June 10th, 2014
11:45 AM ET
Share this on:

Editor's note: Nothing inflames passions quite like barbecue and we'll be breaking down the nuances of regional styles all summer long. Next week - CNN readers and staff weigh in on their favorite joints and pitmasters from all over the country.

(Travel + Leisure) - Like a lot of people, Jay Metzger draws a line when it comes to his barbecue loyalties - and for him, that line falls along the Mississippi River.

“While it’s nice to enjoy a little Memphis and Carolina barbecue, the real stuff comes from the center of the U.S.,” says the Los Angeles-based advertising executive, who favors Kansas City and Texas barbecue.

Plenty of Travel + Leisure readers agree, ranking KC and more than one Texas city in the top 10. But where there’s smoke, there’s fiery debate. As part of the America’s Favorite Cities survey, readers ranked 35 metro areas for such qualities as good-looking locals, great sports teams, and regionally distinct pizza and barbecue. To be fair, since the survey covered only 35 cities, some barbecue hot spots like Lexington, North Carolina, Lockhart, Texas, and St. Louis, Missouri were not even on the table for this particular vote.

But plenty of other hot-button BBQ cities were - and one dark horse (or perhaps pig) even took the top prize. Certainly, the prevailing styles and some gourmet-friendly trends vary from city to city, from the burnt ends in Kansas City, Missouri, to the mustard-sauced pork in Charleston, South Carolina, or the piles of brisket on butcher paper in Austin, Texas - so the definition of best may depend on what you’re used to.

1. Nashville, Tennessee
It’s a Tennessee takedown: with its ever-expanding foodie scene, Music City won for compiling a greatest-hits collection of barbecue styles - from the whole-hog approach of rural Tennessee, the tomatoey sauces of Memphis, and even the mayo-and-vinegar white sauces typical of Alabama - with southern-style catfish, fried okra, and banana pudding thrown in. Alongside traditional platters, the best places in Nashville offer some cheeky twists: Martin’s Bar-B-Que has Redneck Tacos (filled with brisket or pulled pork), while Peg Leg Porker in The Gulch offers an appetizer of Memphis Sushi (cheese and sausage on saltines). At Edley’s Bar-B-Que, both in East Nashville and 12South, the Tuck Special is a brisket sandwich topped with house-made pimento cheese, an over-easy egg, red and white sauce, and pickles. In a perhaps related note, Nashville also scored near the top for its civic pride.

2. Memphis, Tennessee
Ribs and pork sandwiches are the staples of Memphis-style barbecue: dry-rubbed and smoked over hickory, and often mopped with sauce while cooking. To eat with the savviest locals, head to one of the branches of Central BBQ, which does a classic pork sandwich, pulled-pork nachos, and even a four-ounce barbecued bologna sandwich (the newest is downtown, next to the National Civil Rights Museum). Another favorite - especially with local chefs - is the Bar-B-Q Shop (“home of the Dancing Pigs BBQ sauce”), which claims to be the birthplace of another Memphis staple, sauce-coated barbecue spaghetti. And while the locals ranked at the bottom of the survey for being physically fit, Memphis impressed readers with its bluesy street performers and low-cost luxuries.

3. Kansas City, Missouri
Only within the realm of barbecue can a gas-station location boost your appeal. At least that’s the case with Oklahoma Joe’s, a relative newcomer (as in, the 1990s) to the KC barbecue scene, whose first location was inside a Diamond Shamrock. This meatpacking city - which also ranked at the top of the survey for its great burgers - is known for delectable burnt ends that come off brisket and taste great with a tomatoes-meet-molasses sauce. Two legendary places to try it are Arthur Bryant’s and Gates Bar-B-Q, which date back to the 1920s and ’40s, respectively. Readers also applauded Kansas City for its welcoming locals, solid museums, and, come December, its twinkling Christmas spirit.

4. Austin, Texas
With its emphasis on lightly seasoned brisket, German sausage, and a tomato-vinegar sauce (and sometimes even no sauce), Texas barbecue has plenty of passionate loyalists in the state capital. Iron Works and the Salt Lick are traditional favorites, but these days the lines are longest at Franklin Barbecue in East Austin, which serves meat-market-style brisket, turkey, sausage, and more on pink butcher paper, with white bread and three sauces (including an espresso-based version) on the side. The ultimate barbecue-lovers’ day trip from Austin is the little town of Lockhart, less than an hour away, where old-time classics include Smitty’s Market and Black’s. Readers also put Austin in the top five for food trucks (including another barbecue must, John Mueller Meat Co.).

5. Houston, Texas
This big-business city still likes to go old-school, ranking in the top 10 for bothantiques and messy burgers. Local stars include mom-and-pop-style Gatlin’s BBQ, in Houston Heights, and Goode Company, known for its smoked duck, jalapeño cheese bread, and rich Brazos Bottom pecan pie. To keep your blood-brisket level high - and also see why the metropolis scored well for its bars - go to Beaver’s in Memorial Park, which pairs smoked meats with creative cocktails such as the Sherry Cobbler.

6. San Antonio, Texas
Travel + Leisure readers have always loved the Alamo city’s chili-sauced Tex-Mex, but some of its emerging barbecue has a cutting-edge style. At the Granary ’Cue & Brew, within the rehabbed Pearl brewery, the menu features classic brisket and house-made sausage, along with grilled quail, root beer–sautéed scallops, and Texas toast glazed with a mixture of brisket drippings, butter, and sea salt. Just outside town, Texas Pride Barbecue keeps it classic; based in a former filling station, it offers a bikers’ night as well as a quasi-vegetarian giant baked potato (stuffed with cheese and chopped brisket).

7. Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina may represent the most diversity among the main barbecue styles, thanks to its core of four sauces (mustard-based, vinegar-and-pepper, and two tomato-based sauces). In Charleston, which also scored well for its fine dining, the honky-tonk-themed Home Team BBQ ups the ante with six sauces (including an Alabama white) to go with your ribs, turkey, or Redneck Pot Roast (brisket). That sloppy eat-off-the-paper approach is a bit of a let-loose departure for locals; Charleston also scored near the top for its home décor shops and for feeling tidy.

8. Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas
Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas and Angelo’s in Fort Worth are longtime favorites for barbecue. But it says something about the cowboy-spirited metroplex that folks even flock to the farmers’ market for meat. Pecan Lodge, in downtown Dallas’s farmers’ market (but soon to move to the Deep Ellum neighborhood), sells Pitmaster sandwiches: a triple threat of brisket, pulled pork, and sausage. Meanwhile, in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District, Lockhart Smokehouse is a North Texas branch of Lockhart’s legendary Kreuz Market, where you eat your brisket, sausage, and beef ribs right off the butcher paper (and sans sauce).

9. Savannah, Georgia
T+L readers embrace this Georgia city for its unpretentious charm, and the best barbecue places reflect the city’s easygoing attitude. Angel’s BBQ has the confidence to highlight a BBQ bologna sandwich on its menu, as well as a changing menu of sauces (such as Shot Gun Wedding or Voo Doo Juice) and a down-South version of poutine topped with baked beans and cheese. And tucked away in Savannah’s historic district, Wall’s Bar-B-Q is open only from noon to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; it’s famous for ribs, fried chicken, and collard greens.

10. New Orleans, Louisiana
Wedged between Texas and the Southeast, this Louisiana city landed in the top 10 by making barbecue on its own terms - like the pork-belly po’boys and sausage-filled boudin balls at uptown’s Squeal Bar-B-Q, or the Cajun chaurice sausage and spicy Creole coleslaw at Saucy’s on Magazine Street. Either way, a hearty barbecue dinner provides good fuel for a long night of partying: New Orleans ranked at the top of the survey for its wild weekend mojo, girlfriend-getaway fun, and people-watching.

Get the rest of the list at Travel + Leisure: America's Best Cities for Barbecue and weigh in for your favorites below. We'll share the most spirited responses in an upcoming story.

More From Travel + Leisure:
The Best Barbecue Restaurants in the World
America’s Best Outdoor Restaurants
America’s Best Road Trips

Make a brilliant pork butt
Five slices of barbecue wisdom
Five tips for hot dog success
How to smoke a brisket in your backyard
Rack up on rib pointers
Take a stab at a slab – an intro to ribs
Five steps to steak supremacy
Hearts afire! Liver, marrow, kidneys and more great offal for the grill
Whole hog BBQ - the Mount Everest of Meat
Five cuts of meat to buy and grill
A prime rib primer

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. vw

    I'm from the Midwest and have been living in Dallas for 11 years. I would have to say Dallas has terrible barbecue. They don't cook the meat with any seasoning or barbecue and it tastes like grandma's roast. They give you a side of barbecue. I make my own.

    July 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • RichardHead

      You obviously haven't been to The Original Sonny Bryan's on Lovers Lane off of I-35.

      July 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • Whole Hog

      Jesus Tapdancing Christ; "barbecue". You guys don't have the faintest clue what the hell you're talking about. Barbecue is pig, more specifically it is whole hog cooked over wood or coal. It was invented in Eastern North Carolina and the only thing you need to put on it is vinegar. A plague on all your houses.

      July 5, 2014 at 12:04 am |
  2. OkieJen

    Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell, TX. Best brisket and smoked turkey ever! Ribs are decent too, but for those I would prefer Jack Stack in Kansas City.

    June 26, 2014 at 10:05 am |
  3. Bob Smith

    I can't believe KC ranked third against that stuff they call BBQ in Tennessee!! There is no place for spaghetti in BBQ!
    KC KC KC!!!!!!!! BBQ!!!

    June 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
  4. Laurie

    Memphis has the best barbecue around. We have not lived there in quite a few years, but every time we go back to visit, Brad's Barbecue in Bartlett is our favorite choice!

    June 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
    • catbell7

      when I lived in SF and at the time we had no good smoked meats so I've ordered Corky's from QVC of all places - now in So MS its everywhere - some better than others and then I have a red smoker and smoke my own and freeze it when it is cooled :)

      June 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
  5. Glenn

    Nothing more idiotic that people debating something as subjective as food....oh wait....THIS IS CNN!

    June 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • JellyBean


      June 14, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  6. nunya


    June 14, 2014 at 10:00 am |
  7. John B

    Chaps Pit Beef BBQ in Baltimore.

    June 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  8. Elizabeth

    I'm from Southern Alabama and I live for BBQ in the summer. I've had some really good BBQ in St. Louis but I love the BBQ I get in Tennessee and Alabama.

    June 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
  9. HarpAttack

    Best barbecue in Houston – KILLEN'S BARBECUE!

    June 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
  10. NAter

    Oklahoma Joe's is in Kansas City, KANSAS, not Kansas City MISSOURI.

    Pick up a map CNN.

    June 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jennifer

      When they say Kansas City, Missouri...they are referring to the Kansas City Metro...and that, my friend, is KC Missouri. Yes, Oklahoma Joe's is in Kansas (why not Oklahoma??? just kidding!), but it still part of Greater Kansas City – and that's in Missouri. Besides, they were talking about Oklahoma Joes AND Arthur Bryant's AND Gates...so again, they were talking about the three great BBQ names in Greater Kansas City (Missouri).

      July 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
  11. gatorboy

    Forget all that. The best bbq is right outside my door, in my backyard. Good food, cold beer, and great friends. That's what makes a bbq great!

    June 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  12. Steve McLeod

    People here must be joking when they talk about BBQ pork. Pork is too soft of a meat to BBQ. Works great in sinigang but that's about it.

    June 11, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
    • Mario

      Well, pork was the ONLY meat barbecued when it all began 350 years ago, so maybe you are wrong.

      June 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
      • Glenn

        Pretty sure people BBQ'd anything they could get their hands on 350 years ago and didn't make a fuss about it like all the idiots here.

        June 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • JellyBean

          No need to be so harsh. However, I agree, pork rocks.

          June 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • catbell7

          ever seen Guy on Diners, Dives & Drive-ins - when one woman offered him pig ear sannich?? it was a hoot but he said it was great :)

          June 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
  13. HarpAttack

    Here's the whole article – this is an excellent read for ANYONE from ANYWHERE that's interested in the roots of barbecue across the country:


    June 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  14. HarpAttack

    An excerpt from a great article – I have lived in Texas 30 years and have had Memphis barbecue and SC barbecue. It's all good – different but so what? It's just something we all enjoy and we all have our favorites.

    "Iit's hard for Texans to accept that squishy pork on a bun is actually the purest form of barbecue. Most Texans are equally reluctant to admit that the issue of race has any relevance to the subject of smoked meat in the Lone Star State. And that puts them at odds with the Southern barbecue experts who gathered last October for "Barbecue: Smoke, Sauce and History," a symposium held by the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA), an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

    At the three-day conference, academics, food writers and chefs from across the country assembled to debate, pontificate about and consume their favorite subject. The meals were catered by some of the most famous names in Southern barbecue, black and white. Supervising the cooking at this particular event was the famous pitmaster Devin Pickard from Centerville, Tennessee.

    Barbecue and race have long been emotionally intertwined in the South, where the pit-smoked pork is viewed as a totem for both whites and blacks. Southern culinary historians are accustomed to navigating carefully around the issue of who the true progenitors of Southern barbecue were.

    Most scholars agree that the cooking style came from the Caribbean, or at least that's where it was first observed by Europeans. The word initially appeared in print in the English language in 1661. In 1732, Alexander Pope was already writing about the craving: "Send me, Gods! a whole hog barbecu'd."

    In colonial times, barbecue was common in the Carolinas and Virginia. Whole hogs cooked over smoldering coals in long pits was the usual methodology. By the height of the plantation era, no political rally, religious revival or civic celebration in the Deep South was complete without a barbecue. Whites obviously did the organizing, but who did the cooking?

    In the heart of Dixie, evidence suggests that African-Americans did the work. "It was said that the slaves could barbecue meats best, and when the whites had barbecues, slaves always did the cooking," wrote a former Virginia slave in the Autobiography of Louis Hughes.

    But there are also Southern barbecue traditions, in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and elsewhere, where whites manned the pits.

    "Did blacks create Southern barbecue?" I ask Lolis Eric Elie, the black author of the widely acclaimed barbecue book Smokestack Lightning and a staff writer for New Orleans' Times-Picayune.

    "You can't draw a straight line between black and white contributions to Southern culture," Elie says diplomatically. "But you can't ignore the fact that the South is distinct from the North because of the presence of so many black people. And many white Southerners are still afraid to acknowledge the African influence that flows through their food, their music, their manner of speech and their attitude toward life."

    The origins may be hazy, but there can be no doubt that barbecue became central to black identity in the South after the Civil War. Black barbecue stands on the side of the road sold the favorite barbecue of the Old South. And because of the fame of black barbecue, "whites, in a strange reversal of Jim Crow traditions, made stealthy excursions for take-out orders," according to the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.

    But a combination of forces conspired to take the barbecue business away from its rural black roots. Urbanization, new sanitary regulations enacted during the Progressive era, and strict segregation laws gave white-owned barbecue businesses major advantages.

    At the symposium, we watched a documentary called Smokestack Lightning: A Day in the Life of Barbecue. In the video, Elie asked the owner of Charles Vergos Rendezvous, perhaps the most famous barbecue joint in Memphis, about the origins of the Tennessee barbecue tradition.

    "Brother, to be honest with you, it don't belong to the white folks, it belongs to the black folks," Vergos said. "It's their way of life, it was their way of cooking. They created it. They put it together. They made it. And we took it and we made more money out of it than they did. I hate to say it, but that's a true story."

    One of the hottest topics at "Smoke, Sauce and History" was the continuing saga of South Carolina's white barbecue king, Maurice Bessinger. When the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina state house in 2000, Bessinger lowered the giant American flags he once flew over his nine Piggie Park restaurants and raised the Confederate flag instead. It wasn't the first time Bessinger had taken a rebel's stand; in the early 1960s, he refused to integrate his barbecue joints until forced by the courts. This time the reaction came from the market: After protests by blacks, national chain stores refused to continue carrying Bessinger's popular barbecue sauce. Bessinger sued the chain stores claiming his right to free speech was being violated.

    Racial controversy is part of the culture of Southern food, and the SFA has never shied away from it. In fact, the association's 2004 symposium will be devoted entirely to racial issues in Southern cooking. After all, promoting diversity and multicultural understanding is part of the group's charter.

    Which is why the SFA's June 2002 "Taste of Texas Barbecue Trip" ran into problems. The idea was to bring food writers, scholars and barbecue lovers from across the country to the Lone Star State for a barbecue tour. But SFA officials were dismayed to discover that all of the barbecue spots selected by a committee of Texans were white-owned.

    The SFA asked for a list with more diversity. The Texas barbecue experts insisted that the state's most emblematic barbecue was produced by Czech and German meat markets. When officials insisted that any SFA program about barbecue in the American South must be multiracial, one Texan on the committee accused the SFA of "inserting a racial agenda" where one didn't belong. In a compromise, a few black- and Hispanic-owned barbecue joints eventually were added to the tour.

    But the conflict put the widely held assertion that Texas barbecue is a white tradition under the microscope. And considered in the larger context of racial issues discussed at the Ole Miss symposium, the matter raises some troubling questions.

    "The Bessinger controversy has given barbecue a starkly political dimension…," wrote The New York Times' black culture and politics reporter, Brent Staples, in September 2002. "The pulled pork sandwich you eat is now taken as an index of where you stand, on the flag, the Civil War and on Maurice Bessinger…""

    June 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  15. Smokin' Geezer

    As a 45+ year Pit master and certified Barbecue Judge, I have traveled this country from coast to coast, Seattle to Key West, and from Maine to San Diego.. Been to every "self proclaimed" BBQ Capitol and tasted every style of Barbecue I could. Even the term "Barbecue" is subjective in definition by region. In Texas and Oklahoma, it's all about beef. The Carolinas are all about Pork with as many sauces as there are counties. Memphis does ribs dry, and Alabama has a unique "White Sauce".
    To proclaim something as "Best" is simply absurd and nothing more than personal preference or what you grew up with.
    I do understand the "Be true to your school" attitude about defending your particular region or taste preference, but I would encourage anyone with a serious affliction or addiction to smoked meats, with or without sauce, to step out of your neighborhood once in a while and taste that stuff on the other side of the tracks. And for God sake, stuff cooked in a crock pot covered in sauce is NOT barbecue.

    June 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • Glenn

      THIS – Well Said!

      June 14, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • catbell7

        in San Francisco in my apt I could not bbq – but Roadside BBQ was amazing – even their turkey leg and smoked grilled veggies - and their pies - available by the slice or a regular piece will thrill anyone

        Memphis Minnie's is excellent too and with their sanniches – they scoop the inside of the bread out so ya don't get a load of bread and their beans are also put in the smoker - their catfish comes from here in MS -

        now that I'm living in South MS - I can get excellent smoked meats or do them myself – not fond of white chicken so I do only dark pieces - and Strict's has the best smoked turkey breast - they will smoke whater for you also - and their new meat market has amazing red deer tamales and all sorts of sausages they do onsite and they go to the smoker – amazing for navy and pinto dried beans with lots of onions - I don't like cajun/creole seasoning at all and no greens so they will let me have green limas from their buffet table and their strawberry cake and pecan pie will send you into heaven :)

        June 14, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
  16. Chuckbacca

    Californias Santa Maria Style BBQ – The best!

    June 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
    • Steve McLeod

      Yes, Yes, Yes! Being a native of the Santa Maria area I was appalled the first time I had BBQ in the midwest and east! There is no travesty greater than putting sauce on perfectly good beef. Pork, maybe but real people don't BBQ pork! The 3B's apply to Santa Maria Style BBQ–beer, butter and Beau Monde. No runny, almost puke inducing snot-similar gooey slime for me. Beef with a little salt washed down by copious drafts of fine ale is all you need. I gotta get back there this summer where the shopping centers on Broadway will be filled with BBQ stands. You can get a paper plate of pinquitos, potato salad and generous slabs of the finest tri-tip for a couple of bucks! Nothing in the world like it...nothing.

      June 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Californias Santa Maria Style BBQ – SO GOOD!!

    June 11, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  18. theflash

    These comments are a joke. CNN should just shutdown this forum since it is not possible to report a TOS violation.

    June 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
  19. jeff lady

    I wonder if the writers of this article realize that Oklahoma Joe's is not in Kansas City, Missouri. All three locations are in Kansas! It's still the best in the KC area though!

    June 11, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • Shaw

      Sorry, but you are only partially correct. Never heard of Oklahoma Joe's, but Gates is located throughout KCMO and Bryants has one location on Brooklyn. Gates does have one location in Kansas that I know of. I haven't been back to KC in a few years, but I keep bottles of Gates sauce in my kitchen.

      June 11, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • AltonK

        He means all three locations of Oklahoma Joe's.

        June 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Shaw

          Now that I revisit the comment, I agree that's what what was meant. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

          June 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
  20. LORI

    Charlie's BBQ in Houston. Also Thomas BBQ off 45N in Houston – small place, but big BBQ flavor. I lived in Nashville and visited several BBQ places and when I asked for sauce, they handed me Louisiana Hot Sauce. I have traveled a lot and if you want BBQ or Tacos – drive South.

    June 11, 2014 at 9:43 am |
  21. JellyBean

    Filthy troll.

    June 11, 2014 at 8:30 am |
  22. Who are you kidding?

    Florida has the best BBQ. Period.

    June 11, 2014 at 6:44 am |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Where in Florida are you referring to? I would like to try some "good" BBQ from Florida!
      I have never found any "good" BBQ in Florida! I must have gone to all the wrong places, I guess.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
      • ™©JbJiNg!eŚ®™

        I don't claim to know what is good or excellent 'proper' BBQ, but I've been to this place in Sarasota, FL serveral times and loved it!


        June 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • Rob

      I grew up in Florida and you are completely wrong.

      June 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
  23. Biker Bob

    Best BBQ? No brainer. Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester NY.

    June 11, 2014 at 4:12 am |
    • Fun Fact

      If you think that anywhere up North has "the best BBQ" then you're obviously off your rocker.

      June 11, 2014 at 8:46 am |
      • krehator

        Most people who don't travel enough have no right to say anything. Both southerners and northerners!

        I've lived half my life north and half south. Both have their specific victories when it comes to food.

        June 11, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • fascinatedspectator

      That's funny!

      June 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  24. allanhowls

    KC is the most overrated BBQ. I mean, sure, if you want more sugar than meat, fine. But that sauce is just ketchup. Give me a dry rub with a Carolina-style, mustard-based sauce any day.

    And anyone who says Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati should have their tastebuds seized by the police. It's CIty BBQ, if you're stuck here in the BBQ wasteland.

    June 11, 2014 at 3:25 am |
  25. Joe

    SHEER TERROR BY THE CONGRESS ON ANOTHER COUNTRY--–*****As one of the preconditions to authorizing close to $300 million in aid, the United States is pressuring El Salvador to purchase genetically modified seeds from Monsanto instead of non-GM seeds from local farmers.

    June 11, 2014 at 1:16 am |
    • Rob

      Hey Joe, no one cares.

      June 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
  26. Joe

    As one of the preconditions to authorizing close to $300 million in aid, the United States is pressuring El Salvador to purchase genetically modified seeds from Monsanto instead of non-GM seeds from local farmers.

    June 11, 2014 at 1:15 am |
  27. Norm

    Great! Now I want a McRib.

    June 11, 2014 at 12:56 am |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Eeeww! Ick!

      June 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • HarpAttack

      With a side order of McCancer.

      June 11, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • catbell7

      lol Banquet has a tv dinner with the same that McD's has - for 88 cents at the grocery store with corn and smashed potatoes LOL - cheaper than McD's and probably from the same factory

      June 13, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
  28. Aaron

    Yeah...so I'm pretty sure that this list is the BBQ equivalent of "Most people surveyed say McDonalds makes the best french fries". What a terrible list. I live in Houston, and I wouldn't eat any BBQ in a 2hr radius, aside from Corkscrew up in Spring.

    Lockhart/Lulling > Austin > Memphis > Kansas City....anything else after those is just fill in the blank because a spot us vacant.

    June 11, 2014 at 12:52 am |
    • slick50ks

      Who can tell Aarons never been outside of Texas?

      June 11, 2014 at 1:36 am |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Texas makes some of the best brisket and BBQ beef in general, but if you want great BBQ chicken, ribs or pork, then you're going have to go somewhere NOT in Texas!

      June 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
  29. Bo

    Found it humorous that Oklahoma Joe's is listed in KC Missouri. The gas station location is in Kansas.

    June 11, 2014 at 12:44 am |
    • Brian

      I am confused what is humourous here??? Kansas City is in both (not technically, but in reality) Kansas and Missouri. A man's nickname that is the businesses' name includes a state title.

      Oh, the humor.

      June 11, 2014 at 12:55 am |
  30. Jim

    Compare that list to the top murder cities in America.

    June 10, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
  31. jbisog

    What about Virginia. Pierce's BBQ in Williamsburg is still what I dream about as I sit through winters in Wisconsin, having moved 15 years ago.

    June 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  32. scootfl78

    From all over the country, CNN? Seems like its just the midwest that you're polling. I guess we should be lucky it's not all New York locations since its easier to just walk outside the CNN offices to find good food than to actually poll the ENTIRE country. Any place that serves BBQ that makes you happy and which doesn't give you food poisoning is the best BBQ joint in the country (no matter if it's in Memphis, Anchorage, Honolulu, Orlando, or Providence, Rhode Island).

    June 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
    • scootfl78

      Correction - Savannah, Georgia is on the list. So it's not all Mid-West.

      June 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
    • Brian


      Here is a map of the United States, with what is commonly accepted as "The Midwest" states highlighted, for your convenience.


      As you may have already concluded, actually given your first, very ignorant, comment; only ONE CITY LISTED IS IN THE MIDWEST.

      June 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
    • Chuck

      Seriously? Exactly ONE of these places–Missouri–is Midwest. Texas, Lousiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia . . . NOT midwest.

      June 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
      • StevePage

        Chuck, maps might out Missouri in the Midwest, but don't go there and say it is. The weren't in the Union if that's a clue.

        June 11, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Matthew

      There is only one city on this list, Kansas City, Mo., that is in the midwest.

      Texas is not, has never been, and will never be, in the midwest. Neither will Tennessee or Georgia.

      You are a fuc king idiot, with a mouth much bigger than your brain, Scootfl78.

      June 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  33. Sean

    Dinosaur Bar-b-cue in Syracuse, New York; hard to believe, but true!

    June 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
  34. John

    Gates in Kansas City is the best in the world. It just is. Jack Stack is great for gourmet and is my second fav, Auther Bryant's and LC's are also better than almost anything found anywhere else. Oklahoma Joes, is an Oklahoma joke. It's some Johnson co KS thing that isn't kc BBQ. Texas and Memphis have great BBQ its just not in the same league as KC, and no I'm not from there.

    June 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
  35. The Enlightened Restauranteer

    "... says the Los Angeles-based advertising executive... " who is, without a doubt, the least informed person on the planet when it comes to barbecue.

    June 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
  36. Caleb Boone

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

    The best barbecued pork ribs are at The Hickory Hut on Crawford Street in Salina, Kansas.

    They are regular, full-size, pork ribs.

    They are barbecued over real hickory wood.

    They have no barbecue sauce on them.

    They cost only about $27.00 a slab.

    They are excellent.

    They have no pockets of fat on them.

    They are a million times better than anything in Kansas City.

    It would be a crime to put barbecue sauce of any kind on these ribs.

    Barbecue sauce is a cover-up for bad ribs or for unappetizing-looking oven-baked ribs.

    You are missing the boat by not eating these perfect ribs.

    Everyone wants real hickory-blackened, meaty, pork, full-size ribs.

    No one wants a bunch of barbecue sauce slathered over some meaningless fatty meat.

    Served with lots of alcohol at outrageous Neiman-Marcus prices.

    Have a Dovely.

    Sincerely yours,
    Caleb Boone.

    June 10, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • gabbbo

      nobody is going to Kansas for bbq

      June 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • scootfl78

      Except for the $27 a slab, it sounds good. Kansas City must have cost of living salaries if you can afford $27 for a slab of ribs (or maybe they're the pigs that are hand-fed which accounts for the cost).

      June 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
  37. IGOR

    Nuthin' better than the BBQ in Bangor, Maine... makes as much sense as most of the others... ;-P LMFAO...

    June 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
  38. John

    Kansas City has the best BBQ...they needed to mention Jacks Stack also. Make sure you get the beans (chunks of meat in it) and the Onion Rings....

    I live in Texas now....some decent places....but not as good as KC...not a big fan of the vinegar based sauce in Memphis.....have had very good pulled pork...

    June 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
    • fascinatedspectator

      Vinegar sauce is exactly what you are SUPPOSED to put on pulled pork, not thick tomato soupy sauce! Ick!
      That way, you can still actually TASTE the juicy smoked meat!

      June 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  39. Thinking things through

    Didn't we just go through this a month ago??? Worded by state, rather than city?

    June 10, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  40. LEO

    Everyone knows New Jersey has the best BBQ, come on now... Be for real.

    June 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
    • vatoloke

      "New Jersey?!" Get a rope...

      June 11, 2014 at 11:46 am |
    • HarpAttack

      Being that I lived 21 years in Philly, I know that "barbecue" in Jersey means we're going to put hot dogs and burgers, and maybe some chicken and a pot of pork and beans on the grill and have a "cookout". LOL

      June 11, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
1 2 3
| Part of