Red’s True Barbecue

Kate Feld
Interior shot of Red's True Barbeque with a long table and Holy Smoke neon sign
Image courtesy of Red’s True Barbecue

Red’s True Barbecue, 22 Lloyd Street, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 5WA – Visit Now


There’s a decent selection of craft beers and the usual ridiculous cocktails. We took a punt on decentish Dixie lager, brewed in New Orleans, and noticed that a lot of people were slurping milkshakes out of retro milk bottles. A lot of people are also reportedly ordering the donut burger – a double cheeseburger between two glazed donuts – but don’t look at me. I did, however, order a cocktail involving ginger beer, rum and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, so I’m in no position to judge.

The little plates are a roster of indulgent Southern fried Scooby snacks like crackling and jalapeno poppers. We loved the hush puppies, cornmeal fritters speckled with sweetcorn and spicy peppers, even dunked in that plastic cheese sauce you get with cinema nachos. As for the rest of the food – if you can smoke it or grill it, you can probably eat it here. Big appetites should go for the excellent value combo meals, which let you sample a couple of meats in caveman-size portions plonked right on a plastic tray. This is really not the place to wear those tight jeans, or indeed, anything you don’t want to emerge smelling like it spent six hours in the smoker with a rack of ribs.

And it was ribs that I came for. I liked the sticky, chewy baby back ribs better than the St Louis style, which had decent smoke but a curiously uniform, firm flesh, and they were sadly out of the beef long, which I’d particularly wanted to try. A half barbecued chicken was good on flavour but the flesh was mushy and overcooked. Texas smoked sausage tasted good and meaty, with excellent heat and an interior texture as smooth as Justin Bieber’s cheek. Slathered on everything was their house barbecue sauce, which was so sweet it risked overpowering the meat, all sourced from Sykes House Farm in Wetherby

The fact that we ordered two desserts should be recognised as a victory for gluttons everywhere. Banana custard, which involved raw, under-ripe bananas drowned in what tasted like marshmallow cream, wasn’t much of a temptation, but Mississippi mud brownie, with fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream, was. A return visit is definitely on the cards, though I’ll probably sit in the big kids’ dining room out back, where things seem a little calmer.

This is an independent review, but our writer didn’t pay for her meal. For more info on our editorial policy, read our About page.

  • 22 Lloyd Street, Albert Square
  • Manchester
  • M2 5WA
  • View map

Opening Hours

  • Mon: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Tue: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Wed: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Thu: 12:00pm – 2:00am
  • Fri: 12:00pm – 2:00am
  • Sat: 12:00pm – 2:00am
  • Sun: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Cinema Until 3 October 2022, from £9.95

Not Just Bollywood at HOME

Music Until 5 October 2022, from £5.50

Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall

The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 8 October 2022, from £10.00

The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange

Women in Comedy Festival 2022
Comedy Until 10 October 2022, from £3.00

Women in Comedy Festival 2022

Electric Gamebox at the arndale
Childrens Until 22 October 2022, from £5.00

Electric Gamebox at The Arndale

Victoria Baths Guided Tour
Activity Until 26 October 2022, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Illustration entitled ‘Because you cannot tame something so happily wild’ by Emily Hughes showing painted animals in a woodland setting
Exhibitions Until 30 October 2022, FREE

Picture This at The Lowry

vegan super club
Activity Until 25 November 2022, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

autumn season at z-arts
Families Until 30 December 2022, FREE

Autumn season at Z-arts

Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester