amazing BBQ in USA: Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, Charlottesville, Virginia

Amazing BBQ in US

For this article I initially wanted to list amazing BBQ in US dishes, like best ribs and best brisket. After reaching out to some travel friends and receiving their responses, I decided to list amazing BBQ in US places, and sometimes a description of bbq dishes.

I am in the mood for a grand road trip: the McCool Amazing BBQ in US 2017 Tour. Please provide other suggestions in the comments. I mean really, there are no KC or Memphis places listed. Tell me your most amazing BBQ in US!

This topic reminds me of a few years ago when I published two travel articles with some of my favorite BBQ signs. Please see 8 Great BBQ Signs and 8 More Great BBQ Signs.

Amazing BBQ in US

Rick of MidlifeRoadtrip.TV (Instagram : Twitter) suggests Archibald’s BBQ in Northport, Alabama

Archibald’s BBQ, in Northport, is a small cinder-block shack built in the backyard of the property of owner, George Archibald, Jr. It’s been in business for more than 50 years. The restaurant isn’t much to look at, but I dare you to drive past it with your windows down and not stop in. The aroma is absolutely seductive. The ribs are basted only with water as George believes in letting the smoke do most of the flavoring. The ribs are served with George’s secret vinegar base sauce that’s so good that you wouldn’t hesitate to drink it straight from a shot glass. There is a reason that Archibald’s BBQ has been featured in USA Today, Southern Living magazine, and on “Good Morning America.”

amazing BBQ in US: Archibald's BBQ in Northport, Alabama.

Archibald’s BBQ in Northport, Alabama. Photo credit: MidlifeRoadtrip.TV

Pam of (Facebook : Twitter) suggests Texas Lil’s Mesquite Grill in Temecula, California

In the middle of Historic Old Town Temecula, California sits a rustic country home-style restaurant called Texas Lil’s Mesquite Grill. Fantastic BBQ selections include chicken, steak, and pork, with great side dishes as well. It is not a luxury dining experience, however, it is fun to enjoy a great BBQ meal in a casual setting. Tip: Order a glass of their sparkling wine to make it an #Always5Star experience. Cheers!

Amazing BBQ in US: Texas Lil’s Mesquite Grill in Temecula, California

Texas Lil’s Mesquite Grill in Temecula, California. Photo credit:

Carl of Travel Through Life (Facebook : Instagram) suggests Barbecue Center in Lexington, North Carolina

I don’t want a debate about which part of North Carolina has the best, but the chopped pork and red slaw at Lexington’s Barbecue Center are responsible for my favorite experience. Waitresses walk around offering hushpuppy or bread refills—and if you can handle more, order a gargantuan banana split that’s a meal in itself. Bonus points for those who can snag a seat near the pig statue, as I’m batting zero in that department.

Amazing BBQ in US: Barbecue Center in Lexington, North Carolina

Barbecue Center in Lexington, North Carolina. Photo credit:

Gemma of (Facebook : Twitter) suggests Green Mesquite in Austin, Texas

One of my favourite things to do in Austin, Texas (I’ve been twice!) is eat BBQ and my top of the pops joint to do so in is Green Mesquite Barbeque & More in Barton Springs. The day after Craig and I eloped in Austin, we hit up Green Mesquite to feed the wedding hangover—pork, chicken, brisket (I’m not a fan!), and my favourite: mac ‘n’ cheese! I know, crazy, going to a BBQ shop and eating pasta but the server did tell me that they are renowned for the white stuff! Craig is a massive meat eater, and he loves sauce!

Amazing BBQ in US: Green Mesquite Barbeque in Barton Springs, Texas

Green Mesquite Barbeque in Barton Springs, Texas. Photo credit:

Julie of (Facebook : Twitter) suggests Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville, Virginia

You can’t beat the outstanding ribs and pulled pork sandwiches at Monk’s BBQ in the country town of Purcellville, Virginia. Order the delicious mac & cheese and a big hunk of cornbread on the side and you will not be disappointed. People also rave about the brisket and Monk’s offers an excellent selection of Virginia craft beer on tap. The casual interior and deck are perfect for relaxing after an active day and the Washington & Old Dominion Bike Trail is just 1/4 mile away.

Amazing BBQ in US: Monk's BBQ in Purcellville, Virginia

Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville, Virginia. Photo credit:

Laura of (Facebook : Instagram) suggests Campfire BBQ in Seattle, Washington

My absolute favorite BBQ in the U.S. is from a chuck wagon food truck in Seattle, called Campfire BBQ. I’ve never had more flavorful, perfectly smoked brisket than this. The meat is locally-sourced and of very high quality, but then they add the peppery spice rub and long, slow wood-fire smoking and it’s just melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The owner always piles the plate high with slabs of brisket, homemade German potato salad, and bacon cornbread. It’s irresistible.

Amazing BBQ in US: Campfire BBQ in Seattle, Washington

Campfire BBQ in Seattle, Washington. Photo credit:

Thank you travel friends for these amazing BBQ recommendations. I hope to visit them all, maybe on one long BBQ themed road trip. Who is in for that one?



Here are some of my favorite amazing BBQ places in US.

James Brown’s Famous Flames in Avon Park, Florida served the largest and maybe tastiest pulled pork I have ever had. I stopped in for lunch during a road trip and gushed over the sandwich and peach cobbler. James told me, “that’s nothing. Ya gotta come back for the ribs.” Indeed, I do.

amazing bbq in US: James Brown's BBQ, Avon Park

James Brown’s Famous Flames, Avon Park, Florida

Jack’s Bar-B-Que in Nashville, Tennessee has won numerous awards for their BBQ sauces, which were delicious and fun to try with their combo meat platter. The place is so good that three Mennonite farmers (father and two sons) had their only meal out in a year (they told me) here. They let me take a photo of them perusing the menu board.

amazing BBQ in US: Jack's BBQ, Nashville, Tennessee

Jack’s Bar-B-Que, Nashville, Tennessee

Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas serves amazing slow cooked, pit BBQ in the Texas Hill Country. The place is cool, huge picnic tables in an old school Wild West setting. Try a sampler platter, as I did, with ribs, brisket, and sausage.

Ace Biscuit & Barbecue in Charlottesville, Virginia scored with their incredible brontosaurus ribs. The collard greens were tasty but the hash browns were a surprising side order. They also have grits. stewed apples, and fried green tomatoes. I cannot believe I have only been to Ace one time. I really must return. Maybe I will even try one of their highly rated sausage biscuits.

amazing BBQ in USA: Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, Charlottesville, Virginia

Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, Charlottesville, Virginia

Three Li’l Pigs BBQ in Daleville, Virginia quite possibly serves the best pork spare ribs I have ever had from a restaurant. The only thing keeping their St. Louis style ribs from a perfect McCool rating is the rub is pretty salty. The rib meat, though, is phenomenal. Every time.

amazing BBQ in US: Three Li'l Pigs BBQ in Daleville, Virginia

Three Li’l Pigs BBQ in Daleville, Virginia

While researching this article, I discovered that one of my favorite BBQ places closed last year. While I am sad to hear the news, I am glad to have visited it. Many times. So, get out there and support your favorite ‘Q joint or find a new BBQ place. Oh, and let me know about it, if it is amazing. Because I am still on the lookout for the most amazing BBQ in US.

Tell me your favorite amazing BBQ in US.

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Amazing BBQ in US was published October 18, 2016

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13 Responses to “Amazing BBQ in US”

  1. Brianna October 20, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    Salt Lick is hands down the best BBQ I’ve had. For Carolina-style BBQ I adore High Cotton in Kill Devil Hills in the OBX.

    • McCool Travel October 21, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

      Oh, yeah, High Cotton has some pretty good ribs. I have been to the one in Duck.

  2. Connie Reed October 19, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    These all look so good. I love great barbecue. One of my favorites is Missouri Hick in Cuba, MO. I don’t like to do a lot of repeat restaurants when we travel, but Missouri Hick is an exception. We eat there whenever we travel thriugh area, down I-44, once or twice a year.

    • McCool Travel October 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

      Thank you, Connie. I must remember Missouri Hick for my next road trip in that area.

  3. Reginia Cordell October 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    I had every intention on doing a BBQ Tour this passed summer. I wanted to cruise through Memphis, Little Rock, Houston, and Austin. I only made it to Styles ‘n Switch in Austin. If you’re ever in Little Rock again, you have to try Sims BBQ.

    • McCool Travel October 18, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

      Sims in Little Rock. Gotcha. Will do my best to get there in 2017.

  4. robert jordan October 18, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Try the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas. It’s been around for about 1/2 a century at least.

    • McCool Travel October 18, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Salt Lick is a great one. That is why I listed it. Thank you.

  5. Gemma Two Scots (@TwoScotsAbroad) October 18, 2016 at 9:20 am #

    Ah good to see mac ‘n’ cheese elsewhere!! Thanks for featuring us.

    • McCool Travel October 18, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

      Really! I should do an article on amazing mac & cheese around the US.

  6. Duke Stewart October 18, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    I didn’t know about Jack’s in Nashville but will have to go back and try it. Edley’s is good there and home to one of the most interesting concoctions I’ve ever tried – Frito Pie. Basically it’s brunswick stew served in a Frito’s bag. I really have to get to Texas and try their bbq. That pic by Gemma has me hungry!

    • McCool Travel October 18, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      Thank you, Duke. I might swing by and pick you up for my next road trip tour of the South.


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