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Famous Dave’s Brings Finger Licking Barbecue to Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor

Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que in Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach, CA


Dorothy and I had a hankering for barbecue so when we knew we were going down to Long Beach for the day, I decided we’d review Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que. We haven’t had it since our last visit to Madison Wisconsin several years ago. Our niece and her boyfriend, now husband, introduced us and the rest of the family to Famous Dave’s.

Famous Dave’s family restaurant serves award winning barbecue in a casual dining setting on Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. The hours are from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM except Friday and Saturday when they are open until 11:00 PM
John R. Aberle
Famous Dave’s family restaurant serves award winning barbecue in a casual dining setting on Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor.
John R. Aberle

The Long Beach location is right on Rainbow Harbor’s restaurant row at the end of South Pine Drive. We grabbed lunch before taking a walk around the Shoreline Aquatic Park. We got lucky in our timing because we actually saw a rainbow over Rainbow Harbor. It was actually a double rainbow.

Fresh Brewed Iced Tea, $2.99

As usual, I ordered “fresh brewed” iced tea while we made our lunch selections. Our server brought us a small bowl of Famous Dave’s own barbecue chips in place of bread. They were delightfully crisp and tasty. They seemed to be kettle-style chips.

Two Meat Combo Special for Lunch, $11.99

Dorothy got the lunch special. She chose the St. Louis-Style Spareribs and the Southside Rib Tips. It came with 1/3 slab of rack of St. Louis spareribs and the Southside Rib Tips. Famous Dave’s Menu describes the Southside Rib Tips as “Memphis-style, dry-rubbed tips served with a side of jalapeño pickled red onions, Hell-Fire Pickles and our Southside BBQ sauce.”

It came with one side order too, so she selected the Fresh Sweet Corn, which came as two pieces of mini corn on the cob. She got Corn Bread Muffin as well.

Big Baby Platter, $25.49

I got the full slab of baby back ribs. We agreed on the “original baby backs seasoned with Chicago-style rib rub then sauced with Sweet & Zesty® and a touch of honey.” (This description came from Famous Dave’s menu.)

On this platter I got two sides so I too chose the Fresh Sweet Corn plus the Creamy Coleslaw. Likewise, I got a Corn Bread Muffin.

I was delighted with the portions of the sweet corn as many restaurants only give you one of the mini cobs. Moreover, they actually were sweet. The creamy coleslaw was good though I don’t recall anything special about it. Somehow corn bread muffins seemed just the right touch for bread.

Heat Level

For those who like their food spicy hot enough to take of the tops of your taste buds, you’ll love Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que as they offer five different types of barbecue sauce. We found that three were very hot and two were mild to medium hot including the original Rich & Sassy®, Dave’s original award-winning sauce, which they claim is mild. Although I enjoy foods slightly hot than Dorothy does, even I stuck to the two milder sauces.

One of the things I liked about the barbecue here is that the meat seemed to avoid the greasy feel of most BBQ ribs. This may be due to their using a dry rib rub and then finishing with the sauce.

I got a kick out of the quaint, rustic atmosphere with lots of pig related kitsch on the walls. I enjoyed my dining experience. Unfortunately, Dorothy’s memory of it is tainted by her first bite’s heat level being so high she wasn’t able to really taste anything afterwards. She even requested – and got – some sour cream which is how Dorothy mellows out the heat level.

For that reason, I’m giving Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que a rating of 4.

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If you enjoyed this review, please “Like” it on Facebook or +1 it on Google+ and Share it. Oh, tweets work too. Thanks, John

Additional information
Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que

  • Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor
  • 300 South Pine Drive
  • Long Beach, CA 90802
  • Phone: 562-436-9260

Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que Website:

Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que Location:



  • 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM Sunday – Thursday
  • 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM Friday – Sunday

Meals Served:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Cuisine Type:

  • Barbecue

Service Type:

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