1621 N Thatcher Ave, Elmwood Park, IL | Directions 6070741.909425 -87.823922
Neighborhoods: Elmwood Park
My family has been coming there since the 1920's and we are in our 4th generation of fans now.
DONT WASTE YOUR TIME,OR MONEY – After 25 years absence from russels,we were in the area,and decided to grab a bite,what a terrible dissapointment,the beef sandwich meal shrunk 50%,and charged more money,my wife ordered a full slab of ribs that were tasteless,and burnt to a crisp,this is not the russells i remember,we paid a lot of money for terrible food,i would not recomend this place to anyone,i would"t go back there if they gave me free food for the rest of my life,terrible experience,the person that takes your order is very rude
ewww – this place is gross. i know for a fact they have roaches! my friend used to work there and told me. they are really dirty, they have so much garbage piled up in the back. don't go here unless you like to eat bugs!
It's a shadow of what it once was – Russell’s BBQ in Elmwood Park was my first dining experience I can recall from my childhood. I fell in love with BBQ as a result, and have spent all of my adult life refining my skills as a BBQ pit master. There are many regional BBQ’s, and most every fan of the “Q” has a favorite style, but good “Q”, even if not one’s favorite, is still good. Prior to leaving the Chicago area in ‘06, my wife and I went to the Elmwood Park location for one last time, knowing our return to Chicago was going to be infrequent. As per normal, the ribs and pork sandwiches were wonderful, and the distinctive sauce was tasty. We returned to Chicago in ’09, and decided to stop at the Rolling Meadows location (which we have frequented many times) for a quick lunch before our flight – WHAT A DISASTER!!! The meat was dry, and the sauce was terrible. I was wondering if the Rolling Meadows location was under new ownership – I questioned if it was still affiliated with the original Russell’s. For decades, Russell’s was always consistent – event when they had three locations. Well, in reading the reviews, it seems the Elmwood Park location also has lowered their standards. New ownership?? Nothing is forever, but it’s sad when an iconic restaurant which has generational follower-ship exists in name only… I’ll go again – for the memories… Not to eat.
Don't waste your time! – After reading all the the reviews and hearing how good this place should be, I was more than disappointed. THIS IS NOT GOOD BBQ AT ALL. I ordered the so-called famous beef sandwich... truly tastless and dry. I also tried a FULL slab of their boiled ribs. If you call this good bbq then by all means keep going there, but if you want real bbq it is not to be found here. The coleslaw is the worst I've ever tasted.
Why go there – Owners' s*ck. They don't know how to treat their employees. Bad business people who are milking the place for all it is worth for their own personal gain. In the little time these people have owned it they changed far too much. Now tell me, would you want to eat at a place like that? I for sure don't.
Cinnamon?? – I have to admit, we haven't been here in AGES, but on a lunch date with friends we happened upon Russells again.
I ordered my standard, chicken and was in for a really bad experience. Having just had Sweet Baby Ray's two nights before...I now know good barbecue.
My chicken was covered in a sauce filled with little brown specks. It took nearly 15 minutes to place the flavor I was getting, and that was cinnamon. It was awful! I know others swear by Russells in the bbq community, I used to be one, but no more. I actually dipped my napkin in my water glass to try to wash off as much sauce as I could.
I guess it's just something I never noticed before--but once you get good barbecue, it's really easy to taste when something falls short.
I won't be back!
RUSSELLS IS GOOD – There is no restaurant that everyone likes. Some people love Fords, others a Chevy. I have seen some very mean spirited reviews of Russells. There are many kinds of BBQ, such as the Rendesvous in Memphis, or Bodacious BBQ in Texas, or Bubbalou's in Orlando, Florida. Each are different types of BBQ. Each are excellent in their own way. To suggest that Famous Dave's is better than Russels is absurd. Bad BBQ is in abundance all over the nation. There are many different styles. Memphis dry ribs, North Carolina, St. Louis baby backs, Kansas City, or Texas. Russell's has been around since the 1920's. You might also consider the Butler Inn, just outside Milwaukee in Butler, Wisconsin.
I was first brought into Russells as a kid in the 40's. I now live in Florida, going back to Elmwood Park is almost a religious pilgrimage. Yes some things have changed a little. But essentially it is the same, or as much as it can be given that the meat isn't near the same today. (the animals are being raised and fed differently) and butchered differently. Same everywhere.
If you want damn good ribs - good chicken etc - Russell's is about as good as it gets. But not the only good BBQ in the world. I never found anything near as good in Chicago.
barbecue – Been coming here from the 60's until the orginal owners had to sell due to illness. Was very good at that time. Now the present owners are riding on past laurels. Living now in a state that does not have good to excellent food I look forward coming back to Chicago every 3-4 months for some old favorites that I use to enjoy. This place has been off my list for at least 5 years............So sad
I'm a convert – I've never liked barbecue ever. But for some reason I like Russells (though twin Anchor's also get's my thumbs up). My other half is always very eager for a road trip to Elmwood park, he's no dummie! It's not fancy, it's just plain ol' food that tastes good at a reasonable price. If if wasn't so good there wouldn't be lines or a wait. People in Chicago have way too many great options to waste their time on bad food. Our fav is the pulled pork with extra sauce... yum!
There's also a location right off rt 53/290/355 on Algonquin rd.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Russell's Barbecue on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.