Let’s kick off our favorite month of the year with a list of some of the best BBQ cities and Joints in the country. These are in no particular order or ranking because in our opinion all BBQ is good BBQ.
In Texas, you’d be hard-pressed to not find good BBQ at any restaurant, which is why places like Franklin Barbecue stand out. If people are willing to wait hours in line in the Texas heat, you know it’s got to be good.
New Orleans, Louisiana
While it doesn’t share the BBQ history Memphis or Kansas City has, New Orleans has more top BBQ joints than most of the cities on this list. Make sure to check out Walker’s Southern Style BBQ for a cochon de lait poboy, a Cajun-style sandwich with smoked pork and Creole slaw. You can also try the plate of pork ribs or the chaurice sausage at The Joint.
Throw a rock in Memphis and it’ll somehow land on a rack of ribs. Memphis-style pork is some of the best in the nation, which is why Charlie Vergos Rendezvous and Payne’s Bar-B-Que are definitely worth visiting.
Birmingham is known for its white sauce and smoked chicken, so head to Saw’s Soul Kitchen for a fried green tomato BLT and the smoked chicken sandwich with white barbecue sauce. If your stomach is up for the challenge, check out Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q for the hickory-smoked chicken, pulled pork, and smoked ham.
Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ serves famous Kansas City-style barbecue, offering smoked pork ribs, brisket sliders and smoked wings. The baby-back pork ribs and pulled pork sandwich at Feast BBQ are also definitely worth checking out.
The common theme with Oklahoma BBQ is meat that is charred on the outside and tender on the inside, coupled with a unique smokey flavor. At Elmer’s BBQ, eat the Famous Badwich, a sandwich that contains hickory-smoked bologna, beef, sausage, and a rib. And try the sausage-stuffed pork loin or turkey (a specialty) and ribs at Burn Co Barbecue.
East Texas has its own style of BBQ compared to the rest of Texas. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ cooks its food over a legendary half-century-old pit, giving its meat an incredible one-of-a-kind taste. Also check out Pat Gee’s, a converted shack in the woods, for chopped beef, pulled pork, and hot links. You can eat there or order your meat by the pound to take home.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is famous for its grilled pork spare ribs, so make sure to visit Bogart’s Smokehouse and order a smoked rib sandwich. Head to Pappy’s Smokehouse for classic Memphis-style barbecue … their specialty is the dry-rubbed ribs, which are slow smoked over apple and cherry wood.
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City-style BBQ has a taste of its own. It’s slow-cooked over low heat, and basted with tomato sauce mixed with brown sugar and molasses. Notable places to scope out are Jack Stack BBQ, LC’s Bar-B-Que and Arthur Bryant’s, which serves some of the best BBQ in the nation.
Charleston, South Carolina
Pork is King in South Carolina, and their BBQ reflects that. RightOnQue offers authentic southern pulled pork, ribs, pork loin, and beef brisket cooked slowly at a low temperature over local woods.
Lexington, North Carolina
The Carolinas are all about their pork shoulder and ribs, topped with a vinegar-based red sauce. Lexington Barbecue serves an excellent chopped BBQ plate and chopped BBQ sandwich. While you’re at it, also check out the chopped barbecue plates at Speedy’s Barbecue Inc. and Cook’s Barbecue.