I’ve always been a sucker for good BBQ, and when it comes to finding the best spots, Cincinnati’s Montgomery Inn tops my list. Known as “The Ribs King,” this place has a charm that’s hard to resist, especially for those of us who dream in smoky flavors and tender meats.

Nestled in the heart of the city, Montgomery Inn has been serving up mouthwatering ribs and signature sauces that have locals and visitors alike coming back for more. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience that embodies the spirit of Cincinnati’s rich culinary scene. Join me as I dive into what makes Montgomery Inn a must-visit for any BBQ enthusiast.

History of Montgomery Inn BBQ

When I first walked into Montgomery Inn, I felt like I was stepping into a slice of Cincinnati history. Let me tell you, the place has quite a story. It all began back in 1951 when Ted Gregory decided to turn his tavern into a full-blown restaurant. What started with a simple menu transformed into a BBQ haven, thanks in part to Ted’s wife, Matula, and her secret BBQ sauce recipe. It’s that very sauce that catapulted Montgomery Inn to fame, making it the go-to spot for BBQ lovers.

Over the years, Montgomery Inn has grown from its humble beginnings. What once was a small establishment in the Montgomery neighborhood of Cincinnati has expanded to multiple locations, becoming an indispensable part of the city’s culinary landscape. The original location, often called “The Original” by locals, maintains its old-world charm, captivating everyone who walks through its doors.

This place isn’t just a hit with the locals; it’s captured the hearts of celebrities and presidents alike. Montgomery Inn’s guest book reads like a who’s who, featuring names like Bill Clinton, George Bush, and renowned sports figures. It’s not every day that you find a restaurant beloved by both locals and luminaries.

The secret to its enduring success? Some might say it’s the ribs, and they wouldn’t be wrong. But it’s also the commitment to quality and the warmth of service that makes Montgomery Inn stand out. Every visit brings with it the promise of tender meats, smoky flavors, and that iconic sauce that has defined Cincinnati BBQ for generations.

As Montgomery Inn continues to serve up its mouthwatering BBQ, it’s not just preserving its unique flavors; it’s keeping alive a tradition that has become as much a part of Cincinnati’s identity as its skyline. For BBQ enthusiasts and newcomers alike, a trip to Montgomery Inn isn’t just about the food; it’s about experiencing a piece of Cincinnati’s history.

Walking through Montgomery Inn, I’m always reminded of the small tavern that could. Ted and Matula Gregory may not have imagined their restaurant becoming a culinary landmark, but I’m sure glad it did. With each bite of those tender ribs and every dip into that signature sauce, I’m not just enjoying a meal; I’m partaking in a legacy that’s as rich and flavorful as the BBQ it’s celebrated for.

Signature Ribs and Sauces

When it comes to Montgomery Inn, their ribs are often the star of the show. I’ve learned firsthand that their meticulous preparation process sets them apart. The ribs are slow-cooked to perfection, ensuring they’re always tender and fall-off-the-bone ready. But what truly makes them unique is the slathering of Montgomery Inn’s iconic barbecue sauce. It’s this combination that has patrons, including myself, consistently coming back for more.

I remember my first bite of their ribs. The moment the flavors hit my taste buds, I understood the hype. The meat was juicy and tender, but it was the sauce – that famous sauce – that kept me reaching for one rib after another. Crafted from Matula Gregory’s secret recipe, this sauce is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy, with a hint of smokiness that complements the pork flawlessly. It’s no wonder bottles of this sauce are sold in stores nationwide; it’s that good.

Venturing further into their menu, I discovered the variety of ways Montgomery Inn serves its succulent meats. From the traditional slab of ribs to rib tips and even a rib combo platter, there’s something for every BBQ lover. And it’s not just about the pork. Their barbecue chicken, brushed with the same legendary sauce, has won over my family and friends, proving that the magic of Montgomery Inn extends beyond its ribs.

For those interested in the specifics, here’s a quick rundown of their most popular dishes:

Dish Description
The Original Ribs Full slab of spare ribs, slow-cooked and basted in Montgomery Inn’s signature BBQ sauce.
Rib King Combo A combination of ribs and another meat option, allowing diners to sample the breadth of flavors.
BBQ Chicken Tender, grilled chicken pieces coated in the secret BBQ sauce for a smoky, savory delight.

Over the years, Montgomery Inn has perfected not just their ribs and sauces, but the entire dining experience. Walking into any of their locations, I’m immediately greeted by the aroma of barbecue, a prelude to the feast that awaits. Their dedication to preserving the flavors that made them a Cincinnati landmark is evident in every dish they serve. Whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth, the quality and taste of their signature ribs and sauces never falter, ensuring each meal is as memorable as the last.

Dining Experience at Montgomery Inn

Stepping into Montgomery Inn is like being enveloped in a warm, inviting hug. From the moment I walk in, I’m greeted by the enticing aroma of smoked meats, a scent that promises a memorable meal. The ambiance is cozy yet vibrant, filled with the buzz of happy diners and the clinking of glasses. It’s the kind of place that immediately feels like home, no matter where you’re coming from.

Each table offers a view into the heart of Cincinnati’s culinary landscape, with walls adorned with photos and memorabilia that tell the story of the city’s rich history. It’s not just a meal at Montgomery Inn; it’s an experience, a journey through time and flavor. The staff, always smiling and eager to share their knowledge, enhance the experience with their impeccable service and willingness to recommend the perfect dish or drink to complement the meal.

The menu, oh the menu, is a testament to the art of barbecue. Each dish seems to have its soul, a character that speaks of meticulous preparation and attention to detail. Whether it’s the succulent ribs, the tender chicken, or the array of sides that perfectly balance each main course, I’m always in awe of the chefs’ ability to consistently deliver excellence on a plate.

I’ve often found myself starting with the barbecue spring rolls, a delightful twist on a classic appetizer, before diving into the main course. The ribs, of course, are a must-try. Glazed with that legendary sauce that strikes the perfect balance between sweet, tangy, and smoky, they’re a testament to what makes Montgomery Inn a staple in the Cincinnati dining scene.

For those who seek variety, the rib combo platter offers a sampling of everything that makes the Inn’s barbecue legendary. And let’s not forget about the sides. The Saratoga chips, thick, crispy, and seasoned to perfection, are an essential part of the experience, as is the coleslaw, which offers a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the meat.

Highlight Description
Ambiance Cozy, vibrant, filled with Cincinnati’s culinary history
Service Impeccable, knowledgeable, friendly
Must-Try Dish The succulent ribs glazed with legendary sauce
Recommended Side

Awards and Recognition

When it comes to accolades, Montgomery Inn certainly doesn’t stand in the shadows. Over the years, I’ve watched with pride as this Cincinnati gem has raked in awards and recognition from both local and national platforms. The recognition isn’t just for their legendary barbecue sauce but encompasses everything, from the ambiance to the service and, of course, the food that’s nothing short of a culinary masterpiece.

One of the most notable mentions Montgomery Inn has received is from the National Barbecue News, which listed it as one of the “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America.” This wasn’t a one-time win; the institution has proudly held its position on this list for several years. For a hometown restaurant to make such a grand mark on the national stage is both remarkable and a testament to their dedication to quality and flavor.

On a more local scale, the accolades continue. Cincinnati Magazine has frequently featured Montgomery Inn, awarding it with titles such as “Best Ribs” and “Best Barbecue” in their annual dining awards. It’s clear that within the culinary circles of Cincinnati, Montgomery Inn is not just a restaurant; it’s a landmark.

Award Given By Year
Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America National Barbecue News Multiple Years
Best Ribs Cincinnati Magazine Various Years
Best Barbecue Cincinnati Magazine Various Years

Besides these prestigious awards, the feedback from patrons is overwhelmingly positive, with many highlighting not just the food but the feeling of warmth and community they experience with each visit. Online platforms are teeming with five-star reviews, and the restaurant’s guest book features notes from people all over the world, praising the distinctive taste and experience that only Montgomery Inn offers.

My personal experience echoes these sentiments. There’s a certain pride that comes with dining at a place that’s received so much recognition, yet still manages to make every meal feel personal and every guest feel special. The walls of Montgomery Inn are adorned not just with awards, but with photographs of celebrities, athletes, and dignitaries who’ve all shared a meal under its roof. Yet, in the presence of all this acclaim, the true star remains the deliciously tender, perfectly smoked ribs that have captured the hearts and taste buds of countless individuals.

Why Montgomery Inn is a Top Choice in Cincinnati

When I set out to uncover the secret behind the lasting appeal of Montgomery Inn, I was greeted with a multitude of reasons that make this BBQ joint a must-visit destination in Cincinnati. It’s clear from the onset that this isn’t just any restaurant; it’s a place where tradition meets taste in a phenomenal way.

First off, the quality of the food is unparalleled. Montgomery Inn’s dedication to serving perfectly smoked ribs, coated with their legendary barbecue sauce, ensures that every bite is packed with flavor. I’ve been to my fair share of BBQ spots, but the consistency and deliciousness here are truly noteworthy. It’s not just the ribs – the entire menu showcases a depth of flavor that caters to all palates, whether you’re a fan of smoked brisket, pulled pork, or even their array of sides that complement the main courses beautifully.

The atmosphere at Montgomery Inn also plays a significant role in its charm. The warm, welcoming vibe makes you feel right at home, and I’ve always appreciated that. Dining here isn’t just about eating; it’s an experience. The staff goes out of their way to ensure everyone leaves satisfied, not just with the food but with the service as well. It’s this kind of personal touch that has fostered a loyal customer base over the years.

Moreover, the recognition and awards Montgomery Inn has received are testament to its excellence. Being named one of the “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America” isn’t a small feat, and it speaks volumes about the quality and dedication that goes into every aspect of the restaurant. Local accolades from Cincinnati Magazine, like “Best Ribs” and “Best Barbecue,” further cement its status as a top dining destination in the city.

But perhaps what sets Montgomery Inn apart the most is the sense of community it fosters. There’s a real connection that people feel with the place, partly because of its rich history and partly because of the exceptional experiences they’ve had. It’s not uncommon to hear stories from patrons about their first visit to the Inn or memorable moments shared with loved ones over a plate of their famous ribs. This emotional attachment adds an intangible value that’s hard to find elsewhere.


I’ve got to say, visiting Montgomery Inn is more than just a meal—it’s an experience. From the mouth-watering ribs drenched in that legendary sauce to the warm, inviting atmosphere, it’s clear why this place has earned its stripes. Not to mention the service that makes you feel right at home. It’s no wonder they’ve bagged so many accolades. For me, it’s the blend of delicious food, genuine hospitality, and that sense of belonging that makes Montgomery Inn stand out. If you’re ever in Cincinnati, do yourself a favor and drop by. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.


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