OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 30 Best BBQ Restaurants in America

Best BBQIn a nod to our nation’s longstanding love affair with barbecuing, we are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 30 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing regional styles and techniques, including dry rubs and wet brines, the winning eateries use a balance of nuanced spices and smoke to bring forth complex flavors in their barbecue dishes. The complete list includes notable restaurants in 12 states and Washington, D.C., such as Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem, Lambert’s Downtown BBQ in Austin, and Wexler’s in San Francisco. California has six award winners, followed by Illinois and New York with five each, Texas with four, and Ohio with two. Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also represented. 

The 2014 Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 30 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America are generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014. All restaurants listed as “barbecue” cuisine type with a minimum number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the food category along with a minimum “overall” rating.

The full list of winners may be viewed at


  1. GeoffR says

    Something’s terribly wrong with this list. Anyone who knows anything about barbecue would not even finish reading it – the best of the country are nowhere to be found, yet it purports to be the best of the country. Cleary a restaurant must be an OpenTable client to qualify for this list, and based on the results one must conclude that most good barbecue places are not clients of OpenTable. Just look at the array of states – California #1 while Texas is #4?!? And where are Georgia, the Carolinas and Kansas/Missouri? If you don’t have Houston and Kansas City and Dallas on a Top 30 list then that list is meaningless – why publish it? Just because your users like these restaurants in no way qualifies them to be on the list of “Top 30 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America”. You really, really have to specify “…that take OpenTable reservations”. Otherwise your list is almost aggressive in its wrongness. Now that I think about it, I guess you knew that. But you published it anyway.

  2. Tom Pearce says

    Any list of barbecue restaurants that omits the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arkansas is too silly to deserve comment.

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