If there’s one thing most of us have in common, it’s that we’re meat lovers. Barbecue is deeply rooted in our American culture. Our love for barbecue goes far beyond that of your average enthusiast. All across the country there’s an endless amount of barbecue unique to its own place. From smoked trip-tip to rubbed pork ribs, the variety of flavors flies from coast to coast. There’s no way any of us can refuse a juicy sirloin steak, no matter where we are at the time.
There are few styles of food that are more fulfilling than barbecue. Meat barbecued over smoked wood tends to have that effect on us. When it comes to barbecue, it’s not necessarily about the ambiance but it’s all about the quality of the meat. Typically, the spots that have been around for quiet some time are the ones with the most satisfying and primal barbecue.
We’ve got you covered on our favorite spots to dive into and get your fingers dirty! Don’t know where to go once you’re there? We’ve got your back for that too! From the coast of Santa Maria, California, to Kentucky, to the heart of barbecue in Texas, and surprisingly across the ocean to Honolulu and beyond, keep scrolling to see our top 10 barbecue towns (in no particular order).
Santa Maria, California – Known for their Santa Maria Style BBQ, tri-tip and top sirloin steak, they know the way to perfect their barbecue. With a layer of Susie Q’s seasoning and cooked over oak wood, Santa Maria proves to have some of the best BBQ on the Central Coast of California.
Locations: Hitching Post, Far Western, Rancho Nipomo, Firestone, and Jockos
Austin, Texas – We all know what comes to mind we think Austin, Texas…Franklin Barbecue! Known for having one of the most famous barbecue spots in America, Franklin Barbecue holds enormous lines out the door with people waiting to fill their stomachs. Kerlin BBQ is another must try! It’s a mom and pop BBQ stop is known for smoking their meat between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit for six to twenty hours. The result?…a plate of delicious thick black crust encasing tender, succulent meat. Did I mention they give free beer with your food?
Locations: Kerlin BBQ, Franklin Barbecue, Freedmen’s
Murphysboro, Illinois – The Southern Barbecue of Illinois hauls its mix tastes from its next-door neighbors Tennessee and Missouri. Smoked over cherry wood, pork sandwiches and rubbed pork ribs are guaranteed a stomach full of flavor and satisfaction.
Locations: 17th Street Bar and Grill
Owensboro, Kentucky – Labeled as BBQ capital of the world, Owensboro, Kentucky holds its number one spot for unsung mutton barbecue. Slow and low wood smoking is their specialty to the perfect tendered meat served with their famous Worcestershire-based “black” dipping sauce.
Locations: Moonlite Bar-B-Que, Old Hickory Bar-B-Que
Nashville, Tennessee – Nashville’s not only a place to the music city, but also a favorite BBQ city. You’re not limited to any certain type of style. From pulled pork sandwiches to smoked chicken, Nashville has all the best barbecue to keep you happy and full.
Locations: Mary’s Old Fashion Pit BBQ
Kansas City, Missouri – Famous for its sweet tomato-based-molasses-based sauce, the barbecuers here smoke their meat over a hickory wood to bring out its tasty flavors. Lack of barbecue in Kansas City is not a problem, and there’s especially no shortage of what to put on the grill.
Locations: Arthur Bryant’s, Oklahoma Joe’s, City Butcher and Barbecue
Sturbridge, Massachusetts – Massachusetts somehow holds the secret to barbecue. A place that not only smells like barbecue heaven but also tastes even better! The pork is loaded with juicy flavors that keep you coming back. Not to mention, hosts one of the best barbecue joins in Massachusetts, B.T’s Smokehouse is nothing but satisfaction that leaves you happy and wanting more.
Locations: B.T.’s Smokehouse
Honolulu, Hawaii – Hawaiian barbecue is one of a kind. Famous for its Kalua pork, Honolulu shares an distinctive flavoring with scoops of white rice on the side. The culture of Honolulu and its surrounding towns also reflects in their deliciously satisfying BBQ! Your options are not limited in Honolulu as they offer a ray of selections barbecue style.
Locations: Uncle Bobo’s Smoked BBQ, Gina’s BBQ, Molly’s Smokehouse
New York, New York – There’s an utterly known fact that Southern barbecue is the best it gets. However, New York proves that fact wrong. The barbecue scene can’t go unnoticed nor un-tried for. Known for doing things their own special way and making everything unique to it’s city, New York spiced up their barbecue the only way they knew how, Fancy style!
Locations: Arrogant Swine, Fletcher’s Brooklyn BBQ, and Briskettown
Charleston, South Carolina – With heavy influence of Creole and seafood, Charleston’s barbecue does its justice with Low Country shrimp boils and oyster tables. Let’s not forget the pulled pork! Thrown over hickey wood fires, Charleston loves its barbecue!
Locations: Home Team BBW, Smokey Oak Taproom, Melvin’s Legendary Bar-B-Que
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