Thanks to our valued supporters, Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ has grown from a takeout counter to a business that serves tens of thousands of people annually and employs hundreds. Despite massive growth in a short period of time, Bear’s is still a family business committed to high-quality food, a respectful workplace, and community outreach.

Although we are based in central Connecticut, we smoke our BBQ meats in the Kansas City-style that Jamie “The Bear” McDonald enjoyed growing up in Kansas City, Missouri. A mix of classic barbecue and family recipes, we use the best cuts of meat, the freshest sides, and our own blends for sauces. Whether you are visiting one of our restaurants, enjoying one of our award-winning catered events, grabbing a meal from our food truck, or snacking on concessions takeout, we want your experience to be the very best it can be.




The mission at Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ is simple: Everyone who walks through our doors is either already a friend, or will be.


By embracing that theory, We know that every guest will have exceptional service, outstanding food, and hopefully, will know that whenever they walk into Bear’s, that they are coming home.

From the best ribs in Connecticut to the mouth-watering sides and desserts, we promise to make your visit a great one. We do everything we can to ensure that all of our customers leave happy and full. If for some reason you feel differently, please let us know and we will do our best to fix it.

Cheers –

Jamie and Cheryl McDonald
Owners, Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ


awards & honors


Rated "EXCELLENT" - NY Times
Best New Restaurant - CT Magazine
Best BBQ - CT Magazine
Best Ribs/BBQ - CT NOW 2017
Best Catering - CT NOW 2017, 2018
Best Lunch (Hartford) - CT NOW 2018
Best Ribs/BBQ (Hartford) - CT NOW 2018
Best Restaurant (Hartford) - CT NOW 2018
Best Restaurant (Windsor, WIndsor Locks, Hartford) - CT NOW 2018
Caterer of the Year - CT Restaurant Association 2017
BBQ Bucket List - Southern Living 2017
Hot Stove Luncheon Award - Hartford Yard Goats
Best New Start-Up - HYPE 2015
Top Workplace
Best BBQ in CT - Travel Channel

Jamie & Cheryl Mcdonald

Polaris Award - Leadership Greater Hartford
Hartford Business Honorees - Hartford St. Patrick's Parade Committee
Trinity Alumni of the Year - Trinity College
National Small Business Competition Winner - GoDaddy 2014