Barbecue, North American·
Silver Award
London, E1 6LB ·Website·Call020 3873 1733

SquareMeal Review of Smokestak

Silver Award

Discreetly housed in Shoreditch (the signage is hardly visible) is this BBQ smokehouse from David Carter, former front of house manager for Roka and Gordon Ramsay. The industrial, brooding two-floor site features an open kitchen on the ground floor and a bar below, with dark and moody interiors matching the young and bearded Shoreditch crowd. Food-wise, the menu is short with small plates and sharing dishes of grilled meats, with everything being served when ready. The kitchen delivers: our starting snack of crackled pig’s tail was so crispy and juicy that we asked for a second round; smoked girolle and beef-dripping toast was rich and gloriously messy; chunky, sticky and seriously tender pork ribs are paired with a cheese-slathered jacket potato. If you’ve got a sickly-sweet tooth, round it all off with the sticky toffee pudding, topped with burnt-butter ice cream. Staff are well-trained and the bartenders make a mean cocktail (we recommend the Plantation), or there are Dalston-brewed craft beers. Our only gripe is with the inconveniently placed toilets, which take the ‘industrial’ theme a little too far. Nevertheless, cracking food and pocket-friendly prices make this a smoking hot (sorry) debut for Carter.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Barbecue, North American
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Dates, Group dining [8+]


As with many of London’s most popular restaurants, Smokstak started out life as a street food stand. Owner David Carter grew up in Barbados, where his early life centred around open-fire cooking and a passion for food. Fast forward through stages with Gordon Ramsay Group, Claridge’s and Roka, Carter then set off on a pilgrimage around the deep south of America. It was following this escapade that he opened his first Smokestak stall in London. After successful sites at Dinerama and Hawker House he finally opened this bricks and mortar site in 2016.

Industrial-style interiors come in the form of robustly thick wooden tables and bench seating as well as concrete walls, huge windows, and counter stools centred around the kitchen. Here you can watch the chefs at work as they wield their barbecue prowess to produce sharing plates of perfectly charred, smoked meats and sides.

Starters include salty, crunch crispy ox cheek parcels with an anchovy mayo, as well as sweet and spicy gochujang wings. Vegetarians are also catered for with a wonderfully earthy beetroot dish where the salt-baked beets are topped with goats’ cheese and toasted hazelnuts.

Mains bring the house signature buns – both pulled pork with a green chilli slaw and a brisket filling topped with pickled red chillies – as well as larger plates. If you’re feeling really ambitious there’s a whole beef brisket for the table on offer, which will set you back £150, but also probably feed you for a week (boxed up leftovers are a go-er here).

Sweet-toother diners will want to save space for the infamous sticky toffee pudding with a clotted cream gelato.

To round off your meal, a short but confident drinks list ticks off expertly made cocktails as well as a handful of beer, spirits, and wine choices. Designated drivers and abstainers are also covered with the house lemonade, made from fresh fruit and still water for a crisp and refreshing foil to the rich food menu.


Is there a terrace at Smokestak?

Yes, there's outdoor seating at Smokestak, at the front of the restaurant.

Helpful? 0

Can you book Smokestak?

Yes, you can book a table at Smokestak through their website.

Helpful? 0

Can you get Smokestak at home boxes?

Yes, the team has devised a short menu of at-home boxes which feature their signature beef brisket buns.

Helpful? 0


35 Sclater Street, London, E1 6LB

020 3873 1733 020 3873 1733


Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5.30-11pm Sun 12N-9pm


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10 Reviews 

Chris W

24 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The restaurant setting is excellent with the warehouse feel but most importantly the BBQ meat is amazing. 

Adrian P

29 June 2019  
Brilliant food, great atmosphere.

Andrew C

27 June 2018  
Possibly the best brisket in Europe and in the same league as the States. Worth the trek to Shoreditch.

Joanna M

27 June 2018  
Great venue, excellent value for money (on both food and wine list) and probably the best smelling (due to the cooking process) restaurant in London.

Tim C

21 March 2018  
How could you not fall in love with fish and chips while in Padstow, but Steins is simply unbeatable!

Emma O

22 December 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
The best street food in London moves into permanent premises!
The best street food, I have been eating with them for years at Hawker House. I could not have been more excited that they opened a restaurant. I was not disappointed. Their meat is amazing, melt in the mouth deliciousness. You cannot miss this, it is delicious, well priced, and a really cool space.

Lloyd S

23 July 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Fantastic Smokehouse BBQ
The more pictures and reviews that I'd seen of this place the more I wanted to visit and now I can cross it off the list and I would highly recommend you pay a visit yourself as this restaurant serves amazing Smokehouse BBQ . As soon as you walk through the door the fantastic aroma of BBQ hits you so your already licking your lips even before you've seen the menu. The place has a nice friendly atmosphere which is noticed as soon as you arrive. Once seated at the table we looked at the menu and wanted to order everything as each each dish looked so appealing but on the advice of our waitress we made some great choices we started with a couple if nibbles which were Crispy Ox Cheek & Padron Tempura then came the starters of Pastrami , Sour Cabbage & Pickles + the most amazing Wild Mushrooms with Beef Dripping on Toast and the it just got even better when the mains arrrived Thick Cut Pork Ribs with Pickled Cucumber & Beef Brisket with Mustard Barbecue Sauce both courses were so flavoursome we accompanied these with a delightful side dish of Baby Gem , Walnut Gremolata & Crispy Bacon all washed down with Wine & local brewed Pale Ale. So onto the desserts to which there were three on offer so it would have been rude not to order one of each and glad we did the Sticky Toffee Pudding was one of the best I've had especially with Burnt Butter Ice Cream the Salted Caramel ice cream with hazelnut praline & Lemon Curd with Rhubarb Granita were equally delicious and rounded of a fantastic lunch. So yes this place is definitely worth a visit as the food is amazing and the service is very friendly

David H

01 July 2017  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3.5
Very tasty food with a strong visual statement.
Attracted by some positive comments online and an attractive though short menu, we made our first visit on a busy Saturday lunchtime. Looking at the place, it generates a feeling that perhaps its all about the look (unremittingly industrial and black, strong hints of abandonment) rather than the food, and attracting a young clientele exclusively. Nevertheless its a look we like; though it comes in different forms. Dabbous for example is perhaps the "Regent Street" of the reconstructed industrial environment. Smokestak is Bethnal Green- no more authentic, but less smooth. The food here is good. We sampled eight different dishes, shared most of them, in an attempt to get a good handle on the variety of the food coming off the barbecues. The crispy ox-cheek ( one of their nibbles) were outstanding, as were the charred greens Nothing was less than decent. Given our time again I'd by-pass the monkfish ( this type of cooking seems to do nothing more for it than more conventional grilling or pan-frying) and focus exclusively on the meat & veg and the wild mushroom on toast & dripping. Possibly best not to take your doctor along as your lunch guest here! Our 8 dishes and a bottle of wine came to £85 with service which we felt was decent value. We were the oldest here by a bit , but frankly were used to that and it doesn't faze us at all. We enjoyed the lunch and will enjoy it better when Crossrail provides a more convenient way to live in Berkshire but eat in east London. Right now it takes us longer to get to lunch than it does to eat it; but then we don't really feel we can keep an eye of what's going on in London without passing east of Liverpool Street. We'll go back.


05 June 2017  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
Birthday lunch
I chose the restaurant thinking more for my sons tastes after seen some good review about the brisket burger bun. I was not disappointed. The meat was so tender and succulent. We did eat too quickly though as everything arrived nearly as the same time (mains and starters). The burgers were not inputted as a main course so they arrived first, event before the drinks. Overall we were all happy though despite this light hiccup.

Richard F

28 May 2017  
Great tapas style barbecue.
Book a table

Call Smokestak to make a booking on:

020 3873 1733 020 3873 1733

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