Trending BBQ Restaurants For 2017

Trending BBQ Restaurants For 2017

Ribs are an All-American favorite treat.

What makes great barbecue, and why do the majority of people love it so?

In this article, we look at trending BBQ restaurants for 2017. But first, let’s look at the reasons behind our love of barbecue.

The BBQ Craze

According to one source, the mix of fire, smoke and meat is incredibly tantalizing to most Americans. The food itself is delicious, and the eating of it often reminds people of a cozy, family gathering.

The craze for BBQ is going strong all over the country. But, why? Let’s look at the history:

  • Travelers from Haiti to the American colonies first introduced the word, “barbecue,” to settlers. At that time, it referred to the grilling rack, and soon after, to the meat.
  • By 1773, barbecue meant any time people were gathered socially, and it involved roasting an animal.
  • By 1931, the term was used to describe any meat cooked on coals.

Barbecues have long been a draw for the deliciousness of the food and the social gathering itself. (tweet this) There’s an innate camaraderie that comes about when people share BBQ together.

Now, let’s look at trending BBQ restaurants for 2017.

Archibald's BBQ - Northport, AL

Archibald’s BBQ – Northport, AL

Alabama is listed as one of the most barbecue-crazed states in the United States, and Archibald’s BBQ is a big part of the reason why.

Opened in 1961, they are known for the best ribs in America. George Archibald, Sr., and his wife, Betty, started selling barbecue pork out of a cinder-block building just outside the back door of their home. The restaurant is now run by his grandson.

The Archibald’s forgo the usual low-and-slow method for just 45 minutes over a bed of hot hickory. They grill the ribs in a well-seasoned brick pit just behind the front counter, and the ribs are served in an atomic orange sauce that sends a lot of heat your way.

Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL

Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL

Another well-known hot spot for barbecue in Alabama, Bob Gibson started his “restaurant” in 1925 when he nailed oak planks to a large tree in his backyard and started cooking.

You choose the sauce for your meat, including a tasty white sauce that tastes as good on pork as it does chicken.

Locals love this special barbecue spot, so you know it’s a trendy location.


Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, KS

Located inside a remodeled gas station, Joe’s is often regarded as the best barbecue in the country.

It all started when Jeff and Joy Stehney attended a barbecue contest. They had a great time and enjoyed the camaraderie, the food and the competition. Hooked, they bought a competition-style smoker and formed a barbecue team called the Slaughterhouse Five.

They won competition after competition, including the American Royal Invitational.

Their reputation followed them, and they started getting requests for catering. People kept suggesting they open a restaurant, but they didn’t want to rush into it.

They met Joe Don Davidson, founder of Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker Company and went into the restaurant business together creating Joe’s Barbecue and Catering in 1995 and soon after the first Oklahoma Joe’s restaurant in Oklahoma.

In 1996, the Stehneys happened on a neighborhood gas station near their house in Kansas City that was closing its fried chicken counter, and they thought it seemed the perfect spot for a barbecue joint, and a landmark was born.

The next year, the restaurant in Oklahoma was closed, they bought out Joe Davidson, and the Stehneys were the sole owners of Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que restaurants.

According to their website, their goal has “only ever been to be the best,” so they are stopping at three, very trending BBQ restaurants.

Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ in Tyler, TX

Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ in Tyler, TX

The oldest mom-and-pop barbecue restaurant in Tyler, Texas, Stanley’s has been in business since the 1950s.

From mouth-watering brisket to baby-back ribs, pulled pork and fresh-made sausage, everything at Stanley’s is worth trying.

They up the ante on the basic barbecue joint with live music six nights a week and a patio equipped with a full bar featuring Texas craft beer and American whiskeys, bourbons and ryes.

They recommend calling ahead because they often run out of everyone’s favorites!

This definitely trendy spot has been recognized as “One of the Best BBQ Joints in the World!” by Texas Monthly Magazine. They’ve also found themselves published in several books including Daniel Vaughn’s “Prophets of Smoked Meat,” published by Anthony Bourdain.

Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous in Memphis, TN

Since the 1940s, the family of Charlie Vergos has owned and operated this unique Memphis BBQ joint.

They have been serving their signature dry rub ribs in a basement through an alley across from the Peabody Hotel. While the world outside has stepped into the 21st century, this barbecue joint looks just like it did 60 years ago.

Back when Charlie Vergos opened his restaurant by turning an old coal chute into a smoker, he realized he needed to expand his menu.

While most people thought of ribs as scrap meat, Vergos turned to his right-hand man, Little John, who knew just how to cook them. And, they created their own formula:

  • Throw the racks in 18 inches from the fire
  • Grill for an hour and 15 minutes
  • Use a vinegar wash to keep them moist
  • Make a rub based on the seasoning Vergos’ father used in a Greek chili recipe
  • Add paprika for a traditional barbecue color

From then on, Vergo’s place has been the hot spot for ribs in Memphis.

Famous for their pork ribs with either wet sauce or a dry rub, their charcoal-broiled lamb riblets and barbecue chopped chicken, you can’t go wrong with this barbecue joint.

The restaurant, aptly named “The Rendezvous” is an experience all on its own.  Locals, tourists and celebrities make their way down that alley and inside to explore the large menu that expands for even the most discerning of tastes.

Final Thoughts

You’ll find dynamite BBQ restaurants all across America serving up a platter of ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, moist chicken or beef grilled to perfection.

You can bet there’s no meal more American than barbecue, and you’ll find a lot of competition between barbecue restaurants to stay on top. (tweet this) Combine that with American’s love of beef and pork, and barbecue is here to stay.

Whenever a craving hits you, and you head out to your favorite BBQ restaurant, come back here and give a shout out to your favorite spot. We’d love to hear where you enjoy your barbecue.

Share your comments about your favorite BBQ restaurant below. What’s your favorite BBQ joint?

Image:  Andrew Itaga, Southern Foodways Alliance, Matt Johnson, Chris Pencis, Ron Cogswell and Dan


One response to “Trending BBQ Restaurants For 2017”

  1. Ona Cavey says:

    Wieland’s BBQ, Catonsville, MD. Excellent brisket and pulled pork! Food truck heaven!!

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