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Where to get the best sticky ribs in town

Sticky, sweet, fall-off-the-bone ribs are guaranteed to make any carnivore’s heart beat that little bit faster. Whether it’s a succulent rack of pork belly ribs, beef on the bone, dripping in basting, or slow-cooked lamb smothered in a glossy sauce, this meaty dish is a favourite everywhere from smart steakhouses to dive bars and smokehouses. Drop the knives and forks: we’ve found some of the best steakhouses and dive bars around SA to serve gloriously sticky finger-licking beef and pork ribs.

 

Johannesburg

Trumps Grillhouse & Butchery (Sandton) 

The refurbished Trumps Grillhouse in Sandton, known for its quality meat, now includes a butchery service. They offer full pork and beef sticky ribs as part of their signature grills at R269 with sauce options of BBQ, peri-peri or sweet chilli sriracha. The pork ribs are tender and juicy and the beef ribs are smoked low and slow. Even better are the signature rib combo dishes with choices to add wings, sirloin, lamb chops or prawns.

Trumps Grill ribs

Thundergun Steakhouse (Randburg)

Thundergun Steakhouse is a frequent winner when it comes to the best ribs in Johannesburg. Established in the 1960s and still going strong, experience and consistency puts them ahead. Their specialty is juicy steaks and ribs. Get the best of both with their steak-and-pork rib combos for R243 and R279 with different steak cuts. The pork spare ribs come with playful names according to size. There’s the 1kg Lone Ranger, Billy the Kid at 600g, and Mary Lou at 300g with a choice between the original BBQ and Portuguese sauces.  The beef spare ribs are a800g and all of these are between R167 to R335.

Turn N Tender Steakhouse (Parktown)

Spare ribs form part of Turn N Tender’s specialties, together with boerewors and lamb loin chops. Covered in their original basting sauce, the ribs are tender and sticky. The 500g and 1kg beef spare ribs go for R180 and R295 respectively, while the pork equivalent ranges between R205 and R325. There is no pork served at the Illovo branch.

The Foundry (Parktown North)

BBQ ribs are very popular at The Foundry and are included in the classics section of the menu. Beef ribs are no longer available – only pork ribs between 500g and 1kg at a reasonable cost of R135 and R265 respectively. They are prepared by marinating in a brown sugar, red wine and rosemary marinade for five hours, and then cooked on the grill before being covered in a succulent pomegranate and BBQ glaze. They are served with onion rings and hand-cut chips (or a side of the customer’s choice). This is precisely what many keep coming back for.

The Grillhouse (Rosebank)

The Grillhouse is an award-winning steakhouse popular for its steak and ribs. The Grillhouse platter is perfect for sharing with a combination of ribs (beef or pork), lamb cutlet, boerewors, beef kebab and sliced spiced sirloin. The 500–800g beef and pork ribs are basted in a secret sauce and go for R299.

Grillhouse spare ribs

Ribs & Burgers The Marc (Rivonia)

The name says it all: it’s about ribs and burgers here. The difference is that these ribs are cooked low and slow for eight hours and then flame-grilled. Choose from the Mighty Pork Spare Rib, the Pork St Louis Ribs and beef ribs all averaging between R195 and R325. They come with regular chips or apple-walnut cabbage slaw. There’s an option to add a chicken burger or a garlic roll for an extra charge. 

Pretoria

The Wing Republic (Pretoria Central)

There’s a new kid on the block and they’ve come out with their flavour guns blazing. So you may be wondering, what is a chicken wing joint doing on a list about ribs? Well, they seem to have perfected those too! TWR has cast their ribs in a supporting role to their wings, but sometimes the supporting cast can steal the show. You can choose between the succulent, sticky beef ribs or the tasty, tangy pork ribs. You can even combine them in a range of platters with chips, buffalo wings and grilled wings. The vibe is young, urban and hip – think cocktails, DJs and sunshine! And if you are not going out, then remember, you can order in, via Uber Eats. The beef ribs go for R310 for 1kg or R190 for 500g while the pork ribs cost R270 for 1kg or R150 for 500g.

Heat Grill Room (Woodlands Boulevard)

The Sticky Heat Barbecue Basting on their 500g pork ribs (R195 with a starch and veg) is lip-smackingly good! You can also have a taste of their riblets as part of their tapas plate menu or incorporated into the generous mixed grill. Heat Grill Room offers a relaxed dining experience with fine ribs and attention to detail.

Ribs and Burgers (Menlyn Maine)

They do exactly what their name says: ribs and burgers! Choose between the pork spare rib (R195 for regular/R295 for large), the beef rib (R215 for regular/R325 for large) or their flavour-boosted St Louis-style pork ribs (R215 for regular/R325 for large). All their ribs are cooked low and slow for eight hours, then flame-grilled to caramelise that sticky sauce with the fall-off-the-bone meat. Ribs are served with either a side of chips or their apple-and-walnut cabbage slaw.

Capital Craft Beer Academy (Menlo Park)
These guys are on a mission to cook up the best ribs in town. Choose between southern-style slow-cooked pork or beef ribs that have been finished off in their Iron Maiden wood smoker. All ribs are served with a choice of chips and battered onion rings, salad or roasted veggies. Usually, you will pay around R150 for 500g and R250 for 1kg, but look out for the periodic rib Monday Special when you can get pork ribs, smoked pork ribs or beef ribs for R90 for 500g plus sides or R160 for 1kg plus sides, or bottomless ribs for R180. This special, when available, runs all day and night on Mondays. Sadly, no takeaways are allowed. Best enjoyed with a pitcher of one of their many beers.

The interior at Capital Craft. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at Capital Craft Beer Academy. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cattle Baron (Centurion)
Meat is their specialty, so you can bet on having some excellent ribs at this steakhouse. Tuck into flame-grilled pork loin ribs basted in a signature barbecue glaze and served with your choice of starch at R185 for 500g or R254 for 800g, or opt for the 1.2kg spare ribs for two at R370. Cattle Baron has also introduced a new lunchtime value menu where you can get 400g BBQ pork loin ribs for R149. Add creamed spinach and butternut for an extra R12 or onion rings for R21.

Crawdaddy’s (Menlyn)
For easy-going pub grub, head to this bustling casual eatery. Grab a plate of succulent pork belly ribs that are grilled, basted and slow-roasted in an extra caramelised sweet chilli, ginger, coriander and sesame sauce. Served with a side of chips, rice, baked potato, mash, salad or vegetables at R199 for 500g or R295 for 1kg.

The Godfather (Centurion)
This famous steakhouse is known for generous portions and hearty grills. Enjoy a generous portion of sticky spare ribs with your choice of chips, mash, baked potato, rice or creamed spinach and butternut (R175 for a “ladies” portion or R255 for the “men’s” portion). Or tuck in to the saucy lamb ribs for R195 for 600g or R280 for the large portion. All ribs and grills on the menu are prepared with their famous barbecue basting or spicy black pepper, mustard seed and salt.

Hillside Tavern (Lynnwood)
Choose between portions of either traditional or Portuguese-style ribs (R186 for 500g; R235 for 700g). The traditional ribs are marinated in a sweet-and-sour sauce, while the Portuguese ribs are not basted, but served with a lemon, garlic and peri-peri sauce. Both come with a choice of chips, rice, vegetables, mash, onion rings or salad.

The interior at Kream. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at Kream. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Kream (Brooklyn)
This sophisticated eatery’s menu offers a range of dishes, from sushi to elegant mains. Try their smoked pork loin ribs that arrive sticky and glossy in a tangy barbecue basting sauce with a side of golden onion rings and skinny fries (R200 for 600g). Kream also offers the choice of tasty lamb loin rib on the menu at R230 for 3 x 120g pieces.

Durban

Butcher Block (Umhlanga Rocks)
This Umhlanga steakhouse is a favourite for locals and visitors to the bustling seaside area. Tuck into rack of pork spare ribs basted in their famous sweet and sticky barbecue glaze, grilled to perfection and served with a choice of one side (R175 for 500g; R295 for 1kg), or try one of their rib combos such as the rib and chicken flattie (R235), pork rib and lamb chops (R265) or pork rib and rump or sirloin (R245). You can also choose a beef rib option for all meals.

The interior at The Butcher Block. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at The Butcher Block. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Havana Grill (North Beach)
Perfect for carnivores, this stylish steakhouse offers a great wine list and juicy grills. Try a large portion of succulent deboned pork ribs in a homemade sticky and sweet chilli glaze, served with golden fries chips to mop up the sauces, or a carb-free side, for R165.

Joop’s Place (Morningside)
A stalwart in the Durban area, this popular steakhouse serves meaty Texas-style loin ribs in their signature sweet and sticky barbecue sauce with a choice of starch or a side salad (R120 for 400g; R220 for 800g; R250 for 1.2kg). What makes this a really memorable experience is that you can watch the chefs cooking your food as you wait!

Little Havana (Umhlanga Rocks)
Ideal for a sophisticated date night or a working lunch, Little Havana offers a range of meat-rich dishes alongside delicious sides. Indulge in their smoked house ribs in a glossy sesame-honey-mustard basting for R220. Pair this with a variety of vegetable or side options such as baked sweet potato, creamed spinach, mushroom risotto or steamed vegetables.

Inside at Little Havana. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Inside at Little Havana. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Rocomamas (Durban North and Florida Road)
While also known for its famous smashburgers and spicy wings, Rocomamas satisfies with pork ribs done in quarter (R88), half (R176), three-quarter (R265) and 1kg portions (R353), and beef served in half and 1kg portions. The ribs are served in your choice of flavour such as Old Skool BBQ, peri-peri or sticky BBQ. Choose to pair that with a variety of sides such as their shoestring fries or their turbo-charged fries with cheese.

Butcher Boys (Florida Road)

Established in 1999, this restaurant is well known to be one of the best steakhouses Durban has to offer.  They serve only the best South African beef sourced from local farmers ensuring top quality food. Along with a variety of cuts to choose from, they also have pork, beef and lamb ribs on the menu.  Choose pork or beef ribs (400g for R180 or 800g for R290) or go for 500g of lamb ribs for R245.  They are all chargrilled to perfection with their famous rib basting sauce.

Cape Town

Ben Wei (Gardens)

Get the Ben Wei’s for some seriously succulent and tender pork loin ribs, their Korean sticky BBQ ribs are sensational. They’ve also got a ribs and wings combo that’s served with fries.

Burger and Lobster (CBD)

While they’ve got a wide range of cocktails, burgers and moreish lobster dishes to choose from they’ve also got sticky Jack Daniel’s BBQ basted ribs with skinny fries up for grabs!

The Butcher Shop & Grill (Mouille Point)

This sophisticated steakhouse serves up an impressive range of meat dishes with an extensive wine offering too. Succulent pork spare ribs are grilled with a smoky barbecue or chilli basting and served with a choice of starch or vegetables. For something a little smaller, try their starter portion of sticky pork riblets done in a Chinese-style glaze with chilli, honey, garlic and ginger.

The interior at The Butcher Shop & Grill in Sandton. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The interior at The Butcher Shop & Grill in Sandton. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cattle Baron (De Waterkant)

Flame grilled with a Cattle Baron’s famous BBQ Rib Basting their ribs never disappoint! They’ve got both pork loin spareribs and beef spare ribs to choose from.

Cowboys and Cooks (Green Point)

Straight off the grill and straight to your belly, choose between 400g or 800g grab a side of handcut chips and a BBQ feast is ready to go!

 

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Da Vinci’s on Kloof (Gardens)

Sink your teeth in to their house-favourite BBQ spare ribs dish. These succulent, sticky bites are marinated and basted with a special secret rib-basting for R170 per 400g, R210 per 600g and R270 for 1kg. Alternatively, try their rib and calamari combo with deep fried or grilled rings and a 400g portion of ribs for R205 or their rib and wing combo with 6 BBQ wings and 400g portion of ribs for R205.

Dixies (Glencairn)

This buzzing local favourite offers sea views and meaty pub grub. Order 500g succulent ribs, coated with homemade sticky barbecue sauce and served with crunchy chips, for R185.

The Eatery Wood Fired Grill (Claremont)

There’s something to suit every taste on this grillhouse menu. For a smoky option off the wood-fire, try the barbecue pork belly ribs for R195 for a half rack or R295 for a full rack, both options come with are served with chips.

Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs (V&A Waterfront)
The sticky pork, beef or lamb rib starter goes for R99 and comes grilled to perfection in a glorious barbecue sauce. If you’re looking for a larger portion, opt for the 600g smoked barbecue baby back ribs in a sweet BBQ sauce (R239), 750g smoked BBQ beef ribs (R239) or try the 600g succulent smoked barbecue lamb ribs (R249).

Pork Ribs at Gibson's Gourmet Burgers and Ribs. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pork Ribs at Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Fireman’s Arms (CBD)

Pub-style succulent beef ribs done well and good! Pick between a traditional BBQ basting or sticky Asian 5 spice basting and enjoy your ribs with some fresh crisp chips!

Hudson’s The Burger Joint (Muizenberg, Claremont, Green Point, Gardens)

You don’t need to order burgers to enjoy a meal at this popular joint. Get messy with a portion of sticky barbecue beef or pork ribs which are grilled, basted and served with a portion of fries. For hungry carnivores, there’s the rib-and-wings combo of 250g ribs and 300g wings served with fries and a ranch dip for R199.

Hussar Grill (Camps Bay, Goodwood, Mouille Point, Rondebosch, Tokai)
This iconic grill offers spareribs at R195 for 400g or R295 for 800g and pork belly ‘hog’ ribs at R170 for 300g or R230 for 600g. Both versions are grilled and then marinated in basting and sweet sauce and served with a side of chips, rice, mash or baby potatoes.

Ribs and chips at The Hussar Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ribs and chips at The Hussar Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Jerry’s Burger Bar (Heritage Square, Blouberg, Willowbridge)

Jerry’s rack of ribs are nothing short of spectacular! They’re slow roasted in the oven for 3 hours, dry rubbed and basted in their house BBQ sauce and they’re served up with fries because there’s no combo better!

Pirates (Plumstead)

Pirates trades in saucy ribs! Tuck into tender pork belly ribs with a tangy barbecue basting and a choice of chips, rice, baked potato, garlic baby potatoes or a side salad. For the extra-hungry, there’s the ‘ribs and rump bites’ combo of mouth-watering pork belly ribs and tasty fat-filled rump bites.

Ribs at Pirates Steakhouse and Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ribs at Pirates Steakhouse and Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Rocco Mama’s (Green Point, Harrington Square)

Pick between pork or beef ribs and your favourite basting, there’s three the choose from (old skool bbq, peri peri, sticky bbq) and dig in! Whether you go for pork or beef the ribs are always fall off the bone tender and tasty!

Sticky Fingers BBQ (Observatory and Rondebosch)

This famous ribs joint satisfies Cape Town’s hungry meat lovers until late with their sweet and sticky barbecue pork ribs served with fries and crispy onion rings, or sweet potato. Beef fans can also opt for the 300 Grammer barbecue-style ribs. There is also a range of rib combos and platters for the extra hungry.

Tigers Milk (Kloof, Durbanville, Muizenburg, Blouberg)

They do amazing BBQ pork ribs, opt for 300g or 600g and enjoy a side of your choice along with some seriously sticky good ribs!

Van Hunks (Gardens)

Their ribs are real local favourite, they’re slow braised and flame grilled pork belly ribs with homemade BBQ basting. Opt for a half portion for the less hungry!

Winelands

Blacksmith’s Kitchen (Northern Paarl)

This rustic, comfortable eatery offers an extensive menu that includes 400g falling-off-the-bone pork ribs served in a sticky and spicy homemade basting with house cut fries for R195.

Outside at the Blacksmith's Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Outside at the Blacksmith’s Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Cattle Baron (Paarl, Somerset West, Stellenbosch)

You can bet on having some excellent ribs at this specialist steakhouse. Tuck into flame-grilled pork loin ribs basted in a signature barbecue rib glaze or opt for the beef ribs, flame-grilled with their famous barbecue rib basting.

Hussar Grill (Stellenbosch)

The famous Hussar Grill offers spareribs (R195 for 400g or R295 for 800g) and pork belly ‘hog’ ribs (R170 for 300g or R230 for 600g). Both versions are grilled, then marinated in basting and a sweet sauce, and served with a side of chips, rice, mash or baby potatoes.

The ribs at Hussar Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The ribs at Hussar Grill. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Hudson’s The Burger Joint (Stellenbosch)

You don’t need to order burgers to enjoy a meal at this popular joint. Get messy with a portion of sticky barbecue beef or pork ribs which are grilled, basted and served with a portion of fries. For hungry carnivores, there’s the rib-and-wings combo of 250g ribs and 300g wings served with fries and a ranch dip for R199.

While we take care to ensure that our information is correct and up to date, please note that some items and offers may change without our knowledge.

Want to share your favourite spot for sticky ribs? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

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