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9 2014

These are the Best BBQ Spots in America

With summer comes beach and lake trips, camping, picnics, water parks, and a whole host of other fun-in-the-sun activities. And in the U.S., these all have one thing in common: barbecue. Yes, that sweet, tangy, salty, smoky, saucy goodness is calling your name.


Many states claim to have the best barbecue around. And we’re sure your taste buds want an answer. So we looked into it. According to the reviews and opinions of the TripAdvisor community’s millions of travelers, these are the states AND joints are sure to satisfy your summertime barbecue cravings most.


These are the top 10 U.S. states for BBQ:

  1. Georgia
  2. North Carolina
  3. Texas
  4. Missouri
  5. Tennessee
  6. South Carolina
  7. Florida
  8. Illinois
  9. California
  10. Kansas



And counting down, these are the top 10 BBQ joints in the U.S.:


10. Madd Jacks Grillin Shack, Cape Canaveral, Florida (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 201 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Madd Jack's Grill Shack

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Madd Jack’s Grill Shack

This beach-themed joint brings a taste of the West Coast to the Sunshine State, as chef Robby O’Connor dishes out generous portions of California-style barbecue including sliced tri-tips that are dry-rubbed and cooked over white oak for a slightly smoky kick. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “I have eaten at some of the best in the country from Texas, Memphis, St. Louis and some other places. This place beats them all, hands down.”



9. Poppa’s BBQ, Clearwater, Florida (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 182 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Poppa's BBQ

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Poppa’s BBQ

On the Gulf of Mexico, Poppa’s BBQ delights tastebuds with their “Q.” The deliciously simple menu includes an assortment of slow-smoked pulled pork, juicy chicken and Memphis-style ribs that are generously rubbed with a special spice blend and served with a tomato and vinegar sauce on the side. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “This place is absolutely amazing! Great service and out of this world food.”



8. Captain’s BBQ, Palm Coast, Florida (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 197 reviews)

Captain's BBQ

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Captain’s BBQ

Boasting stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, this waterside smokeshack doubles as a bait and tackle shop. Moist and juicy meats are the backbone of the mouthwatering menu which offers up classic plates as well as more unique creations including pulled pork burritos slathered in Baja sauce. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “This is the taste of perfect southern barbecue, with the backdrop of old Florida.”



7. Joe’s BBQ, Blue Ridge, Georgia (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 238 reviews)

Joe's BBQ

Joe’s BBQ

In the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this joint satisfies hungry guests with tender and moist meats complemented by a selection of sauces including “Alabama white,” a mayonnaise-based mixture that has found fame in several Southeastern states. A TripAdvisor traveler said, “The ribs were juicy and flavorful, every side “A TripAdvisor traveler said, outhwestern states.e early, ken and turkey to sell out.rrive early, as its not uncommon we ordered was great and it was all delivered in a super friendly and clean atmosphere.”



6. Jim’s Smokin’ Que, Blairsville, Georgia (5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 140 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Jim's Smokin' Que

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Jim’s Smokin’ Que

Open Thursday through Saturday, this northern Georgia smokehouse advises guest to arrive early, as their succulent meats – including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken and turkey – often sell out. Those lucky enough to score a meal can also enjoy their choice of satisfying sides, from Brunswick stew to banana pudding. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “The only problem is choosing what to order since it’s all so good.”



5. Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que, Chattanooga, Tennessee (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 138 reviews)

Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que

Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que

Amid the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Tennessee, this log cabin style restaurant feeds famished barbecue fans with an emphasis on Southern hospitality. Dry-rubbed meats are smoked over hickory wood, and can be served on a plate, as a sandwich, or even stuffed inside a “killer” baked potato. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “Excellent food, great service, friendly people and good prices. Feels like home.”



4. Wiley’s Championship BBQ, Savannah, Georgia (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 791 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Wiley's Championship BBQ

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Wiley’s Championship BBQ

With more than 30 years of experience winning awards on the national barbecue competition scene, husband and wife team Wiley and Janet McCrary opened their first brick and mortar restaurant in 2008. The joint pleases palates with low-and-slow cooked meats including savory St. Louis cut ribs. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Falling-off-the-bone tender. Succulent. Delicious. Charred on the outside. Perfection.”



3. Bogart’s Smokehouse, Saint Louis, Missouri (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 298 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Bogart's Smokehouse

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Bogart’s Smokehouse

Since designing his first grill at the age of 14, pit-master Skip Steele has perfected the method for crafting melt-in-your-mouth meats. Patrons can choose between four homemade sauces including “Mad Maddie’s,” a vinegar-based concoction, and “Pineapple Express,” a tangy and sweet sauce with a burst of tropical fruit. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “The people are great, the service is fast, and the food is some of the best stuff I have ever put in my mouth.”



2. Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering, Kansas City, Kansas (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 788 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Oklahoma Joe's BBQ & Catering

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering

Operating out of a gas station since 1996, this Kansas City restaurant offers a mouthwatering medley of meats that are dry rubbed and then slathered in the region’s distinctive tomato and molasses-based sauce. Fan favorites include burnt ends and the “Z-Man” sandwich, a unique stacking of brisket, provolone cheese and onion rings served atop a Kaiser roll. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “BBQ so good it gave me chills!”



And America’s top barbecue joint is…


1. Franklin Barbecue, Austin, Texas (4.5/5 bubble rating on TripAdvisor, 291 reviews)

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Franklin Barbecue

TripAdvisor traveler photo: Franklin Barbecue

Committed carnivores often wait upwards of three hours to score a meal at this joint that serves up the Texas trinity of barbecue: brisket, ribs and sausage. The meat is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and then slow-cooked to perfection over an oak-fueled flame. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, “The bottom line is this is actually a place that lives up to the hype. Run, don’t walk, to line up for Franklin!”



Have you found a favorite barbecue joint on TripAdvisor? Make sure other travelers know how great it is and write a review!

Categories: Travel Inspiration

7 thoughts on “These are the Best BBQ Spots in America

  1. Pingback: Wiley’s named one of the top ten BBQ joints in the country! | Wiley's Championship BBQ

  2. Stamey’s Barbeque in Greensboro Nc!! They’re the Most Visited Bbq Joint in NORTH CAROLINA Obama & Bush Has been There As Well 😉

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