The cooking technique of smoking meat on open flames is popular among mankind since the time they figured out the need to eat meat. However, it was only the United States of America that brought an amazing revolution into barbecuing. From big charcoal BBQ grills to smart and portable electric grills, the country has a strong obsession with smoked food using various types of grilling devices.
Plus, America constantly showed the entire world what all possibilities can be there to prepare various types of meat – from beef to pork to chicken. Although the barbecue tradition actually started in Caribbean regions, American grillmasters made way for barbecue into their culture in a big way.
Today, barbecue is a big-time summer tradition in almost every American family. The world BBQ itself brings family and friends together in the US. Whether you like conventional pig pickin’ or prefer to make pulled pork on an open fire, barbecue can interest anyone who simply loves to enjoy cooking or eating food.
Not just meats, there are a variety of barbecued food options for vegetarians and vegans too. With various types of cooking techniques, food ingredients, and different sauces, America’s rich BBQ love is spread all over the country.
But have you ever wondered which specific American cities to visit for amazing BBQ delicacies? Here, we share with you the 5 best cities for barbecue in America to explore your love for smoked meals.
1. Brooklyn, New York City
It is no surprise that Brooklyn is at the top of our list. There are a variety of restaurants and food joints offering barbecued meals for all types of smoky food lovers. What makes Brooklyn stand apart from contemporary cities is that this city has its own particular mandate when it comes to supporting local farms and taking care of the environment. It means that the city gets most of its BBQ meat suppliers from local poultry farms and butchers. Plus, you can easily find sustainable St. Louis ribs at Fletcher’s. Or get Memphis-style dry-rubbed ribs in Williamsburg at Fette Sau.
2. Austin, TX
You must have heard of Franklin if you reside in the USA. It’s more like a Marcia meme in the BBQ world of Austin. And, it’s superb indeed. One of the most compelling and best arguments on Austin’s BBQ scene is that all the barbecue food lines in this city are considered the best than other major cities in the country.
For now, la Barbecue often has around a 45-minute wait time and that’s for a reason. The Lockhart scene is also making a way into the city with two distinct Black’s-associated settlements. John Mueller is very popular in the scene and they daily change their sausage at their Micklethwait trailer.
Apart from offering traditional smoked delicacies, Austin pitmasters don’t shy away from experimenting with distinct BBQ food varieties. It means that you can easily find a lore of classic and creative styles of barbecued recipes in Austin. That’s the reason that this city has made it to the number three position on our list.
3. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is another big city that also offers some mouth-watering smoked stuff. Each year around 50 teams from professional restaurants to backyard barbies come together in August at Atlantic Station. Together, all these teams compete for Atlanta’s Best BBQ title. This particular city does not have its own style of barbecued meals. But their chefs often come together from various parts of the Southern region to create a variety of BBQ meals for yourself.
One consistent winner from the competition has been Fox Bros. Even Everything Plate offers interesting pulled pork, quarter chicken, beef brisket, and wings during this fest. Furthermore, Fat Matt’s, an unpretentious and electric blues and barbecue joint specialize in making delicious ribs – from slab to sandwich. Besides these basic smoked food options, they have a long list of interesting spicy sides. What makes the Southern night more special is the nightly live acts along with lip-smacking smoked meals. So, you need to experience this fest at least once if you happen to be in Atlanta around August.
4. Lockhart, Texas
The small town of Lockhart, which is located thirty miles south of Austin, has around four popular barbecue restaurants in the region. Since 1900, Kreuz Market in Lockhart has been providing German-style sausages with no sauce and well-cooked brisket. These smoked foods are very popular throughout the state for their mind-blowing flavor and crispiness.
Furthermore, Black’s Barbecue, which is running this family food joint since 1932 and hires a brisket recipe that’s passed down to the new generation, is also a historically significant establishment here. Don’t miss out on a chance to visit Lockhart when you are touring around Texas. And, do visit the mentioned places for amazing smoky food options.
5. Kansas City, Missouri
This famous barbecue capital is well-known for its tomato and molasses sauce, which is poured on almost everything. From beef to smoked chicken, barbecued turkey, pulled pork sandwiches, and pork ribs, you can add this sauce to any of these food varieties. There are several restaurants here that can smoke around everything, typically on hickory wood.
The flavor-filled nuggets with burnt ends are served with a tangy sauce. These are quite popular among locals and no food platter is totally complete without perfectly sweet and spicy baked beans. Some of the major stops to include in your tour in Kansas City are Oklahoma Joe’s that’s located within a gas station. Arthur Bryant’s that Calvin Trillin claimed to be one of the best restaurants in the world.
However, if you’d ask any locals, they will recommend any of their favorite spots based on their preference for sauce-soaked ribs, crunchy burnt-ends, or juicy chicken. It is because there is a different top BBQ restaurant in every region for every option. And, this is what makes barbecue tasting at these different places a very beautiful thing.
Typically, Texas, Austin, and Brooklyn are considered one of the best spots in various lists of the top cities in the USA for barbecue. But the good thing is that there are various barbecue traditions throughout the U.S. for different people to enjoy their favorite food anywhere they want.
From Brooklyn to Kansas City, you may dig into any of your favorite BBQ meats in any desired city of your choice. But these five cities are worth visiting any day. You can visit any of these BBQ cities in America or check our best barbecue restaurants list in the USA.