Every state believes it has the best barbecue in the nation and Georgia is no different.
While its Carolina neighbors are known for their mustard and vinegar-based sauces, and Alabama for its infamous white sauce, Georgia is a melting pot for the delicious pulled pork goodness. Not only do Georgians find their barbecue important, the sides can make or break a restaurant as well.
Here are seven of the best Georgia barbecue restaurants.
1. Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, Atlanta
You’ll be hard-pressed to ask about barbecue in Atlanta without Fox Bros being the first suggestion. Texan brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox opened the establishment in 2007 and have been serving up pulled pork, brisket and short ribs ever since.
Although relatively new to the Atlanta barbecue scene, the restaurant’s culinary skills have not gone unnoticed by locals. In fact, Fox Bros was one of the dining options given to festival attendees when Outkast performed three nights at Centennial Olympic Park in 2014.
2. Joe’s BBQ, Blue Ridge
Located in a small town near the North Carolina border, Joe’s BBQ has been grabbing attention from both the Georgia and national barbecue scenes. It may only be open four days a week, but you can guarantee the restaurant will be filled to the brim. Perhaps that’s why TravelAdvisor picked this restaurant as the best place to get barbecue in the country in front of heavyweights from Kansas City, St. Louis and Austin.
The menu is simple: You’re getting pork, chicken, Brunswick stew or a baked potato. There aren’t many sides to choose from either. In my experience, that’s a good thing. Why? Because that means the pit masters at Joe’s have perfected their craft.
3. Southern Soul Barbeque, St. Simon’s Island
Ask any “dawg” that goes to Frat Beach, or anyone living on Georgia’s coast and they’ll tell you no trip to St. Simon’s is complete without stopping by Southern Soul. Although barbecue on an island isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, don’t let the location fool you. This restaurant packs a powerful punch of flavor in their sandwiches and plates.
Southern Soul also provides a wide variety of sauce options for its consumers. So when you’re on the island, take a break from the seafood and enjoy this barbecue oasis.
4. Butt Hutt, Athens
During my time at the University of Georgia, there was one barbecue restaurant I could not get enough of, and that was the Butt Hutt. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so, especially when Fox Sports named the Athens staple the “Best barbecue spot in the SEC”.
Whether you’re ordering a “Buttwich” a “Butt Dog” (pulled pork hot dog), brisket or a “What-What” (where the barbecue is grilled or fried) you’re guaranteed an amazing meal at the Hutt. You have your choice of chopped pork, chopped chicken, chopped turkey, brisket or ribs. The decision is yours.
5. Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta
Another Atlanta favorite, Heirloom Market BBQ brings forth an ethnic mixture to the barbecue game. Sure, you can have the traditional pulled pork or pulled chicken, but you can also enjoy the Spicy Korean Pork, Smoked Kielbasa or Heirloom’s signature tacos.
The restaurant has your typical Southern sides, such as mac and cheese, cole slaw and Brunswick stew and sauces range from a Korean sauce to their “Hotlanta” paste, a mustard-based hot sauce.
SEE ALSO: 12 Best Things About Living in Georgia
6. Sconyers Bar-B-Que, Augusta
When the barbecue craving strikes you in Augusta, look no further than Sconyers. The family-owned restaurant has been serving plates, sandwiches, hash and ribs in the “Georgialina” region since opening in 1956. The meat at the establishment is pit-cooked and well-revered.
The best known meal at Sconyers is the Plantation Platter, consisting of chopped beef, chopped pork, ribs and your option of chopped chicken or turkey. Safe to say, it’s enough food to feed the entire family.
7. Fallin’s Barbeque, Thomasville
Last but not least, when in South Georgia, Fallin’s Barbeque is the best place to stop for good country barbecue. Fallin’s signature meal is the ‘Kita, which is a barbecue sandwich served on garlic bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato. You have your choice of getting the ‘Kita with chicken, beef, pork or turkey. Better yet, just have all four.
Other specialties include ribs, brisket and “BBQ Boats”, which are potato shells stuffed with pork and cheese.