When it comes to BBQs, there is no shortage of opinions. Americans are fiercely loyal about what they consider the best barbecue in their region and will often argue passionately with any stranger that ventures a contrary view. We've identified some of America's best BBQ joints from coast to coast and rank them according to our tastes. We hope you enjoy it!
Joe's Kansas City BBQ is an urban barbecue joint that is located in Kansas City, Missouri. It's known for its mouth-watering BBQ sauce and delicious burnt ends!
Joe's is one of the best BBQs in Kansas City and was declared by Anthony Bourdain as one of the thirteen places you must eat before you die. It's known for its mouth-watering barbecue sauce, thick pulled pork sandwiches, and excellent side dishes like their pit boss salad or burnt ends sandwich.
Hometown's food is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, all cooked with traditional American bbq techniques. With an array of flavors to choose from that's sure to impress any palette - Hometown has something for everyone!
Hometown is a restaurant that combines old-school barbecue techniques with a multinational mentality. Hometown has mastered the art of barbecuing, as evidenced by their incredible beef rib, but what sets them apart are their inventive takes on the traditional barbecue - combining ethnic flavors prevalent in Red Hook like Jamaican jerk back ribs and Oaxacan wood-fired chicken to create dishes like Vietnamese hot wings.
After many years of success, the noises customers make when tearing into Pappy's carefully rubbed, applewood smoked ribs remain anything but quiet! Suppose you have any appetite left after finishing those delicious baby-backs. In that case, you can get yourself a Frito pie augmented with protein options like brisket or pulled pork to satisfy your cravings while still honoring your waistline.
Paynes Bar-B-Que is recognized as having some of the greatest sandwiches on Earth by many experts such as Texas Monthly, who proclaimed it had the "perfect bite of a substantial pork rib" Their pulled pork and mustard slaw are just some of the fantastic dishes you'll eat at this BBQ mecca.
Why doesn't mutton have a place on the American barbecue scene? People in Kentucky can only wonder, especially if they've been to Owensboro for Moonlite BBQ. They offer an all-you-can-eat buffet with hickory-smoked pork and ribs as well, but it's clear that their heart is focused around mutton.
Having won the James Beard Award, Rodney Scott is one of the most celebrated pitmasters in America. He has spent years mastering his craft at his family restaurant and finally opened a place for locals to enjoy it all: from vinegary chopped pork to fried catfish. The best surprise on this menu is arguably the smoky and sweet spareribs that will make your mouth water with every bite!
Tootsie Tomanetz is a powerhouse in the world of barbecue. Even though she already works five days a week, this 86-year-old gets to work at Snow's BBQ so that all customers can experience some of the best food they have ever had!
The ZZQ in Richmond is an authentic Texas barbecue joint with local white oak pits imported from Austin Smoke Works. The three 1,000-gallon offset pits are the real deal, and they honor their home state by cooking some of the best briskets you'll find outside its boundaries, thanks to founder Joe Turner who was raised in Mesquite.
From the hills of North Alabama comes a legendary barbecue. The pork is low and slow-cooked over hickory, but what steals the spotlight here is Big Bob Gibson's chicken spatchcocked grilled and doused in white sauce that was invented by head cook himself back in the 1920s.
The rich, smoky aroma of the whole hog barbecue is unmistakable. The Jones family has operated this restaurant for more than half a century, and the recipe stays unchanged: oakwood smoke tinged with hickory wood that lasts overnight to give the meat a unique flavor profile—the foundations on which their entire menu was built! Plates come either as sliders or overflowing platters; choose from sides like coleslaw and iced tea to complete your meal.
The Skylight Inn smokes its meats over indirect heat fueled by oak trees while using only high-quality cuts--top-quality plates are served up all day long, so you don't have any excuse not to stop in when visiting Eastern Carolina's beautiful Outer Banks region!
Once just a tiny shack on the Mississippi coast, The Shed has since grown into an empire of BBQ excellence. These expertly smoked meats are served in two different locations.
The restaurant is family-owned, which can be seen from their signature dishes: meltingly tender baby back ribs or pecan-smoked brisket paired up perfectly with any sauce you're craving for that day.
Topping the list of the best barbecue in Texas is no easy feat, but thanks to their consistent quality and bold expansion into Houston this year, Truth BBQ has accomplished just that. Once you get close enough for a taste (be prepared to wait around an hour), make sure not to miss out on everything, from brisket down through sausage links with jalapeño cheddar cheese. Trust us when we say there's nothing juicier than these babies!
Central BBQ is famous for its slow-smoked Memphis-style ribs and barbecue nachos. The 14-plus hour smoked pork shoulders still yield some of the juiciest chopped pork sandwiches around, but it's Central's signature dish: barbecue nachos topped with cheese sauce, pulled meat, or a portabella mushroom; that have helped make this restaurant one of the top choices in town!
Beyond just food, Franklin barbecue is an experience. Waiting for hours in line to get the perfect bite of brisket at Franklin BBQ feels like a pilgrimage from afar. When it finally arrives, you might think that angels are singing as your taste buds reach nirvana status with every savory mouthful - even if you're still waiting three more hours before chopping block time!
Walking into Smitty's, you know right away that the food will be worth your time. The black soot from years of cooking coats every inch in this restaurant and pit room with a flavor like no other. You can purchase meat after it's cooked off to-go or eat there on one of their tables near the pits, where patrons can see how they're made.
The smell wafting through your nose alone will tell you you're in good hands when entering Smitty's—a Texas bbq establishment famous today for its primarily indirect smoking.
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