Welcome to Sparks BBQ

We now have 2 locations! 

15 Ionia Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI          201 E. Front St. Traverse City, MI

  We are Michigan’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 flat-tops, no deep friers, 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 pit style bbq food trailer in downtown Traverse City.  After just one season of operations with its overwhelming support from the community he then moved operations inside at 439 E. Front Street, Traverse City in early 2016.  As demand increased Sparks BBQ quickly outgrew their first location and moved to a much larger location in downtown Traverse City at 201 E. Front Street in June 2018.  This move introduced beer and wine to the menu along with many more sides and options for guests.  Success continues to follow Sparks BBQ and they have opened a second location, this one in downtown Grand Rapids in January 2020 at 15 Ionia Ave SW, right next door to the Van Andel Arena.

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.  This dedication to excellence is obvious with the first bite and will leave you as a loyal customer craving for more.

Your Pitmaster, Dean Sparks

Carry out orders welcomed, call the location you wish to pickup from and we will be happy to take your order.

Click here for our


We Offer Catering

Call us for more information and additional items not listed below.


By The Pound Pricing With 48 hour notice

By the pound pricing only available with 48 hour notice,

all other orders will be priced at ala cart menu pricing,

no exceptions


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

Baby Back Ribs = $Call-Us*

Beef Brisket Roasts = $Call-Us*

Pulled Pork Roasts = $Call-Us*

Pulled Chicken Pieces = $Call-Us*

BBQ Sauce


Creamy Coleslaw

Grandma's Baked Beans

Pitmaster Beans

Sweet and Spicy Corn


Pasta Salad

Broccoli/Bacon/Blue Cheese Slaw

* = 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 10%-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