The 20 Best BBQ in Memphis City, Which Is Worth the Try

From pizza to nachos to spaghetti, in Memphis we’ll add barbecue to anything. As someone that’s committed to sampling every barbecue restaurant there remains in Memphis, and also still consumes barbeque on a near-daily basis, I’m asked regularly (not simply by travelers),

Best bbq in Memphis

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The Feisty

“Where is the very best area right here to consume bbq?” While that question’s practically difficult to address with so many differed alternatives around, I could supply a list of places you need to check out for a far better understanding of just what makes Memphis ‘que special. Below are 15 choices for the leading BBQ joints around to begin you on your mission for smoked pork.


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Charlie Vergos

Dating back to 1922, when Leonard Heuberger opened up a restaurant called Leonard’s Lunch, Leonard’s is the earliest surviving name in Memphis bbq.

Serving cole slaw on pulled-pork sandwiches is a global Memphis practice that began at this restaurant, as well as it has some of the very best ribs in the city, which you can splash or dry. The delicious dry-rub is a traditional paprika- as well as chili powder-heavy rendition without all the sugar that overpowers a lot of modern rubs.


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For good bbq it’s ideal to stay clear of the tourist-centered locations Downtown. But if you go a little south of Beale St to the South Main district, to the Downtown location of Central BBQ,

you’ll be rewarded with a food selection that frequently tops neighborhood polls for ideal barbecue. As well as because the sauces are self-serve, it’s a great area to example a selection to see what you favor among the 4 options: light, hot, vinegar, and mustard.

3. A&R BBQ

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For a standard rural-barbecue experience in the middle of the city, the A&R on Elvis Presley Blvd is the kind of arrangement you usually have to eliminate right into the West Tennessee countryside to experience.

The meat’s cooked in a removed smokehouse behind the restaurant, and also you need to try the pork shoulder, either as a sandwich or a supper plate, and the homemade warm web link sausages.

4. ALEX’S TAVERN IN Memphis City

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Charlie Vergos

Several of the best ribs in Memphis are offered at a poorly lit bar where the proprietor places a Greek spin on the Memphis staple, and we’re not speaking about the Rendezvous. Around given that 1953, Alex’s Tavern is a dive bar that’s pretty much constantly open as well as full of cigarette smoke. And also the Greek-seasoned ribs,

cooked for eight hrs with apple and also hickory timber in a Tucker stove, are consistently best. Call in advance to see if they’re readily available– Alex’s could just prepare one instance at a time on the Tucker, and when the ribs are out, they’re out (however if they’re out, do not wait to order a Greek Burger or the poultry wings).


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One of the most usual form of bbq in Memphis is the pork sandwich on an ordinary white bun, topped with sauce and also coleslaw. There are a lot of excellent sandwich shops around the city that it’s hard to choose just one, however Showboat Barbecue’s 80-year-old owner, Porter Moss,

recognizes what to do– he’s been in the barbeque business since he started benefiting the still-popular Tops chain back in the late ’50s. Moss is at Showboat every day and still cooks the antique means: over pure lump charcoal in his old brick-and-steel pit. Absolutely nothing restores a cool day like a bowl of his barbeque stew. best bbq in memphis


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For the most extreme bbq sandwich in Memphis, attempt a Spicy Jumbo from Payne’s. The substantial portion of chopped pork likewise has a large sampling of charred outer meat from the shoulder, described as “bark” in barbecue circles. With generous portions of bright red sauce and also neon-yellow slaw, the sandwich wallops the palate with a mix of great smoky meat, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and spicy warm. Yet be ready to consume fast, as the bun degenerates as well as leaves you on fork duty.


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Pizza first came to Memphis in the ’50s, when Horest Coletta took a trip to Chicago to discover how to make it for solution members previously based in Italy. Originally it was a flop; as tough as it is to think today, pizza appeared as well international for a lot of Southerners of that period.

But Coletta knew Memphians would certainly try anything that had bbq on it, so he placed a pit in his restaurant’s basement as well as began covering his pies with shoulder meat. Elvis enjoyed them, his myriad of fans soon adhered to, as well as the back space he constantly requested at the original S Parkway location is still marked the Elvis Room as well as decorated with his souvenirs.


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In Memphis there are joints that offer standard spaghetti as a side, and then there’s full-on barbeque spaghetti integrating pork, smoke-infused sauce, as well as soft, overcooked noodles.

It initially showed up in Memphis decades back at the initial Brady and also Lil’s, yet when the dining establishment relocated to Madison Ave in 1987 its name transformed to the Bar-B-Q Shop. All the while it served barbeque spaghetti based upon the original secret dish,

focused around a base that smokes in the dining establishment’s pit for a minimum of 12 hrs. The Bar-B-Q Shop Pork Sandwich on Texas Toast and also the dry-rub ribs are reliable faves also.


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The barbecue sandwich could be the most prominent type of Memphis barbeque, but it’s encountering serious competition for that title from a much more current upstart. Barbeque nachos initially appeared on a Memphis-area food selection at the Germantown Commissary in 1982.

Today it’s tough to locate a barbecue joint that does not offer the basic yet tasty mix of pork, cheese, and barbecue sauce on a bed of tortilla chips. best bbq in memphis


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ahnph –

The Memphis Barbecue Co. is located– where else?– two leaves south of Memphis off of I-55 in the suburban area of Horn Lake, MS. But you won’t mind the commute once you walk inside the sizable restaurant and see 3 Grand Champion prizes from the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

The proprietors are serious rivals, and also the dining establishment’s food is as close as lots of people will ever get to sampling world-class barbeque from a competition of that eminence.


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Charlie Vergos

One of the most effective non-pork alternatives in town is the Cornish hen from the Cozy Corner– simply beware concerning requesting the spicy sauce unless you really like it molten-lava hot. The hen is the trademark item (ribs are additionally wonderful), despite the fact that there’s no delicate method to consume it.

You’ve just got to accept the fact that you’re going to need to tear that tasty charcoal-cooked little bird apart with your bare hands (perhaps not excellent for a first date). You’ll wind up licking your fingers while aiming to get every last morsel of meat off the final heap of bones.

Reference to citizens that you’re visiting Cozy Corner for barbecued Cornish chicken– abundant and wet right via– and also you’ll obtain lots of head-nodding authorization. Although the smoked rib-tips get their share of attention, it’s the burnished little bird that rules this roost. best bbq in memphis

Jonesing to try barbeque spaghetti?Cozy’s is the place to do it: wonderful, tangy bbq sauce– covered noodles actually make good sense after you’ve invested a few days eating in Memphis.

12. TOPS BBQ In Memphis City

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Delta Sky

Tops is among the perfect sandwich shops, with 15 areas around the Memphis area. It’s a neighborhood chain, but that doesn’t suggest any of the locations make use of cheap shortcuts like gas-fired pits– they all prepare their shoulders over charcoal in open pits.

You’ll hear plenty of citizens inform you that the hand-pattied double cheeseburgers are also much better compared to the shoulder sandwiches, but instead of dispute it,

the most effective strategy is to try both on the exact same bun. You can purchase shoulder meat by the ounce, so ask for a couple ounces of chopped pork as well as bbq sauce added to your dual cheeseburger for the best Tops experience.


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While brisket is typically more of a Texas point, you can still discover tasty beef in your area at Elwood’s Shack, hid in the edge of a car park alongside a Lowe’s equipment store. You’ll most likely wonder why one brisket taco sets you back $8 till you see things.

It’s sufficient smoky meat for a jumbo sandwich, covered with avocado, pico de gallo, fresh eco-friendlies, and also sour lotion, overdid a layer of melted cheese, inside a crisped flour tortilla.

If you’re there with other people, additionally try the trout tacos, or the pulled-pork sandwich, or the smoked hen wings, or one of the pizzas, or truly anything else on the menu.


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The Rib Tip Fried Rice served at KC’s is one of the most interesting and scrumptious takes on Memphis bbq. The area isn’t really a dining establishment as much as a bright red trailer in a flea market at 4444 S Third St,

and also with its Chinese-restaurant origins, its huge fried rice loads a styrofoam clamshell huge enough to feed two individuals for several dishes.

The rib ideas are still a finger food since they have bones in them, so attack an order with one hand using a fork for the deliciously smoky rice and also veggies,

the other hand dipping rib-tip items in barbecue sauce as well as eating them. Don’t worry about manners; after one bite you’ll lose any kind of feeling of shame.

15. POLLARD’S BBQ In Memphis

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Pollard’s proprietor Alonzo Pollard III is the son of Alonzo Pollard Jr., who makes the homemade warm links sold at A&R. At Pollard’s you could get those exact same warm links Ultimate-style:

cut up with peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, as well as onions and covered with a special mustard sauce. They’re home made offsite, so call in advance to ensure they’re readily available.

16. Neely’s BBQ In Memphis

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The dark wood paneling and also oversize cubicles make it seem like a roadhouse pub, until the aroma establishes you directly: Neely’s ways service. Don’t miss out on the delicious pulled-pork platter, served with amazingly abundant beans– dark, wonderful, and also close threads of caramelized meat. best bbq in memphis

If you have the endurance, add an assisting of beef ribs, a lot of bones worthwhile of Fred Flintstone that’s loaded with tantalizingly tender meat.

17. Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous

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They’re not wet; they’re moist. They’re “‘ Vous-style” ribs and they’re popular. Basted right before offering with a vinegar service and followed by a cleaning of seasonings (consisting of bay leaf and oregano), the mouthwatering ribs’ bright taste is a nod to the founding household’s Greek heritage.

Meet, in an alley basement in the business district, is a spacious labyrinth of dining-room (tablecloths! great deals of napkins!) packed with remarkable bric-a-brac and Memphis memorabilia.

18. Central BBQ Tn

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Janes Kitchen

Open considering that 2002, and also loaded with pupils from neighboring colleges, Central has a windy, spring-break feel as well as outdoor deck seating to match.

Order a pork plate with additional “bark” (the dark, greatly smoked crust). As you leave, be sure to grab a brown bag of thick-cut potato chips, sprayed with Central’s special spices blend. You’ll be licking your fingers for hrs.

19. Tops BBQ Memphis 

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A local chain that’s been around considering that 1952, Tops makes for a great introduction to Memphis eats. Regardless of where you are in the city, you’re near one. The hickory-flavored sliced sandwich combination with mustardy slaw and also beans will fortify you while you intend the remainder of your ‘hint odyssey.

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20. Payne’s Original BBQ

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If you just have time to try one pork sandwich, step up to the counter at Payne’s Original and order it cut (the only various other alternative is sliced). Experienced cleaver-wielding cause a mix of lighter-colored meat and also chewy darker crust.

Call at lunch break as well as you’ll hear the rhythmic thwacking sound behind-the-scenes. One bite supplies whatever you should know about authentic bbq texture as well as preference. best bbq in memphis

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