50 States of BBQ

Whether it's Texas-style brisket or Carolina-style pulled pork you're craving, here are the best places to fill your plate in each state (plus Washington, D.C.). 

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Alabama

Praised for the Alabama white sauce, Saw's BBQ is THE place to go for barbecue in this Southern state. 

Alaska

The Southern barbecue joint Black Jaxx BBQ has locations in Soldotna and Homer where they serve brisket, pulled pork and even bologna with sides like coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans out of a food truck. Due to Alaska's cold temperatures, they're only open during the milder spring and summer months, so get it while you can! 

Arizona

Standout meat at Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix? The pulled pork. They're open Tuesday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until they sell out.

Arkansas

The original Sim's Bar-B-Que in Little Rock opened in 1937 where it has since become a tradition. When you go, try the ribs.

California

If you're ever in San Diego, you have to give Phil's BBQ a visit at one of their four locations and try the baby back ribs.

Colorado

Georgia Boys BBQ Company brings Southern flavor to its two locations - The Shack in Longmont and The Smokehouse in Frederick. At The Smokehouse, they have what they call the Barnyard Challenge, which is six pounds of meat in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t finish the dish, you’ll earn a spot on their wall of shame.

Connecticut

Bear's Smokehouse serves up barbecue at three locations: Hartford, Windsor and South Windsor. Jamie "Bear" McDonald, originally from Kansas City, brought his love of barbecue to Connecticut - and the locals approve; Bear's Smokehouse won first place for "Best New Restaurant" and "Best Ribs and BBQ" in local weekly paper CTNow's Reader's Poll 2015.

Delaware

Philippine Smoked BBQ and Grill is a family owned and operated restaurant in Wilmington. Try their most popular sandwich: the smoked beef brisket.

Florida

At 4 Rivers Smokehouse, the Texas-style, 18-hour-smoked brisket is their signature dish. In addition to their many locations across Florida, 4 Rivers Smokehouse will open their first out-of-state location in Atlanta in 2017.

Georgia

Jonathan and Justin Fox, Texas natives and the brothers behind the name and the barbecue, opened Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in 2007 and now have a "Que"-osk, a fast service walk-up location on Ottley Drive, too. Their most popular menu items are the beef brisket and macaroni and cheese.

Hawaii

Me Bar-B-Q is a hole-in-the-wall joint, serving up authentic Korean BBQ in Honolulu. Try the kalbi beef barbecue plate and bibimbap. Note: this is a cash only place.

Idaho

Visit BBQ4Life in Boise and try their meat sampler, which includes a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, 1/2 pound tri-tip and 1/2 pound pulled pork. Also, BBQ4Life has vegan options like a spaghetti squash sandwich.

Illinois

Specialty dishes at Smoque BBQ in Chicago include BBQ beans, brisket, macaroni and cheese and ribs. Food Network has featured Smoque BBQ in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. You can read up on their "view on the Q" in their BBQ Manifesto.

Indiana

If you find yourself in need of barbecue in Indianapolis, where they have two locations, or in Mooresville, Ind., head to Squealers Barbeque Grill and try the Southern-style baby back ribs or pulled pork.

Iowa

The Mosley is where to get barbecue and a brew in Iowa City. Featured dishes include The Mosley, bone-in pork butt, slow pit-smoked over a hickory fire for at least 12 hours, and the ribs, meaty, St. Louis-style ribs, hand-cut in-house, rubbed with their "Iowa Dirt" rib rub.

Kansas

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que is praised as one of the best barbecue joints in the nation. The Kansas City location offers a unique atmosphere, serving up award-winning barbecue in a repurposed gas station. When you go, order the legendary Z-Man, a pile of brisket, provolone and onion rings on a kaiser roll. The sandwich is named after an old-school radio jock named Mike Zarrick.

Kentucky

When you think of barbecue, beef brisket or pulled pork probably come to mind, but what about lamb?In Owensboro, Moonlite Bar-B-Que Inn is known for their smoked mutton, which is mature lamb (older than one year). When you go, order the chopped mutton plate to taste the region's barbecue tradition for yourself.

Louisiana

True to the region, The Joint in New Orleans offers barbecue with Cajun influences. Go for the pork ribs that come coated in a Cajun rub.

Maine

Salvage BBQ opened in 2013 in Portland and serves North Carolina-style barbecue. Standout dish? The Meat Coma tray, 1/4 rack of pork ribs, 1/3 pound of brisket, chopped pork and a cup of chili - perfect for sharing. Salvage BBQ has communal seating and hosts live musicians every Saturday night.

Maryland

Grab some barbecue at Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque in Baltimore. They have seven sauces, ranging in style and spice, from Kansas City Sweet to Texas Pit. And you can't miss it - it's in a little yellow brick house. 

Massachusetts

If you're in Massachusetts, head to Winthrop and try Blackstrap BBQ. Blackstrap BBQ is named after the blackstrap molasses used in their cornbread, baked beans and barbecue sauce.  

Michigan

Union Woodshop in Clarkston is where to make a pit stop for barbecue. They also serve wood-fired pizzas.

Minnesota

Big Daddy's Old Fashioned Barbeque in St. Paul is the barbecue spot to try in Minnesota. When you go, try the tender rib tips.

Mississippi

Head to The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint to enjoy some barbecue and music. The original Ocean Springs location was constructed out of junkyard treasures, giving this joint its name.

Missouri

Head to one Sugarfire Smoke House's six locations in Missouri to taste their famous succulent brisket, pulled pork, ribs and signature sandwiches. Chef Mike Johnson's barbecue has been featured on Food Network's Burgers, Brews and 'Que, Beat Bobby Flay and American Pitmasters.

Montana

Head to The Notorious P.I.G. in Missoula. The name alone grabs your attention, but so will the barbecue. 

Nebraska

Swine Dining in Bellevue serves up ribs, brisket and pulled pork that locals love. Also, the burnt ends, which are not on their regular menu, they serve as a special on Fridays are quite popular; they even take out an entire row of tables because the lines go all the way to the back wall.

Nevada

A father and his two sons from Arkansas opened Rollin Smoke Barbeque in Las Vegas. They now have a second location in Pawn Plaza next to the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on The Strip. When you go, try the hickory-smoked brisket burger.

New Hampshire

Craving Southern barbecue in New Hampshire? Head to KC's Rib Shack in Manchester.

New Jersey

The folks behind Local Smoke BBQ started out as a competition barbecue team called Fat Angel BBQ in 2007. The team fared well, including winning first place for their ribs against 488 teams at the American Royal BBQ contest in Kansas City, also known as the World Series of BBQ. They opened a catering business and eventually two restaurant locations in New Jersey. 

New Mexico

Head to Carlsbad to taste the barbecue at Danny's Place.

New York

In the foodie mecca that is New York City, Mighty Quinn's Barbeque does barbecue right. Try the Brontosaurus Beef Rib, which are seasoned with just three ingredients - salt, pepper and Hungarian paprika - before hitting the smoker. 

North Carolina

At Skylight Inn BBQ, they've been cooking up whole hogs since 1947. The structure on the roof reflects their nickname as the "capital of 'cue". Their specialty is whole hogs, which they cook in open pits over oak and chop on a wood block with the skin on, creating a signature texture.

North Dakota

If you're in North Dakota in search of barbecue, head to Spitfire Bar & Grill in West Fargo and try their award-winning 'cue.

Ohio

Eli's Barbeque started as a tent location at Cincinnati's Findlay Market and has grown into two brick-and-mortar restaurants. In addition to serving up quality 'cue, they often host live musicians.

Oklahoma

Leo's Barbecue has served Oklahoma City barbecue since 1974. They offer hickory smoked barbecue including ribs, brisket, hot links and bologna. Finish off your meal with their popular strawberry banana cake.

Oregon

Looking for Southern barbecue in the Pacific Northwest? Head to Podnah's Pit Barbecue in Portland.

Pennsylvania

Percy Street Barbecue brings a little bit of Texas to Philadelphia by way of barbecue. They smoke their meats over a local red oak and serve them with Southern sides like macaroni and cheese, buttermilk biscuits and pecan pie.

Rhode Island

Since 1998, Becky's Real BBQ in Middletown has offered hickory-smoked meats and a laidback atmosphere; it's located in a historic house. When you go, try the rib plate.

South Carolina

Although the meat can stand alone, Southern Belly BBQ in Columbia offers all kinds of sauces, from Alabama white to a St. Louis and Kansas City-inspired brown sugar, tomato and molasses blend, to please palates from any region.

South Dakota

If you're looking for barbecue in South Dakota, make your way to Big Rig BBQ in Sioux Falls where you'll find Texas flavor in their barbecue food truck.

Tennessee

With five locations across Tennessee, one in Mississippi and two in Arkansas, Corky's BBQ is Southern staple in barbecue. Corky's has been voted the best barbecue joint in Memphis countless times. 

Texas

Franklin Barbecue in Austin is the spot you want to visit in Texas, even Anthony Bourdain thinks so.

Utah

At R&R BBQ, they pride themselves on their slow-cooked barbecue. You can get the award-winning barbecue at two locations: Salt Lake City and South Jordan.

Vermont

Looking for barbecue in Vermont? Head to Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington where they offer Carolina-style pulled pork, Kansas City-style ribs and Texas-style brisket.  

Virginia

Virginia is for (barbecue) lovers! Praised for their Texas-style brisket, Alamo BBQ in Richmond is the barbecue joint to check out.

Washington

Peco's Pit Bar-B-Que has been in the barbecue biz since 1980 when they opened in Seattle. Now they have two locations, the original in the SoDo Seattle neighborhood and a West Seattle spot.

West Virginia

At Dem 2 Brother's and a Grill in Charleston, the ribs are the way to go. They’re prepared with a brown sugar spice rub and a mustard sauce and slow-cooked to smoky perfection.

Wisconsin

Smoky Jon's in Madison is the place to fill your plate with ribs. Jon Olson, the man behind the barbecue, has been in the business most of his life and has the claimed countless world and national awards for his barbecue and sauce. 

Wyoming

Pokey's BBQ & Smokehouse in Gillette is the spot to visit for barbecue in Wyoming. If you're an adventorous eater, you might even check out their "Wild Thing" menu, which features ostrich, gator and python.

Washington, D.C.

A little outside the city but worth the trip, Vanish Farmwoods Brewery is located at Black Hops Farm in Lucketts, Virg., serving up killer beer and BVQ - barbecue from Chef Bryan Voltaggio. The fresh BVQ is served Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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