This Is the Top-Rated BBQ Restaurant in Your State

Best BBQ Restaurants by State

In honor of National Barbecue Day (May 16), we wanted to track down the best barbecue restaurant in each state. To gather our data, we turned to customer reviews on Yelp. Whether you’re looking for your state’s tastiest brisket, sausage, pulled pork, or side, you can find it all on this list.

You don’t even need to take our word for it. We’ve included a customer review for every restaurant on the list so you can hear directly from satisfied patrons.

Did your favorite smokehouse or rib joint make the cut? Keep reading to find out.

Methodology

To find the top-rated barbecue restaurant in each state, we looked up which restaurants had the highest reviews on Yelp. We limited our search to restaurants in the three most populous metro areas in every state.

The customer reviews we’ve included also came from Yelp.

The ultimate BBQ road trip

Road map for the ultimate BBQ road trip

Barbecue is all about going big or going home, and we know that any true barbecue connoisseur wants to try the best barbecue the country has to offer. That’s why we planned the ultimate barbecue road trip.

The route we’ve planned crosses through five states—each with famously good barbecue—and takes you directly to the best joint in each one. All told, the road trip is roughly 1,090 miles long and takes a little over 16 hours of driving time.

If you power through and drive the maximum recommended 500 miles every day, you can knock it out in about two days. However, you’ll be driving through the historic South, so you should take your time and do a little sight-seeing while you’re passing through.

Besides, you’ll probably need some extra time to digest between each helping of brisket.

Stop 1: Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, Atlanta, GA

Stop 2: Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Birmingham, AL

  • Distance from stop 1: 147.4 miles
  • Estimated driving time from stop 1: 2 hours 16 minutes

Stop 3: The Pig & Pint, Jackson, Mississippi

  • Distance from stop 2: 242.3 miles
  • Estimated drive time from stop 2: 3 hours 34 minutes

Stop 4: The Joint, New Orleans, LA

  • Distance from stop 3: 192.9 miles
  • Estimated drive time from stop 3: 2 hours 58 minutes

Stop 5: Pecan Lodge, Dallas, TX

  • Distance from stop 4: 507.5 miles
  • Estimated driving time from stop 4: 7 hours 29 minutes

Want to plan your own BBQ road trip?

If you don’t have time to travel to these southern states, keep reading our list to see what first-rate barbecue restaurants are closer to you so you can plan your own barbecue road trip.

The top-rated BBQ restaurant in each state

Alabama

Winner: Saw’s Soul Kitchen, Birmingham

Rating: 4.5 stars, 782 reviews

What the people say: “I could eat here everyday. Whole fried okra, bbq chicken sandwich, sweet tea fried chicken, pork and greens….. I could go on and on about this menu. Eat here and eat here often!!!” –Caroline R., Birmingham , AL

The runners-up:

  • Joe’s Again Buffalo Wings & Rib City, Montgomery
  • New Orleans Lunchbox Restaurant, Huntsville

Alaska

Winner: Zerelda’s Bistro, Juneau

Rating: 4.5 stars, 48 reviews

What the people say: “Zerelda’s Bistro is the best. Every meal has been incredible. Never disappoints.” –Laurel S., Juneau, AK

The runners-up:

  • Oak Smoke BBQ, Palmer
  • Bear’s Belly BBQ, Palmer

Arizona

Winner: Little Miss BBQ, Phoenix

Rating: 5 stars, 2,398 reviews

What the people say: “A+++ Best bbq and sides ever. I love the fatty brisket and grits. Also the pie was amazing.” –Ben M., Grand Blanc, MI

The runners-up:

  • Smokey Mo, Tucson
  • Jalapeño Bucks, Mesa

Arkansas

Winner: Wright’s Barbecue, Johnson

Rating: 4.5 stars, 290 reviews

What the people say: “the brisket. the ribs. the beer. the little tiny cookie. that potato salad. i love it. i love it all, so very much. i want to eat it every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” –Kylee H., Springdale, AR

The runners-up:

  • Cathead’s Diner, Little Rock
  • KJ Sushi & Korean BBQ, Fayetteville

California

Winner: Phil’s BBQ, San Diego

Rating: 4.5 stars, 13,999 reviews

What the people say: “Yeeee haw, Phil’s is the staple of how I judge BBQ places. I’m on a quest to find the best BBQ, so far nobody beats Phil’s.” –Peter S., San Diego, CA

The runners-up:

  • Gen Korean BBQ House, San Jose
  • Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong, Los Angeles

Colorado

Winner: Kitchen Table: BBQ & Comfort Food, Denver

Rating: 4.5 stars, 536 reviews

What the people say: “Absolutely fantastic food with smiling, happy servers who are lightning fast. Great atmosphere in a really cool and interesting neighborhood!” –Pat W., Perry, MI

The runners-up:

  • Roaming Buffalo BBQ, Denver
  • Boney’s BBQ, Denver

Connecticut

Winner: Walrus Alley, Westport

Rating: 3.5 stars, 365 reviews

What the people say: “Culinary inspiration through their full menu and nightly specials paired with the highest caliber of live music and staff sets a high bench mark in modern gastro. Do yourself a favor and try it out.” –Alana S., Pound Ridge, NY

The runners-up:

  • Drumstik Bar-B-Q, Bridgeport
  • Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, Stamford

Delaware

Winner: Mission BBQ, Dover

Rating: 4.5 stars, 121 reviews

What the people say: “Super friendly staff, clean bbq restaurant. Brisket has great flavor and lots of fun sauces to try.” –Kami B., Millville, DE

The runners-up:

  • Russell’s Quality Food, Wilmington
  • Limestone BBQ and Bourbon, Wilmington

District of Columbia

Winner: Federalist Pig

Rating: 4.5 stars, 560 reviews

What the people say: “BEST BBQ EVER! Good prices for great food. The only issue is that it’s a very tiny place so sitting down to eat is difficult, still worth going too.” –Heather H., Brooklyn, NY

The runners-up:

  • Succotash – Penn Quarter
  • The Alibi

Florida

Winner: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Miami

Rating: 4 stars, 1,324 reviews

What the people say: “This is my favorite Korean BBQ spot to go to. The prices are reasonable they have an amazing happy hour, the drinks are delicious, and the Matcha Crepe Cake dessert is a must at the end. I always leave this place stuffed. I go there 2-3 times a month. Super good!!!” –Ivana J., Miami Beach, FL

The runners-up:

  • The Bearded Pig, Jacksonville
  • Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que, Tampa

Georgia

Winner: Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Atlanta

Rating: 4.5 stars, 3,691 reviews

What the people say: “Best mainstream BBQ in Atlanta hands down. Great service, extremely quick order to food at table.” –Eric B., Union City, GA

The runners-up:

  • Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta
  • Wiley’s Championship BBQ, Savannah

Hawaii

Winner: Gen Korean BBQ House, Honolulu

Rating: 4 stars, 2,774 reviews

What the people say: “Best all you can meat Korean bbq I’ve ever been to. Get there before 5 if you don’t want to wait. The lines get long. Delish.” –David W., Omaha, NE

Idaho

Winner: BBQ4LIFE, Boise

Rating: 4.5 stars, 483 reviews

What the people say: “This is BBQ at it’s best. Great vegan options. Terrific service, fast delivery. Fun servers. Amazing experience.” –Otto C., Webster, NY

The runners-up:

  • Goodwood Barbecue Restaurant, Meridian
  • Texas Roadhouse, Meridian

Illinois

Winner: Smoque BBQ, Chicago

Rating: 4.5 stars, 4,106 reviews

What the people say: “Smoque BBQ is one of those classic bbq joints where they offer beef brisket, bbq chicken, and all those amazing sides.” –Ranillo R., Chicago, IL

The runners-up:

  • Steamboat BBQ, Wheaton
  • Green Street Smoked Meats, Chicago

Indiana

Winner: His Place Eatery, Indianapolis

Rating: 4.5 stars, 293 reviews

What the people say: “Amazing soul food! Restaurant is very clean and the service was excellent. Cobbler and pudding were top notch.” –Jenn C., Dundee Township, IL

The runners-up:

  • Madera Tex-Mex BBQ & Tap, Indianapolis
  • Hank’s Smoked Briskets, Indianapolis

Iowa

Winner: Flying Mango, Des Moines

Rating: 4.5 stars, 343 reviews

What the people say: “Outstanding! That’s really all I need to say. The food is all great. Ownership is hilarious. Service is great. You must try the red beans and rice. Best in town. Melt in your mouth brisket. Killer deserts. Slap your face off cornbread. Just come here and eat.” –Kyle T., Waukee, IA

The runners-up:

  • Jethro’s BBQ, Des Moines
  • Smokey D’s BBQ, Des Moines

Kentucky

Winner: Eli’s BBQ, Newport

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,187 reviews

What the people say: “Huge sandwich, overflowing with meat. It’s got that Smokey flavor, doesn’t even need sauce but I add sauce, because I love the sauce!!! The Mac and cheese is the bomb, made from scratch and I highly suggest adding some elis sauce in that too!” –Melissa S., Marion, OH

The runners-up:

  • Mck’s Chicks, Covington
  • Montana Grille, Bowling Green

Louisiana

Winner: The Joint, New Orleans

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,249 reviews

What the people say: “Best bbq in the city. Ribs are absolutely delicious and leave you wanting more. Brisket is also very good. Can’t wait to come back and try something else” –Yee Y., Pembroke Pines, FL

The runners-up:

  • Blue Oak BBQ, New Orleans
  • Boucherie, New Orleans

Maine

Winner: Salvage BBQ, Portland

Rating: 4 stars, 323 reviews

What the people say: “Best barbecue joint in Portland! Great food options, huge local and craft beer selection, plenty of seating for parties of all sizes. If you like BBQ you will love this place.” –Scott D., Dover, NH

The runners-up:

  • Moe’s Original BBQ, Bangor
  • Noble Barbecue, Portland

Maryland

Winner: Chaps Pit Beef, Baltimore

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,187 reviews

What the people say: “This place is the best, the food is so good, you can’t go wrong, it’s all really, really good. I have dropped in 3 times and it has always been great. These guys got it down” –John A., San Francisco, CA

The runners-up:

  • Blue Pit BBQ and Whiskey Bar, Baltimore
  • Black Hog BBQ, Frederick

Massachusetts

Winner: Theodore’s Booze Blues & BBQ, Springfield

Rating: 4.5 stars, 525 reviews

What the people say: “Best BBQ in western mass by far. Awesome bartenders and great selection.” –Trevor D., Springfield, MA

The runners-up:

  • Cana Korean Restaurant, Chicopee
  • Smokestack Urban Barbecue, Worcester

Michigan

Winner: Slows Bar-B-Q, Detroit

Rating: 4 stars, 2,043 reviews

What the people say: “Great BBQ! The American Dream brisket sandwich is the bomb diggity!!! The sides are amazing. Fast friendly service. ” –Rick N M., Huntington Beach, CA

The runners-up:

  • Two Scotts Barbecue, Grand Rapids
  • Daddy Pete’s BBQ, Grand Rapids

Minnesota

Winner: Colita, Minneapolis

Rating: 4.5 stars, 252 reviews

What the people say: “My absolute favorite restaurant in the city hands down. Amazing food, great drink program.” –Blake W., Minneapolis, MN

The runners-up:

  • FireBox Deli, Minneapolis
  • Smoke In The Pit, Minneapolis

Mississippi

Winner: The Pig & Pint, Jackson

Rating: 4.5 stars, 724 reviews

What the people say: “Among the best BBQ in Jackson. The brisket nachos and half rack are incredible. Show up especially hungry, as the servings are massive.” –Harrison Hayden P., Arlington, VA

The runners-up:

  • One and Only BBQ, Southaven
  • Murky Waters Blues & BBQ, Gulfport

Missouri

Winner: Q39, Kansas City

Rating: 4.5 stars, 4,036 reviews

What the people say: “The burnt ends are fantastic, the onion straws are also fantastic. Have yet to have bad service here, and it is very easy to get in assuming that you make a reservation the day before.” –Brandon H., Oklahoma City, OK

The runners-up:

  • Salt + Smoke, St. Louis
  • Sugarfire Smokehouse, St. Louis

Montana

Winner: The Notorious P.I.G. BBQ, Missoula

Rating: 4.5 stars, 437 reviews

What the people say: “I’ve made BBQ. I eaten BBQ all around the states and hands down this is the best BBQ I’ve ever had! The sauces are amazing and the quality of meat is top notch.” –Kim B., Ben Lomond, CA

The runners-up:

  • Smoked, Great Falls
  • Blue’s BBQ, Billings

Nebraska

Winner: Smokin Barrel BBQ, Omaha

Rating: 5 stars, 74 reviews

What the people say: “The brisket is hands down the best brisket around. I haven’t had the pulled pork yet, but the ribs and sausage are very good too. Get there early. They run out of the good meats early.” –Wesley H., Millard, Omaha, NE

The runners-up:

  • Phat Jacks, Lincoln
  • Swine Dining BBQ, Bellevue

Nevada

Winner: Gangnam Asian BBQ Dining, Las Vegas

Rating: 4.5 stars, 3,758 reviews

What the people say: “I love this place! They have amazing food and amazing workers! Every time I come here I leave full and satisfied with the service!” –Kat D., North Las Vegas, NV

The runners-up:

  • Rollin Smoke Barbeque, Las Vegas
  • Hobak Korean BBQ, Las Vegas

New Hampshire

Winner: Beefside, Concord

Rating: 4.5 stars, 225 reviews

What the people say: “A cozy down-home place that’s got a well deserved-reputation for great barbecue and seafood.” –Jerry C., West Medford, MA

The runners-up:

  • Smokeshow Barbeque, Concord
  • Ranger’s BBQ, Nashua

New Jersey

Winner: Hamilton Pork, Jersey City

Rating: 4 stars, 443 reviews

What the people say: “Now I see what all the hype was about: good and prompt service, bomb food, rustic vibe & casual atmosphere – can’t think of a single thing I’d change about the experience.” –Kristina B., Jersey City, NJ

The runners-up:

  • Buffalo’s Chicken Shack, Wood-Ridge
  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Newark

New Mexico

Winner: Asian Pear, Albuquerque

Rating: 4.5 stars, 274 reviews

What the people say: “The food is a five. The service is a definite six. It is truly unparalleled. The place is pretty small but cheery and friendly. I enjoy the spicy beef special and recommend it if you like a bit of spice.” –Timothy S., Renton, WA

The runners-up:

  • Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q, Albuquerque
  • Vick’s Vittles Country Kitchen, Albuquerque

New York

Winner: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Rochester

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,340 reviews

What the people say: “Great food and great music. This place is great. The food comes out very quick and is delicious, and they get some of the greatest bands.” –Dave P., Newark, NY

The runners-up:

  • East End Tavern, Rochester
  • Pies-n-Thighs, Brooklyn

North Carolina

Winner: Midwood Smokehouse, Charlotte

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,811 reviews

What the people say: “Fabulous barbecue and brisket! I loved the salad with barbecue on top, sweet potato fries and fried okra. There were many other sides from which to choose.” –Cheri F., Raleigh, NC

The runners-up:

  • The Pit, Raleigh
  • Seoul Food Meat Company, Charlotte

North Dakota

Winner: Laughing Sun Brewing, Bismarck

Rating: 4.5 stars, 84 reviews

What the people say: “Their location and atmosphere are fantastic. Great beer selection – try them all! And the food was really good too. Super quick in and out if you’re looking for a quick bite and a beer. Their brisket is super tasty!” –Celebrity E., Bismarck, ND

The runners-up:

  • NoBull Smokehouse, Fargo
  • Texas Roadhouse, Fargo

Ohio

Winner: Eli’s BBQ, Cincinnati

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,187 reviews

What the people say: “Probably the best BBQ I’ve ever eaten ANYWHERE! I’ve had St Louis, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas. Nothing compares. The pulled pork is done so well.” –Jeff A., Cincinnati, OH

The runners-up:

  • Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, Columbus
  • Smoked on High BBQ, Columbus

Oklahoma

Winner: Burn Co Barbeque, Tulsa

Rating: 4.5 stars, 329 reviews

What the people say: “The bbq is unmatched and the price is even better considering the quality and amount of food you get. The staff is very friendly and helpful atmosphere is wonderful.” –Rashad H., Augusta, GA

The runners-up:

  • Knotty Pig BBQ, Burger & Chili House, Tulsa
  • Leon’s Smoke Shack BBQ, Tulsa

Oregon

Winner: Podnah’s Pit Barbecue, Portland

Rating: 4 stars, 1,438 reviews

What the people say: “Perfection. The beef ribs (when available) are the most tender, flavorful I’ve ever had. Anywhere. The pork ribs are just dandy as well.” –Troy L., Portland, OR

The runners-up:

  • Fire On the Mountain, Portland
  • Matt’s BBQ, Portland

Pennsylvania

Winner: Sang Kee Peking Duck House, Philadelphia

Rating: 4 stars, 858 reviews

What the people say: “Delicious duck! Three of use enjoyed the whole Peking duck along with Peking ribs which were really pork chops in a sauce. We added gluten-free beef and cellophane noodles. Spectacular Saturday lunch!” –Jeanne E., Fort Washington, PA

The runners-up:

  • Mike’s BBQ, Philadelphia
  • Fette Sau, Philadelphia

Rhode Island

Winner: Wow Barbecue, Providence

Rating: 4 stars, 127 reviews

What the people say: “Excellent barbecue with a variety of skewers. The meat is tender and the veggies are boiled prior to grilling, making them very flavorful. The prices are fair and it’s an excellent treat for folks who are fans of northeastern cuisine.” –Cecilia C., Walnut Creek, CA

The runners-up:

  • Lekker BBQ, Providence
  • Bonetown Burgers & BBQ, Cranston

South Carolina

Winner: Swig & Swine, Charleston

Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,247 reviews

What the people say: “Excellent BBQ and great sauces! Nice selection of beer as well. All the meats are delicious. Sides are unique and very flavorful. Corn pudding is amazing.” –Kristine S., Tampa, FL

The runners-up:

  • Lewis Barbecue, Charleston
  • Southern Belly BBQ, Columbia

South Dakota

Winner: ROAM Kitchen Bar, Sioux Falls

Rating: 4.5 stars, 52 reviews

What the people say: “Great food and service! The building is beautiful. We appreciated the roaring fire in the stone fireplace on a snowy, windy night!” –Deborah M., Bedford, MA

The runners-up:

  • Texas Roadhouse, Sioux Falls
  • Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, Sioux Falls

Tennessee

Winner: Central BBQ, Memphis

Rating: 4 stars, 1,693 reviews

What the people say: “The #1 bbq spot in Memphis! Easily the best wings and bbq nachos in Memphis!!! I always bring friends and family to this BBQ spot first, and recommend it to clients. Reasonable prices, awesome staff, and amazing bbq!” –Lindsay S., Memphis, TN

The runners-up:

  • Sweet P’s BBQ Downtown Dive, Knoxville
  • Blues City Cafe, Memphis

Texas

Winner: Pecan Lodge, Dallas

Rating: 4.5 stars, 4,860 reviews

What the people say: “Worth the wait in line. Delicious BBQ. The sides are great. Service is quick and efficient. They are always packed but I am always able to find a seat. Live music on the weekends.” –Katie W., Dallas, TX

The runners-up:

  • The Pit Room, Houston
  • Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Houston

Utah

Winner: R&R BBQ, Salt Lake City

Rating: 4 stars, 1,273 reviews

What the people say: “I mean if you want some mean bbq this is the place. Their brisket is so bomb. I am in love with their brisket tacos which require at least 3 napkins so you know they’re good. Peach cobbler is to die for.” –Megan S., Salt Lake City, UT

The runners-up:

  • Pat’s BBQ, Salt Lake City
  • Yeah Hot Pot & Grill, West Jordan

Vermont

Winner: Bluebird Barbecue, Burlington

Rating: 4 stars, 389 reviews

What the people say: “Best bbq in Burlington. They have an outstanding smoked Old Fashioned I can’t resist.” –Patrick C., San Diego, CA

The runners-up:

  • Tom’s Loft Tavern, Ludlow
  • Smokey’s Low And Slow, South Burlington

Virginia

Winner: Cutlass Grille, Chesapeake

Rating: 4.5 stars, 465 reviews

What the people say: “Amazing authentic Jamaican food. The jerk chicken was so juicy and falling off the bone. Flavor all the way to the bone the greens where amazing and delicious. The owner and head Chef come out and was greeting everyone amazing customer service will come back often.” –Nova L., Menifee, CA

The runners-up:

  • Mission BBQ, Virginia Beach
  • My Mama’s Kitchen, Norfolk

Washington

Winner: Harbor City Restaurant, Seattle

Rating: 4 stars, 1,604 reviews

What the people say: “Simply one of the best restaurants in the international district.” –Gretchen B., Seattle, WA

The runners-up:

  • Cham Garden Korean BBQ Buffet, Lakewood
  • Kau Kau Barbeque, Seattle

West Virginia

Winner: Dem 2 Brothers and A Grill, Charleston

Rating: 4.5 stars, 277 reviews

What the people say: “If you’re looking for great barbecue, look no further. Awesome food and service. Haven’t gotten a disappointing meal yet. A great hidden gem.” –Hillary H., Charleston, WV

The runners-up:

  • Woodburn Shanks Pit BBQ, Morgantown
  • Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em BBQ, Huntington

Wisconsin

Winner: Ono Kine Grindz, Wauwatosa

Rating: 4.5 stars, 449 reviews

What the people say: “Ono Kine Grindz is the best restaurant in Wauwatosa. I’ve been going there since 2009 and almost every experience I’ve had was memorable and beautiful.” –JaffaKan .., Milwaukee, WI

The runners-up:

  • Beef Butter BBQ, Madison
  • Smoke Shack, Milwaukee

Wyoming

Winner: HQ BBQ, Evansville

Rating: 4.5 stars, 196 reviews

What the people say: “I am beyond excited we have this place in our new town! BBQ is so good. Big portions, good staff, great beer. You rock HQ!” –Megan S., Laramie, WY

The runners-up:

  • AB BBQ, Cheyenne
  • Texas Roadhouse, Laramie

Conclusion

We may not be able to dine in right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate National Barbecue day correctly. Order delivery or takeout from your state’s best barbecue joint (or one of the runners-up) and treat your whole family to some first-rate meat, sauce, and sides.

Want to see what else we’ve said about your city or state?

We don’t just write about barbecue restaurants and moving companies. If you want to read other things we’ve written about your state or hometown, check out these articles:

About Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is a professional writer with a degree in writing studies and over three years of copywriting experience. He previously worked at Overstock.com, where he wrote about furniture, home decor, and moving. Joe has moved all over Utah, so he knows his way around a moving truck—and he spends his time (and money) expanding his personal library so it will be even heavier next time he moves.