Lisa Rivera

Summer and BBQs go together like strawberries and cream, and no-one does it better than the US of A.

Though there are plenty of unbelievably good BBQ places all over the US, the title of best BBQ undeniably belongs to the southern states.

Here, BBQ isn’t just a way of eating, it’s a competition to see who can do it bigger, better, and juicier.

BBQ platter

From pork ribs, to beef brisket and pulled pork, this carnivorous feast isn’t for the diet conscious!

As well as your generous portion of meat, the standard meal also comes with the moreish sides of fries, ‘slaw’ and a popular vegetable in the south, fried okra. Also known as ladies fingers, these crunchy green stalks are the perfect accompaniment for the smoky, sticky cuts of meat.

Strap on your bib, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to whet your lips with a true taste of the states with these holiday ideas.

Southern Soul, Georgia

If you’ve never heard of St Simon’s Island in Georgia, bookmark it now. This former old seaside gas station come BBQ haven is the home of some of the finest flavours in the state.

Southern Soul serves up all the classics like ribs, pulled pork and smoked sausage, as well as a whole range of soulful sides to choose from.

St-Simons-Lighthouse

These include the region’s popular Brunswick Stew and ‘Hoppin John’, also known as black-eyed peas and rice.

Choo Choo BBQ, Tennessee

A name you’re not likely to forget anytime soon, Choo Choo BBQ also serves up unforgettable smoky-flavoured deliciousness.

Get your teeth stuck into one of their traditional hickory-smoked BBQ platters, that come with a side serving of toast and 2 sides.

ChooChoo

If that’s not enough to satisfy your hunger, Choo Choo BBQ also has regular and jumbo sandwiches, killer potatoes and BBQ by the pound to choose from!

Big Bob Gibson BBQ, Alabama

A restaurant doesn’t get more southern sounding than the excellent Big Bob Gibson BBQ in Decatur Alabama.

This place isn’t just famous for its BBQ, it’s also famous for winning countless of awards.

Along with winning the First Place title of Grand Champion 4 times in the King of the Smoker competition, its head chef, Chris Lilly, is a renowned BBQ TV chef. That said, you know this BBQ will be good.

Award

The restaurant’s come a long way since its days of serving BBQ from a makeshift table made up of oak planks in the backyard. And, from its ever-growing reputation, it’s only going to keep going from strength to strength.

Lexington Barbecue, North Carolina

From the outside, this small white house on the hill may not look like anything special, but inside there’s a whole lot of BBQ going on.

Built in 1962, Lexington Barbecue, or the ‘Honeymonk’ as locals call it, is continuously voted as one of the best BBQ places in the country, simply for the calibre of its grub.

Coals

Everything is cooked fresh daily, using the traditional wood to cook the meat. The restaurant only uses pork shoulders, which is then cooked over oak or hickory coals.

The food coupled with excellent customer service strengthens Lexington Barbecue’s reputation as the place to keep coming back to in North Carolina.

Old Hickory BBQ, Kentucky

If you’re looking for a BBQ joint with some serious history behind it, look no further than Old Hickory BBQ.

This quaint family restaurant has been serving up delicious southern BBQ since 1918, and is now in its sixth generation.

A slight difference in menu, Old Hickory serves barbecued mutton, a tradition started by the founder, Charles Foreman in 1918.

Mutton

As the website states: to produce consistently first-rate barbecue, there can be neither shortcuts nor compromise.

Diners can pig out on BBQ plates of mutton, pork, beef, pork ribs and chicken, or go combination and try 2 different items. Save room for the deserts on offer too, as the lemon ice box and coconut pies sounds like heaven on a plate!

Franklin Barbecue,Texas

There’s no way of escaping Texas when it comes to barbecue, and why would you want to. This big state is big on BBQ — you just need to know where they do it best.

If you’re in need of satisfying your hickory-smoked craving, and are in the Austin area, you need to swing by Franklin Barbecue.

Austin

Consistently cited as one of the best places for barbecue in the country, they must be doing something right.

The owner, Aaron Franklin — one of the most influential pitmasters in the US — carefully watches over his 9 pits, knowing exactly what size piece of wood to throw in, and more importantly when the meat is ready. With this kind of precision, it’s little wonder Franklin’s has gained the reputation it has.

Lines begin early for Franklin’s, so don’t be late if you want to sample some of the state’s best barbecue. They open from 11am to ‘sold out’, and things sell out fast!

Speaking of the beef brisket, food guru and TV personality, Anthony Bourdain, said ‘it is the finest brisket I’ve ever had.’

If brisket doesn’t do it for you, other popular menu items include barbecued sausages (links) and a wide range of succulent BBQ stuffed meat sandwiches.