Tips for great BBQ and home grilling for dad on Father's day | Visit Stockton

BBQ restaurants and meat markets for Father's Day

There's enough to see and do in downtown Stockton to fill a night out every day for months. The best part is the food, with dozens of restaurants offering fare from around the world.

With Father's Day fast approaching, perhaps you're still looking for ideas on how to celebrate. One popular dad trope is the BBQ. Good grilling is always a great idea, take our word for it! A dad wrote this and he loves some BBQ. So if your dad is the do-it-yourself grillmaster who loves to show off those backyard BBQ skills, or if he would prefer to let someone else do the work, here are some ideas on places you can meet dad's meat expectations.


Note: While COVID restrictions have loosened, it's important to continue following community and business guidelines.

Do it yourself:

Stockton is well known for it's fresh produce available at farmers' markets, farm stands and stores throughout the community. It makes sense, we're smack dab in the middle of some of the best farmland around. But a lot of people don't realize we also have some amazing meat markets. If your pop is someone who can truly throw down on the grill, here are some places to get him some cuts of the highest quality. After all, only the best for dad.

Alegria Meat Market

Alegria Meat Market feels like the family owned and operated butcher shop we used to see on old TV shows. Harkening back to a simpler time, this mom and pop shop opened back in 2001 and has weathered all the tough times since then to become a favorite for people who know good meat when they see, and cook it. The market also has fresh produce and other items needed for the perfect BBQ, so it really can be your one-stop shop for Father's Day.

How do I find them?
2491 E Fremont St. Suite A2

Lockeford Meats and Sausage

Lockeford Meats and Sausage may be small but the reputation they've built is huge. Their fresh and smoked sausages are out of this world and just thinking about the marinated tri-tip gets the salivary glands going like one of Pavlov's dogs. Be sure to plan some extra time when going, chances are a lot of other people will have the same idea as there is often a line going out the door.

How do I find them?
19775 N. Cotton S. Lockeford

Super King Foods

For a bit of Asian flair for dinner, check out the seafood selection at Super King Foods. Their shrimp and crab selection is on point. You haven't lived until you've tried throwing some oysters on the BBQ, and you can often get those here too. You can also find most any other ingredient you'd need to add a cultural twist to Father's Day dinner, so be sure to come with high expectations and then prepare to have those expectations exceeded.


How do I find them?
8626 N. Lower Sacramento Rd., Suite 20

Podesto's Market & Deli

Podesto's is another Stockton institution that has been the favorite local shop for quality meats for nearly 40 years. While their selection goes far beyond just meat and seafood, it would be a huge missed steak (see what we did there) if you didn't visit their meat counter. The selection they have is impressive with a wide array of traditional cuts and even higher-end options that still come at competitive prices.

How do I find them?
104 Lincoln Center

El Dorado Meat Market

El Dorado Meat Market Meat Market has everything you would want from an authentic Mexican market. In addition to all the meats you'd need, you can also get the most amazing tamales you've ever eaten. While you can enjoy their expertise with their own burritos, tamales and other favorites on site, you can also take the very same choice ingredients they use home to do it yourself. Either way, dad is going to be happy.

How do I find them?
1240 El Dorado St

Yosemite Meat Market & Deli

Located in Yosemite Village in downtown Stockton, Yosemite Meat Market & Deli is one of those places where a grill master just loves to go. They have a huge selection of some of the highest quality meats you can find. After all, they've been around for 95 years, so obviously they know what they're doing. You'll be able to pick up all the cuts that dad likes to grill, but this is his day after all. Spring for the wagyu.

How do I find them?
915 N. Yosemite St.

Treat him to a night off

If you think your father would prefer a night off where he's treated to a meal instead, never fear. Stockton has some excellent BBQ options that will have him feeling like the hero you think he is.

Fat City Brew & BBQ

No list about BBQ anywhere, let alone Stockton, is complete without including Fat City. They take only the best meats and then use their proprietary sauces and dry rubs to create flavors that are incredible. All the options are well received but the ribs are what sends people to the review sites to sing praises. The tri tip is also a popular option as is the brisket. Add in the rotating craft beers on tap and you'll see why Fat City is a local favorite.

How do I find them?
1740 Pacific

El Rancho Inn Steak & Lobster House

What could do a better job of telling dad "Hey! You're awesome!" than steak and lobster? And there's no better place for that than El Rancho Inn Steak & Lobster House. Here's a place that doesn't just dish out the best steak and lobster in town, but they've been credited as having the best in all of the central valley. Combine that with being open for more than 70 years and and the fact that these folks are experts becomes clear. El Rancho is closed Sundays, so bring dad here if you're looking to take him out ahead of the crowds.

Where do I find them?
1457 E. Mariposa Rd.

Midgley's Public House

The menu at Midgley's is filled with a dazzling array of deliciousness. What else would you expect with a celebrity chef who's been on numerous shows, both as a contestant and a judge? While there are seemingly endless options, Chef Midgely knows how to create a perfectly grilled meal. If the man you're celebrating has a bit of taste for the finer things in life, a perfectly done steak matched with a fine glass of wine will let him know just how special you think he is.

How do I find them?
296 Lincoln Center

Prime Table

If there was a contest to determine the most accurately named restaurant, Prime Table would finish at the top of that list. This steakhouse prepares only the best cuts of meat so you know your dad's steak will be all he'll talk about for the next week. The prime rib and loaded baked potato is always a fantastic choice. Add in some of their gourmet mac and cheese on the side and a hand-crafted beer and he'll feel like that World's Best Dad mug you got him really is the truth.

40 N Sutter Street
check them out on social @the_downtowner_stockton

The Waterloo Club

For a restaurant to remain open for more than 20 years, it has to be special. It has to be incredible if that restaurant is also located a ways out of town, so you know The Waterloo is on top of their game having been feeding families for more than 23 years. If your dad likes ribs, this is where you want to take him on Father's Day. Covered in Bette's World Famous BBQ sauce, these things are so good that Adam wouldn't have been willing to give one up back in the day if that's what it took to create Eve. Be sure to also try the pesto pasta, it's another popular menu item that has become a Stockton staple.

Where do I find them?
10447 W. Waterloo Rd.

B & W BBQ and Homestyle Cooking

B & W has all the benefits of an amazing home-cooked meal without having to do the cooking or cleanup yourself. The food tastes like it was made with just you in mind. The ribs are covered in a sauce that's the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, and the mac to cheese ratio in the mac and cheese heavily favors the latter. Beyond the ribs you'll find all your comfort food favorites served with a warm smile that will make you think you're family.

Where do I find them?
535 W. Harding Way

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