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15 Top-Rated BBQ Restaurants in America

Find your new favorite barbecue joint on our list of America’s best BBQ.

Looking for the best BBQ in the US? Put some of the best barbecue restaurants in the US on your itinerary. No matter where you travel, you’ll find plenty of excellent BBQ options. 

Chef Holding Cutted Juicy Slow Cooked Meat

These restaurants are famous for their barbecue, so we can attest to their outstanding BBQ dishes. I’m a big fan of smoky meats and the genuine barbecue experience. You’ll get that at all the spots I’m going to explore here. 

Best Barbecue Restaurants in the US

So, let’s get started on our BBQ adventure! Check out some of the best places for barbecue in the states.

Franklin Barbecue

900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: 512-653-1187
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If you’re craving the best BBQ brisket you can imagine, Franklin Barbecue is the place for you!

Brisket is what this restaurant is best known for. Not in Texas? No problem. You can get this legendary brisket delivered all over the United States. 

There’s a host of other mouthwatering classic BBQ dishes here, too. How do Beef Ribs, Pork Ribs, and Pulled Pork sound? My favorite dish? The pulled pork. It’s delicious and tender.

If you’re visiting Franklin Barbecue in person, you’ll find it in a historic part of Austin, the east side of the city. 


Hometown Bar-B-Que

454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: 347-294-4644
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There’s not always the need to get fancy. If the BBQ flavors are right, you can’t go wrong with a casual dining option.

Even though this is a laidback restaurant, Hometown Bar-B-Que is one of the best barbeque restaurants in the US. It’s so casual that you walk up to the counter to order.

Each day has its own specially cooked dishes. You’ll find out when you get there, but everything Hometown Bar-B-Que makes is premium barbeque.

This iconic local Brooklyn spot smokes its meat on oak wood. It’s a legendary Southern technique, and you’ve got to try it at least once in your life. 

Visiting on a weekend evening? You might get to enjoy some fantastic live music as you devour your smoky and spicy meal. I recommend pairing their dishes with a cold craft beer. 


4 Rivers Smokehouse

As implied by the name, 4 Rivers Smokehouse is all about mouth-watering smoky barbecue flavors.

There are 13 locations of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, including the following:

  • Daytona
  • Jacksonville
  • Orange Park
  • Coral Springs

There are so many legendary dishes at this BBQ joint that it’s hard to know where to start.

Some of the best dishes include the, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Smoked Chicken, Texas Sausage Sandwich, and Pulled Chicken Sandwich.

I know, you’re getting hungry. But it’s okay! If you don’t have a 4 Rivers Smokehouse in your area, you can still enjoy this restaurant’s explosive flavors. 4 Rivers Smokehouse ships all over the United States. 


Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q

1715 6th Ave SE, Decatur, AL 35601
Phone: 256-350-6969
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When it comes to barbecue cuisine in Alabama, Big Bob Gibson is not to be missed! Big Bob Gibson is one of the world’s best-loved barbecue restaurants. It’s been around since 1925. 

There are two Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q locations in Decatur, Alabama. Smoked meat is one of my favorite foods, and I adore the selection at Big Bob Gibson.

And don’t forget the Original BBQ White Sauce. This sauce is one of the restaurant’s claims to fame. 

According to Big Bob Gibson’s website, this legendary restaurant is the 15-time winner of the World BBQ Championships. Its winning meats include:

  • Pork
  • Brisket
  • Ribs
  • Chicken

My favorite Big Bob Gibson dish is the Authentic Beef Brisket. Mouth-watering perfection!

Other famous creations are the Smoked Turkey Breast, BBQ Chicken, and Pulled Pork. 


Dreamland BBQ

5535 15th Ave E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Phone: 205-758-8135
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Dreamland BBQ is an Alabama institution. It was founded in 1958 by the legendary John Bishop, also known as Big Daddy.

The first Dreamland BBQ was located in Tuscaloosa, in the city’s Jerusalem Heights neighborhood. 

Dreamland BBQ developed into a beloved franchise. You can find locations in Montgomery, Birmingham, Northport, Mobile, and Huntsville.

Live far away? Get the Dreamland BBQ experience delivered to your door with Shop & Ship. You can order sauce, ribs, and more. 

I highly recommend Dreamland’s hickory-smoked BBQ ribs. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! There are plenty of Southern side dishes here, too. 


Herman’s Ribhouse

2901 N College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone: 479-442-9671
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Herman’s Ribhouse first opened in 1964, and it’s been a Fayetteville institution ever since.

When it comes to barbecue, Herman’s Ribhouse is one of the most notable eateries in the United States. 

The thing I love most about Herman’s Ribhouse is its fresh and delicious classic barbecue food.

Everything is handmade, even the salad dressings and salsa. And all the BBQ sauces and steak rubs are made in-house. 

The fun atmosphere here is as fantastic as the food. If you don’t live in Arkansas, you won’t miss out. You can order this restaurant’s Sauce & Spice box set and have it delivered to your door. 


Skylight Inn BBQ

4618 Lee St, Ayden, NC 28513
Phone: 252-746-4113
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Skylight Inn BBQ is serious about BBQ. So serious they do the whole hog.

Whole hog barbecue is a North Carolina staple. Head over to Skylight Inn BBQ in Ayden, North Carolina to experience this traditional technique. 

The staff is warm and welcoming, and this restaurant has been a local favorite since 1947. The vibes are casual, and it’s just a stop by and enjoy kind of place.

You can buy BBQ pork by the pound or get a delicious BBQ sandwich plate. 

Don’t live in Ayden? Get some supreme barbecue goodies delivered to your home through the Gold Belly service


B.T.’s Smokehouse

392 Main St, Sturbridge, MA 01566
Phone: 508-347-3188
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You can get some of the country’s best Southern-style barbecue in Massachusetts. You can’t get better than the smoked meats here!

There are a plethora of popular dishes here, including the famous Beef Brisket, which I love. Other well-known dishes are the:

  • Smoked Chicken
  • Meat Platter
  • Beef Ribs
  • Pulled Pork

B.T.’s Smokehouse smokes its meats with local hickory and cherry woods for as long as 24 hours.

Before the meat gets smoked, the restaurant dry rubs it. B.T.’s Smokehouse started in a roadside trailer and grew into the current restaurant. 


Heirloom Market BBQ

2243 Akers Mill Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-612-2502
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Heirloom Market BBQ is small, but it’s also mighty. The food is tasty, without a doubt! This restaurant has earned its place in our list of the best barbecue eateries in the country. 

Heirloom Market BBQ is located in the exciting metropolis of Atlanta. There’s a wide range of hot and spicy barbecue creations here, like the Pulled Pork Sandwich, Beef Brisket Sandwich, Brunswick Stew, Southern BBQ Sandwich, and Korean Chicken Wings.

In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the Spicy Korean Pork. It has such a bold flavor.

Enjoy some of the side dishes, such as the pea salad. You’ll discover this restaurant on Akers Mill Road, near the Interstate North Parkway.


Bogart’s Smokehouse

1627 S 9th St, St. Louis, MO 63104
Phone: 314-621-3107
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Looking for premium barbecue fare in St. Louis, Missouri? Bogart’s Smokehouse is a must-visit restaurant. This eatery features a warm and welcoming atmosphere to match its traditional barbecue flavors. 

As a legendary smokehouse barbecue eatery, Bogart’s Smokehouse has outstanding brisket, ribs, and more. I’ve tried the Pulled Pork Sandwich and highly recommend it.

If you’re sharing with friends, check out the restaurant’s platters. There are also sides here, such as the Sweet & Sour Slaw and Bogart’s Beans.

Bogart’s Smokehouse is located in the St. Soulard area of St. Louis. Pay a visit to this famous restaurant, because you won’t want to miss out on the experience!


Harp Barbecue

6515 Railroad St, Raytown, MO 64133
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Kansas City is known for its barbecue, and Harp Barbecue is at the heart of the scene. It’s a pop-up restaurant at Crane Brewing.

There are a plethora of well-known dishes here, like:

  • The Meat Plate
  • Ribs
  • Pork Taco
  • The Pulled Pork Sandwich

Harp Barbecue also has outstanding brisket and smoked meat. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the service is fantastic.

The cooks at Harp Barbecue work in Crane Brewing’s barrel room, an impressive feat when you taste the quality of the food.

Without a doubt, Harp Barbecue is one of the best barbecue restaurants in the United States. 


Kerlin BBQ

2207 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: 512-412-5588
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BBQ goes casual at Kerlin BBQ. The atmosphere is homespun, with a focus on barbecue essentials like pork shoulder and brisket. There’s also a focus on comfort food sides including potato salad. 

I love the Pork Ribs here because they’re tender with the perfect barbecue flavor. Other dishes include:

  • The Pork Shoulder
  • Chopped Brisket
  • Sliced Brisket
  • The Beef Hot Links

No-frills doesn’t mean low flavor. At Kerlin BBQ, the opposite is true! 

What’s the most famous dish at Kerlin BBQ? It’s the Prime Angus Brisket. I’ve heard the locals talk about this, and it’s legendary.

If you’re heading to Austin, you should go to Kerlin BBQ. Just be ready for a long wait time.


Smoque BBQ

3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641
Phone: 773-545-7427
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Located in the iconic Windy City, Smoque BBQ is all about barbecue. The cooks here understand rubs and meats, and how to combine them. If hot and spicy is what you’re craving, check out this restaurant. 

Smoque BBQ was founded by five barbeque fans with lots of experience cooking (and eating) this tasty food. 

All the rubs and sauces at Smoque are house-made, and all the side dishes are, too. The St. Louis Ribs and Baby Back Ribs are two of the most legendary dishes. 

If you’re a brisket fan, I recommend checking out the Sliced Brisket. There’s a Brisket Sandwich, too. 


Central BBQ

408 11th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-610-3444
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Central BBQ is a major part of the Nashville barbecue experience. This restaurant has earned its place as one of the country’s best barbecue restaurants. 

The combination of dry-rub spices used on the meats here is extraordinary. Central BBQ sets itself apart by marinating its meat for 24 hours. It’s called an all-day meat marinade, and you can taste the difference. 

Heading to Central BBQ? Check out its Snacks, Plates, Sandwiches, and Salad menus.

I tried Smoked Turkey, and it was excellent. The Beef Brisket is always legendary, and if you’re a real carnivore, check out the 3 Meat Combo. 


Buxton Hall Barbecue

32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-232-7216
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Put yourself in the hands of Elliott Moss, this restaurant’s legendary pitmaster. He’s all about traditional Carolina barbecue.

All the meat is locally sourced. Buxton Hall understands smoking, and it smokes all its meats in-house. 

The pork here is pasture-raised, and Moss smokes it for 18 hours over multiple kinds of wood, including:

  • Hickory
  • Cherry
  • Oak

Elliott Moss has been barbecuing all his life. He got started in Florence, South Carolina, as he learned the basics from his grandfather. 

There are plenty of unique and tasty dishes here, like the smoky fried catfish and smoky pimento cheese.

Other iconic favorites include the whole hog barbecue and slow-cooked collards. I think the fried chicken sandwich is the best dish on the menu. It’s so flavorful and juicy.


Best Barbecue Restaurants in the US

  1. Franklin Barbecue
  2. Hometown Bar-B-Que
  3. 4 Rivers Smokehouse
  4. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
  5. Dreamland BBQ
  6. Herman’s Ribhouse
  7. Skylight Inn BBQ 
  8. B.T.’s Smokehouse
  9. Heirloom Market BBQ
  10. Bogart’s Smokehouse
  11. Harp Barbecue
  12. Kerlin BBQ
  13. Smoque BBQ
  14. Central BBQ
  15. Buxton Hall Barbecue

Final Thoughts

So, now you know! The United States has so many fantastic barbecue restaurants it’s sometimes hard to know where to start! Without a doubt, our list of the best barbecue restaurants in the US is rock solid! 

Which restaurant will you visit first? Get started with the ones nearby, and then explore further out. If you’re going on a road trip around the country, you should put a few of these restaurants on your itinerary. 

Yes, the South is barbecue-central, but don’t forget the BBQ hotspots in Fort Lauderdale or the Midwest, like Chicago. And guess what? Many of these restaurants offer home delivery across the country for most of their menu items. 

Did I forget any restaurants on this list of the best barbecue restaurants in the US? Let me know in the comments below. 

Check out other best restaurant lists to find hidden gems across the US, like the best Ukrainian restaurants in America.

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.