Hungry? The best BBQ Joints in America (25 Photos)

The following list is in no particular order. Please feel free to chime in with your favorite and we'll do a 'Chivers Picks' on Thursday.

  • iron


    Great, now I'm starving

  • IrishInNJ

    #2 Been there, awesome place.

    • mellow

      BBQ in New York, this brought the LULZ

      • JackBurton

        It's great food. If you haven't realized you can get great food in any style in NYC.

      • IrishInNJ

        Have you been to NYC and tried the food? There is unlikely to be a bigger selection of all cuisines on the planet.

  • Lance


    With all the Chivers here in Syracuse, it's basically going to be a foot race to Dino's. wish me luck

    • derp

      fuckin love that place.. all of their bbq is damn good.

      didn't realize there was much of a chiver presence in syracuse.. guess I'm going to have to party there more often

    • Shooter McGavin

      I miss the Dinosaur like crazy! I moved to CO three years ago and there's nothing even close out here.

    • Peter

      Chive on from 'Cuse University! Go orange!

    • matt

      youre implying that youre in syracuse and didnt know about dinosaur bbq? the porksket sandwich? i drive in 5 hours from toronto for that place

      • Don

        There's one in Rochester – save 1.5 hours driving.

    • Trigemeny

      With all the construction downtown, by foot is the only way youre gunna get there …

    • Niitsitapi13

      Don't waste your time

    • Dale

      I'll take mine without the vomit please

    • Squiddie

      Been a long time since I've been there, and I still remember how good the food is. Wango Tango sauce on everything!

  • chiveninrhodeisland

    Im so friggen hungry

  • SantaFeTrain

    Been to all the Texas joints, and they're all good. But next time you're in Texas, go to Cooper's in Llano. You won't be disappointed.

    • chicago

      I liked Bone Daddy's. hot girls, in tight black, and great combos. huge servings.

      • chicago

        no bone daddy fans. oh well. they crew and I had a good time anyway.

        to be honest we hit the Twin Peaks 3x in Lewisville than going back to Grapevine.

        • @McBeastie666

          I think you're smokin' more than just your meats, man.

    • THCson

      Yes! Im from fredericksburg texas about 25 miles from Llano. Coopers is the best!! they one in ft. worth and New braunfels now also!

      • Whitney

        For some reason, the Coopers in New Branfels is just NOT the same as the one in Llano. Llano will always be the king.

    • SantaFeTrain

      Also Church Street BBQ in College Station.

      • dchiburg

        Junek's in Wellborn is better

    • RedRaider10

      Coopers is still my favorite.

      • kryptoidiot

        How are you include Kreuz Market and not Black's BBQ? Goddamn sacrilege.

        • South Texas Chivette

          Because Black's BBQ is like eating charcoal half the time, Kreuz's is consistently awesome

    • Jus10

      Coopers is overpriced hype.

      • bbq

        you don't know BBQ, or you havent been to the original in Llano

        • Csh

          The original is in junction. And they hate the llano/fort worth coopers.

    • The_Ger

      Sonny Bryan's in Dallas is pretty killer.

      • Guest

        Terrible, terrible BBQ. Please get out there and try some Texas BBQ, sir.

        • The_Ger

          I'm glad that you have an opinion, sir.

          • bbqrambo

            Sonny Bryan's is not bbq, it's fast food.

    • Underbaker

      For a chain store Rudy's around San Antonio puts out some good meat, But if you are around San Antonio I may have to give you a sample off my backyard smoker. One of these days when I grow a bigger pair I am going to throw in my IT hat and open my own restaurant.

      • MrStiggy91

        Definitely, Rudy's is incredibly good. In addition to BBQ, their cream corn is fantastic.

      • Guest

        If by around San Antonio you mean like 60 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado…that's like telling someone to go to Whataburger.

        Also, Goode Co. in Houston is shit, also a chain. I can think of at least 15 better places in Houston.

        • Tracy

          Do tell please. I just moved to Houston.

        • VWGTO

          I wish Houston had 15 good BBQ options! By the way, Smitty's in Lockhart is the best.

        • El_Hefe

          The original Rudys in Leon Springs is the best.. i worked there

        • Underbaker

          Well I haven't tried the Rudy's in those other location so I can't vouch for them, but the original in 1989 was the one in Leon Springs just outside San Antonio going west on I-10 has great meat and BBQ sauce. Even though chain stores try to copy the original, it don't always happen, saw that with Tom's Ribs in San Antonio, the Northeast (original) one was pretty good, the Northwest one off 410 by Jackson-Keller was awful, everything tasted burnt, even the beans.

    • Travis

      Exactly! I'm so happy someone pointed that out.

    • RedRaider

      When I drive from Houston to Lubbock (Wreck 'Em Tech) I will drive 2 hours out of the way just to go to Cooper's. That is some of the best BBQ you can find.

    • Seguin

      City Market in Luling – Some of the best BBQ in The Great State. Also Eddie's BBQ in Lubbock.

      • Underbaker

        Heard great things about Luling, need to take a short road trip one day and try them out.

    • matt

      Salt lick in Austin, also on your way to Houston in Katy there midway bbq.

  • Thomas

    Country Boys BBQ in Cashmere, Washington is pretty legit too!

  • martin


    I'm from St. Louis and even I have to give the nod to Franklin.

    • birdhaus32

      But Pappy's is so much better! About time we made it on theChive for something haha #22

    • John King

      Are you serious! If not Pappys then BogartsThey are the best hands down!
      John K St.Louis

  • Emily Celeste Gosling

    #5 is right by my boyfriend's house, guess I should try it. That sandwich looks fucking amazing!

    • chicago

      try the 3'fer. get the sliced briskette, the chopped is too greasy.

  • Rik

    KC makes the list 3 times!!! I feel like a BBQ aficionado!

    • the_mike

      I opened this with a raised eyebrow being from KC as well. Good to see we were well represented.

    • Ned Ryerson

      If it's not from TEXAS, it's not BBQ…

      • KCBBQ

        Sorry…only steers and queers come from texas….and I don't hear you mooing.

      • Matt

        You fucking pompous fuckers from TX still haven't figured out there are types of wood to smoke with other than Mesquite.

    • Jason D Sousley

      I kinda like how LC's wasn't on the list. That is ours not for outsiders.

      • KCBBQ

        Don't Forget Big T's

      • dieos

        another chiver knows LC's? dont let the secret out

      • JSt31

        From KC also and LC's is great, I put it up there with OK Joes. There is also a place in Spring Hill and Paola that are both killer. Love living in this area where there are hole-in-the-wall places with great BBQ

    • Tim

      and yet, no Gates on the list?

    • JLBugbee

      I agree from down in southern Kansas but I love the BBQ up there.

    • Jordanian Tomlinson

      Okie Joes – I am convinced those fries are seasoned with crack. KC is the land of BBQ after all.

      • JessieBelle

        OKJoe's FTW. Anthony Bourdain named it as one of the "Ten Places to Eat Before You Die" Along side, about 5 or so restaurants in France. The man don't play.

    • Smoke2Jays

      Thats because hands down, KC has the best BBQ!!! Fiorella's is my go-to for their lamb ribs, soo goodd!!!!

  • emini

    shameful to put some pretenders from ny and cali. dreamland bbq in tuscaloosa is the best. best bbq and best college football team

    • Rick

      Dreamland's is good but Archibald's (the original in the shack) are the best. You're right about the football though. RTR!

      • SmittyRN

        Ain't nothing like it baby! Though I gotta toss a big "War Eagle" in there.

    • JackBurton

      Get real sucka, Fette Sau is legit bitch.

    • Craig K.

      How is BBQ in NY or Cali pretending? Get over yourself.

    • kinglewie

      Dreamland all day! RTR!

    • Zack

      damn right. Im from California but I was touring campus in Tuscaloosa and holy damn those ribs are amazing. and, although I ended up going to Arizona State due to scholarship offers, my heart is still in Alabama. Roll Damn Tide!

      • Guest

        Golden Rule in B-ham. RTR!

    • URdazed1

      UR an ass if you think Dino BBQ can't hold up with southern BBQ. It's about the smoke and the love not the drawl or the weather.

  • Portlandia


    Scrolling through the list, i was going to flip my shit if Podnahs Pit wasn't on the list. Sanity restored.

    • Big H

      insanity, podnah's sucks

  • TC27

    Lexington BBQ is in Lexington NC, I live 1/4 mile away. Cant let KY have the credit. Just Sayin. CHIVE ON!

    • absolutcarcrazy

      Stamey's in Greensboro, NC. Best BBQ hands down. So good that even a couple of presidents have visited.

    • ROW

      Snow's BBQ is in Lexington Texas.

    • Tailingendloop

      Lexington is the place to go. Stamey's is good if you're already on High Point Road in Greensboro, but otherwise…. Oh, and order the Cheerwine.

  • Jesse


    just called Arthur Bryants to see how long the wait was, lines are busy. lol I wonder why

    • Dan

      lunch time?

    • Dave

      I went to Arthur Bryant's earlier this summer and was extremely dissappointed! The burnt ends had almost no flavor to speak of and they put so much sauce on everything you couldn't really taste anything but the sauce. There was no line and only four other cars in the parking lot (none with local license plates)

      Oklahoma Joes on the other hand was spectacular! There was a line out the door and around the building…

      • Ryan

        Oklahoma Joe's on mission, always packed with a line around the corner. Same thing in Olathe. We buy the sauce by the gallon for days we can't go there.
        The other 2 from KC are okay.

      • JLBugbee

        Okie Joes by far my favorite in KC

      • Ray Jackson

        if you went to the one by the legends thats why it sucks ass….gotta go to the original

        • basic

          True dat… if there isn't chain link between you and the guy with the loaves of bread, you are in the wrong one…

  • BGrimsleyII

    #12 I live in Syracuse, great great place. Gets my vote!

    • Shoofly

      So do I, and I think the quality has gone seriously downhill in the past few years. Disgusting. You'd never catch me eating there.

    • Guest

      They also have a Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester, NY

    • Niitsitapi13

      Went to SU. This place sucks. Meat is always dry.

  • Face Chicken

    Smoking Guns BBQ in KC is f'in amazing, should be on this list

    • KCBBQ

      Whereabouts in KC?

      • Salivating

        1218 Swift Avenue – north kansas city area

        • KCBBQ

          Thanks bro, ill check it next time im north of the river

          • Sunni

            I wanted this place to be good, but I couldnt get down on it. OKJoes reigns supreme.

  • Mark

    Lexington BBQ is in Lexington NC not Lexington KY

  • SWood

    Lexington BBQ is in NC

    • Kevdaddy

      It says nc u must have the wildcats on the mind

  • NC-CHiver

    #15 Lexington, NC. Not KY.

    Fanks 🙂

  • KCCONewEngland

    Red Bones in Davis Square in Somerville, MA has the best around…easily

    • jc420

      Red bones is great i grew up down the street from there but try sweet cheeks Q in Boston near fenway and also there's Lester's in Burlington ma which is the best i have had in Mass

      • jc420

        Anyone getting drunk in davis sq Redbones will sell you a plate of meat after the kitchen closes for like 5 bucks because they will have to toss it you'll easily get 3lbs of whatever they have left has saved me a hangover before

        • KCCONewEngland

          im going to have to try those places! awesome, thanks for the heads up man

  • Skeeter

    only one place in NC?! and that place aint even that good!

    • RibMaster

      Putting in posers from NY and CA just to keep the city folk appeased.

    • BBQ Slut

      B's BBQ in Greenville, NC and Starlight Cafe in Ayden, NC for ENC BBQ

      Stephenson's in Benson, NC for real deal fried chicken.

      If you don't know now you know

      • Tye


    • Pablo in Roseville

      I'm an Allen & Sons guy, myself.

  • Yosef

    BS list! Lexington BBQ is in NORTH CAROLINA, the home of BBQ. Also the Pit in Raleigh has no busines on this list. Check out the Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC.

    This list needs an edit.

    • Fuzziest

      Completely agree, there are at least 3 better places than the Pit in Raleigh alone, not to mention the rest of Carolina.

    • Reed

      I agree only go to The Pit for Fried Chicken. Which is still over priced.

    • bookmaus

      Dear to my heart – Parker's in Greenville, NC. I live in New Orleans now, and The Joint is a joke compared to most BBQ places I ate growing up in NC.

      • Courteney Poythress

        Parkers in Wilson and Greenville, NC!!

      • Mark

        Parker's in Wilson is good but McCall's in Goldsboro is The Best!

    • Alex

      Also 12 bones in Asheville nc by the river, best ribs ever

    • jbird

      17th st. #10 is the best of the best. but the one in o'fallon is not the best one. for that you gotta head south to murphysboro. i used to live in NC…but when i ate here, i got in my car, drove back to NC, and slapped my mom in the face for making me eat that swill at lexington bbq growing up.

  • echogeo

    Redbone's in Davis Sq. Somerville, Mass. Fried pickles, pulled pork, buffalo scallops etc…
    & a beer wheel if you have the stones to spin it! When John & the boys finally get the balls to visit Boston this is where we should start!

    • KCCONewEngland

      haha i agree! much better than Blue Ribbon in Arlington

      • sbro

        Right next to Tufts too

    • m.c.

      you guys should make the short trip to Tennessee's in Peabody. Damn good food. Redbones is good with a group, but if youre just up on the north shore for whatever, check em out.

      • KCCONewEngland

        noted, im going to try it out soon! thanks for the heads up!

  • Smithers25

    the smokin pig in Clemson, SC is the best I've ever tasted. Its a shame nothing from SC and only one from NC made this list

    • Euroranger

      I was kind of along the same lines. One place from Georgia (in Atlanta to boot) but places like Brooklyn, Portland, Philadelphia and Venice, CA are there? Not a peep about Alabama, Arkansas or Mississippi.

      Most all of these are big city locations and some of the best BBQ I've had has been in small southern towns. I don't mean to be a dick about it but when you list a spot as a top BBQ place and the reason why is because they serve beer by the gallon…well…just sayin' is all.

    • Egan

      Shealy's BBQ in Leesburg-Batesville is one of the best in the Carolinas.

    • Molly B

      Yay for Clemson!!! Although I have to admit that I've never heard of the Smokin Pig. : /

  • anguish

    Fuck.. Now I'm really hungry.. Glad to see Slow's on the list! #21

    • blaine

      Rub BBQ Pub in Detroit is another good place.

  • Way

    Off the beaten track in Texas is New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, Texas. Brisket and sausage are amazing….

    • John frm Ft Wrth TX

      YES!! I know this mythical place you speak of! I've eaten there 3 times. Incredible!

      • FWFrog

        I've heard of it. Franklin's in Austin is on my short list too. Not that Fort Worth doesn't have enough BBQ to keep me happy!

    • Aaron

      Damn right it does!

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