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11 Best BBQ Joints in the Southern US

By: Cityseeker
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Thinking about taking a trip to explore the best BBQ the South has to offer? Get your planning started with this collection of the sweetest, tangiest, most delicious BBQ you'll ever try.


Central BBQ

Central BBQ is famous for slow-smoked barbecue served in what it claims to be the Memphis Style. This Downtown location is a favorite with professionals working in the area, and children, adults and senior citizens alike. Start your meal with an appetizer like BBQ Nachos and Smoked Hot Wings, then go on to enjoy a Beef Brisket Plate, Turkey Plate or a Ribs Platter that can be shared among two to four people. You can also opt for a combo platter or sandwiches in varieties like BBQ Bologna and Smoked Sausage. Do not miss the delicious cheesecake and Peanut Butter Pie for dessert. This eatery offers bulk packs and large meat trays for sharing among a group, and caters for private parties.

Memphis, TN, United States
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Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue is open only for lunch from 11a, till the time it is sold out, which is usually even before it opens. This is the reason you'll see a serpentine queue outside the restaurant right from 8a. However, the wait is well worth it because they serve some of the best barbecue delights that will have you craving for more. Absolutely try the pulled pork, ribs, sausages and brisket. They also have sandwiches, sides and desserts available, but it's for the chunky meat that patrons come here for.

Austin, TX, United States
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Gatlin's BBQ

Having won the Houston Press Best Barbecue award not once, but twice, Gatlin's BBQ can proudly boast of one of the best barbecue dining experiences in the city. Whether you are snacking on sandwiches, digging into plates of brisket and pulled pork or trying out a bit of everything with their sampling platters, the delicious smokey flavor of the barbecue never disappoints. Finish your meal with southern dessert specialties like Lemon Pound Cake and Peach Cobbler. All in all, this family-owned restaurant is a great place to go for a family dinner.

Houston, TX, United States
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Germantown Commissary

The space was formerly a small country store for over 90 years after which it was taken over in 1981 and converted into a barbecue joint. Since then, they have been a popular joint offering slow-cooked, hickory-smoked ribs and barbecue, prepared like the old-times in Memphis-style. In addition to meat dishes they also offer delicious sides like deviled eggs and potato salad, pig sticks to name a few. End you meals in true Southern-style with a banana pudding, a homemade delicacy very tasty. The place is simple and has enough room for a family dine in. Further wherever you are they have an excellent delivery service, just tell them what you want and it will be delivered. They also offer guests some great gift items like sauces, rubs, t-shirts and aprons.

Germantown, TN, United States
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Lexington Barbecue

Far from most townships, a visit to Lexington Barbecue is well worth the trip. Their slow cooked pork is prepared using a local method, and their special sweet-sour barbecue sauce is something that is exclusive to them. Try the chopped barbecue plate and hushpuppies for an unforgettable experience. The service is efficient, convenient and quick. Stop by for an authentic Lexington style meal.

Lexington, NC, United States
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Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn

A visit to Owensboro is incomplete for any meat lover without a trip to the famous Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn with its mouth watering spread of mutton chops, beef briskets, sliced pork, roast chicken among many others in an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet! Locals swear by this joint for its delicious variety of barbecue dinners, country ham, fresh salads and lip-smacking dessert options like cherry cobbler, pecan pies, peanut butter pies and moist, gooey brownies. The service staff is efficient and friendly and tries their best to provide diners with a memorable experience in this historic restaurant. Be sure to arrive at the joint early and line up, as the food flies off the plates as soon as the servers bring it piping hot from the kitchen! At under 15 dollars, it is arguably the best prime valued meal in the region with no compromises on the quality of food.

Owensboro, KY, United States
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Payne's Bar-B-Que

Highly acclaimed for the best chopped & pulled pork sandwiches and smoked sausages, Payne's Bar-B-Que outshines all others in Memphis. Succulent pieces of tender meat, perfectly marinated and slowly cooked for hours served with home-made bread will simply leave to spellbound. Scrumptious side of beans and a variety of sauces offer the perfect add-ons for a wholesome experience. Unpretentious settings and a limited menu await you at this exclusive restaurant where the focus is on all things BBQ.

Memphis, TN, United States
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The Greater Good Barbeque

The Greater Good Barbeque has outlets in and around Atlana. This family owned restaurant first opened in 2012, specializing in BBQ. Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken and Pulled Chicken are some of the customer favorites. They also offer catering services.

Atlanta, GA, United States
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B's Cracklin' BBQ

If you happen to be visiting Southside then do drop in at this family-run barbecue restaurant. They are popular for serving heritage breed pork, brisket, chicken and sides that are cooked in an oak-stoked smoker pit. Patrons can enjoy delicious meat dishes that are served with sides like collards and mac ‘n’ cheese. This is a simple laid-back joint with ample of space to enjoy a meal with friends or family. B's Cracklin' BBQ is a pretty popular joint with the locals and they have been named as one of South’s 50 top barbecue joints by Southern Living Magazine as well as Garden and Gun magazine.

Savannah, GA, United States
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Big Bob Gibson BBQ

Since 1925, Big Bob Gibson BBQ has been identified with some of the best barbecue in Alabama given their generous portions, sauces more delicious than anything you have ever tasted and reasonable rates. The restaurant setting is informal and the owner as well as the staff are warm and welcoming, lending it a comfy feel. The brisket, coleslaw, pork shoulder and pulled pork are to die for and even the desserts are simply irresistible. One can also purchase merchandise like barbecue baskets and kits, books, apparel and gift baskets.

Decatur, AL, United States
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Central City BBQ

New Orleans, LA, United States
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