LJ’s BBQ – Pawtucket, Rhode Island

LJ’s BBQ / 727 East Avenue / Pawtucket, RI 02860 / 401-305-5255


Sometimes a place is just TOO GOOD to spotlight only once as is the case with LJ’s BBQ in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Gay Travel Information originally reviewed LJ’s back in April 2011. You can read that review HERE.

Since then, LJ’s has been my “go to” place whenever I crave BBQ….REAL BBQ.


This time I decided to share my top 10 reasons why LJ’s BBQ should be on your “MUST DINE” list. 

  • Let’s start with the obvious — THE FOOD. You will be hard pressed to find more authentic BBQ anywhere else in Rhode Island. Their open kitchen gives you a peak into the world of the BBQ pit masters. LJ’s is named after owner, Bernie Watson’s late grandmother, Miss Leola Jean, whose recipes fill the menu.

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You will find everything from hickory smoked ribs, chicken, beef, and pork as well as delectable side dishes like baked macaroni & cheese, collard greens, candied yams (so good they bring tears to my eyes -lol), BBQ beans etc., and, of course – dessert! Wear loose pants and save room for LJ’s sweet potato pie, pecan pie, blueberry pie, peach pie…..okay, I’ll stop now. Just go! 😉

  • The owners are sweet as pie! Seriously…..owners, Bernie and Linda Watson are super nice and as authentic as the BBQ they serve. I am talking warm smiles, heaty laughter and a touch of southern hospitality right here up north!

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  • The servers! I am quite fond of all the servers I have encountered as LJ’s but have a special spot for waitress, Debbie. Deb is a true fan and advocate for LJ’s….not just a worker going about the motions. She is proud to serve their food and is always right there with a refill on water, extra napkins, wet wipes or the inevitable, “Would you like me to wrap that for you?”

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  • The decor. Nothing screams BBQ like checkered table clothes, paper towels and the flicker of neon.
  • The aroma. Oh smell-a-vision if only you really existed, then I could have you smell the amazing aroma of the below dish. My smile grows to a mile wide when I smell that pit smoke grilling up a plethora of meats. Ahh. BBQ how I love thee.

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  • The prices! LJ’s is very reasonable for the portions you are served and the love that goes into the food. An example is their ribs or beef brisket dinner that cost $15 each and come with 2 small sides and corn bread. Absolutely filling and yes, you could share, but really, why would you want to? 😉
  • AWARD WINNING! LJ’s Smoked Texas Beef Brisket and St. Louis Styled Smoked Baby Back Ribs are both award winning and one bite will explain why. Enough said. LJ’s has also won the “Best Of” award from Rhode Island Magazine.


  • Location. LJ’s is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood roughly 5-10 minutes from downtown Providence and offers plenty of parking, which is always a welcome luxury, especially to those who know how tricky finding parking in the city is!


  • Desserts. They deserve their own line because they are heavenly and a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

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  • Because great BBQ is truly hard to find, especially in New England! Rhode Island is lucky enough to be home to a truly GREAT BBQ restaurant that will rival any BBQ restaurant down south.

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  • Lunch & Dinner is served daily: 11:30am to closing. Brunch served Sat & Sun 10:00am-2:00pm. Closed Holidays.
  • LJ’s delivers! Click HERE for more information.
  • LJ’s offers special promotions and gift certificates. Click HERE for more information.
  • LJ’s is available for private parties! Reserve LJ’s BBQ exclusively for your own group event. You can check out group menus HERE.
  • For directions to LJ’s click HERE.

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GAY & LESBIAN FACTOR: Owner, Linda, responded almost immediately when I contacted her in regard’s to LJ’s being featured on Gay Travel Information’s blog. She and the entire staff at LJ’s was extremely hospitable to my wife and I. I would definitely recommend this to the LGBT community. The restaurant is located right near Hope Street and Brown University’s “College Hill” section, which is known to be VERY gay & lesbian friendly and often referred to as Providence’s “Castro District”.


It gives me great pleasure to say LJ’s BBQ continues to be as amazing as it was during my first visit in 2011.

Consistency! High quality! Great service! Delicious food! 

Desiree Sousa

Owner / Editor in Chief

Out & About Travel / Gay Travel Information



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