Special Report

The Best Barbecue Joints in America

Source: Courtesy of Wendy P. via Yelp

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que
> Location: Decatur, AL

What started as a smoke pit in Bob Gibson’s backyard in 1925 is now a Decatur institution with two locations that serve slow-smoked chicken, brisket, pork and ribs. Take home some of Big Bob’s original tangy white barbecue sauce or Championship red sauce, and don’t miss out on the homemade cream pies.

Archibald’s Bar-B-Q
> Location: Northport, AL

This iconic BBQ shack has two locations in Tuscaloosa; one with outdoor picnic table seating and an enormous chimney where hickory logs are loaded into the fire. Tender ribs, fried catfish, and saucy smoked chicken wings are popular menu items. Archibald’s sauce is considered legendary and the banana pudding is a must.

McClard’s Bar-B-Q
> Location: Hot Springs, AR

A family-owned joint since 1928, McClard’s retains the feeling of an old-fashioned diner with a retro vibe and friendly staff. The ribs, chopped pork, and loaded fries are popular choices but many repeat customers come for the smothered tamales, topped with corn chips, beans, chopped beef, onions, and cheese.

Source: Courtesy of nakkal o. via Yelp

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner
> Location: Marianna, AR

An unassuming lunch spot on the lower level of the owners’ home, Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, honored as an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation in 2012, is believed to be the oldest continuously operated Black-owned restaurant in the nation. Although a fire nearly destroyed the business last year, it has reopened and is serving its famous oak- and hickory-smoked pork shoulder, which sells out every day – often by 10 a.m. The brief menu offers only pulled pork sandwiches, smoked pork by the pound, and slaw.

Bludso’s
> Location: Los Angeles, CA

This Texas-style BBQ by celebrity chef Kevin Bludso got its start in Compton and now has multiple Los Angeles outposts, including a sit-down location in Hollywood. Order any of a plethora of smoked meats by the pound or splurge on a family-style tray, loaded with tender brisket, sausages, ribs, and chicken with classic sides, corn bread, and pickles.

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