For this article I initially intended to list amazing US BBQ 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 include a description of bbq dishes.
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!
Amazing BBQ in US
Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur, Alabama
“When I mentioned we were planning a bbq tour of the USA, so many people recommended Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur, that I couldn’t ignore them. I am so glad we made the trip into Alabama to visit this renowned bbq joint, because it turned out to be the all-round winner out of the 20+ places we tasted bbq on our trip. The bbq chicken, basted in their famous Alabama white bbq sauce, was tender and tangy. Their coleslaw was a vinegary delight. And don’t even get me started on the quality of their pies (we tried both the coconut cream pie and the peanut butter cream pie) – make sure you leave room for them! The over all experience, price and quality of the food made Big Bob Gibson BBQ the most memorable and tasty bbq stop of our tour.”
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.””
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!”
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.”
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!
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leave a #COOLinary comment and tell me your favorite BBQ in US.