Food And Wine Compiles List Of America’s Best Barbecue Cities

Jamie Feldmar of Food and Wine magazine was tasked with creating a list of America’s best barbecue cities. As is the case in all of these lists compiled by people who aren’t lifers {barbecue addicts who’ve given their lives to smoked meat} there are some glaring deficiencies. A few of the highlights {and lowlights}

1} Feldmar gets the ball rolling with barbecue from Austin, Texas and the Hill Country. Media darling Aaron Franklin gets the first mention followed by Smitty’s down in Lockhart. Locals who go deep on these sorts of affairs might counter that John Mueller in south Austin and Black’s in Lockhart are the real prime movers when it comes to smoked meat.

2} Dallas and east Texas are up next. Smokey John’s BBQ & Home Cooking and Mike Anderson’s BBQ House get the nod for best in Dallas, while Stanley’s in Tyler { which, is noted as being 2 hours WEST of Dallas} is Feldmar’s choice for east Texas.

3} Vera’s down in Brownsville gets some motion for their barbacoa. We rolled down there last year and were completely blown away. The barbacoa was fine but the red salsa stole the show. Among the best I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant.

4} It’s always nice to see Kentucky getting some national media attention for its superb barbecue. Feldmar visits both Moonlite Bar-B-Que Inn as well as Old Hickory Bar-B-Que but mysteriously skips the superior Knockum Hill as well as the best barbecue I’ve ever found in the state at Ken-Tex.

5} Decatur Alabama gets lauded next for its fine Big Bob Gibson outfit I love this place but it’s not in the same league as Archibald’s down in Northport. Without deep and pervasive knowledge of Alabama’s barbecue culture this is an easy mistake to make.

6} Chicago’s barbecue scene is absolutely exploding. The city has a long history of smoked meat but it’s only been in the past few years that interest has caught up with the culture. Feldmar misses out on Uncle John’s, the current joint that old school hounds are wild about but she does give mention to Leon’s and Honey 1

7} Atlanta. Harold’s gets recognition as it should with 65 years in the game but unfortunately it closed. It did manage to briefly reopen but they have shuttered.

That’s the good, the bad and the ugly. You can hardly expect a magazine with the word wine in the title to get it right on barbecue but it certainly could’ve been a lot worse. This article could serve as a nice, beginners guide to smoked meat. Think of it as barbecue 101 for novices and dabblers.

There are plenty of other cities discussed but these were the highlights. What are your favorite barbecue towns in the USA?


vast barbecue archive right this way






About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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One Response to Food And Wine Compiles List Of America’s Best Barbecue Cities

  1. Mark Gabrick says:

    What about Florida being a great BBQ destination?  Few realize that this great state is home of the Florida BBQ Association which has on average over 30+ FBA events every year, and that doesn’t even count all the other KCBS sanctioned events.  This too is the South so don’t mistake us for only being the home of Walt Disney World.  🙂 

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