Urban living has its charms, but finding space to slow cook huge pieces of meat in a pit can be a challenge. Luckily, you can still eat barbecue on the Fourth of July without making it yourself thanks to a handful of dedicated restaurants that will still be serving during the holiday. Because what's more patriotic than not taking a vacation day to make sure everyone has enough sweet, smoky meat?
1. Sweet Cheeks Q: A wealth of barbecue sold by the tray, big cheeks tray, or fat cheeks tray. Pulled pork, turkey legs and short ribs galore. But it's the biscuits that get the biggest hype. 1381 Boylston Street Boston, MA, 617.266-1300, http://www.sweetcheeksq.com/.
2. Smoken' Joe's BBQ: Though barbecue is the main attraction, the menu also strays into Cajun territory with gumbo, dirty rice and jambalaya. Burnt ends are available by the platter or between a bun. 351 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135, 617.254.5227, http://smokenjoesbbqboston.com/.
3. The Red-Eyed Pig: Pick a meat like the smoked pork belly or smoky fried chicken with red-eye gravy and then pick your two sides, but cornbread is automatic. 1753 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA 02132, 617.325.1700 http://www.red-eyedpig.com/.
4. Redbones: Options include regional rib variations, 24 beers on tap, and Southern specialties like potlikkers and fried okra. 55 Chester Street Somerville, MA, 02144, 617.628.2200, http://redbones.com/.
5. Whiskey's Smokehouse: Featuring the least classy menu of the list (i.e. "rack" puns), here you'll find the usual pulled chicken and pork plus ribs, hot links and a few kebobs. 885 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116, 617.262.551, http://www.whiskeysboston.com/.