Welcome to Sparks BBQ

  We are Traverse City’s PREMIER restaurant specializing in authentic BBQ. We proudly serve handcrafted BBQ powered by our 100% wood powered smokers. We have no stove, no oven, no microwave, no flat-tops, its either cooked in our smoker or its served cold.  Founded in 2015 by Pitmaster Dean Sparks, Sparks BBQ has quickly become the leader in authentic BBQ in all of Michigan and likely further.  Sparks is a self taught pitmaster learning in his backyard and through years of practice and dedication he has perfected the craft of BBQ.  In 2015 he decided to take it on the road, literally, with a mobile style pit bbq food trailer.  After just one year of operations with its overwhelming support from the community he then moved operations inside at 439 E. Front Street, Traverse City in early 2016.  Sparks BBQ model of excellence includes not only the quality of foods served but the service itself, everyone is welcomed like family and treated like our best friends.

Your Pitmaster, Dean Sparks

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM 11:00AM-8:00PM (or sellout)

We offer Dine-in with seating inside or outside and carryout.  Call 231-633-7800 to place an order.  



Famous BBQ Sundae
coleslaw, beans, pulled pork, and BBQ sauce layered in a cup and topped with our famous beef jerky$11
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Pitmaster Mac 'N Cheese
smoked chicken, house cheese sauce, and BBQ Sauce on cavatappi noodles$12
SParks BBQ NachOs
coleslaw, beans, pork, and sauce on tortilla chips.$12
Famous Beef Jerky
Beef Flank Steak, hand sliced and seasoned, smoked to perfection. No preservatives-all natural. BEST IN T.C.$6 per 2 oz.
Pig Candy
Thick sliced bacon, topped with maple sugar, cinnamon and honey, smoked then drizzled with chocolate - served cold$6
Avocado Bruschetta
Avocado, cilantro, parsley, onion, vinegar, honey served on Old Mission Multigrains Zydeco bread$6


All Sandwiches are served on old mission multigrain buns and come with tortilla chips

Pulled pork SANDWICH
pork shoulder rubbed, slow-smoked to perfection then hand-pulled to order, topped with house coleslaw & BBQ sauce. Available in a single or double meat portions$8-$12 dbl. meat
rubbed and slow-smoked in our wood-burning smoker, sliced and sauced with our homemade brisket sauce. Available in a single or double meat portions$10-$14 dbl. meat
Pulled rib sandwich
hand pulled rib meat topped with BBQ sauce, onion and pickle$9-$13 dbl. meat
Pulled Chicken SANDWICH
seasoned and smoked boneless/sskinless chicken thighs, hand-pulled to order then sauced$8-$12 dbl. meat


All Plates served with Two Sides, Tortilla chips and a Pickle

Brisket PLATE
1/2lb of slow roasted beef brisket, sliced and sauced with our special brisket sauce, 2 sides, Chips and a pickle$18
Ribs Plate with Dry Rub
half or full slab of baby back ribs rubbed with our rib seasoning then smoked to perfection in our wood burning smoker served with 2 sides, chips and a pickle.  Note Ribs are Served dry rubbed, add sauce for $1.00 $18-$29 
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Pulled pork PLATE
1/2lb of slow smoked pulled pork with your choice of Hot or Original BBQ sauce, 2 sides, Chips and a pickle$15
PULLED chicken plate
1/2lb of slow smoked dark meat chicken with your choice of Hot or Original BBQ sauce, 2 sides, Chips and a pickle$14
2 Meat Combo
1/4 lb of two different meats of your choice, 2 Sides, Chips and a pickle
Pauly's Hero PLate
1/4lb beef brisket, 1/4lb pulled pork, 4 rib bones, 2 Sides, chips and a pickle
Payday Platter
1/2lb beef brisket, 1/2lb pulled pork, 1/2lb pulled chicken, 4 rib bones, plus 4 large sides


All Sides available in Small and Large portions
Pit roasted Beans
Creamy coleslaw
Broccoli, bacon, blue cheese slaw
side of mac n cheese - no meat no BBQ sauce


Coke, Diet Coke, Mexican Coke, Sprite, Mellow Yellow, root beer, iced tea, lemonade, sweet tea$2
mexican coke
bottled water

We Offer Catering

Did you know we also offer catering? Call us at 231-633-7800  for more information and additional items not listed below.


Catering Menu -


Dirty Dozen Packages (48 hour notice required)

Pulled Pork Sandwiches x 12 = $72

Includes 3 lbs Pork,  24 oz BBQ Sauce, 2 Large Coleslaw & 12 buns

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches x 12 = $72

Includes 3 lbs Chicken, 24 oz BBQ Sauce & 12 buns

Beef Brisket Sandwiches x 12 = $96

Includes 3 lbs Beef Brisket (Sliced) , 24 oz Brisket Sauce & 12 buns

Pulled Pork Plate x 12 = $138

Includes 6 lbs Pulled Pork, 24 oz BBQ Sauce, 1/3 pan Slaw, 1/3 pan beans + chips & pickle wedges

Pulled Chicken Plate x 12 = $138

Includes 6 lbs Pulled Chicken, 24 oz BBQ Sauce, 1/3 pan Slaw, 1/3 pan beans + chips & pickle wedges

Beef Brisket Plate x 12 = $198

Includes 6 lbs Beef Brisket (Sliced),  24 oz BBQ Sauce, 1/3 pan Slaw, 1/3 pan beans + chips & pickle wedges

Half Rack Rib Plate x 12 = $198

Includes 6 full racks of Baby Back Ribs, 1/3 pan Slaw, 1/3 pan beans + chips & pickle wedges

By The Pound (48 hour notice required)

Pricing for pickup only - onsite operations, service and delivery extra

Baby Back Ribs = $24/rack*

Beef Brisket Roasts = $24/lb*

Pulled Pork Roasts = $14/lb*

Pulled Chicken Pieces = $14/lb*

BBQ Sauce = $10/24oz & $40/Gallon

Buns = $1/each

Creamy Coleslaw = $20/third pan, $30/half pan & $55/full pan

Pit Roasted Beans = $20/third pan, $30/half pan & $55/full pan

Broccoli/Bacon/Blue Slaw = $35/half pan & $70/full pan

* = Meats served in their whole roasts forms.  It will be your responsibility to slice/shred them.  This is done to provide the freshest possible product to your table.  When roasts are presliced or shredded they do 3 things very quickly which effect quality, 1. Cool rapidly  2. Change color from pink to grey  3. Begin to toughen losing their tenderness and smoke flavors along the way

Use the following guidelines for your estimating your needs.  We recommend that you exceed your estimates by a minimum of 20% so that you do not run out of food.  Every event has contingencies, or unknowns, and its our belief that its better to have a little extra food than not enough.  We can help you understand how to best preserve any leftovers you may have.  We recommend two sides per person regardless if its a plate or sandwich being served.

Meats: 1/2lb per person if serving plate style & 1/4lb per person if serving sandwiches

Sides: Third pans serve 16, Half pans serve 24 and Full Pans serve 48 (serving size = 5.5oz cups-provided)

Children: Children under 10 count as a half person, children over 10 count as full adults

Vegetarians: Most of our sides are vegetarian and our rolls are whole grain.  Suggest a medley of sides and a roll for their entree or seek new friends