In the South, barbecue seems to be in its own food group. It’s a Southern staple. There are barbecue restaurants all over the place in the South. Ask anyone, and they are sure to have their own ideas of the best BBQ in town. But if you had to pick, where do you think the best BBQ cities are? It may surprise you!
When it comes to barbecuing, there are different styles. And every barbecue master has their own tips, tricks, and secrets. Some will tell you it is a certain key ingredient, others really stress the time the meat smokes. And everything in between. No matter how you cook it… we love some great barbecue!
What It Takes to Be The Best
LawnStarter has put together its list of the best BBQ cities, ranking 200 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 18 key marks of BBQ greatness.
What makes for the best BBQ cities? Of course, it’s the award-winning BBQ restaurants. But there are also BBQ competitions, festivals, and more.
One thing you’ll notice from LawnStarter‘s list? Barbecue is definitely more prevalent in the South. And… definitely not much of a thing once you go West of Texas!
Some of the top cities in this year’s list are a little surprising. With Orlando, Florida coming in at number 5… and cities known for BBQ, like Memphis, coming in much further down the list!
Some of the areas LawnStarter considered:
- Access – cooking teams serving BBQ and smokehouses per square mile.
- Quality- consumer ratings, restaurant ratings, business members in National Barbecue & Grilling Association.
- Accolades- award-winning cooking teams- broken down into various categories.
- Hosting- number of sanctioned National/Global competitions and number of BBQ festivals.
Where Does Georgia Rank?
So, when it comes to these metrics… where does Augusta rank? At number 126! Now we KNOW there are some great BBQ places around here, so that number was surprising.
Columbus, Georgia ranked at 84. Macon came in at number 27, and Atlanta ranked only slightly better at 24.
Atlanta did tie with 6 other cities for second place with the Most BBQ Festivals. The other cities include Chicago, Charlotte, Nashville and Washington, DC. Austin, Texas holds the top spot for the most festivals.
On the other hand, Augusta tied for first with 7 other cities for the fewest BBQ festivals. A few of the other cities include Cleveland, OH; Jackson, MS; Baton Rouge, LA; and Honolulu, HI.
When it comes to barbecuing at home, make sure to check out these essentials for every grill boss!