Saltlick Smokehouse: Smoked Meats on James Street North.

Saltlick Smokehouse: Smoked Meats on James Street North.
30 Nov 2016

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A few weeks ago, my friend Anson and I were looking for a new place to have lunch. Both of us felt like BBQ (no surprise there). So I figured I would put up a Facebook status asking friends where there favourite BBQ restaurant was, within 30 minutes of Oakville, preferably in Hamilton.

Why Hamilton? After a recent food tour of Hamilton, my eyes were opened to Hamilton’s food scene. Their restaurants are some of the best around, and there are more opening all the time.

Lots of suggestions were made. We narrowed it down to a few places, all of which we wanted to try. For this lunch, we chose Saltlick Smokehouse.

Upon entering the restaurant, I noticed it was very open concept. There wasn’t a lot of seating. Some of the seats were old church pews, which I thought was kind of neat, but worried about how comfortable they would be.


We were greeted by the waiter, who took our drink order, and told us the menu was on the wall. He mentioned that there was no printed menu, as the menu changes almost daily. This wasn’t an issue, as there was not a lot of people in the restaurant at that time. But as there are tables below the chalkboard menu, it can be a little intrusive if you are the ones seating there, having people looking over you.

That being said, the menu looked great.

3 meats + 2 sides: $24
4 meats + 2 sides: $29
5 meats + 2 sides: $33

At dinner time, Saltlick serves up their dishes family style. Because we ordered off the dinner menu, we received our food to share, presented on two wooden boards.


What we had

Because we wanted to try as much on the menu as possible, we went with the 5 meats.

• Jerk Chicken (with mango, sweet pepper and cilantro salsa)
• Pork Belly Tacos
• Pork Belly Nuggets
• Brisket
• Pulled Pork
• side of salad and slaw

• Jerk Chicken (with mango, sweet pepper and cilantro salsa)
• Pork Belly Tacos
• Pork Belly Nuggets
• Brisket
• Southern Fried Drumsticks
• side of slaw and mac & cheese

We were both a little disappointed that cornbread was not available for lunch. Oh well… we’ll just have to come back again.


Jerk Chicken

This dish was amazing. They used chicken thighs, so the chicken was not dry. The jerk sauce was spicy, but not overwhelming at all. It was just right. The mango salsa was a nice touch – gave the chicken a bit of sweetness.


Pork Belly Tacos

I am normally not a fan of tacos, but these were amazing. The pork belly was coated and deep fried, with onions, carrots, cilantro and a spicy mayo. Mouth watering.


Pork Belly Nuggets

Buttermilk braised, deep fried and drizzled with a soyaki sauce, these nuggets were a hit. It was my first time trying pork belly like this. A bit fatty, but that’s pork belly.



Unlike a lot of the restaurants I have had brisket at, Saltlick cuts their brisket quite thick. My piece was almost half and inch thick. The taste was there, but it was a bit dry. I can’t tell if it was because of the thick cut, if it was overdone, or if it was sitting for to long. It was still enjoyable.


Pulled Pork

This was pretty much the only thing I wasn’t fond of. It looked like 4 thick strips of pork had been removed from the pork roast, and put on the plate. I asked for it without sauce on it, so I could add as needed, and get a feel for how tender the pork was. It was a bit dry, and definitely needed the sauce.


Southern Fried Drumsticks

This is not for the small appetite. This drumstick is huge. Crispy coating, tender chicken. It was perfect.


Next Visit

Items I want to try the next time I am there are the Korean Beef Ribs and the Flat Iron Steak, both of which are only available at dinner time.

Location and Hours

Saltlick Smokehouse is located at 282 James Street North in Hamilton, Ontario.

Monday to Thursday: 11:00am to 10:00pm “ish”
Friday to Saturday: 10:00am to 11:00pm “ish”
Sunday: 9:00am to 9:00pm “ish”


Lots of variety at Saltlick

Overall, we were both pretty impressed, and would definitely be up for a return visit. If you are out for lunch or dinner in the James Street area of Hamilton, stop in to Saltlick. The food is delicious, and the service is friendly.

Big Daddy

If you would like me to review your service, product, restaurant, or travel destination, please send me an email at or find me on “the twitter” at @BigDaddyKreativ

Craig Silva

Craig is a passionate and seasoned travel, food, and lifestyle writer, whose words paint vivid pictures of the world's most captivating destinations. His work not only inspires others to embark on their own adventures but also fosters a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our world. He captures the essence of each locale, offering readers a glimpse into the cultures, landscapes, cuisine, and experiences that make travel so enriching. Craig is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the International Travel Writers Alliance (ITWA). If you are a PR agency or brand and would like Craig to review a travel destination, vehicle, restaurant, product or service, please send him an email.

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