The 10 Best BBQ Joints in America

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, nothing tickles the taste buds quite like barbecue. BBQ capitals like Kansas City and Memphis are well represented on our list, but America’s love affair with smoked meat is quite clearly a national preoccupation.

From sea to shining sea, here are the best barbecue joints in the U.S. of A.:

1. Corky’s (Memphis, Tennessee)

This no-frills restaurant is a barbecue landmark in Memphis (which also happens to be one of Traveler‘s “Best Trips of 2013” destinations). Slow-cooked to perfection in open and closed pits and served with tangy sauces, the hickory-smoked meats are so tender they fall off the bone. Try the hand-pulled pork shoulder – it’s cooked for more than 22 hours! Corky’s has five additional locations around the state, plus franchises in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey.

The Skylight Inn’s signature sandwich: whole hog chopped pork cooked over wood coals and topped with coleslaw. (Photograph courtesy Skylight Inn)

2. Skylight Inn (Ayden, North Carolina)

At Skylight Inn you can order only two things: a pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw or a pulled pork dish with corn bread and coleslaw. Whole pigs are slow-roasted over oak fires in open-air pits. Despite the short menu, Skylight doesn’t want for customers.

3. Virgil’s Real Barbecue (New York, New York)

A massive roadhouse in New York City! Buttermilk onion rings with blue-cheese dip. Hush puppies with honey butter, rack of pork ribs, Texas hot links, pulled pork, New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp – everything tasty. There is also a good list of top beers.

4. Jim Neely’s Interstate Barbecue (Memphis, Tennessee)

The sauce recipe might be a secret, but the word is out about Jim Neely’s. Each day brings new and repeat customers to this family-owned business that dishes up some of the country’s best barbecue. Slow-cooked in closed pits, the meat is incredibly moist and unbelievably good. It’s so popular that Jim installed a drive-thru window!

Inside Virgil’s Real Barbecue. (Photograph courtesy Virgil’s Real Barbecue)

5. Arthur Bryant’s (Kansas City, Missouri)

Bryant’s has been touted as the “business that gave Kansas City its renown as a barbecue capital.” Simple on décor but high on taste, Bryant’s has been serving up delectable hickory-and-oak-smoked barbecue since the 1920s, counting presidents and celebrities as devotees. Its two sauces – Original and Rich & Spicy – justly deserve the accolades heaped upon them.

6. Tennessee Red’s (Portland, Oregon)

Laid-back Tennessee Red’s serves up some of the tastiest barbecue outside of the South. Generous side dishes and no less than five sauces accompany each entrée. The corn bread melts in your mouth.

7. Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering (Kansas City, Kansas)

A five-star joint situated in the back of a gas station, with top reviews for Carolina pulled pork, homemade fries, and burnt ends. Low on atmosphere but high on taste. Zagat has rated Oklahoma Joe’s as Kansas City’s best barbecue.

The open pit at the Salt Lick, (Photograph by Kenny Braun)

8. Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que (Williamsburg, Virginia)

Operating in the same location since 1971, Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que keeps it simple and doesn’t change (case in point: the sign-maker’s misspelling of “Pit” stuck). Their sauce’s secret family recipe goes back some 80 years. A classic joint serving up pulled chicken and pork, ribs, hush puppies, collards, corn bread, onion rings, and all your favorite sides.

9. Firefly’s (Marlborough, Massachusetts)

This award-winning barbecue joint dishes up ribs, brisket, and pulled chicken. Devotees rave about Firefly’s Memphis BBQ sauce that has hints of brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate. Wash it all down with a glass of sweet tea straight out of the South.

10. The Salt Lick (Driftwood, Texas)

Featuring an indoor open pit where you can see your meal being cooked, the Salt Lick is a warm and friendly establishment that excels at barbecue. Customers sit at picnic tables and dig into mouthwatering platters of ribs, brisket, sausages, and plentiful side dishes.

This list originally appeared in the National Geographic book, The 10 Best of Everything: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers, by Nathaniel Lande and Andrew Lande.

What did we miss? Tell us about your favorite barbecue joint by leaving a comment:


  1. BIG MAN
    July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm

    I’ve tried a lot of barbecue places but B’s barbecue in Greenville is by far the best 1 I’ve ever had

  2. Kevin
    March 23, 2014, 10:50 pm

    I spent the summer in Hilton Head Island, SC

    Bluffton BBQ was awesome, also made a trip to St. Simons Island, GA and not sure if it was because I was starving and hungover, but Southern Soul BBQ was even better… was on Diners Drive-In’s and Dives as well.

    In Columbia, MD we have a place called Kloby’s Smokehouse, probably the best I’ve had north of NC even after going to school in VA


  3. VA
    February 26, 2014, 10:12 am

    I grew up eating Pierces Pitt BBQ in Virginia, have traveled extensively, and it’sthe winner-hands down. I occasionally have their sauce shipped to me when I get *really* homesick for good BBQ.

  4. newt
    February 3, 2014, 6:25 pm


    they aren’t even the best in Memphis.

    central BBQ is the best BBQ in Memphis

    rendezvous has the best dry ribs and slaw

    corkys is good though

  5. bobbin ray
    January 5, 2014, 12:15 am

    There’s an amazing barbecue place in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans called “The Joint.” Run by people who are passionate about cue, and the sides and pies are superb. It’s hard to believe it’s not one of the ten best–and it’s far, far better than places like Corky’s, which is quite ordinary, and Arthur Bryant’s, which was great in its day but disappointing last time I went there.

  6. Matty H
    Boston, MA
    January 4, 2014, 6:48 pm

    As a BBQ lover from Massachusetts who’s traveled all over this country, there’s no place around here that makes the top 10. And Firefly’s is only “good” by local standards – this list shouldn’t be used by anybody as a guideline for good BBQ.

  7. james
    south carolina
    January 4, 2014, 8:41 am

    whoever came up with this list must not really know what barbeque is they skipped the whole state of south Carolina and I can think of five places that would put this list to shame.# 1 being Brown’s barbeque in kingstree s.c.

  8. Joel M
    January 3, 2014, 12:00 am

    I’m from NYC and I’m telling you, Virgil’s isn’t even the best in the city. Dinosaur BBQ and Mighty Quinn’s blow Virgils away. There’s good cue believe it or not in nyc, but NOT Virgil’s.

    There’s a spot in by Clemson University in South Carolina called the Smoking Pig. Now THAT was some dayummmmm good cue.

  9. Mike Martin
    Gloucester, Virginia
    January 2, 2014, 10:18 pm

    Pierce’s in Williamsburg is pheonomal !!!! There’s a reason that numerous presidents have eaten here and Williad Scott from Good Morning America has given them shout outs numerous times. If you are in the area…this place is a must !!!!

  10. Dan B.
    Sarasota, FL
    December 31, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Rendezvous in Memphis and Franklin’s in Austin.
    This list is pretty generic………..and, sounds like it comes from the Food Network or a Guy Fiery show. You guys need to get out more.

  11. Joshua Carter
    Spartanburg, SC
    December 23, 2013, 7:20 pm

    For some reason the south is seriously undervalued here. There is no way the nationally recognized “Beacon” barbecue in Spartanburg should e left out of top bbq lists

  12. J Healy
    November 26, 2013, 2:10 am

    From Chicago and not a rib snob by any means but do go out of my way to try most BBQ places in town. Tennessee Red’s is the only plate of ribs I’ve ever tossed out after the first bite in my life- disgustingly bad.

  13. David Morgan
    London, England
    October 30, 2013, 3:30 pm

    In NYC this past weekend and went to Virgil’s… Not a good experience! I tried it all… Pulled pork, beef brisket, pork ribs, BBQ chicken… Couldn’t fault the quantity but the quality was very poor! If you’re in NYC, try Dallas BBQ in Times Square… For your starter get the hot wings… Amazing!

  14. Dennis Jones
    Cliffside NC
    October 24, 2013, 6:39 pm

    I know this is old, but it really is a joke. Skylight Inn isn’t even in the Top 50 NC BBQ Joints. Lexington is full of places better. If you want the best in NC…try Alton Bridge’s in Shelby NC by the hospital or Red Bridge’s on US HWY-74 in the same town.

  15. Sanfran
    On Q Smokehouse Grill
    October 16, 2013, 6:48 am

    Best BBQ!!!

  16. Mike B
    Concord, NC
    August 17, 2013, 10:20 pm

    I’ve eaten at every single Manhattan BBQ joint and Virgil’s is not even in the top 5. None of the NYC BBQ joints would even beat the top 15 NC BBQ restaurants. I know taste is subjective but this list has no credibility.

  17. nick jarem
    bloomfield, ct
    August 17, 2013, 11:12 am

    Not for nothing, but National Geo should stay in their business. Geography. To Aussie Jim, who puts down this American icon; it takes a cheap piece of meat (picnic or shoulder) and turns it into a festival, along with a bunch of people looking for sandwiches w/ slaw, sauce, baked beans and beer. i’ll take that anytime. This list is highly inaccurate but there are so many places out there that it just falls upon someone to make up their own mind. plus, sweet, hot, vinegar, mustard, rubs, ribs, brisket, pork, beef, c’mon, who can choose?

  18. Dizzy Cruz
    Austin, TX
    July 21, 2013, 7:00 pm

    I have lived in N.C., Kansas City, and now Austin, TX. I am originally from NYC. I have travel the east coast top to bottom, I have traveled Atlanta, GA, Tennessee and Memphis….and I have to say each have their specialties. I have eaten at almost all the joints mentioned here and then some ….old BBQ shacks…and I still say KC and maybe TX have the best in all meat categories….. Nuff said

  19. Brian Rueger
    United States
    July 5, 2013, 2:14 pm

    I sure agree with John, to not include Vergo’s Rendezvous is a capital offense. Best ribs in the World. I’ve been to both Corkey’s and Interstate and there is no comparison..

  20. Richard
    June 18, 2013, 7:52 pm

    Wow you can find good BBQ just about anywhere. They sell stuff on the side of the road here in fla and everywhere else I guess, that will put every place listed here to shame.different sauces for different meat.muskrat BBQ with blue front BBQ sauce will make u tong slap u face and mommas too

  21. Nick
    St. Louis, MO
    June 16, 2013, 8:22 pm

    Ive eaten at 4 places on this list (salt lick, corkys, bryants and okie joes). Personally for me the best of them is Okie Joes. Bryants is completely overrated… barely top 5 in KC. The Salt Lick was very good. Corkys didnt impress me at all. I really like Jack Stack in KC. Im shocked its not on the list.

  22. Leslie Powers
    Lexington, TN
    June 1, 2013, 11:15 am

    I have to say that Scott’s Bar-B-Que here in Lexington, TN would rank in the top 10 and probably rank #1 as I have eaten at Corky’s, good but doesn’t rank above Scott’s If the tasters are ever in West Tennessee please stop by and give it a taste. We would see a change in the top 10.

  23. JES
    Jackson, tn
    June 1, 2013, 11:13 am

    I agree 100% with others scratching heads over Corky’s and Interstate. I also would put up Central BBQ in Memphis (BBQ nachos and pork rinds rock) but would add The BBQ Shop on Madison (BBQ baloney is the bomb)

    You should also venture to Brownsville, TN to Ms. Helen’s BBQ – she was just recognized by the Southern Foodways Alliance.

    But one place I can’t get enough of is Bad Bob’s BBQ in Dyersburg, TN. The side dishes are (sour cream & bacon potato salad and baked beans sweetened with peaches) as well as the Q. We get him to cater events all the time. O

  24. Byron
    Greenville, NC
    June 1, 2013, 12:52 am

    Your #2 Skylight Inn is good, but B’s BBQ in Greenville, NC is much, much better. I can almost put B’s BBQ sauce in a glass and drink it! BBQ Pork, BBQ Chicken, Slaw, BBQ Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn Bread. Sooo much more than Skylight serves! I’ve eaten at both restaurants for over 30 years and love them both. I will go to B’s before I’d go to Skylight.

  25. sara
    hardy ar
    May 29, 2013, 11:03 am

    Bob & Sandy’s Beach Club BBQ in Hardy Arkansas is amazing!

  26. Everett
    May 29, 2013, 10:27 am

    Firefly’s doesn’t belong on a top 10 list for MA. And nothing in MA should be on any national list. Their inclusion is astounding.

  27. Karen
    Oshawa, Ontario
    May 28, 2013, 8:32 pm

    I was driving around the other day and wanted BBQ really bad. I Googled best bbq in North America. Now I’m sad because Texas is a long drive from Ontario Canada.

  28. Mark
    Ayden NC
    May 27, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Corky’s is certainly a C- … i go strait to the hood (Orange Mound) and eat Tops in Memphis… i like my BBQ served with a smile of gold teeth from that fine gal behind the register. We Ayden folk are glad to see Skylight made the cut- its great… Bum’s is equal though… as i once heard “One place is a real joint, the other a tourist trap, and that title changes back and forth every so often.

  29. bnabill
    United States
    May 25, 2013, 11:00 am

    Cannot believe the list does not include Martins in Nolensville, TN or Southern Soul on Saint Simons Island, GA. It doesn’t get any better then these two.

  30. Johnny
    Tulsa, OK
    May 24, 2013, 3:47 pm

    This list is pathetic. New Englanders don’t know BBQ. I’m originally from Texas, and I’ve had BBQ all over the state, plus Tennessee, KC and St Louis. I’m positive that I can name at least a dozen hole in the walls in TX that are better than most of what’s on this list. Besides that, Rendezvous dry ribs are some of the best out there, Salt Lick should be a lot higher on the list. Even here in Oklahoma they know how to do BBQ at a much higher level than anything you’re gonna find on the East Coast.

  31. Lori
    Greenville NC
    May 21, 2013, 11:50 pm

    I have eaten at several bar-b-que places
    I’d like to say that Bubba’s in Frisco NC was my favorite. To bad they are not in business anymore on the Outer Banks of NC But B’s in Greenville should of made the list.

  32. Barbara Craft
    Ayden, NC
    May 21, 2013, 11:21 pm

    I agree with Chad above. The BBQ in NC is hard to beat. It may not br served on fine china, but boy it goes down easy. We not only have award-winning Skylight Inn in Ayden, of whom we are so very proud, but we also have renowned Bum’s BBQ in our fair town. Ya’ll come!

  33. Best BBQ
    May 21, 2013, 8:11 am

    The reason the world championships are held in Memphis is because everybody else’s bbq is trash. Henry Perry is from Memphis and wiki says that’s where Kansas City got it bbq roots from so apparently kansas city just tries to imitate memphis bbq.

  34. ronnie crews
    May 19, 2013, 9:25 am

    If you are in Charlstos,s.c., be sure to try Melvins BBQ. Absolutly mouth watering!!

  35. Karl
    Asheboro, NC
    May 19, 2013, 1:31 am

    Speedy’s BBQ in Lexington, NC – is our #1 – Don’t care about your list, it’s wrong :)

  36. Chad Paris
    Greensboro, NC
    May 18, 2013, 11:07 pm

    I’m sorry but there is just no way BBQ places from NY, Mass, Oregon make a top 10 while only 1 NC and 1 Texas place are there. Anyone who knows BBQ knows the best BBQ comes from the south and most likely from mom and pop, hole in the wall type places off the beaten path. If you want good BBQ go to VA, NC, TN, GA, TX, KC, etc. Go to non-franchised places that care about nothing but cooking good BBQ and creating a friendly atmosphere by doing it. I can name a handful of BBQ joints here in NC that aren’t visually attractive on the outside or inside but the people are great, the people that go there are great and the BBQ is even better.

  37. Carla Pitts
    Winston Salem, NC
    May 18, 2013, 7:15 pm

    Bib’s Downtown is by far the best BBQ I have tried. And I try BBQ everywhere I travel. Famous Dave’s in Kansas is 2nd on my List.

  38. G S Spach
    Winston-Salem, NC
    May 18, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Matt you are correct-“The Bar-B-Que Center”, in Lexington, NC is the best. We have been to Kansas, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia… tried it all. Judges must have been on an expense account. Try some for yourself!. Not everyone has the same taste.

  39. Michael
    May 18, 2013, 5:56 pm

    “What did we miss?” I find this question highly amusing, because you pretty much missed everything. “Intelligent Travel” should immediately be renamed.

    Franklin BBQ in Austin is the best BBQ in the world.

    Really, only one Texas joint, and it’s a mediocre one at that? Did you just do a yelp search, and post the results?

  40. Mark
    May 17, 2013, 5:09 pm

    The BBQ capital of the world is Texas and Lockhart is the BBQ capital of Texas. No other BBQ comes close to Kreuz’s, Black’s and Smitty’s. City Market in Luling is good and I’d throw in Stubbs’. Enuf said!

  41. Lawrence Solis
    United States
    May 16, 2013, 11:50 am

    This list is nonsense. Franklin’s BBQ in Austin by most accords is the best bbq in the land and after trying it, I agree.

    May 16, 2013, 1:03 am

    You can’t sleep on these spots… Charley Vergos Rendezvous out of Memphis. Franklins out of Austin. Lockhart out of Dallas. I will put any of them up against 9 on this list…. Leaving out Salt Licks out of Austin…. God Bless BBQ…

    Dripping Springs
    May 16, 2013, 12:03 am

    I live about 20 minutes West of the Salt Lick, & to have them on ANY top 50 list is asinine.

  44. Marc
    May 15, 2013, 8:04 pm

    Virgil’s? Really?!??? REALLY?????

    All BBQ in NYC is mediocre; Virgil’s is not even good by NY standards. I have personally eaten at a dozen BBQ joints in Texas that – well, it’s like comparing great NYC pizza with Domino’s.

    Salt Lick? It’s good, but where are Kreutz’s and Franklin’s, also in Austin. Franklin’s ribs are perhaps one of the greatest dishes I have eaten in my life.

  45. Ace
    United States
    May 15, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Just here to complain for the sake of complaining. How dare you not include something from MY state or somewhere that I LOVE! The humanity! Sheesh people, get a grip.

  46. Cathy
    Memphis, TN
    May 15, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Perhaps you didn’t get a chance to taste Central BBQ’s pork nachos… Corky’s can’t compare. You should stop by, and then be sure to revise that list. But you were right on the money about one thing – Memphis has the best BBQ. End of story.

  47. Max
    eugene oregon
    May 14, 2013, 7:29 pm

    Apparently you have never been to KC MO. Gates and Fiorellas Jack Stack is the best ever.

  48. Jeff Raynor
    United States
    May 9, 2013, 9:52 pm

    Ponca City, Oklahoma, Blue Moon, Dugans, Head Country, all great BBQ plus great value

  49. Sara
    Northern VA
    May 6, 2013, 7:19 pm

    Transplants from TX, The Q Company in Leesburg VA brings traditional North TX BBQ East, but they’d compete with the best back home too.

  50. Chris H
    May 3, 2013, 8:51 am

    Any list for best BBQ in the country that has a restaurant on it from NYC is just total B.S.

  51. Morgan
    Atlanta, GA
    April 26, 2013, 9:22 am

    Community Q BBQ in Decatur, GA! I’ve tried most BBQ joints in the Atlanta area and there is NO competition, Community Q is the best. (side note: their mac n’cheese is to die for. It definitely makes the last meal list)

  52. Darby
    shanghai china
    April 21, 2013, 11:57 pm

    Elmer’s in Tulsa…home of the “Badwich.” It be baaaaad!

  53. Edward H.
    K.C., MO
    April 9, 2013, 9:02 am

    Been everywhere in Midwest and south for great BBQ. Pappy’s Smokehouse by far the best all around food and experience I’ve ever had!

  54. Ryan West
    Tigard, Oregon
    April 8, 2013, 8:27 pm

    You guys forgot Slick’s Big Time BBQ in Newberg, Oregon!
    Just a little bit outside of Portland but well worth the trip!
    These guys do it right! I’ve traveled the US on business and have had all the major regional BBQ, from Texas, Memphis and Kansas City and Slick’s BBQ is indeed BIG TIME! The ribs are fall off the bone tender and juicy, the smoked meatballs are amazing and Barbi’s strawberry corn bread desert is out of this world! If ever in the Portland area, it’s a quick hop over to Newberg OR for the best BBQ anywhere, period…

  55. John Gunter
    Fayetteville, NC
    April 2, 2013, 10:13 am

    I have NEVER had any good BBQ in North Carolina, and I have tried many places here! Further more in my opinion, a chopped pork sandwich only with coleslaw or fried chicken dipped in BBQ sauce is not considered BBQ in my book! Where are the RIBS and BRISKET????

  56. Michael Bone
    March 31, 2013, 10:34 pm

    The fact that my porch was not included on this list is blasphemy. Why hate on New York BBQ. New York has the best of everything from all around the world. Stop being snobs. You can not possibly expect this man to visit every BBQ joint in America.

  57. Tom Stites
    Newburyport, MA
    March 29, 2013, 8:43 pm

    1. I’ve been eating at Arthur Bryant’s for more than 60 years. To me it’s a shrine, but since Arthur died (he was an immigrant to KC from Texas, by the way) the meat has become inconsistent. But I still always eat there when in KC. Sometimes sublime, still.

    2. Jack Stack is dazzling, but a bit too formal to pass muster as a barbecue joint. I eat there anyway, and love the food, especially the hickory beans, which are unsurpassed in my years of eating Q everywhere.

    3. My son grew up on KC Q, is a serious foodie, and lives in New York. He’s taken me to three NYC Q places that simply amazed me. Don’t automatically dump on NYC Q.

    4. I used to say that bad Q is better than no Q at all. Then I moved to New England. There’s some passable Q here and there, but no small amount that’s *not* better than no Q at all. Beware.

  58. DEB
    March 25, 2013, 1:49 pm


  59. Katie
    March 21, 2013, 8:59 pm

    So we’re just going to ignore the existence of Lexington?

  60. Roger
    March 20, 2013, 3:14 pm

    You’re hopelessly out of date on Pierce’s Pitt in Williamsburg, VA. Used to be OK, years ago, even good. But now it’s just mediocre, crowded, and noisy. A kind of fast food BBQ.

  61. Mary Knows BBBm
    Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013, 3:55 pm

    Pat’s BBB is “in yor’ face’ que’. Nice smoke ring. Ribs are meaty, blues are good, place is big enough you don’ t have to wait forever. Service is good, prices are reasonable. What else do you want?

  62. Elizabeth Gaines Cardona
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    March 4, 2013, 2:21 pm

    NOOO You ALL Missed THE BOAT…..
    RUDys In San Antonio Is The BEST .
    Their entire menu ROCKS!
    Fruthermore Ive got true blue chefs whom totally agree….
    Ps BBQ From Rudys will take you to another realm!

  63. Wonder
    Austin, TX
    February 27, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Ok NatGeo, this list is not that good. I will tell anyone reading these comments, central Texas has probably best brisket ever. Austin has 4 quality places including Franklin’s BBQ where people wait 2 hours. Lockhart TX has 3 places within a mile consider the capital of TX BBQ. Plus other local places around the state. BBQ is king here in central TX.

  64. Susan
    United States
    February 22, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Owensboro, KY is great if you are looking for BBQ.
    We have an awesome BBQ Festival here every year.
    Try some Burgoo. I had never heard of burgoo until I moved to Owensboro and I love it. everyone needs to try some mutton, mmm mmmm mm mmmmmm

  65. John
    February 19, 2013, 4:05 pm

    I love Firefly’s BBQ ! Great ribs and Sweet Potato Pudding .
    Salt Lick ,Rendevous,Gates and of course Big Bob Gibson !

  66. John Lemons
    Kansas City, MO
    February 18, 2013, 1:34 am

    Saint Louis guy saying Saint Louis has the best barbeque….go home you are drunk. Saint Louis is famous for burning pork shoulders and then slapping a sause they stole from Chicago. Thinks for playing try again. Back to the article….NYC? Really? This whole thing should have been the Carolinas, KC, Memphis and Texas. NYC is to barbeque like KC is to the Empire State building. I’m sure I can find a connection, but not many.

  67. Matt
    Raleigh, NC
    February 16, 2013, 11:20 am

    …and ALWAYS ask for “outside brown”. That’s where the flavor is!

  68. Matt
    Raleigh, NC
    February 16, 2013, 11:17 am

    No love for good ole Lexington-style, brick-pit, 8-hour, hickory-smoked, shoulder-only pork barbecue? It’s moist, tender and tangy, with a tomato and pepper sauce and a hint of vinegar and sugar. If you get mayo slaw instead of tart barbecue slaw (tomato, vinegar, pepper, salt, sugar and crisp cabbage) then you’re in the wrong place! I’d recommend Lexington Barbecue #1 (The Honey Monk) or The Barbecue Center (my personal favorite).

  69. Ian B.
    Milwaukee, WI (via Kansas City)
    February 15, 2013, 11:55 pm

    I LOVE the passion in this set of comments. Carolinians, Texans, Kansas Citians, Kentuckians, y’all are great! To the best of my Internet research abilities, the authors of this report are either Brits or Irish (no offense to either country), but they just don’t understand U.S. BBQ. I’m in San Diego right now and got excited to see somebody mention a place here! I love the saying somebody alluded to above (I had heard it before for pizza), when it’s good it’s REALLY good, when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Here’s to many enjoyable moments and many greasy and sticky fingers! (p.s. to the Texan who mistakenly thinks that KC is only a pork town, you need to actually go there. KC is the epicentre: pork, bird, beef, mutton, sausage, fish, you name it, we’ll barbeque it)

  70. Ryan
    February 14, 2013, 3:03 pm

    I’m sad to see that the only Barbecue joint from Texas was The Salt Lick. Louie Muellers Barbeque in Taylor is much better in my opinion.

  71. Chris
    Los Angeles, Ca
    February 14, 2013, 5:11 am

    Did you run out of gas and never got to California?

    Phil’s BBQ in San Diego is WAY better than Oklahoma Joe’s and Arthur Bryant’s. They’re good but Phil’s is worth my 2.5 hour drive down to San Diego just for the BBQ. Your list is incomplete.

  72. Aussie Jim
    Sydney, Australia
    February 14, 2013, 1:10 am

    At the risk of being shot by outraged Americans, I just can’t see the point of American BBQ. Oversmoked, overcooked, it’s natural roast meat flavour and texture are destroyed. I like to taste the naturally caramelised flavour of barbecued meat and have something to chew on. OK for old gummy folks and kids, the US BBQ I’ve tried in the States and Canada is only slightly more interesting than a MacDonald’s burger. 26 hours of cooking…that’s not meat, that’s deconstructed protein.

  73. Chandos
    Williamsburg, VA
    February 13, 2013, 9:57 pm

    Pierce”s? What a joke: a Williamsburg tourist trap that been peddling the same utterly mediocre product for years. The author of this “list” is entirely clueless.

  74. Mrs. Barbecue guy
    February 13, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Corky’s is the Cracker Barrel of Q. Memphis has true greatness:The Barbecue Shop, Central Barbecue, A&R, Showboat…they have been great for ages.

  75. George
    February 13, 2013, 7:57 pm

    I’ve been visiting the original Kreuz BBQ in Lockhart, TX since the 40’s, has been in business over 100 years, and virtually caused the birth of the others in Lockhart and Luling.
    W/o realistic representation, this list is a joke.
    …………yeah, these are off the beaten path, but worth it.

  76. Gringo
    Fort Worth
    February 13, 2013, 5:46 pm

    Who the heck made this list up. What a pack of morons. Top ten and only one Texas BBQ joint. And one in New York !!!! That is insane. I can name 20 or 30 Texas BBQ joints that oughta be on this list. You guys are nutz !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. Tim
    Kansas City
    February 13, 2013, 5:43 pm

    I think you might want to consider a return visit to KC. Arthur Bryant’s isn’t consider the best BBQ in KC by most Kansas Citians. Ask any local and the names you’re most likely to hear are Oklahoma Joe’s (No. 6 on your list), Gates (Hi! May I help you?!) and Jack Stack (best hickory pit beans on the planet).

  78. Paul Grandquist
    United States
    February 13, 2013, 5:12 pm

    To the writer of this article ………Are you NUTS!! I have lived in K.C and now live in Austin and you could not have been farther off on this one if you were just throwing darts at the names Gates is some of the best in K.C Bryants is o.k. but there are at least ten better places just in the metro. And the best in Texas …come on should have filled your list Franklins, Saltlick,County line, on and on ..Even on their worst day blows all of your picks off the map!

  79. DC
    San Francisco
    February 13, 2013, 5:03 pm

    I can’t Coopers BBQ in Llano, TX wasn’t on this list!

  80. Vanessa G Graham
    Reagor Springs, TX
    February 13, 2013, 4:08 pm

    Why don’t you come to for some awesome “Competition Style” REAL BBQ!!! I can guarantee we’d beat most of your list. Our motto is “Meat so tender, you can leave your teeth at home”. We cook w/love into our BBQ. Not about the sauce, although we make everything there…Rub, sauce, pinto beans, cole slaw, peach cobbler…etc. My husband has won numerous Competitions in the TX area. Trophies are displayed on our walls. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

  81. bill
    February 13, 2013, 3:41 pm

    Are you guys kidding. A top 10 list and you have a single Texas joint at number 10! Boloney

  82. Jimmy Thomas
    Austin, Texas
    February 13, 2013, 3:16 pm

    New York City! Get a rope. Apparently written from a Yanks point of view. No Franklin BBQ and J. Mueller’s in Austin, Opies in Spicewood, Blacks and Smitty’s in Lockhart? Salt Lick is good but the above places are all better. Texas Q reigns king, just ask Anthony Bourdain, Bon Appetit magazine, USA Today,and Men’s Health Magazine. I’ve eaten BBQ from coast to coast and in multiple countries and if I have found something better, I would proudly spread the word but that has yet to happen. Real Q does not need sauce either.

  83. Dale R. Miller
    Spring, Texas
    February 13, 2013, 2:49 pm

    A couple that should be on the list are: Luling City Market in Luling, Texas and Louis Mueller’s in Taylor, Texas. Snow’s in Lexington, Texas ain’t bad either.

  84. Elizabeth Gaines Cardona
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    February 13, 2013, 2:43 pm

    Ive been going to San Antonio and NEVER EVER MISS RUDY,s BBQ….. You MAy want to Check them Out!

  85. littleblackcar
    February 13, 2013, 2:21 pm

    This article sounds like a term paper bought off of the Internet: More Googling than primary research. If you didn’t touch Lockhart, Texas, you shouldn’t even have written it.

  86. Tony
    St. Louis
    February 13, 2013, 2:21 pm

    I’m sorry but Neelys should not be in the Top 100.. for that matter neither should OK joes. Neelys was an absolute and utter disappointment. And if sauce is all it takes to be good BBQ I can think of a dozen places with better sauces than OK Joes. At least you didn’t put Rendevous on there, besides their smoked sausage that place makes way too many lists for a subpar joint.

  87. Norma
    February 13, 2013, 11:34 am

    Pierces is good but Prince George Family BBQ just outside Petersburg, VA is great! We stop there every time we go to visit the grandkids.

  88. stayghost
    February 13, 2013, 9:28 am

    Wow … Firefly’s (MA) is weak wanna be BBQ even by Northeast standard’s. Isn’t even close to being in the category of best in the state let alone country! Jeesh

  89. Amy
    Memphis, TN.
    February 13, 2013, 9:03 am

    I am born and raised in Memphis…even got married on the main stage at the World Championship BBQ Festival! I am proud to see two Memphis powerhouses on the list but you forgot Central BBQ! Oh and Rendevous, and A&R, and Germantown Commissary, and Interstate, and oh I could go on!!!!!

  90. wilsonbooks
    Carthage Missouri
    February 12, 2013, 9:12 pm

    Who ever wrote this article must have just made up this list. KC has the world’s best barbecue and Gates is the best of all of them. Forget texas, I have eaten at lots of the texas pits and their brisket can’t hold a candle to Gates. If you have to put slaw on your sandwich then you might as well stay home.

  91. Eric Vengroff
    February 12, 2013, 8:22 pm

    Where’s the Rendez-Vous in Memphis? I thought their ribs were excellent. Also agree with the Salt Lick near Austin but I prefer the City Market in Luling, TX

  92. Ramona Butler
    Lonnies bar b que East 21st st.(off Whittenberg RD.)
    February 12, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Topekas best kept secret!The best I have ever tasted.And the cheesy potatoes are great too.Always busy.Check hours open.

  93. Jeanne Wheeler
    Sherman, Tx
    February 12, 2013, 4:12 pm

    The Shed in Ocean Springs Mississippi. I love this place.

  94. Buddy
    February 12, 2013, 2:35 pm

    The CHURCH in Huntsville, Texas!! At lunch time, there are business suits and construction workers eating side by side…slow smoked ribs, chicken, brisket and more…been there for decades….FM1725 and just west of Hwy 75…All you can eat for $10/person…..the meat falls off the bones…Sauce is homemade and sweet….featured in both Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle as well as the “Eyes of Texas” TV show…if you drive I45 through Huntsville, stop by and enjoy! You’ll want to take some home!

  95. CRL
    Memphis, TN
    February 12, 2013, 2:20 pm

    The best in Memphis comes from Central BBQ, with a close follow-up being the Germantown Commissary.

    Corky’s and Neely’s may have the most exposure outside of Memphis but they’re not the best!

  96. Mike Board
    February 12, 2013, 1:59 pm

    Are you high? Sorry, that’s probably an inappropriate question. I’ve seen a lot of lists of BBQ, and this may the most off base. That’s why I’m wondering your sobriety. There is more talk about bbq sauce, side dishes and franchises instead of actual meat. There is one place from texas. one. the same number as new york city. I get the feeling the person who put this together never made it to texas and threw one place in that they saw on the food channel.

  97. Dave Kempf
    Nashville, TN
    February 12, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Travel & try BBQ wherever I go. A few to add to this list are Tex’s BBQ & Jack’s BBQ both in Nashville as well as Lillie’s Q in San Destin, FL & Chicago, IL. All four of these could make any top 10 list. Also for major chains Famous Dave puts out some pretty good Q.

  98. David
    February 12, 2013, 1:23 pm

    The best BBQ spots don’t even have names. Or, if there’s a name it’s on a faded sign. There’s limited seating or no seating at all. There’s always a smokey smell and a smile.

  99. Chris
    Kansas City
    February 12, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Oklahoma Joe’s is great BBQ. Arthur Bryant’s is so-so. Closer to fast food BBQ to me, and I’ve tried it many times in the past 15 years. Won’t be going back. My out of town guests were not impressed either. Jack Stack BBQ is much, much better and should have made the list. I wonder what places the writer tried in Kansas City before choosing Arthur Bryant’s. Bleh.

  100. Noon an
    February 12, 2013, 1:03 pm

    If you read the headline, it says “best BBQ joints,” not best BBQ. Huge difference.

  101. Angela
    St. Louis
    February 12, 2013, 12:56 pm

    It just opened a few months ago and I’ve been to 3 of those places on the list. Sugar fire BBQ and pies is tops in St. Louis now.

  102. Jenny
    Kansas City
    February 12, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Rosedales in KCK – barely KCK. Is the best in KC in my opinion…

  103. Timmy D
    February 12, 2013, 12:46 pm

    One place that is often overlooked in KC because of its location is LCs (Blue Parkway and Sni-A-Bar). I highly recommend it. I do like Bryant’s meat, but the sauce is just okay. I think the next time I go there I’ll bring a bottle of Jack Stack, Gates or the stuff they serve at Oklahoma Joe’s. Jack Stack is the best, but for the buck it is hard to beat Oklahoma Joe’s.

  104. Jules
    Kansas City
    February 12, 2013, 12:42 pm

    Bryant’s is over-rated. Inconsistent Q, sometimes greasy and fatty, sometimes dry and sauce that’s more like steak sauce. Oklahoma Joe’s is KC’s best. Their burnt ends speak for themselves.

  105. Bill
    February 12, 2013, 12:36 pm

    I ate at Salt Lick last summer while hanging out in Texas. It was good. But the best bbq you could ever eat is at a hole in the wall diner in Bluff City, TN (near Bristol) named Ridgewood Restaurant. It’s like no other. When the TV sportscasters are in town for a race, they all know to head to Ridgewood to eat. When I judge bbq, I try to be fair and not compare other places to Ridgewood. It’s in a class all its own. As far as the chains go, my favorite is Famous Dave’s.

  106. DD
    February 12, 2013, 11:53 am

    Have hit many places in all the BBQ hotspots. KC overall, they will figure out how to slow cook any kind of meat and there is a huge range of sauces Texas for brisket but sauce is often more like gravy. TN boils meat and just throws on sauce, not BBQ. NC does pulled pork with slaw well. KC by far above the rest of planet earth, most any place. Every place is different.

  107. JoeTexas
    Friendswood, TX
    February 12, 2013, 11:49 am

    The writer of this piece was doomed from the outset. BBQ pit bosses and chili chefs (and their fans) are EXTREMELY passionate and anyone who tries to rank them is just asking for a fight.

    February 12, 2013, 11:46 am

    evidently ya’ll never been to that place in Huntsville for pork ribs , all you hear there is uummmmm!!! and brisket at Floridas by the prison in Livingston melts in your mouth!!!

  109. Daniel
    Phx Az
    February 12, 2013, 11:45 am

    I am from Kansas City and the best BBQ in the world is in KC hands down and Arthur Bryant is the best.When I come back to KC the first place I stop before any were else in Bryant!!!

  110. becca kristfelt
    Austin, Texas
    February 12, 2013, 11:35 am

    I’m an Austinite & I enjoy the Salt Lick, but not ONE Texan will tell you that is the BEST BBQ in Texas. Not even close! We have Rudy’s, Franklin’s, City Market & Kreusz. You must not have even visited those. Naming a NYC joint kind of kills your credibility too.

  111. Daniel Forti
    February 12, 2013, 9:51 am

    As someone who has lived in both NC and NYC, I can attest that Q-Shack in Durham, NC is every bit as good as Virgil’s and a third of the price!

  112. VJ
    February 11, 2013, 11:20 pm

    Honestly Urbana, IL’s Black Dog Pub (a tiny BBQ and microbrew) is a local favorite and beats out many of those on the list.

  113. Andy Frahm
    February 11, 2013, 11:15 pm

    Franklin BBQ man!

  114. Allen Stroud
    Eastern NC
    February 11, 2013, 8:24 pm

    Skylight Inn is without a doubt in the top 10, but another local BBQ restaurant I rate a little higher is B’s BBQ, Greenville, NC. Their menu is open-pit cooked pork and chicken. Go early or you may miss out. Food goes very fast. Customers range from bank executives, attorneys, physicians and the hourly wage guy. Don’t let the outward appearance keep you from enjoying some of the best BBQ in the world!

  115. New lady
    February 11, 2013, 8:11 pm

    Kansas City has so many great BQ places but my favorites are Famous Dave’s and Jack Stack!

  116. Jim
    Shawnee, ks
    February 11, 2013, 7:01 pm

    High five in salt lick…! Arthur B is ok, ok joes uses too much msg for me in their rubs….R.J’s bob-b-q ribs and Johnny’s half chicken dinner for me!

  117. David Lawrence
    San Antonio
    February 11, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Just because you’ve been around for a long time with a legacy, doesn’t make you good forever.
    I’m old and have a heritage, but I ain’t good anymore. Neither is Arthur Bryants. Jack Stack may be the best BBQ in the world; certainly #1 in KC. I agree with Oklahoma Joes in the top ten. Texas BBQ: so far, just ok, but we’re still searching.

  118. Don "Walrus"
    KC MO
    February 11, 2013, 6:27 pm

    Have never tasted “bad” bar-b-que — some better than others. The best is the one in front of me! Let’s eat!

  119. Gr8Bru
    February 11, 2013, 5:47 pm

    I agree that many listed are simply those most mentioned on the Food Channel, and while they have a great history they are not the best of the best in todays BBQ joints. We all have a favorite local place and all deserve a mention I am sure, for me it has to be Detroit’s own “Slows BBQ” on Michigan Ave. down near the old Tiger Stadium location. Some truly tasty “Q” for sure! Next time in Motown check it out (if you can get in the door!)

  120. Tito
    February 11, 2013, 5:12 pm


    “February 8, 4:59 pm
    Why would any place outside of the KC metro area even be on this list?”

    Because KC only knows how to make one animal well: Pork.

    If you’ve been around the States and have experienced all types of BBQ, you’ll know that Texas is on a level of it’s own, because of one key ingredient: BEEF

    Let’s be real, the cow far and away superior to the pig. Just think steak vs. porkchop, a hamburger vs. ground pig burger? And so continue the pattern of beef BBQ vs. Pork. And no, I’m not referring to that tri-tip crap that west-coasters rave about. I’m talking about the cream of the crop: TEXAS BRISKET AND BEEF RIBS.

    If you’ve never had these from the greater Central, TX area…you’re severely missing a key part of the BBQ world.

    Also, agree with @Tuco on Pappy’s or Bogart’s for St. Louis ribs. The problem is, nobody every travels to that God-forsaken city.

  121. Casey
    February 11, 2013, 4:58 pm

    The author of this list has evidently eaten at a total of 13 BBQ joints (14 if you count the McRib). Your lack of awareness is stunning in its totality. I’m assuming that at least one other person had to sign off on this mess? Nat Geo I love you but you have failed miserably at the internet today.

  122. Chayna
    Orlando, Florida
    February 11, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Taste Bud Bliss…in Orlando, Florida is the best hands down. Unfortunately, it is not even a hole in the wall. Very, very small operation but I am from Texas and that is the best BBQ ribs I’ve ever had…especially the Ernie’s Gold (spicy mustard).

  123. DJ
    Mankato, MN
    February 11, 2013, 3:44 pm

    Southern Minnesota, the best BBQ is Hardy’s in Rochester,MN. Really good, really authentic.

  124. Dennis Pardick
    United States
    February 11, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Black Dog Smoke and Ale House in Urbana IL. THE BEST!!

  125. Jackie
    Raleigh, NC
    February 11, 2013, 3:00 pm

    All of your choices sound great; I wish I could try them all! I want to mention The Pit Barbeque in downtown Raleigh, NC and Lexington Barbeque in Lexington, NC.

  126. Joe Spake
    Memphis, TN
    February 11, 2013, 2:53 pm

    20% of the list is Memphis Bar-B-Q, yet you overlooked Memphis’s best – Payne’s Bar-B-Q on Lamar Ave. Check it out the next time you are in town.

  127. Tony
    Sweetwater, TEXAS
    February 11, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Big Boys BBQ in Sweetwater, TX is pretty good!!!

  128. Jared
    DFW, TX
    February 11, 2013, 2:15 pm

    How ‘The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint’ in Ocean Springs, MS (Won Regis and Kelly’s Ultimate Hometown Grill Off in 2010) and ‘Hard Eight BBQ’ in Stephenville, TX aren’t on here is beyond me. Two of the best and most unique experiences in BBQ.

  129. Chuck Jenkins
    United States
    February 11, 2013, 2:14 pm

    In reference to Ryan and others.
    I lived in Tennessee for years and in North Carolina. The bar-b-ques are way different. Some you can’t compare. The best I’ve had is in the State of Maryland. Nice sweet stuff. Event a joint like Chubby’s near Emmitsburg, where alot of Presidents and out-of-staters come for their queue. Or even Delaware, where BBQ chicken is a staple of their diet.

  130. Craig
    February 11, 2013, 2:13 pm

    These reviews are all subjective. After 40 years of pigging out on BBQ all over the US, the best is a tossup between Rosedale and Wyandotte.

  131. Joe
    Kansas City
    February 11, 2013, 2:09 pm

    I think there is a problem with making lists like these, there is no single BBQ joint that does it all great. OK Joes does burnt ends like nobody else, LC’s makes killer Rib Tips, Rosedale has amazing ham. The point is, they all do at least 1 dish really well, and the others range all over the place. The point is, you can’t make a list like this unless youre talking about 1 specific dish. And let’s be honest, there are only so many ways to cook meat, what wins you over is the sauce, and there are a thousand different ones to choose from. Now, stop dinking around on a blog and go get your fingertips greasy.

  132. Paul
    St. Louis
    February 11, 2013, 1:43 pm

    I can not believe there isn’t a mention of Pappy’s Smoke house in saint louis. I’ve eaten and enjoyed most of the BBQ on the list, Bryant’s was the fave for years, until Pappy’s.

  133. Joey
    February 11, 2013, 1:32 pm

    The list is horrible. You guys should be ashamed.

  134. Shannon Nicholson
    Flat Rock, NC
    February 11, 2013, 1:17 pm

    It’s difficult to whittle a list down to just 10, but 12 Bones in Asheville should be on there ( And if 12 Bones is there, Hubba Hubba Smokehouse (about 30 minutes away and even better tasting BBQ) should be there as well for their grass-roots, wood smoked pulled pork plates. (

  135. Winslow
    February 11, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Arthur Bryants is the best barbecue in the world. Oklahoma Joes has the best sauce, and some very good barbecue too. Corky’s is the Applebees of barbecue; very generic and average. I doubt this author has been to more than two or three of these bbq joints

  136. Simon
    Charlote, NC
    February 11, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Really? Interstate gets on the list? Probably one of the worst places I have been to. It was all very, very average with Rendesvous probably actually scoring better marks, and that place is inconsistency personified. Maybe they were sponsoring the taste test or something. And Corky’s #1? Not in a million. They have good barbecue but it is not the best by a long way.

  137. Alan
    Leawood, KS
    February 11, 2013, 1:11 pm

    While I agree with some, I must question the panel for having as many BBQ joints from New York as Texas. Lulling and Lockhart get no love?

  138. Barry
    St. Louis
    February 11, 2013, 1:06 pm

    I am from South Carolina and have tried BBQ in the famous Memphis, KC, and St. Louis spots. My favorite ribs are from a placed called Circle M BBQ in Liberty, SC.

    As far as pulled pork I’m not sure who gets the prize.

    As far as brisket BBQ, well, I need to go to Texas to speak on that.

  139. Joe
    Boulder Co
    February 11, 2013, 1:04 pm

    New york city? That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever freaking heard. Obviously written by a fancy city slicker from the east coast. Kansas city has the best and will always have the best freaking barbecue in the world. Also, why no mention of gates or rosedale barbecue? Down south y’all make your sauce too sweet, and back east yall make it too vinegar-y. In Kansas city they ferment their special sauce in the sun for days in order to cure and impart it with it’s important yet subtle flavors. KC BBQ owns face. End of discussion.

  140. Mark
    Los Angeles
    February 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

    Gates & Son’s in KC is the best BBQ on the planet.

  141. Rocky
    February 11, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Front Range Barbeque, Colorado Springs, is a real Alabama joint where “sandwich” means pulled pork, and its stage home to touring bands from across the world.

  142. Jon
    Long Beach, CA
    February 11, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Are you kidding? Without Goode & Co. in Houston, your list is without even a micro-measure of credibility!

  143. tim
    Dallas TX
    February 11, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Been to BarBQ around the country only one on the list Ive tasted was salt lick.. Cant wait to try the others.. Rock on

  144. brad
    February 11, 2013, 10:55 am

    Only one Texas BBQ joint? Salt Lick is OK, but Texas BBQ fans rate it behind all four places in Lockhart, Snow’s in Lexington, Franklin’s in Austin, City Market in Luling, and the restaurants in Taylor and Elgin. Not to mention the various Cooper’s and Mikeska’s with BBQ joints around the state. My favorite is the Mequite Bean in Merkel, Texas.

  145. Don
    Eastern NC
    February 10, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Skylight Inn is great BBQ. Their cornbread is also great. I love the end pieces.

  146. Lisa
    February 10, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Texas with one place along with NYC? WTH IS THE MATTER WITH U?

  147. Sebastian Dangerfield
    Boston, MA
    February 10, 2013, 7:52 am

    Firefly’s is suburban mall quality refuse. I like Blue Ribbon in Arlington, but have to admit Boston really shouldn’t place on this list.

  148. Kathy
    February 10, 2013, 5:31 am

    Corky’s is the worst choice, but I’m glad not to see the equally overrated Rendezvous on the list. There are top notch places in Tennessee like Edley’s in Nashvillle or the highly acclaimed Martin’s in Nolensville. Dreamland in Tuscaloosa is okay if you like a loaf of white bread with your dinner. If they’d offer cornbread instead…it would be fab!

  149. Stan
    Wichita, Ks.
    February 9, 2013, 9:39 pm

    I have been eating KC BBQ for 55 years. Okie Joe’s is the best. I have had them all, they rise and they fall, Joe’s is the best in 2013 New York City; give us all a break. You want the best you better move West and South young man.

  150. Lope
    February 9, 2013, 7:49 pm

    Gates BBQ kc

  151. Keith
    February 9, 2013, 10:40 am

    I couldn’t agree with Ryan and Kurt more. When you eat at Arthur Bryants, you pay for a name – when you eat at Gates, or OK joes, you pay for good BBQ!. And seriosuly – NYC? C’mon

  152. bbqcrack
    February 9, 2013, 9:25 am

    I had TN. Reds, pdx, a few years back and it wasn’t even in the ballpark. something change? KC BBQ! Okla. Joes, Gates, Bryants, Wyandot, Rosedale…

  153. Johnny (Texas Born & Bred)
    February 9, 2013, 8:26 am

    I agree with KCBS. U have 2 go 2 the Mecca of BBQ which is Texas. Central Texas 2 be exact. Staples that have been here 4 years. And speaking from a perspective of someone who has been stationed in the KC area & has had Arthur Bryant’s, there is no way it should have made this list. Some of the worst BBQ I have ever had in my life. OK Joe’s is great though.

  154. menders
    Columbus, OH
    February 8, 2013, 11:40 pm

    Used to live in KC, and had Bryants once. It was awful. LC’s & OK Joes were my favorites. Enjoyed Gates too. Jackstack was okay, not as good as it used to be according to some of my friends.

  155. BrashHulk
    Denver, CO
    February 8, 2013, 10:06 pm

    The original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa AL is a definite top 10 joint. It’s earthy, spicy sauce is ambrosia for those of us who don’t like choking on sugar when we eat our BBQ.

  156. Rebekah Henderson
    February 8, 2013, 8:59 pm

    Corky’s??? Are you kidding me. Memphis BBQ is awful. If you’ve ever had good Lexington, NC BBQ where the pork doesn’t taste like cardboard, you’d never think Corky’s was worth anything. And BTW, in NC, it’s almost never pulled pork. It’s chopped or sliced.

  157. Robert D
    Austin, TX
    February 8, 2013, 8:53 pm

    As a Texan this idiots list completely offends me. I agree with everyone else who has said the writer has probably never been to any of these places. For a real look at Texas BBQ I would like to redirect you here: It’s not my website but this man knows his Texas BBQ. I know all you others in great BBQ states must be just as offended as I am.

  158. Liza
    February 8, 2013, 8:46 pm

    Mmmmmmm, Salt Lick!

  159. Wade
    Chicago, IL
    February 8, 2013, 8:36 pm

    When it comes to Barbeque – Oklahoma Joe’s is simply outstanding. The burnt ends are heaven! I have never visited the place without a line out the door at either location – Mission or Olathe.

  160. Josh Smith
    February 8, 2013, 8:15 pm

    As a rule, I ignore anyone who thinks Gates makes good BBQ. But Oklahoma Joe’s and Jackstack are the best around.

  161. sean ikon
    United States
    February 8, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Jones Bar-B-Q Diner (219 W. Louisiana St., Marianna, AR)

  162. rl reeves jr
    austin texas
    February 8, 2013, 6:34 pm

    Reporting from the buckle of the barbecue belt: Austin Texas. 300 articles documenting our smoked meat scene

  163. Ken Lewis
    Maitland, fl.
    February 8, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Total joke of a list. Compiled by people who know nothing about BBQ. I agree with Oklahoma Joe’s.

  164. Chris
    February 8, 2013, 5:13 pm

    Lets see here…only one Texas BBQ on the list……Arthur Bryant’s gets praised for their super disgusting sauce and still beats out Oklahoma Joes in the rankings??!! I think it is safe to assume by the high level of inaccuracy that the the authors never actually went to any of these places.

  165. ra
    February 8, 2013, 4:59 pm

    Why would any place outside of the KC metro area even be on this list?

  166. Brendan
    February 8, 2013, 4:47 pm

    Who in the world wrote this list? Aurthur Bryant’s hasn’t been in the top 10 of KC BBQ for years and Neely’s has the same problem in Memphis. The under-representation of Texas is a complete joke. This is just sloppy and it feels like the editor demanded an article with broad regional representation rather than a list of the best American BBQ.

  167. Erik
    February 8, 2013, 4:42 pm

    Love that K.C. bbq, but where is Jack Stacks on the list. Thats my favorite.

  168. Linnie
    February 8, 2013, 4:06 pm

    What about GATES in KC?

  169. david
    san diego
    February 8, 2013, 3:59 pm

    been to all the Kc joints and pierces point. Love the sweet potato fries at p point. Must go to all 3. Salt lick is next. Test get that neely joint outta here and the new York spot.

  170. Ian
    Milwaukee, WI
    February 8, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Any top 10 BBQ list that has Massachusetts, NY, and OR on it is automatically suspect in my book. In fairness I haven’t been to any of those three places – but that’s a 3rd of your list! As a native Kansas Citian, I’ll try not to take this personally, but to only have 2 out of the top 10 to a Kansas Citian (a paltry 1/5th of the list) is like calling our baby ugly. No offense to BBQ royalty in Memphis, but Corky’s is not the best BBQ in the USA. I bet I could find five places in Memphis alone that are better. Go to KC and try: LC’s, Winslow’s, Gate’s, Jack’s Stack, Smokehouse, Quick’s, Rosedale, and Wyandot (I’m sure there are many more worthy of this list). Also, the Carolinas both called and said, “as the inventors of bbq to only have one place on the top 10 is a travesty.” I know folks in Texas have hurt feelings too (especially since NY, OR and MA are ranked higher than them! Ever heard of Stubb’s?), they’re just too proud to admit it. Where are these authors, the Landes from? Retract this article quick or people may start to doubt the integrity of National Geographic!

  171. Tim
    Olathe, KS (Suburban Kansas City)
    February 8, 2013, 3:51 pm

    How could Fiorella’s Jack Stack and Gates BBQ not make the list in KC?

  172. Rob
    Omaha, NE
    February 8, 2013, 3:49 pm

    Totally agree with Ryan. Oklahoma Joe’s is awesome! The NYC place must be a transplant.

  173. Mike
    Kansas City
    February 8, 2013, 3:37 pm

    OK Joes is good, but there are so many places in KC, I really don’t think they are the absolute best. Check with the people who live here and eat it all the time. You might be surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I love OK Joes, but expand your palette a bit.

  174. Kyle
    Kansas City
    February 8, 2013, 3:24 pm

    Arthur Bryant’s has three sauces: Original, Rich & Spicy, and Sweet Heat (the best of all IMO).

  175. Tuco
    St. Louis
    February 8, 2013, 3:17 pm

    No mention of Pappy’s or Bogart’s?

  176. John
    Kansas City
    February 8, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Okie Joe’s if far and away #1. When it comes to Memphis, how could you not include Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous?!?! Far better than Corky’s or Interstate. Despite being from KC, I’ve got to say Rendezvous has the best ribs in the world.

    Crap List.

  177. bryce
    kansas city
    February 8, 2013, 3:14 pm

    if anyone ever comes to Kansas City you must go to woodyard. THE BEST

  178. KCBS Certified BBQ Judge
    February 8, 2013, 3:14 pm

    I’ve eaten at half of these places. I’m a certified BBQ judge. I feel qualified to comment and my first issue with this piece is the lack of any of the Central Texas Brisket Belt staples. Robs the list of all credibility. Muellers, Kreuz, Snow’s, Franklin, Luling Market. One of these has to be on there or you have completely missed the point.

    And this comes from someone who came up on the two Memphis places you’ve listed. I gotta tell ya — Corky’s ain’t what it used to be and Aaron Franklin’s brisket belongs in that top spot. In fact for pulled pork you really could have eliminated Neely’s too and just replaced both with Whole Hog Cafe in Little Rock (how did you miss that one???). Best pork anywhere — bar none.

    With that said, yes, Oklahoma Joe’s are the masters of the glorious Burnt End.

  179. Ray Handley
    February 8, 2013, 3:11 pm

    My wife and I make a point of visiting BBQ joints wherever we go. We have visited #7 Oklahoma Joes and found it nothing short of outstanding. Our favorite is Bully’s Smokehouse in Edwardsville, IL now closed; their remaining store in Columbia, IL cannot compare. Other favorites include The City Market, Luling TX, and several others in the Texas Barbecue trail. It’s all good.

  180. chris
    kansas city
    February 8, 2013, 3:10 pm

    Gates BBQ

  181. Brian
    February 8, 2013, 3:08 pm

    This list is asinine. It should be called “the 10 BBQ places we heard about on the Food Network most recently”. Neely’s? Corky’s? That’s like putting McDonalds on a best burger list. Those places are chains that don’t smoke on site!!! Portland, Mass & NYC are repped ahead of anywhere in Texas? Are you insane? Virgils is an abomination! Ask anyone who knows BBQ, and they’ll tell you Hill Country BBQ in Lockhart, TX is top 3 in the world- and it might not be the best in town. I sincerely doubt whoever wrote this actually ate at these restaurants.

  182. Shane
    Portland, OR
    February 8, 2013, 3:00 pm

    This list is a disgrace. Tenessee Red’s isn’t even in the top 5 of Portland BBQ joints, let alone US. Further, OKJoes is the top BBQ place in KC. No question.

  183. Kurt
    Monroe, WI
    February 8, 2013, 2:56 pm

    I know that BBQ is completely subjective, but I feel bad for the person who has experienced so little good BBQ that they would include Jim Neely’s Interstate & Arthur Bryant’s on this list. These may have been great at one time, but now are just riding on the fame they garnered from being featured one too many times on the Travel Channel. Arthur Bryant’s is ok, Neely’s is some of the worst BBQ I’ve ever had. Oklahoma Joe’s is awesome, Corky’s is pretty good.

  184. Ryan
    United States
    February 8, 2013, 2:40 pm

    I’m sorry but a place from New York City should not be on the list of top 10 BBQ joints in the country. And to say that Oklahoma Joe’s in KC is “low on atmosphere” is completely false. Perhaps you should spend more time in Kansas City and Tennessee to try the amazing BBQ these places have to offer besides OK Joe’s, Arthur Bryant’s, and Neely’s.