Make no bones about it: Barbecue is one of America’s favorite cuisines.
Barbecue, however, is also the subject of some of the most heated debates among foodies. What qualifies as “barbecue” in one region of the country might not pass in another, seeing as some folks might prefer baby-back ribs over St. Louis-style, or the flavors of mesquite over hickory. And don’t even get started on the sauces.
The best barbecue, therefore, is truly in the taste buds of the beholder.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps easier to set aside any preconceived notions and enjoy some regional styles of barbecue — even if it’s not exactly one’s preferred style.
To help determine where some of the most finger-lickin’ examples can be found, the analysts at Yelp have compiled a list of the platform’s top-rated barbecue joints in every state, based on the recommendations from its user community. It should be noted, though, that Yelp’s findings are also based on the “total volume” of reviews for each barbecue spot, which means that newer restaurants might be underrepresented.
Ready to pig out? (Or argue over who makes the best burnt ends?) The top-rated barbecue restaurants in each state — as determined by Yelp’s community of reviewers — are listed below.
- Alabama – Saw’s Soul Kitchen, in Birmingham
- Alaska – Big Daddy’s BarB-Q, in Fairbanks
- Arizona – Little Miss BBQ-University, in Phoenix
- Arkansas – Nick’s Bar-B-Q & Catfish, in Carlisle
- California – Calhoun’s Texas Barbeque, in Murrieta
- Colorado – Yazoo BBQ Company, in Denver
- Connecticut – Smokin’ With Chris, in Southington
- Delaware – Russell’s Quality Food, in Wilmington
- Washington, D.C. – Federalist Pig
- Florida – Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa, in Orlando
- Georgia – Southern Soul Barbeque, in St. Simons Island
- Hawaii – Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse Barbecue, in Kihei
- Idaho – BBQ4LIFE, in Boise
- Illinois – Smoque BBQ, in Chicago
- Indiana – Big Hoffa’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, in Westfield
- Iowa, Boxer BBQ, in Council Bluffs
- Kansas – Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, in Kansas City
- Kentucky – Feast BBQ, in Louisville
- Louisiana – The Joint, in New Orleans
- Maine – Riverfront Barbeque & Grille, in Augusta
- Maryland – Lefty’s Barbecue, in Waldorf
- Massachusetts – B.T.’s Smokehouse, in Sturbridge
- Michigan – Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, in Ypsilanti
- Minnesota – Animales Barbeque, in Minneapolis
- Mississippi – Memphis Barbecue, in Horn Lake
- Missouri – Bogart’s Smokehouse, in St. Louis
- Montana – Riverhouse BBQ & Events, in Big Sky
- Nebraska – Phat Jacks, in Lincoln
- Nevada – Carolina Kitchen & Barbeque, in Sparks
- New Hampshire – Smokeshow Barbeque, in Concord
- New Jersey – Henri’s Hotts Barbeque, in Hammonton
- New Mexico – Mr Powdrell’s Barbeque, in Albuquerque
- New York – Biscuits & Barbeque, in Minneola
- North Carolina – Big Mikes BBQ, in Cary
- North Dakota Jay’s Smokin’ BBQ, in Fargo
- Ohio – Midwest Best Bbq & Creamery, in Loveland
- Oklahoma – Iron Star Urban Barbeque, in Oklahoma City
- Oregon – Matt’s BBQ, in Portland
- Pennsylvania – Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse, in Philadelphia
- Rhode Island – Flatts Smokehouse, in South Kingstown
- South Carolina – Lewis Barbecue, in Charleston
- South Dakota – Big Tom’s Diner, in Pierre
- Tennessee – The Bar-B-Q Shop, in Memphis
- Texas – la Barbecue, in Austin
- Utah – The Smoking Apple, in Lindon
- Vermont – Bluebird Barbecue, in Burlington
- Virginia – Q Barbeque, in Glen Allen
- Washington – Ranch House BBQ & Steakhouse, in Olympia
- West Virginia – Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill, in Charleston
- Wisconsin – Smoke Shack, in Milwaukee
- Wyoming – Fat Racks BBQ, in Cody
More information on each restaurant can be found at Yelp’s website.