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TripAdvisor Serves Up America's Top States and Joints for BBQ
Tennessee, Texas, and Missouri Named Best U.S. States for BBQ by TripAdvisor Travelers
Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge, Georgia #1 BBQ Restaurant in the U.S.

NEWTON, Mass., May 20, 2015 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the top-rated U.S. states and restaurants for barbecue, based on the millions of reviews and opinions from the TripAdvisor community.Whether travelers prefer their slow-cooked meats smoky or sweet, barbecue aficionados can find something that satisfies their cravings at one of these outstanding barbecue destinations.

Top 10 U.S. States1 for BBQ

  1. Tennessee
  2. Texas
  3. Missouri
  4. North Carolina
  5. Georgia
  6. Florida
  7. South Carolina
  8. California
  9. Virginia
  10. New York

“Summer is barbeque season and TripAdvisor has cooked up the country’s top spots for finger-lickin’ fare,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “This year, TripAdvisor travelers gave the highest overall marks to Tennessee’s barbecue, while perennial favorites Texas, Missouri, North Carolina and Georgia rounded out the country’s top five.”  

Top 10 BBQ Restaurants2 in the U.S.

1. Joe’s BBQ – Blue Ridge, Georgia

Nestled in the mountains of northern Georgia, this cabin-style restaurant claims to be a small place with big taste. Visitors to Joes can feast their eyes on a broad menu of dry-rubbed meats that are hickory smoked to perfection. “The pork and ribs are the standouts. Both were tender and packed with flavor, and smoked perfectly,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

2Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que – Kansas City, Kansas

Home to some of America’s best ribs and signature creations including the Hog Heaven sandwich, the original Joe’s Kanas City Bar-B-Que is uniquely located within a gas station at the corner of 47th and Mission Street. Whether travelers dine in or carry out, the fall-off-the-bone meat will have them craving more. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, “Don't mind the line; it's so worth the wait. I can't stop thinking about the simple unadulterated pulled pork.”

3. Bogart’s Smokehouse – Saint Louis, Missouri

From apricot brûléed ribs to pastrami smoked over apple and cherrywood, this Gateway City favorite serves deliciously inventive spins on classic smokehouse fare. Diners also rave about the sides; particularly the pit baked beans and deviled egg potato salad. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The food is tender, juicy and has just the right amount of smoke in each bite. My favorites are the ribs, brisket and burnt ends.”

4. Reuben’s Smokehouse – Fort Myers, Florida

In 2014, this laidback eatery opened as an extension of Reuben’s popular catering business. On the menu, travelers will find a tantalizing selection of smoky meats and tempting sides including sweet molasses baked beans and savory cheesy mac. “The ribs have smokiness in every bite and the bacon wrapped meatloaf was cooked to perfection, not to mention the price is so right and leaves you feeling satisfied,” added a TripAdvisor reviewer.

5. Andy Nelson’s Southern Pit BBQ – Cockeysville, Maryland

Located less than 20 miles north of Baltimore, this popular joint founded by local football legend Andy Nelson serves a medley of mouthwatering meats including Memphis-style ribs and Dixie chicken. “The best barbecue to be found in the Baltimore area and beyond! Wonderful food served with authentic southern style hospitality,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

6. Captain’s BBQ – Palm Coast, Florida

Accessible by land or sea, al fresco dining is a popular option at this barbecue joint located along the Intracoastal Highway. After devouring savory delights such as the smoked turkey and Saint Louis style ribs, guests can taste the decadent New York cheesecake. “The meat was great, but they flat out know how to cook the sides as well. Fabulous baked beans, collards and coleslaw. Couldn't ask for better,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.

7. HogsHead Café – Richmond, Virginia

With an unassuming strip mall location, this place packs a flavorful punch. Traditionalists can satisfy their hunger with low-and-slow-cooked plates, while those craving culinary creativity can bite into the signature Hog Dog – a deep fried bacon-wrapped frank topped with pulled pork, coleslaw and tangy barbecue sauce. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “The barbecue ribs melt in your mouth and the pulled chicken was just as good.”

8. Buck’s Smokehouse – Destin, Florida

After spending nearly 20 years catering local events, Mike “Buck” Buckingham opened this Gulf Coast smokehouse that quickly attracted many passionate patrons. Beyond classic barbecue offerings, Buck’s offers a seafood spin on its ‘cue, serving smoked mullet and tuna dip.  “This place lives up to the hype! The pork ribs and brisket were some of the best I've ever had! Great flavor and the meat was extremely tender,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.

9. Franklin Barbecue – Austin, Texas

Recently named the best chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation, Aaron Franklin has amassed quite a following for his namesake Austin joint where guests wait hours for a chance to chow down. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The wait is worth the best brisket and ribs you will ever have; they just melt in your mouth. It's enough to make you go to the back of the line and start over!”

10Pappy’s Smokehouse – Saint Louis, Missouri

In midtown Saint Louis, carnivorous customers can get their fill of Memphis-style ribs, pulled pork, and brisket at this joint that smokes its dry-rubbed meats for 14 hours over sweet cherry wood. “The best ribs I've ever had! Beef brisket that has such good flavor it doesn't even need sauce, but don't skip the sauce – it's great too,” added a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Notes to editors:

1State ranking: The TripAdvisor ranking of top U.S. states for barbecue is based on the quality of ratings and volume of reviews for barbecue restaurants, giving more weight to reviews written in the past year, as well as the total number and percentage of restaurants in each state that are classified as barbecue, giving more weight to those with a minimum of 100 reviews.

2Restaurant ranking: The TripAdvisor ranking of top barbecue restaurants is based on establishments that have a minimum of 100 reviews and were ranked by quantity and quality, giving more weight to reviews written in the past year. Chain restaurants with more than 10 locations were excluded.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

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*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q1 2015