Summer brings many culinary delights, like fresh produce, lobster rolls, and rosé all day. But nothing screams summer like a plate of juicy, salty or sweet barbecue. Whether it’s a pulled pork platter or on a bun with cole slaw, we’re all in on all of it, straight from a Texas smoker or a Lexington barbecue drive-thru. With so many variations between states and regions, it’s hard to choose the style you might like best. Take our quick quiz to discover your preferred barbecue and then make plans to explore the area’s offerings and its local dining scene.
What’s your favorite type of meat?
How do you like your BBQ served?
Pick a sauce style.
Quiz: What Region Has the Best Barbecue for You?
Head straight to this city to sink your teeth into slow-cooked brisket, seasoned simply with salt and pepper by the pound, plate, or sandwich. And be sure not to offend the local pitmasters by asking for sauce – the history of Texas barbecue is all about showcasing the protein and mastery of the cooking style. Beyond traditional barbecue, Austin boasts hundreds of innovative restaurants that have put the city on the map for more than meat. Explore Austin restaurants.
It’s the birthplace of rock n’ roll and the barbecue scene here will absolutely rock you. When asking for sauce in this BBQ town, expect to satisfy your sweet tooth to complement the spicy Memphis dry rub. You’ll taste notes of paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, onion and celery spices, brown sugar, cumin, dry mustard, coriander, allspice, and molasses all in one bite. After you’ve had your fill of ribs, be sure to try the fried chicken this city is also famous for. And if you think there’s not fine dining aplenty, think again. Explore Memphis restaurants.
Kansas City, Missouri, has earned its moniker as the barbecue capital of America, celebrating all the meats in its masterful barbecue creations. The sauce is a tangy blend of molasses, brown sugar, and ketchup, resulting in a thick and sweet concoction that pairs well with marinated and slow-cooked pork, beef, and poultry. When you’ve checked all the BBQ boxes on your list, take time out to tuck into chicken and noodles, another local specialty, and find a table at a top farm-to-table restaurant in the heartland. Explore Kansas City restaurants.
Is your favorite show Salt Fat Acid Heat? Because you’ll find all that in every bite of Carolina-style barbecue – especially the acid part. The Eastern barbecue here is accompanied by a thin, vinegar-based sauce that balances the salty, fatty, spicy components of slow-cooked pork. Beyond finger-licking barbecue lies booming dining scenes to discover as big cities like Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh attract hot chefs and foodies alike. Explore North Carolina restaurants.