Memorial Day Weekend: Top barbecue restaurants to try in America


It’s time for a pit stop – barbecue pit that is. 

The unofficial kick-off of summer is upon us, and for food lovers looking to get a taste of it, that means wood, fire and smoked meat. 

From ribs to pork shoulders, brisket, and pork belly, it all comes down to spice rub, sauce, and bold flavor. And Americans show major allegiance to their States when it comes to cooking styles for barbecue. 

The unofficial kick-off of summer is upon us, and for food lovers looking to get a taste of it, that means wood, fire and smoked meat.

The unofficial kick-off of summer is upon us, and for food lovers looking to get a taste of it, that means wood, fire and smoked meat.
(iStock)

Here are some fan favorites from around the country to indulge in this Memorial Day weekend, and all summer long. 

Harp Barbecue, Kansas City, Missouri 

Low and slow is the name of the game when it comes to cooking ‘cue in Kansas City. Hickory wood is the trick for many chefs when smoking meat. Just ask Tyler Harp of his namesake Harp Barbecue in Kansas City, Missouri.  This restaurant, open only on Saturdays, utilizes the entire hog to serve up ribs, pork belly, sausage, pastrami and brisket. The sauce is typically thick with a hint of sweet molasses. 

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Payne’s Bar-B-Que, Memphis, Tennessee 

It’s impossible to be walking in Memphis without running into a great barbecue spot. And Payne’s Bar-B-Que is one of them. This family-owned staple has been around since 1972 and is known for its smoked pork ribs. Memphis-style barbecue is known for using a dry rub or wet rub with meat that’s slow-cooked in a pit. The spice rubs usually consist of salt, pepper, brown sugar and other herbs and spices. Chefs will typically toss the cue in barbecue sauce as it cooks to add caramelized flavor, according to Taste Cooking.com.

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Lexington Barbecue, North Carolina 

Carolina cue typically utilizes the whole pig and features a spice-and-vinegar mix in the cooking process. At Lexington, it’s all about the ketchup – which goes in the barbecue sauce and the slaw. The restaurant is known for its pork shoulder cooked over oak coals, Thrillist reported.

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Scott’s Bar-B-Que, South Carolina 

Like North Carolina, pork is typically the go-to meat for barbecue meat. But in South Carolina, its common to use a mustard-based sauce that’s sweetened with a little brown sugar and vinegar. And a mainstay in the Palmetto State is Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway. The ‘cue haven serves up delights like pit-roasted pork, chicken and boiled peanuts in a rustic white and blue house. 

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Tyler’s Barbecue, Texas 

This little red house in Amarillo serves up dry-rub ribs that are smoked daily in addition to its meaty brisket and sides like green-chile mac and cheese. Another favorite to belly up to is the black-peppercorn sausage. 



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