Texas claims it’s the home of barbecue. But according to a recent list on TripAdvisor.com, the Lone Star state comes in third behind Georgia and North Carolina. CNN affiliate WFAA went to a few well known barbecue joints in Dallas to get reaction from residents.
But the debate wasn't only flaring up in Texas. As soon as word of the list spread across CNN bureaus, our inboxes ignited with passionate missives from editors, anchors, producers and even members of our legal team stumping for their regional favorites.
Advocates for North Carolina (East and West), South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas all made passionate cases - which we'll share in the next few days - but we want to hear from you. Was the TripAdvisor list accurate in its selection of Georgia as the top 'cue destination, or would you suggest another?
Share your top regions and specific barbecue joints in the comments below (they must be open to the public - though surely your cousin Earl makes excellent ribs), and we'll assemble your picks and ours for a follow-up in the near future.
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Best bbq ever...was in.....Nyc. Small place in the Bronx
Texas BBQ is the best !
Think about this people, who want to act as if they know what is bet or worst.......
If you haven't eaten everyones Bar-B-Que, then you for a fact can not say what is best or worst......
But yet your opnion about a few that you have eaten makes your opinion correct.....
Is this what America has become, a bunch of propagandists...........
Hey...lighten up...This is just a BBQ Pep Rally...for 50 states.
Oh !!!!!!!!!!! Don't worry, I am very lightened up in this conversation of-a-sort, it's quite comical.............
I'm getting a kick outta reading everyones comments..........
I lived in Georgia for 9 1/2 years. You can't fling a stick in Columbus without hitting an excellent pork barbeque house. Every year they host the Pig Jig, a barbeque contest with entrants from all over the southeastern US. Country's BBQ, Mike and Ed's, and 13th Street Barbeque are three of the best places I've ever eaten in my life.
Eastern NC has the best BBQ! Parker ' s BBQ is my favorite.
Pssh... The best Barbecue is in India, you haven't had good beef ribs till you've gone to Apu's rib shack in New Delhi.
Sounds delicious! Parker ' s is pork BBQ...no beef there.So maybe Apu ' s is the place to get yummy beef ribs.
M E M P H I S
I've been around the country many times. My favorite food is bbq. Nobody does it like Memphis Tenn. So many excellent bbq restaraunts. I could never live there or i'd be too fat to walk. You can argue back and forth all you want but anybody that has had the fine bbq from Memphis Tennessee knows who has the best bbq.
I've been to all 50 states,and Texas has the best sauce type and brisket.
It's all so different, how do you compare?
I live in Atlanta and I've had great BBQ in Georgia - at the places that try to copy Memphis. If you want the best, you've got to go to Memphis, but you can get a fix elsewhere. Plus, you'll never get mad cow disease eating a pulled pork sandwich.
I can't believe KC isn't even mentioned in this article! You might as well believe the best bbq is in Romania.
1. Oklahoma Joe's (the original gas station)
2. Arthur Bryants (Jazz District)
I like Gates alot. They were incredibly friendly and polite, too, like all people I've met in K.C.
Fiorella's Jack Stack in KC along with the 3 above.
Say whaaaaaat?! I was raised in North Dakota, so I know!
Here's the list:
1) Best BBQ – Alaska
2) Best Seafood – Iowa
3) Best Mexican – Vermont
4) Dumbest News Story – CNN
That's what i'm talk'n about.........
You hit the nail stright in the core of this story and the people commenting on it.............
Love that North Dakotan Mexican food, too.
I've had BBQ in Texas, Georgia, Kansas City, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Korean, Costa Rican, Venezuelan, Chinese, and many more. I have lived in NC all my life and have had Eastern and Western more times than I can count. When someone asks which is your favorite? I respond all of them.
1. Austin, TX and surrounding area (Franklin and the Salt Lick)
2. KC (OK Joes)
3. An exxon gas station in Jackson, MS off of I-55 (exit 100). SERIOUSLY.
The only BBQ I've had in GA was Texas style. :) And it was delicious.
The American Royal BBQ contest in Kansas City is the "World Series of Barbeque"
Native Texan here. I've been in NC, GA, and KC, MO as well. They BBQ mostly pig out east; we do beef brisket in Texas, although you can get ribs (pork or beef). My experience of KC is they will BBQ anything (yeah) and they do it well.
NC BBQ sauce is quite vinegary. They even put coleslaw on the bun if you get the sandwich. Not for my taste.
KC has some excellent dry and wet BBQ techniques.
Texas sauces tend to be overly sweet.
My favorite BBQ place in Dallas is Soulman's BBQ. As per their slogan, "We are not stingy with the meat!" and they aren't lying. Brisket is neatly trimmed of surplus fat, moist, and does not require sauce (most others do to cover dryness). Sides are nice too. Some say quality and service varies from location to locations. Richardson and Garland operations are very good in my experience.
The original Sonny Bryan's BBQ on pit smokehouse on Inwood was awesome to go to. You had to get there before about 1:30-2 or you weren't going to eat. The place is thoroughly saturated with the wonderful scent of hardwood smoke, but not smoky. I won't set foot in the mall-based, all stainless-steel branches that have sprung up since Sonny died and the estate sold out the restaurant to some real pretenders. They changed the sauce from mustard/brown sugar/vinegar to the same old tomato-based sweet sauce every other pretender presents. I might drop in to the Inwood pit if I'm in the area.
Red, Hot & Blue BBQ offers up some tasty KC style BBQ in a bluesy decor. I like it better than Sonny Bryan and about equal with Soulman, for different style.
Risky's BBQ in Ft. Worth is worth checking out. Get those dinosaur bones (beef ribs) on AYCE night and experience the awesome service.
I don't understand the love for Soul Man's. Blandest BBQ I've ever had. Baker's Ribs - now that's some good BBQ, nice choice of sides, sauce isn't too sweet, and a variety of fried pies for dessert.
Texas style is the LEAST sweet, that's why I like it. Texas has the best brisket. South Carolina has the worst mustard-based sauce.
I've had Virginia BBQ once, and like the sauce.
I live in south Florida and the best bbq is Georgia style, hands down!
I think this is silly. You can pick best BBQ joints for sure, but the best state for BBQ is impossible. I've lived/visited and eaten BBQ in all of the states mentioned. Live in FL now and we have great BBQ here. It's all about the pitmaster and not where he's located.
Live in Dallas now and Texas BBQ in mediocre. Give me chicken or pork cooked with that good ol' vinegar based sauce you find in North Georgia or North Carolina. And while you are at it, send me a few pounds of Melvin's or Maurice's BBQ with the mustard sauce.
Texans can't cook biscuits or grits either.
Ummm...Maybe they don't want to.
I grew up in the Barbeque Capitol of the World–Owensboro, KY. I now live in WI–I've had other styles but nothing is quite like KY barbeque. Western KY Barbeque is unique. We specialize in mutton, but pork, ribs, and chicken are also popular. You can't visit Owensboro without a trip to Moonlite Bar B Q. The buffet is out of this world and allows diners to sample several meat choices as well as homemade sides and desserts. Another great spot is Old Hickory–no buffet but the food is just as mouthwatering. Give it a try–your mouth with thank you.
Has anyone ever had Bone Daddy's BBQ from Midland, MI? Now that's real BBQ not to mention they've wont the largest invite only BBQ competition in the world 3 times!!!! YUM!
NC?! I am sorry, that is the worse meat I have ever eaten. And it is certainly not BBQ!! salty, vinegar nasty mess. Never even seen a flame! Never had Georgia, so can't vouch for them. Memphis does have some good BBQ- But I am not a fan of dry rubs. Never tried KC area either but I hear its good. And I of course favor Texas! But there are many kinds of BBQ (except NC), and even in Texas the flavor varies greatly. Usually sauces get sweeter as one moves East in the state- But we don't judge BBQ by the sauce, It's the meat fools! And I don't go by Texas Monthly's top BBQ- most of there tops suck and are judged by some Austinite. Some of the better places are at the bottom of their list. Although I did hear the new place called Franklin's in Austin is good. The best BBQ I know is from 3 different private individuals in/ around Brown County, Texas. And for a truly unique experience, the free Labor day XIT rodeo and BBQ- All meet is donated locally and cooked in the ground for a day or so in burlap sacks. No knives provided! And really?! Once again NC does not have BBQ and should never ever speak of BBQ again in that state.
Sorry to break it to you, but barbeque was born in eastern NC. The Indians smoked fish over wood and called it "barbacoa." The Europeans figured out they could do it with pig – started smoking it and calling it barbecue – and the first pigs were in eastern NC.
The only reason Texas has barbecue is because beef became cheaper than pork in the 19th century – so they started making beef barbecue. Now they do it with propane grills and electric smokers – which is NOT barbecue. Only 1 way thing is barbecue – slow-cooked pork smoked over WOOD. That's barbecue. That's how it's cooked in eastern NC. Even you said it's not about the sauce. Texas just b@st@rdized barbecue when they got access to cheap beef.
And, I'm sorry to break it to you "Joe", but the word "barbacoa" does not come from Indians, but from the Mexicans in Mexico.....
"barbacoa" is a Spainish word from Spain, not from Indians....
Get your facts straight before you go off correcting people.
Sorry to break it to you "Willy", but you should do a little research before you correct people who are correcting other people. http://risingmoonnovel.webs.com/thefirstbarbacoa.htm
Because someone writes and article of their version of things doesn't mean that your correct......
So, go to a old century dictionary from Spain and loook up the word "Barbacoa" and you will see that the word is there in black and white.....
So, get your facts striaght "BRAD" ...................................
I don't need to read any article from the internet to educate me about where words originated from......
If you had to pay for your language history education, then you need to ask for a refund and report them to the "Board of Education"
Oh, I forgot to correct the rest of your statement in the secon paragraph....
Beef, Pork and Buffalo were present in Texas in the 18th and 19th century and are still present here in Texas.
And Indians and Spaniards cooked barbacoa and spaniards invented barbacoa and indians invented jerky....
You know absolutely nothing about where or how barbacoa and jerky was born....
Check this one out as well: http://www.tainosmokehouse.com/TainoStory.aspx
And, "BRAD" .........................
Read my first reply to your first reply to my first reply.....
You're close, Willy, but not quite. Barbacoa and barbeque both come from barabicu, a cooking method used by the Taino people of the Carribean, long before the Spanish got there. The word spread to different languages – barbacoa in Spanish, que in french, etc. As for where it started, it probably was introduced separately to both Texas through Mexico and Florida and other southern states through trade and cultural diffusion.
Yeah, because you just can't beat meat wrapped in burlap sacks...........
Remember when CNN used to be about great journalism?
Nope. I don't.
Whoa! BBQ is the "Holy Grail" of great journalism...Thank you very much.
Unfortunately, Texas tends to live on its reputation. Much of the BBQ here is prepared en mass, quickly, with little concern for quality. Nothing worse thn tough brisket. And, I agree with the comment above about Virginia- home of the best BBQ I've ever had . . .
If you haven't been to Sweatman's BBQ joint in Holly Hill SC then you are missing out. The location atmosphere and Q itself is what make this at least in the Top 10. Bourdain himself went to check it out on one of his SC trips. The cracklins, pulled pork and Carolina Gold all put them over the top. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Get you an all you can eat buffet and a large sweet tea, front porch sit'n and the best Q joint in the South. Sweatman's BBQ
I was born and raised in Texas. I've lived in Georgia and Tennessee. I've spent a lot of time in the other states listed. I've visited all the top barbecue joints listed in Texas Monthly. I cook a lot of barbecue. I compete in barbecue contests. Quite simply, Texas does not have the best barbecue. Texas cooks brisket. Brisket is the hardest barbecue meat to cook. And when it's cooked to absolute perfection, its pretty dang good. But there are only a handful of restaurants that can do that with any consistency; therefore, the vast majority of places serve dried out meat chopped for sandwiches. The reality is that Kansas City cooks the best beef barbecue. Memphis cooks the best ribs. The Carolinas and Georgia serve the best pulled pork. And five or six restaurants in Texas can serve good brisket. Going beyond that, pork is a superior barbecue meat when compared to beef. So Texas cooks the hardest barbecue there is...they can claim that.
Couldn't agree more to Cameron Carlile's comment. Absolutely correct in my opinion.
we got 5 or 6 excellent restaurants here around Austin that do awesome brisket. I'm guessing that Dallas and Houston have a few as well. Saying we only have a few worth eating is wrong. Brisket is just freaking hard to get right. Pork can be overcooked by 4 hours and still be flavorful(plus it's drenched in sauce). Brisket takes timing, good smoke, and good quality cows. Franklins, both Muellers(and even the sister), Snow's, Micklethwait and Stiles Switch all do an excellent brisket for lunch. Lots of other joints have given good brisket, but don't have the consistency every day the way these do.
You went to Dallas for the best Texas bar b que?!?!? Dallas?!?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?!?
People that rely on sugar and vinegar for bar b que to be good, sure, go to Memphis, Georgia, or the Carolinas. But for good meat that does not need a sauce, go to Central Texas (not Dallas, sheesh). Franklins, Blacks, or Schlitz.
The Barbecue Trail of Central Texas is certainly worth someone's time to navigate. My favorites are City Market in Luling, Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Louis Mueller in Taylor and Franklin's in Austin. After multiple visits, these three consistently perform.
Sonny Bryan's in dallas ain't bad. You need to add Kreutz to your Lockhart list. Cousin's in Fort Worth is my home place.
When was the last time you had Kreuz? Over the last few years, they have gone WAY down hill. The brisket will almost take a knife to eat now. Franklin's is awesome though, as are a lot of other Austin area joints. Lockhart and Luling have been passed over now. They live on reputation, not quality.
Get over yourself. Sonny Bryans in Dallas has a great Pigout Platter.
Barbecue derives from "bar-ba-coa" a Spanish word. "Boucaneers" or "Buccaneers would land on offshore islands and sometimes the mainland to smoke beef.
The best barbeque is still cooked in coastal areas near hardwood forests even today.
But what people argue about are sauces and rubs.
Some prefer simple au jus, and some tomatoey vinaigrettes.
But smoke, salt, peppers and sugar are most responsible for the deliciousness.
Born in TX, spent 2 years in middle TN, and now reside in MO. All great BBQ states. The one thing that probably hurts the T BBQ rating is that they mostly have beef brisket, whereas the other regions have more variety, especially pork.
Georgia has superior BBQ to most. It is what it is. Carolina BBQ is also a close second, so I concur. I would say the list goes #1 – Georgia/SC (Very similar)
#3 Kansas City
#4 North Carolina
To me, Texas BBQ caters to the palates of Texans. For the same reason, Baja style mexican food is better and a more authentic representation of the nation as a whole, where Tex Mex is just Americanized novelty food.
Not that Texas BBQ is bad, it is just not as good as that found in the Carolinas, Georgia and Memphis.... And I'm not just talking sauce here. Both North and South Carolina have a wide variety of BBQ sauces. SC being that honey/light orange style, which is different, but delicious...
I think the other regions, outside of Texas have a more versatile array of BBQ. You can eat at 10 places in Charlotte and have 10 different style flavors ans sauces, that may be similar, but not the same in any way....
Texans seem to get upset when anyone claims to do anything better than them.
Here is a better debate: HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL IS BETTER IN FLORIDA THAN TEXAS.... Want to watch some angry folks... just go around claiming that =)
Sauces? What the heck???!!! This article was about BBQ, not sauce. If you need sauce to cook or eat your BBQ, go up to the register and ask for a refund. You got jipped. Come to Texas, pick up the Texas Monthly and pick one of the top 20-50 places and go for it. Side dishes don't count, sauces don't count, and silverware is detested. Use your fingers and eat brisket from Franklins, beef ribs from John Muellers, and sausage from Micklethwait.
If you want pork, I guess you can leave the state, though you can find good pork here too. But for beef, the other states don't even come close.
Thats what I am saying, the Texas BBQ is catered to Texas folks. I.E. If you want pork, go to a different state. You can't claim the countries best if you don't cover basis. My top 5 list was about best BBQ food period. Not sauces. Not sides. Its about style and taste. And texas is in the top 5, just on the wrong end.
I've been to the best in Texas, which I consider Franklin's to be. KC has Oklahoma Joes, Jack's Stack, Arthur Bryant's, and Gate's all from one city and comparable to the best in your whole state!
Baja style is strictly coastal (that's why it's named after Baja California) and doesn't resemble the typical dishes of inland Mexico.
I am simply referring to the two regions that border this country. The Baja area, and the Tex-Mex area. In my opinion, the Baja style food and the SW style mexican food is much more representative of what you find around the entire nation, from TJ to Mexico City, including Mainland Mexico. Been everywhere down there. Tex Mex only represents one area. Just like Texas Barbeque.
I'm from Chicago and I love KC BBQ the best....
The BBQ gods have smiled on Luling, Lockhart & Taylor, TX!! The best you will ever have!!
The best Texas brisket is not in any big town. It's in small rural towns all over the state. One of the best is in Fulshear Texas. Doziers has won many barbeque cookoffs. In some towns it might be someone's ant Emma who cooks a bunch on the weekend and sells it to people in the town. Don't trust any chains or big joints, the quality goes down when you get to big. It's all about the smoke from hardwoods,pecan,hickory and oak and at least 18 hours of lovingly watched brisket. Enjoy.
Are you kidding! North Carolina or Texas or Georgia! No way! Home of best BBQ is in Kansas City, hands down!
The best is Memphis hands down. You have lays potato chips using Memphis Barbeque name, sauces galore and international BBQ festivals in Memphis with the Today show. Corkys is on QVC, sent Fed ex throughout the world and Neeleys who is no. 1 on the Food channel for BBQ. THe facts are indisputable- Memphis the KING OF BBQ
SHORT SUGARS in Reidsville North Carolina has the best barbecue you will ever eat. I have been to Texas and Georgia and there is no comparison, but of course everyones tastes are different. But Short Sugars isn't drenched in sauces.. you can taste the meat and it melts in your mouth..... Damn I am hungry now... Thanks CNN...
Kansas City, by far...
Don't know who this list came from but FRANKLIN BBQ in AUSTIN TX was voted #1 in the NATION. guess nobody in foodadvisory saw that.
Texans can't read either... It's Tripadvisor... SMDH!!
I saw that list and Franklin's is good, but Oklahoma Joe's was #2. The list of the best ribs in the country just came out and Ok. Joe's is #1, Arthur Bryants #2, Gates #4, & Jack's Stack #8.....all KC places...and before Franklin's at #9.
Some of more sugar based, some have more of a hickory or smoked flavor. I personally love them all. Bring on the BBQ baby!
Here in Denver, some just eat meat raw. The rest eat trail mix.
The best barbeque is my own and it is a lot cheaper.
I've lived in fifteen states, and Texas barbecue is definitely not the best in my view. Most of the time, it is comparatively dry and tough when it's brisket, though there are sources for more tender and moist barbecue around. I personally like Alabama barbecue the best as it's really smoked and shredded and incredibly tender, whether it be pork, beef, chicken, or fish. It's also not covered in a sweet, thick sauce so is lower calorie. I love the thick, dark red sauce, truth be told, and I don't know where it is best, but the meat should be tender and moist. Also, in Texas, they serve barbecue with potato salad that is basically mashed potatoes with too much mayonnaise and almost like a thick soup–yuck! I'd much rather have chunky, firm potatoes with lots of green onions and other good stuff and not too much sauce. That's healthier and tastier. As for the slaw, I like it in Alabama where it is a lightly sweetened vinegar sauce. I also like slaws that have a lot of different crunchy veggies and a light mayonnaise based dressing, nothing artificial or overly heavy.
I'm with you on that!
Texas BBQ is the best. All others drench their meat in sauces. It's a crime here in Texas to do that. You want to taste the meat not just a sauce....
Texas has the best brisket and short ribs... by far. No contest. But when it comes to other types of BBQ (pulled pork, sausage, etc.), other southern states can make their claims.
They can have that pig BBQ.
Best barbecue is too vague. Considering each region is known for different cuts of meats and not even the same animal...
I grew up in Alabama, lived in Tennessee and Texas and now live in NC (for 15 years) and I can tell you BY FAR Texas and Memphis have the BEST BBQ. I'm not sure why or how but these North Carolinians think their vinegar-based mess is awesome...it's disgusting and I actually spit it out the first time I tasted it. Anyone who calls that mess BBQ has no palate. Give me some awesome brisket or some ribs from Texas or Memphis and I'll be a happy camper.
Briskett I had in San Antonio tasted like dog food, it had the texture of rubber. I did spit it out and only ate the sides for dinner.
Memphis Tn – you all know we have the best but no one wants to give us credit! If you don't believe me – come down to Tom Lee park this weekend for the International BBQ cookoff! The Today Show knows it! They were broadcasting live from there a couple of years back. We have the best pork BBQ by far and are World Famous for it too. Most of our restrauants that showcase BBQ have been know to ship orders all over the world. Sorry VA but your paragraph is the first I have ever heard of BBQ in VA and I lived there in Norfolk for 3 years.
Are you kidding me??? Georgia BBQ is ok....Top 5 maybe. I lived in Texas for several years and their BBQ is way over-hyped...good meat but terrible sauce. Memphis bbq is better than both Texas & Georgia...but that still only makes them #2. For there can be no doubt that the best BBQ in the country is in KC! Who are these CNN voters anyway? They need to check into the Food Network and the Travel channel....those people know where the best real BBQ is.
The reason why the sauce is "terrible" is because sauce is not something that belongs on TX BBQ. You obviously have not been to a real TX BBQ place bc some authentic places do not even serve sauce & look at you stupid if you ask for it. I'm not a native Texan but I love the BBQ here and all the cool "off the beat in path" places that serve it! You need to seriously get out more.
That's what I'm talking about dude!
Yeah what your talking about talking about is called Grilling and/or smoking because it's not BBQ without the BBQ sauce!
You're right, Texas doesn't rely on BBQ sauce to make it's BBQ good, we actually use delicious meat, which if you smoke right doesn't require any sauce at all! Go to Franklin's BBQ in Austin and then try to say that any other state has better BBQ.
Ha, this is what I just said! Black's in Lockhart is awesome too. And of course, Cooper's in Llano.
Franklin BBQ may be great, but you can't base the BBQ of an entire state on one BBQ joint. Come on now!
True, Franklin's might be the best, but there are at least 5 other joints here in Austin that put out brisket that is 99% just as good and moist. Salt, pepper and smoke. Anything else tends to diminish the experience. Franklin's is still the best, but they are expanding, and that makes me nervous. I remember when Salt Lick had good BBQ. Then they went commercial. It's a downhill journey. I'm hoping franklin's doesn't decline, but if he does, we still have a bunch of locals to take his place.
Agree! KC is the mecca of BBQ.
Close, but no cigar.
KC does have some good "Q", but the torch has been passed acros the state to St. Louis.
"Pappy's" BBQ is a class by itself.
We regularly see license plates from a dozen states in the parking lot. Once, as we drove around waiting for a place to park, we saw over 20, and that didn't count the cars from Illinois, since it's just across the river!
Get there early, because the line regularly goes out the door and out on to the sidewalk.
The "regular" rib sauce is good, but it Really Doesn't Need Sauce!
The rub is that good.
Remember: "The Sauce Is On The Side, Because There's Nothing To Hide".
Leonard's in Memphis, TN. Elvis' favorite place. We had leftover ribs the next day, cold, and they were so good that we called them "pigcicles."
BEST BBQ hands down is on 22nd St./5Th Avenue...NYC...Hill Country BBQ, taken from....Texas Hill Country of course! NC/TN/SC doesn't have anything on NYC...we've got 'em all beat hands down and we'll slap you into oblivion if you think otherwise!!
I've heard of that place. Def going to try it out next time I'm in NYC!
Been there. The one in D.C., too. It's only good when you're homesick. If it was here, you wouldn't go.
American barbecue was invented in Virginia and it is the Old Dominion that has the longest, albeit not the strongest, barbecue tradition. We've been doing it the longest and Virginians perfected the art before most of the states in our beloved Union even came in to existence! We don't need to crow about it and we don't care if anybody else knows that it is here in the Commonwealth where America's best barbecue is to be found! But the fact is. . .Virginia barbecue is the best!
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