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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If it ain't pork, it ain't BBQ.
Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City...best ribs I've ever tasted.
Gotta agree!! Best I've ever had! Anthony Bourdain even said Oklahoma Joe's "is the best BBQ in Kansas City, which means it's the best in the world." KC BBQ is by far the best....Memphis dry rub and Carolina BBQ are tied for second in my opinion..
Agree with Carla! Oklahoma Joe's in KC is the best!
NC East BBQ is the best. What some people in here don't know, and that which is obvious to NC, is that east BBQ is vinegar based and western BBQ is tomato/bbq sauce based.
There is no other BBQ like in NC!
Amen. I've posted it on here several times, but the word barbecue comes from the Indian term "barbacoa." It's how the cooked their fish by smoking it over wood. The Europeans, who normally cooked meat by boiling, started smoking pigs over wood – and called it "barbecue" from the Indian term. That was born in Eastern NC.
To me, there's only one thing that's truly barbecue – pork that's slow-cooked over wood. Best BBQ places in NC cook it that way.
Best BBQ in the world is Stamey's in Greensboro NC. I have been all over GA trying to find a substitute. It does not exist. Having BBQ with BBQ Slaw and Hushpuppies with onion. YUM YUM. The peach cobbler is good too.
I particularly like the barbecue in North Carolina, but that's my personal opinion. There is excellent barbecue throughout the South - and, if you ever go to my home state of Oklahoma, I can't recommend Wild Horse Mountain Barbecue enough. It's just south of Sallisaw on, yes, you've got it, Wild Horse Mountain.
The best barbeque isn't identified by state or city, rather by street. 17th Street Barbeque to be exact. Go to Murphysboro, Illinois to experiance and EAT the best ribs, brisket and links out there. Tater salad ain't bad either.
How is North Carolina # 2 with zero Top 10 resturants? Im born and raised in KC "best city for cue". I lived in North Carolina for 3 years...nothing not worthy about there cue. It is just ok! I will give them creativity for adding cole slaw to pulled pork sandwich!! Everytime I visited a BBQ joint in NC the sauce wasn't a sauce at all. What sauce doesnt stick to what your eating? Every condiment we use as americans sticks to what we eat....! Never ate gergia BBQ so no comment there and Texas is good! Kansas City is the BEST!
NC barbeque need not hide behind a sugar sauce. The BBQ is the display item and how its cooked. The NC sauces are just to hop the flavor up a bit. Keep your KC masterpiece off my BBQ.
KC Masterpiece sauce is not true KC BBQ. That sauce was created by someone who thought it was a good idea to make a sauce and call it "KC Masterpiece" and make millions doing it. Nothing more and nothing less. There WAS a restaurant "KC Masterpiece" in Kansas City, key word "was"....it couldn't compete with all the other premier BBQ joints in town.
I had the best ribs I ever tasted in downtown KC MO. Anybody can be edible or even delicious, but those were heavenly and divine. It's hard to describe how they were simply not in the same league as anyone else's ribs I've ever had. It's a disservice to those KC ribs to even compare them to other ribs. It's like comparing American pizza to real Italian pizza. (Those who have been to southern Italy and have had real italian pizza know what I'm talking about. It makes the "NY vs Chicago" debate pretty irrelevant.) So yeah.. gotta talk about KC if you're gonna talk about BBQ.
Barbecue is subjective, personal and debatable. The thing about these lists is that they are formulated by conglomerating the opinions of a few different writers and pushing them together. The Barbecue Rankings Tour, on the other hand, travels the country with the same palate meeting barbecue owners and trying barbecue around the country. I've been to 175+ restaurants since October. My book will be out this fall, but I hope you'll follow the journey at http://www.barbecuerankings.com
Eastern NC – vinegar based BBQ
YESS!!! the best
Not a mention of Kansas City? Really?!!? Ever heard of the American Royal World Series of BBQ? It is in Kansas City because it is considered a hub & have therefore been hosting the World Series since 1980....way before the reality television shows started. But KC folks respects ALL good bbq and love the competition. So I will not ever put anyone or an entire city down, but at least mention KC on the list. Show some respect!!
NC is BBQ Mecca. Oldest colony(of places mentioned)? And so you get it right, we have three styles of BBQ. 1.Western style-tomato based, thick sauce. Can by spicy. 2. Eastern style-vinegar based sauce. Thin, tangy, rarely sweet, sometimes spicy. 3. Lexington style(pretty much the middle of the state)-It is a combination of the two sauces. It is heaven.
SC has the mustard crap. Not us!
Its all relatively speaking. Good BBQ is many places; too hard to define "The best"
By the way, give me a plate. Many BBQ places in Texas have you order by the pound and place on butcher paper and serve with a slice of white bread as kind of an "authentic BBQ" gimmick. That said many places are hyped up; and don't make me ever wait in a line for more than an hour for BBQ.
It is a matter of what your personal taste... that the best... and you are 100% correct...
I am not a fan of the mustard based Q found in South Carolina...That is why I always go to Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ. Their ribs are tops in my book! http://www.hometeambbq.com/
Western NC is where it's at. If you are ever traveling 74 toward Shelby, Red Bridges BBQ is worth a stop. Or if you choose, you can also get some good BBQ at Alston Bridges in Shelby.
Yes! Oh, how I love Bridge's BBQ.
RED Bridge's. Need to clarify :)
So glad to see Red Bridges BBQ in Shelby put in here – it is outstanding. I'm native to that area but now live in Eastern NC – and live around some great BBQ places. But I grew up on Bridges BBQ.
Pete's BBQ Ayden NC, same sounds and smells for decades. As soon as you enter the door;sometimes after waiting patiently in line outside, you can see the man chopping away behind the counter. Fresh BBQ pork smell is coming from the smoke house adjacent to the restaurant. People from all walks of life are mingling as they slowly approach the counter. Then you hear third generation Bruce Jones snap a five pound paper bag open as he fills it with a large slice of Cornbread, a pound of FRESH as you see it being chopped BBQ and excellent slaw. $12 and will feed three easily.
Back in the day you could bring your soda bottle with you to trade in for a new one!There is a bunch of photos in a framed case on the wall ranging from Billy Graham to the Man Eats World dude. A very simple yet delicious experience. Consistency is their main ingredient with keeps people coming back ritualistically
i agree, that is our first stop for over 30 yrs. BBQ is about the meat and how its cooked. If you must put sauce on it what are your tasting meat or sauce? NC Ayden the best. Will be there in Sept.
Exactly – I posted Pete Jones BBQ in Ayden as the best place on here early in this discussion – and I agree. While I've eaten great BBQ in many pliaces, Pete Jones BBQ cooks it the original way – the only way – slow smoked over WOOD.
Here ya go, the undisputed truth about bbq.
You want ribs? Go to St. Louis, ok Memphis too if you prefer dry rub.
You want pulled pork, brisket, burnt ends? You end up in Kansas City.
Thats it. 3 cities can lay claim to BBQ capital and those are them.
While my Texas born and bred upbringing says TEXAS of course but what we are doing is comparing apples to oranges. I have had the distinct pleasure of trying several of the places that folks have mentioned in this thread of comments. Each region has its own special style and technique that is central to that region hence the apples to oranges. In Texas we aren’t as prone to BBQ sauce so our specialty is making it so good it doesn't require sauce (okay I did misbehave and pull the Texas card). But I've been to Memphis where they like a wet rib although not my taste it was still good. In the Carolinas they prefer a vinegar/mustard kind of mixture which is just nasty but again not what I grew up with. Now bang for my buck in this great state is two of my all-time favorites Zimmerhanzel in Smithville and Gonzalez Meat Market in Gonzalez. And as for Georgia REALLY!?!?!
After living in West Virginia much of my life (our focus up there is beans n corn bread) moving to the Randleman area in NC it was a culture shock when it came to the bbq restaurants. We do more of the Tennesse style bbq as to down here its all vinegar based. Not to say it's a bad thing; well at your first try it is. But after you get the taste for that, and the rest of the fixins to go with it; it's actually one of my favorite meals now. North Carolina bbq has zing, spice, flavor, and tenderness to it that the other brown bbq just cant achieve. So while its not my favorite its in my top three. BBQ is a way of life it doesn't matter what state you live in, if you enjoy bbq, grilling, and smoking as much as I do it doesn't matter where your from, it's about what comes off of that grill, and how it taste.
Montani semper liberi
North Carolina is where the best BBQ can be found and can be incorporated into a trip to the Crystal Coast. If you're headed to the coast and coming from western NC, a stop in at Lexington BBQ is a worth the stop. Known as " The Monk", they offer western style pulled pork BBQ (western style is made with a red based sauce) which is worth getting a pound or two to take home. Continuing towards the coast, a stop at Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro is a must... This eastern style BBQ is made with a vinegar based sauce and once again is worthy of getting several pounds to go. There is also Parker's Barbecue located in Wilson which is worthy of having a taste comparison with Wilber's. More info on all these can be found at lexbbq.com, wilbersbarbecue.com and parkersbbq.com.
The World Championship Bar-B-Que contest is now underway in Memphis. I no longer eat barbeque outside Memphis because it only leads to disappointment.
The Memphis competition wishes it were The American Royal Competition in Kansas City.
Never heard of it. The Memphis bbq cooking contest is huge with several hundred teams competing. Today show usually broadcasts from there each year.
If you haven't had bbq from Memphis then you really can't argue about who has the best. Once you've had some, you'll know who has the best.
You are basing your article on trip advisor. Really, why dont you ask a real food critic. Thanks to social media now everyone with a keyboard thinks they know good food. Half the people who post in there have no clue what they're talking about. Now for Bbq, what people do in other states doesnt count as real BBQ. Its great grilling, dont get me wrong there are some incredible grillmasters out there. Now if you want some real oak smoked brisket you gotta find yourself a Texas Pitmaster. Oh and please forgive us Texans for enjoying our countryside, flare, and food, instead of posting about it like a bunch of trained zombies.
Reblogged this on mottled memes and commented:
+1 for Texas having the best BBQ
Scott's BBQ in Hemingway, SC. Plain and simple, it's hands down the best true barbeque in the country!
Fresh Air BBQ in Jackson, Ga – my family's favorite since 1929 !
Who knew Georgia even had BBQ??? I've never had BBQ outside of Memphis that I actually enjoyed, so I'm going with Memphis BBQ as the top dog here.
Perhaps you need to get out more. Georgia has truly excellent BBQ (pork, tomato-based sauce). Peaches (RIP) in Milledgeville was my favorite. It closed, so I moved. :) Work has taken me to Virginia, so we now find our BBQ at Pierce's Pit in Williamsburg. Same style as Georgia, and almost as good.
The Moonshine Cafe just outside of Gatlinburg, TN has some of the best BBQ I've had in a while.
Florida has the best BBQ hands down. Period.
Florida's not even in the top 10.
Best ever. Case closed. Hands down. Period. End of argument.
I'm lived in Florida all my life and I know you're wrong. lol My peronal favorite is Bub-ba-Q in Jasper, GA. Multi national champ in several catagories over several years. FYI Sonny's, Woody's and Bono's doesn't count. lol Also, Bub-ba-Qs is not that Florida franchise either.
Florida = Yankees = bad BBQ
Smoke is an essential part of BBQ, which raises the question–What the Heck are you smoking??? The only decent smoked meat I've ever had in Florida is Lox!
B's BBQ in Greenville, NC. Anything outside of Eastern NC (vinegar & red pepper flakes-based) is fool's gold.
Vinegar and red pepper flakes is salad dressing, not BBQ.
Mustard based and Tomato based are condiments
Godyouguysarestupid. They're all condiments. BBQ is all about the smoking & grilling meat.
It's called teasing....Mr. "Grilled" BBQ meat...LOL.
Back atcha, Steel.
There is a reason the premier BBQ championship is in Kansas City. Kansas City is and always has been the very definition of BBQ, then there is everybody else. Case closed.
Sorry, but the World Championship BBQ cookoof is at the Houston Rodeo.
The American Royal BBQ competition houses the Official BBQ Hall Of Fame and is the premier BBQ championship, just because Houston has a "World championship" event doesn't mean it's the premier event. Las Vegas and Memphis have world championship BBQ events too.
You were reading my mind. There's a reason one of the sauces is referred to as Kansas City Style! Don't remember there being a Texas, Florida, Georgia...style BBQ ever!
Barbecue is now so many different regional cuisines it's going to depend on how YOU like the meat, the spices, the preparation. It would make more sense to pick the best Kansas City BBQ, the best Georgia BBQ, the best North Carolina BBQ, and yes, even the best Texas BBQ, rather than lumping them all together simply because they share one part of their name. They're really not the same food any more!
I love the fresh meals I get delivered from Plated! Try them out here:
I grew up with Eastern NC BBQ so everything else is wrong.
Mesquite be in mesquite tx is the best
There has to be a mention of Santa Maria tri tip. California's Central Coast is the bbq capital of the west
LOL. And California barbeque is the joke of the South. I won't be so bold as to say which state has the best, but one thing is for sure: You can't get good BBQ in CA.
And the south is the joke if the US
Maybe, but we can spell "of."
As I said below BBQ is a noun, not a verb. Lexington, NC is the mecca of BBQ - Speedy's BBQ HWY #52, or Lexington #1 I-85 (Featured on Food Network).
200,00 at annual BBQ festival - Google, YouTube, or Facebook - Hope to see you there for, fun, music, and THE BEST BBQ on gods green earth
Nc "barbeque" is not what the rest of the country considers barbeque. It's pulled pork, not BBQ
Kansas City got snuffed.
Oklahoma Joe's is hands down the best BBQ anywhere.
I am in Slovenia right now, but had to take a moment to agree with this statement. The ribs are other worldly. Legend has it that Prez Obama has visited Oklahoma Joe's and agrees.
If Obozo likes it, then it has to sukk. Period, end of discussion and game over. Besides, I've been there, and it should be called Oklah0m0 Joes.
People like you give New Yorker's a bad name. Go spout your homophobic nonsense somewhere else.
Best BBQ is in Texas though I love in TN and have lived in Ga. Southside Market and BBQ in Elgin Texas is the best I've ever had. They have a huge smokehouse out back and smoke for the public as well as their resturant. They ship their sausage all over the nation!
I've had it all from them all these places. BBq is serious and a religion. Texas good but not the best. Every region has speciality Texas is Brisket. If you want the best take a map of the US. Draw a straight line from Kansas City to Atlanta, GA then a line to Wilmington , NC then back to Kansas City. Everything in that Triangle is the BBq triangle and there you shall find the best Bbq. Outside of you may find pockets of solid Bbq So Texas should feel honored to be spoken in the same breath. Go to the triangle, find your religion....Texas is merely a mission bbq away station.
This is silly. I've eaten all over that area and outside that area. That's a silly triangle. The guys that are trying to classify by cut of meat are probably on the right track of this debate.
Best ribs? no question, my house. What a feeling of power.
This is correct. Texas BBQ is not the best so everyone stop coming to Texas. Really, just leave us and our bbq alone.
1. KC MO (everything) 2. Memphis (ribs) 3. NC (pork) 4. Texas (brisket)
BBQ is PORK, not beef. Tennessee and NC have the best BBQ on the planet. Best ribs: Rendezvous and Corkys in Memphis. Rib tips: Tony's Deli-Memphis. Pulled pork–numerous places in NC and TN (My fav: Trollengers, Paris, TN and Speedy's in Lexington, NC). Chopped pork: Tops BBQ, Memphis. I've lived in Houston and Dallas and been to most all the top-rated BBQ joints and none compare to TN and NC BBQ.
BBQ is a cooking technique or process used to mainly to prepare the flesh of dead air breathing animals for human consumption. Beef, buffalo, lamb, chicken, turkey, ostrich, and goat may be cooked using BBQ techniques.
That's the Yankee definition of BBQ - All southerners know that BBQ is a noun not a verb - Come to Lexington, NC and we will gladly show you.
You are right on. This weekend in Memphis is the Memphis in May festival with one of the largest Barbecue cooking contest from Ribs to Whole Hog. I will also add if you are in GermantownTN go to the Germantown Commissary. Great stuff.
CJ, I lived in Memphis and tried all those places you mentioned. The best ribs, hands down, were at the Cozy Corner on Danny Thomas and N. Parkway. This is the real deal!
No question Kansas City is the BBQ capital of the world. Nowhere else is even in the same league.
Pierces BBQ, born and raised.
Kansas City, MO. Oklahoma Joes, Gates, Bryants,Smokestack,Woodyard,LC's, Danny Edwards, BB's Lawnside
Done a fair amount of traveling and tasting BBQ, but my heart and mouth will always belong to Pierces Pitt Bar-B-Que in Lightfoot, Virginia. I remember, back in the 60's Dad pulling into this little white concrete blockhouse that was surrounded by semi's. We had passed it several time headed to the pottery factory, but this was the first time we were there around lunchtime with a car full of hungry kids. The smell was enough to drive you crazy with wanting a taste and the pulled pork lived up to the smell every time. If anyone is headed to Williamsburg or Busch Gardens, make sure you take the time to visit!
Agreed. Pierce's is amazing.
Have to change the dates, memory like a sieve these days. Was the early 70's not the 60's when they first opened. Seriously anyone in the area needs to at least try Pierce's BBQ!
Thanks for mentioning this great place, great memories in deed. The original open pit was right off the 2 lane Rt 60 between Richmond and Norfolk. I'll still go out of my way for Pierces. You'd be hard pressed to find better BBQ North of the Carolina Boarder.
Best BBQ – Jack's Stack, Martin City, MO
Beef ribs, burnt ends, and, The Martin City Mayor sandwich (burnt ends and cole slaw)!
Oh please. In my opinion, Memphis, TN is the home of BBQ and Rock and Roll.......
It sounds weird but this Scottish restaurant down the street has the best bbq I've ever had. It's called a McRib.
Yeah, I think Texans had too many gun fights over sauce on the meat. They won't put sauce on any BBQ meat – you get your meat and this crappy little cup of sauce. Some might use a mop sauce but it is rare. I've made BBQ for Texans in Texas and they get all excited about this sauce cooked on the meat idea – but they don't do it, or know how to do it.
They have gun fights over quite a bit.
That's because if the barbeque is good, it doesn't need the sauce. If it takes sauce to give it good flavor, then you're just covering up the fact that the meat is not good. Not to mention that the sauces are normally mostly sugar. One exception to that rule would be a salsa/paste that is basically normal salsa (no vinegar) with ground up dried peppers added. Maybe some chipotle peppers from a can as well.
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