Chef Charlie McKenna opened Lillie’s Q in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago in July 2010 that specializes in award-winning competition BBQ, distinct regional BBQ sauces made in-house, and elevated Southern classics.

McKenna named Lillie’s Q after two family members. Lillie is his maternal grandmother who taught him how to cook Southern favorites as child in Greenville, South Carolina. While the “Q” stands for BBQ, it’s also a homage to McKenna’s father, Quito, who first immersed McKenna in the art of BBQ in the late 70s.

Lillie’s Q – named “Best New BBQ Restaurant in the Country” by Food & Wine magazine in 2011 along with a slew of other awards and accolades – is know for low-and-slow barbecued meats like pork shoulder, baby back ribs, tri-tip, hot links, and chicken that are smoked in two custom-built smokers over lump charcoal and peach wood.

The Lillie’s Q traveling BBQ team (which includes McKenna’s father, Quito) has won numerous awards on the competition BBQ circuit including wins at Memphis In May – which is widely regarded as the world championships of BBQ. Lillie’s Q took first place in the Memphis in May pork shoulder category in 2007, placed in the Top Ten five years in a row from 2006 through 2010, and finished 12th in 2011.

McKenna, inspired by grandmother Lillie’s Southern cooking, created elevated Southern favorites at Lillie’s Q pimiento cheese, boiled peanuts, Brunswick stew, baked beans, collard greens, and more.


Monday - Friday 10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM


(773) 772-5500