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5 Best Bay Area BBQ spots for barbecue deliciousness

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Smoky brisket, mouthwatering ribs — oh heavens, is there anything better than barbecue cooked low and slow by a pro? Here are five barbecue spots around the Bay Area who take the genre to new highs. Read ’em and swoon, then click the comments button and tell us about your faves.
Smoking Pig BBQ, San Jose
Good thing Paul Reddick’s Smoking Pig BBQ has three locations. Those lines are crazy enough right now. Can you imagine what they’d look like if this former high-tech sales guy-turned-barbecue guru, had just one hot spot to sate everyone’s ‘cue cravings? You’ll find ribs, brisket, chicken, pork, links and all of Reddick’s cult fave appetizers and sides, including burnt ends (twice-smoked fatty brisket), smoky beans, meat-laced mac ‘n’ cheese and the humorously named wolf turds (they’re bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with housemade sausage and cream cheese, then smoked).
Details:  Two locations in San Jose, including the original at 1144 N. Fourth St., and one in Fremont;
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Sauced BBQ & Spirits, Livermore
It’s been six gloriously tasty years since Atlanta pit master Brenden Scanlon and his cousin Barrett Gomes opened their homage to the nation’s barbecue hot spots, with St. Louis cut spareribs, Carolina pulled pork, Texan beef brisket and Kansas City-style burnt ends (swoon!) and sauce. Add in their own line of craft beer, some sizzling sides and great cocktails, and you’ve got all kinds of BBQ heaven.
A meat combo plate awaits a diner at the Walnut Creek outpost of Sauced BBQ. (Bay Area News Group File) 
Details:  Locations in Petaluma, Walnut Creek and Sacramento, but this is the best one — 2300 First St., Livermore; .
Mission St. BBQ, Santa Cruz
We are besotted with this barbecue joint, from the incredible aroma that hits you out in the parking lot — thanks to the giant smokers working their magic — to the tri-tip, brisket and other sweetly smoky, mouthwatering fare. We hear the housemade berry cobbler is divine, but we’re so ecstatic over the pulled pork (available on its own, as a combo or tucked inside a sandwich) we always pig out and forget to save room for dessert.
Details: 1618 Mission St., Santa Cruz;

Beaver Creek Smokehouse, Martinez
Get that metal tray piled high with succulent brisket, smoky spare ribs and other deliciousness at this humble BBQ spot in Martinez, where Oakland native and barbecue competition champ Rob Zavatero has the whole dry rub and smoking skill-set down cold. Or rather, hot. That brisket, by the way, is certified-Angus beef and breathtakingly tender and rich, without being oily or drowning in fat.
Go for a combo platter at Beaver Creek Smokehouse. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) Bay Area News Group File
Details:  601 Main Street, Martinez;
KC’s Bar-B-Que, Berkeley
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You’re supposed to cook the food over a smoky fire, not the restaurant! Our hearts faltered when flames shuttered this Berkeley institution last year. But they’re up and running once more with their Kansas City rib goodness and all the things that made us fall in love in the first place. Grand opening festivities are scheduled for June 2 at their new digs, but they’re quietly open now on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Details: 1235 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley; http:// /
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