Labor Day is around the corner. And while Boston's slightly cooler summer temperatures are making it hard to grill right now, there are plenty of stick-to-your-ribs restaurants in Boston to chose from. The Smoke Shop, from BBQ Champion Andy Husbands, is a local favorite with a menu chock full of passion and award-winning old school-style barbecue.

Husbands has spent decades studying and perfecting barbecue, and his dedication to the cuisine paid off. You will find several award-winning plates from many different regions on the menu. Like Texas-style hot links served with house made pimento cheese, brisket, and St. Louis-style ribs.

Hot Links & Pimento Cheese at The Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.
Texas hot links with pimento cheese
Audrey Wang

Appetizers include Southern classics like fried green tomatoes with pork belly. You can also spice things up with smoked pork fireballs served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. But when it comes to unforgettable spicy fare, their famous hot wings top the list. They come coated in a fermented habanero and brown butter sauce that is lick-your-fingers good.

You can also opt for their traditional bar wings, dressed with agave and flavorful pit spices. Either way, Smoke Shop manager Ben de Mauriac has no qualms about singing their praises, telling patrons “if you don’t like them, they’re free.”

Bar Wings from The Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
The Smoke Shop's famous bar wings
Audrey Wang

And their wedge salad is a real gem. Crispy Iceberg, topped with buttermilk-dill ranch, bacon, marinated cherry tomatoes and everything bagel spice, is a solid plate brimming with texture and flavor.

The Smoke Shop is an inclusive establishment, and know that not everyone eats meat. Besides offering several vegetable-based sides, they can accommodate meatless preparations for all of their dishes.

Wedge Salad at the Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
The Smoke Shop wedge salad
Audrey Wang

Award-winning entrees include their 1st place ribs, and a one-of-a-kind brisket plate. The Smoke Shop uses a Texas-style cooking process—favoring butcher paper over aluminum foil—to promote moisture, and a crispy crust loaded with flavor.

Your entree comes with your choice of two sides, like pit beans, collards with bacon, and pimento mac and cheese. But the real standout is the corn bread. The Smoke Shop favors the New England preparation - a recipe generous with its sugar. It creates a lighter and sweeter bread, that is unforgettable when paired with wildflower honey and Maldon sea salt butter.

1st Place Rib Plate at The Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.
The Smoke Shop 1st place ribs
Audrey Wang

When it comes to drinks, the Smoke Shop takes pride in their 200+ American Whiskey selection that includes a flight of Pappy Van Winkle reserves. And their craft beer list is overflowing with picks from the best local breweries. But it's the cocktail menu that reads like a tawdry romance novel you can't put down. On it you can find refreshing favorites and seasonal offerings, like the Sunsetta' and sparkling rosé sangria. Some are exclusive to specific restaurant locations.

Drinks from The Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
The Smoke Shop Sunsetta and sparkling rosé sangria
Audrey Wang

That's right, the Smoke Shop has many locations, including Kendall Square. But that kind of expansion didn't happen overnight. It has taken endless amounts of time, passion and commitment, and Husbands and the rest of the Smoke Shop family wouldn't have it any other way. They remain dedicated to bringing people together with unprecedented barbecue and family-style hospitality.

Variety of Entree Dishes at The Smoke Shop BBQ in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
A variety of Smoke Shop platters
Audrey Wang

The Smoke Shop BBQ has three locations:
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-577-7427
343 Congress St., Seaport, 617-261-7427
325 Assembly Row, Assembly Row, 617-623-7427

Here are some other barbecue restaurants around Boston to check out:

Sweet Cheeks Q
1381 Boylston St., Fenway, 617-266-1300,

Shed's BBQ
32 Bromfield St., Boston, 617-542-7433,

Redbones BBQ
55 Chester St., Somerville, 617-628-2200,

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
1002 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-264-6190,

Highland Fried
1271 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-714-4662,

Bison County
275 Moody St., Waltham, 781-642-9720,

Tennessee's Real BBQ Real Fast
173 Pearl St., Braintree, 781-843-0999,

BBQ Olive Chicken Boston
182 Harvard Ave., Cambridge, 617-903-3359,

Da Bomb BBQ
744 Broadway St., Revere, 781-629-1497,

Blue Ribbon BBQ
908 Mass. Ave., Arlington, 781-648-7427,

Buttermilk & Bourbon
160 Commonwealth Ave., Bacy Bay, 617-266-1122,