A Coast-to-Coast Guide to America’s Best BBQ Joints

Barbecue is more than just a cooking method in the United States; it’s a cultural phenomenon that varies greatly from region to region. From the smoky, slow-cooked brisket of Texas to the tangy, vinegar-based pulled pork of North Carolina, each style has its own unique flavors and techniques. Join us on a coast-to-coast journey as we explore some of America’s best BBQ joints.

Texas: Smoked Brisket Heaven

When it comes to Texas-style barbecue, it’s all about the beef. Slow-smoked brisket is the star of the show, often served with a simple rub of salt and pepper. For some of the best brisket in the Lone Star State, head to Franklin Barbecue in Austin, where people line up for hours to sink their teeth into the melt-in-your-mouth meat. Another must-visit spot is Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, a small-town gem that has been praised by barbecue aficionados nationwide.

Kansas City: A Melting Pot of BBQ Styles

Kansas City is known for its wide variety of barbecue styles, from the classic KC-style burnt ends to the city’s signature tomato-based sauce. Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, located in a former gas station, is a local institution that serves up mouthwatering pulled pork, ribs, and brisket. Another standout is Q39, a modern BBQ joint that combines traditional techniques with creative, chef-driven flavors.

Memphis: Dry Rub Ribs and Pulled Pork Perfection

Memphis-style barbecue is all about the pork, with dry-rubbed ribs and pulled pork sandwiches being the city’s claim to fame. Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous is a Memphis landmark that has been serving up its famous charcoal-grilled ribs since 1948. For a more modern take on Memphis BBQ, check out Central BBQ, where you can indulge in fall-off-the-bone ribs and succulent pulled pork.

North Carolina: Tangy, Vinegar-Based Bliss

North Carolina is home to two distinct barbecue styles: Eastern-style, which uses a vinegar-based sauce, and Lexington-style, which incorporates a touch of tomato. Skylight Inn BBQ in Ayden is a must-visit for Eastern-style ‘cue, serving up whole hog barbecue that’s chopped and seasoned with a tangy vinegar sauce. For Lexington-style, head to Lexington Barbecue, where the pork shoulder is slow-cooked over hickory coals and served with a red slaw.


From coast to coast, the United States is home to an incredible array of barbecue styles and beloved BBQ joints. Whether you prefer the smoky brisket of Texas, the saucy ribs of Kansas City, the dry-rubbed pork of Memphis, or the tangy pulled pork of North Carolina, there’s no denying the allure of American barbecue. So, hit the road and embark on a mouthwatering journey to discover your favorite style of BBQ.