect in that way. We ordered the Charhouse Chopped Salad, was disappointed - had all the right ingredients, but no taste because dressing was watery. The bbq beans were good, with butter beans, but the creamed spinach was just ok. Corona was good and cold! Overall good bbq in a Northshore neighborhood. Stick to the bbq and you'll do alright. It was our fault for ordering salad at a place called Real Urban BBQ.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank KMgrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Let me start by saying I'm from Central Texas and we have the BEST BBQ. Went to Real Urban BBQ for a weekday lunch with large group of family. No problem getting seated. Clean restaurant, great counter staff, and decor. I had a brisket sandwich, mac and cheese, and drink for about $12. Sandwich kinda dry and I didn't find a sauce I really cared for after trying them all. Mac and cheese kinda grainy. Neat place, but I'll keep my BBQ eating for Texas next time.

Thank TXTraveller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Real Urban Barbecue also viewed

Highland Park, Lake County
Highland Park, Lake County
 
Highland Park, Lake County
Highland Park, Lake County
 

Been to Real Urban Barbecue? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing