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Where To Find the Best Barbecue in the South

From Texas to Memphis style, there are dozens of ways to enjoy this summer staple. We're here to narrow down the best places for BBQ in the South. 

By Kayla Walden on April 21, 2023

Texan Food The best barbecue is in the South.
Texas / Photo by Wyatt McSpadden for Franklin Barbecue

There’s a lot of debate surrounding who has the best barbecue, especially in the South. But why compete when you can sample every style? Whether you’re planning a pit stop itinerary for your next road trip or simply want to know where to find some of the best-pulled pork, brisket and ribs near you, here are a few must-visit Southern barbecue joints to add to your list.

Texas: Franklin BBQ in Austin

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes opinions when it comes to the best barbecue. However, most people agree that Franklin BBQ in Austin is a clear winner. With their variety of specialty sauces and renowned seasoning blends, you can easily see why they’re always hustling and bustling to serve customers. The owner even teaches a Masterclass on how to make your own mouthwatering brisket in the comfort of your own home. But don’t worry — you can always let them cook up a batch of their own barbecue for you instead.

Louisiana: The Joint in New Orleans

Tucked away in the Bywater neighborhood of New OrleansThe Joint serves up some of the finest barbecue in the state. Slow-smoked barbecue brisket is guaranteed to please, but you can also enjoy plates of chicken or sausage alongside homemade slaw and rich macaroni and cheese. You may even want to order a daiquiri with a plate of finger-licking ribs. Plus, this spot is pet-friendly!

Mississippi: The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs

Barbecue and blues go together like peanut butter and jelly, which may be one of the reasons The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS, has experienced so much success over the years. From their rich, mouthwatering menu — which includes options like pork smoked over pecan wood for hours — to their hometown atmosphere, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place for dinner on your way through town.

Tennessee: Edley’s BBQ in Nashville

Edley’s BBQ is always packed, so be ready to linger a while if you want to savor some of their world-famous barbecue. They have a variety of locations, but their Nashville restaurant is the most frequented hotspot. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but their smoked wings and pickled jalapeños are a must.

Georgia: Southern Soul in St. Simons Island

Georgia is proud of their food heritage, including their unique spin on Southern barbecue. Southern Soul on St. Simons Island gets some of the best ratings across the board, and all it takes is one look at its offerings to understand why. Pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey, pimiento cheese and Cuban-style pork are just a few of the tempting entrees on the menu at this top Southern barbecue joint. They even have a daily cobbler guaranteed to please if you have room for dessert.

South Carolina: Rodney Scott BBQ in Charleston

Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott BBQ in South Carolina roasted his first hog at the age of 11 — and he hasn’t slowed down since. Today his restaurant is one of the top barbecue joints in Charleston. His whole-hog operation means the menu includes unique items like light and crunchy pig skins, not to mention things like Southern fried catfish, roasted chicken and slow-cooked rib eye for a delicious steak sandwich dish.

Florida: Shivers BBQ in Homestead

Shivers BBQ in Homestead, FL, has been serving up hickory-smoked barbecue to the community for more than 60 years. Slow cooking is definitely their jam. You can find everything from baby back ribs and beef ribs to chicken and beef brisket on the menu at this classic Southern barbecue joint. Most have been smoked for at least 12 hours, which means you know it’s going to be savory, delicious and tender from the first bite to the last.

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