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BBQ Tour of America’s South

Matt and Ted Lee set out on a 3,000-mile odyssey to explore the contours of American barbecue.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days
Family Friendly

Overview :  Every morsel of barbecue tells a story, starting with the meat: if it’s sausage, you’re in or around Austin, Texas. Mutton? Owensboro,... more »

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Points of Interest

Few champion pit masters have achieved the level of celebrity of Mike Mills, whose postmodern barn on a strip of suburban sprawl provides a range of regional styles.

Address:
1711 W. Hwy. 50
O’Fallon, Illinois
United States

Phone:
(618) 622-1717

2. A & R Bar-B-Q

Prepare yourself for the best traditional Memphis-style ribs ever—flat-out sensational. The velvety, succulent meat at A&R simply glides away from the bone. Go for the dry (not basted in sauce) version so you can appreciate the complexity of seasoning, primarily a result of the residual smoke lingering in the pits out back. The rib-tip... More

Inside this circa-1920’s institution, a snaking line stretches to the door. While waiting, watch as the workers: pulling a whole brisket, blackened and quivering, from the white-enameled brick smoker; throwing down a broad sheet of red butcher paper; slapping on it a few slices of Wonder bread followed by a generous heaping of brisket ribbons;... More

Buy the region’s specialties, snoots, at this takeout window frequented by a steady stream of locals. Like oversize pork rinds, the texture of a rice cake, the snoots are sluiced with a tomatoey sauce that had the right amount of sweetness and heat cutting through its deeply porky hit. Take the platter to the park below the Gateway Arch to enjoy.

... More

Many like Gates for the burnt ends, mixed plate, and fries.

Address:
1221 Brooklyn Ave.
Kansas City, Missouri
United States

Phone:
(816) 483-3880

Housed in an 1888 former bank, steps from the iconic Gateway Arch.

Address:
400 Olive St.
St. Louis, Missouri
United States

Phone:
(314) 436-0002

7. Jack’s Bar-B-Que

Located in the thick of honky-tonk bars on Music City’s tourist strip, Jack’s Bar-B-Que nevertheless draws local rockabilly kids and alt- country scenesters for remarkable beef brisket, pork ribs, and smoked chicken.

Address:
416 Broadway
Nashville, Tennessee
United States

Phone:
(615) 254-5715

A 110-room hotel with a quiet Art Deco lobby and a private rooftop bar.

Address:
79 Madison Ave.
Memphis, Tennessee
United States

Phone:
(901) 333-1200

9. Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Bar-B-Que

Locals line up for a superb rendition of chopped pork on a bun, as well as excellent grilled short ribs.

Address:
1108 Jefferson St.
Nashville, Tennessee
United States

Phone:
(615) 256-7696

The apotheosis of Owensboro’s micro- regional mutton ’cue. Order it sliced and chopped—always with “dip”—and in a meaty burgoo (a rustic Kentucky stew).

Address:
2840 W. Parrish Ave.
Owensboro, Kentucky
United States

Phone:
(270) 684-8143

11. Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ

Beyond the shamrock gas station’s pumps and past the racks of Hostess cakes, a warren of tables and booths makes up this barbecue joint. Oklahoma Joe’s began life on competitive BBQ circuit in the early 90’s as the Slaughterhouse Five, a team of barbecue enthusiasts who got together to cook at weekend championships around the Midwest and the South... More

Grand 1920’s European-style property overlooking Country Club Plaza, the first outdoor suburban shopping center in the U.S.

Address:
325 Ward Pkwy.
Kansas City, Missouri
United States

Phone:
(800) 821-5343

13. Roper’s Ribs

The top spot for the Gateway City’s barbecue specialties, such as St. Louis-cut pork ribs, snoots, and rib tips.

Address:
6929 W. Florissant Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri
United States

Phone:
(314) 381-6200

14. Scott’s Bar-B-Q

Smoke rings are evident in these perfect pulled-pork sandwiches, which are topped with carrot-flecked slaw and suffused with a medium-hot sauce.

Address:
10880 Hwy. 412 W.
Lexington, Tennessee
United States

Phone:
(731) 968-0420

15. Scott’s Famous Barbecue

Local legend Martel Scott Jr. serves lunch in a 1960’s dining room Thursdays and Fridays.

Address:
1201 N. William St.
Goldsboro, North Carolina
United States

Phone:
(919) 734-0711

Recently renovated 353-room hotel in the heart of the city.

Address:
421 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, North Carolina
United States

Phone:
(919) 834-9900

17. Siler’s Old Time BBQ

The most recent in a succession of barbecue establishments cooking whole hogs on this site. Ask for rib meat, pit meat, or tenderloin if you prefer.

Address:
6060 Hwy. 100 E.
Henderson, Tennessee
United States

Phone:
(731) 989- 2242

North Carolina’s legendary pit master Ed Mitchell presides over this airy restaurant in a former meatpacking warehouse. (White tablecloth at a ’cue joint?You bet.) The house specialty is the region’s classic chopped pork, hacked from a whole pit-smoked, butterflied hog basted with a vinegary, peppery barbecue sauce. Though Mitchell still wears his... More

19. Union Station-A Wyndham Historic Hotel

Housed in a former train station, with spacious, whimsically decorated rooms.

Address:
1001 Broadway
Nashville, Tennessee
United States

Phone:
(615) 726-1001

20. Wilber’s

This BBQ mecca opens at 6 a.m. for breafast brains and eggs; country ham; grits. The pork is ready closer to 10 a.m. and is worth the wait. Sit in one of the knotty pine-paneled rooms, with wooden schoolhouse chairs and red-checked tablecloths to chow down on their perfect sandwiches.

Address:
4172 U.S. Hwy. 70 E.
Goldsboro, North Carolina
United... More