The United States is a big country, and that means there are a lot of barbecue restaurants to choose from. But which ones are the best? Thanks to this excellently researched travel blog post from Southern Living that counts down the 50 best barbecue restaurants in the Southern United States, there’s never been a better time for a barbecue road trip. From Texas to Tennessee, these restaurants will satiate your cravings for slow-cooked barbecue, savory side dishes, and southern hospitality. So whether you’re looking for ribs, pulled pork, or brisket, be sure to check out this list before your next BBQ road trip.
There’s no denying that the South has some of the best barbecue food in the country. The following are just a few of the reasons why the South has the best barbecue in the United States. First, the proof is in its history. Barbecue has been a part of Southern culture for centuries, and it’s something that locals take great pride in. When it comes to barbecue, the South simply knows what they’re doing. Secondly, the flavor; southern barbecue is all about slow-cooking meats over low heat to get that perfect balance of smoke and flavor. This cooking method lets the natural flavors of the meat shine through, and results in some of the most delicious barbecue you’ll ever taste.
Thirdly, there are the excellent side dishes. No Southern BBQ meal is complete without a heaping helping of coleslaw or baked beans on the side. Lastly, the hospitality is simply unmatched. When you eat barbecue in the South, you can expect to be treated like family. Whether you’re at a casual roadside stand or a fine dining restaurant, southern hospitality will make you feel right at home.
If you find yourself in Texas wanting to seek out some excellent barbecue, you’re in luck. The state is home to some of the best barbecue restaurants in the country. Franklin Barbecue: Located in Austin, Franklin Barbecue is widely considered to be one of the best barbecue joints in Texas (and the country). The line to get food here can be long, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Elsewhere in Texas, be sure to check out the Pecan Lodge. A favorite restaurant of Dallas, the Pecan Lodge has won numerous awards for its delicious barbecue, and its notable brisket. Lastly, Texas has Killen’s Barbecue, which is located in Pearland (just outside of Houston). Killen’s Barbecue has been voted one of the best barbecue restaurants in Texas by multiple publications.
Mississippi has no shortage of excellent barbecue restaurants. In particular, one of the prides of the state and Ocean Springs, Mississippi is The Shed Barbecue & Blues Joint. This restaurant has been serving up some of the best barbecue in Mississippi for over 25 years. The Shed is known for their pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, and they also have a great selection of sides and desserts. Located in the Mississippi towns of Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Ocean Springs is Murky Waters Blues and BBQ. This restaurant is also a vibrant blues club that serves up an authentic Mississippi atmosphere alongside its world-class smoker.
If you’re looking for some of the best barbecue in Arkansas, look no further than Sims Bar-B-Que in Little Rock. While the original restaurant was started in 1937, the modern-day Sims is still satisfying customers with its world-famous Sims Bar-B-Que Sauce. Check out Sim’s pork shoulder, as it’s slow-cooked to perfection and smothered in a tangy, slightly sweet sauce. Another can’t-miss barbecue destination in Arkansas is Whole Hog Cafe, also located in Little Rock. As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in whole hog roast, and it’s definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of pulled pork. The meats are smoked over hickory wood for hours until they’re perfectly tender, and the resulting sandwiches are absolutely awesome.
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