The Best Barbecue Ribs in Every State


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Anne A./Yelp

Go-To 'Cue

Barbecuing is an art, which requires the right knowledge on combining heat, time, and flavors to achieve the best technique for each cut of meat. The best rib pitmasters across the country take this into account, using everything from secret glazes to smoking techniques to achieve ribs you'll want to bite into time and time again. Take a look at some of the country's best ribs at barbecue stops in every state and Washington, D.C., from Pepsi-glazed baby backs to pepper beef ribs.

Related: Bucket-List Barbecue in Every State

Dreamland Bar-B-Que
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Alabama: Dreamland Bar-B-Que

Multiple Locations

When Dreamland opened in 1958, its hickory-fired ribs became their most popular item. The pork spare ribs are grilled over a hickory wood-fired pit and then basted in their signature spicy and vinegar-based barbecue sauce. They come with fresh, fluffy, white bread to dip into the sauce and have a distinct pull to them as you tear them off the bone. For the full experience, head to their original location in Tuscaloosa and order the ribs with a side of potato salad and baked beans. Make sure to try the banana pudding for dessert.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Barbecue Joints Across America

Big Daddy's BarB-Q
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Alaska: Big Daddy's BarB-Q


Featured on Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives," this barbecue stop's Arkansas baby back ribs are one of its most popular dishes. The tender pork loin ribs come in your choice of a half or full rack smoked slow over hickory. They're served with your choice of two sides and thick slices of Texas toast.

Related: Where to Find a Good, Cheap Burger in Every State

Little Miss BBQ Phoenix
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Arizona: Little Miss BBQ


Little Miss BBQ focuses on central Texas-style barbecue, using a combination of Arizona white oak, pecan wood, pistachio wood, and mesquite firewood in its smokers to achieve brisket and ribs that are known for their incredibly tender and juicy texture. The barbecue here comes deli-style by weight, sliced right in front of you, with your choice of pork spare ribs and beef ribs. The beef ribs, served only on Fridays and Saturdays, are the favorite, with diners recommending the creamy jalapeño cheddar grits and crunchy coleslaw for sides. For dessert, have a slice of the smoked pecan pie.

Related: From Barbacoa to Yakitori: 25 Barbecue Styles From Around the World

Lindsey's Hospitality House Little Rock
B P./Yelp

Arkansas: Lindsey's Hospitality House

Little Rock

Lindsey's Hospitality House has been serving home-cooked, Southern meals and solid barbecue since 1956, with the succulent ribs and catfish favorites here. The ribs here are big, meaty spare ribs that are tender on the inside with a flavorful crust on the outside. They come served with tangy, tomato-based barbecue sauce, but they're so succulent that they're just as good straight off the bone. Popular sides diners love here include the fresh coleslaw and the fried okra or steamed cabbage, but make sure to save room for a slice of the fried peach pie.

Related: 20 Dishes Every Meat Eater Should Try at Least Once

Moo's Craft Barbecue LA
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California: Moo's Craft Barbecue

Los Angeles

Originally starting out as an underground backyard pop-up smoking Texas-style brisket and ribs, Moo's now has a restaurant in Lincoln Heights in addition to appearing at events like brewery popups and outdoor food markets like Smorgasburg. Texas-style barbecue is the focus here, and diners love the large and tender beef ribs and the sweet and peppery pork ribs. From the beef ribs to specials like pastrami ribs, all the rib varieties are known to be tender and juicy, but you'll want to get there early for the beef ribs, as these tend to sell out fast.

GQue BBQ Colorado
Natalia S./Yelp

Colorado: GQue

Multiple Locations

GQue founder Jason Ganahl has been around the best in barbecue for years, working for years both as a judge and competitor in barbecue competitions. His restaurant features the best in barbecue, featuring dishes that have won professional contents. It regularly ranks as one of the top barbecue and rib spots in both the state and country. Meats here are hickory smoked, with just the right amount of seasoning. They're tender and decadent all on their own, no sauce required, but tend to sell out by the afternoon so you'll want to get here early. Enjoy them with smokey, pit-smoked beans and fresh apple coleslaw.

Related: The Best Under-the-Radar Steakhouse in Every State

Pig Rig BBQ
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Connecticut: Pig Rig BBQ


At this local, hidden gem, an Army veteran plates out hot platters of brisket, handmade sides, and the specialty, juicy baby back ribs. Hickory-smoked barbecue is the focus, with the moist ribs pit-smoked and dry rubbed with a signature blend of spices. You can get them with or without barbecue sauce on top, though diners say the sauce here is delicious. Make sure to try the Cowboy Beans, the most popular side dish, and the smoked mac and cheese for incredible flavor.

Russell's Quality Foods
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Delaware: Russell's Quality Foods


Head to the parking lot of Steve's Liquors and you'll be able to smell the hickory-smoked barbecue from this popular local food truck, where owner Alphonso Russell creates Southern barbecue favorites like his succulent ribs. Meats are cooked low and slow here, with your choice of Russell's signature barbecue sauce, a sweet, vinegar-based sauce reminiscent of those in the Carolinas. The ribs come with a nice char and delicate smokey flavor but do tend to run out, so you'll want to get here early. Pair the ribs with homemade sides like the candied yams and collard greens.

Backyard Smoke Spot BBQ
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District of Columbia: Backyard Smoke Spot BBQ


Opened in 2017, this popular barbecue stop sits in a converted deli where cherrywood-smoked barbecue is made fresh daily. Spices and flavor combined with an expert cook make the dishes stand out, from the jerk spices incorporated into the ribs and wings to the sauces offered with ribs in flavors that include bourbon, citrus, and mango. The smoke flavor comes through in every bite, with a heavier bark on the ribs and a juicy and tender texture inside. 

Related: The Best Chicken Wing Spot in Every State

Woodpecker's Backyard BBQ
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Florida: Woodpecker's Backyard BBQ

St. Augustine

This little local's stop slings out top-notch barbecue to long lines of locals every day, closing when the food runs out, which it often does thanks to ribs that are cooked with just the right amount of smoke and char to them. Low and slow Southern barbecue is the specialty here, with large, meaty ribs coated in a flavorful seasoning. The location is also known for its signature sauces using datil pepper, as well as a delicious side of baked beans featuring chunks of meat and desserts like blueberry cobbler.

Related: 23 Restaurants With Crazy Lines That Are Still Worth the Wait

Wiley's Championship BBQ
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Georgia: Wiley's Championship BBQ


Wiley's often ranks as one of the top barbecue eateries in the state with its variety of smoked meats. The St. Louis cut ribs are a favorite here and come topped with a flavorful dry rub. They're soft, meaty, and don't come smothered in sauce, allowing for the meat's flavor to shine on its own. While the meats are the real star here, the thick and creamy sweet potato casserole is a favorite side. If you're a fan of fried pickles, don't miss the pickle fries for an appetizer.

Related: Signature Cheap Eats From Every State

Hawaii: Bob's Bar-B-Que
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Hawaii: Bob's Bar-B-Que


This busy lunchtime joint draws customers in with the decadent smells of its local barbecue staples, like its Hawaiian-style kalbi short ribs and its baby back ribs. The beef ribs are massive and meaty, with the meat melting in your mouth. The kalbi come glazed and cooked just right, and the pork ribs are just as juicy. Go for one of their combination plates to try all three.

Idaho: Rib Shack Barbecue
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Idaho: Rib Shack Barbecue


Don't be surprised if you're greeted with a sample rib to try as soon as you walk into the Rib Shack, where Kansas City-style barbecue ribs, brisket, and pulled pork shine. Ribs here come with the option of pork loin baby back ribs, St. Louis-style smoked spare ribs, and full pork spare rib, all seasoned with a custom spice blend and smoked slow with imported Missouri hickory. The rib ends, which are smoked a second time with barbecue sauce, are also delicious. The restaurant has 15 different sauces to choose from, as well as delicious sides like smashed potatoes topped with cheese, sour cream, and smoked bacon that are topped with spices and then smoked.

Illinois: Smoque
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Illinois: Smoque


This barbecue joint in Chicago attracts long lines of locals who come to order popular items like its hearty and meaty St. Louis ribs. Smoque offers both baby back and St. Louis ribs, with your choice of a half rack, full rack, or combination plate, but the St. Louis ribs often come out on top with meat that is juicy and sturdy enough to stay off the bone, but cooked to perfection to come clean right off the bone. They're coated in a dry rub with a subtle hint of sweetness and spices. The mac and cheese and baked beans are favorite sides here, and both the peach cobbler and pecan bread pudding make for immaculate desserts.

Related: 38 Tasty Places to Eat for Cheap in Chicago

Indiana: Old Gold BBQ
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Indiana: Old Gold BBQ


This food trailer is a popular stop for its traditional Central Texas barbecue offerings, where meats like brisket, pulled pork, and ribs are slow-smoked using Texas Post oak to provide hints of sweetness. Barbecue comes served fresh off the cooker, with a signature blend of spices seasoning tender and juicy ribs. The smoked pork spare ribs are a hit with diners, who love the subtle hint of sweetness they have from the rub, while sides like creamy, green-chili mac and cheese and street corn are also favorites.

Iowa: Moo's BBQ
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Iowa: Moo's BBQ


Opening in 2014, Moo's has already made a name for itself with its slow-smoked hickory and cherrywood barbecue. Moo's draws influence from the deep south, with ribs coated in a light, dry rub and smoked to achieve a magnificent smoke ring. A crisp bark on the outside makes these baby backs all the more juicy on the inside, pairing well with their sweet and subtly spicy barbecue sauces.

Kansas: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que
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Kansas: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Kansas City

This barbecue eatery, formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's, might be known for signature sandwiches like the Z Man and its pulled pork, but its ribs get just as much attention. They now feature multiple locations, including the original one inside a gas station, where low and slow is the motto. Ribs here are meaty, with a full rack feeding two to three people. You can have your choice of the short end for a meatier section, or the long one, with the smoky and tender texture letting them shine. Enjoy them with paprika-seasoned fries and brown sugar, Kansas City-style barbecue sauce, thick and varying in heat.

Kentucky: Old Hickory Bar-B-Que
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Kentucky: Old Hickory Bar-B-Que


In Kentucky, barbecuing mutton is a tradition, and Old Hickory Bar-B-Que is one of the staples offering the dish. The restaurant dates back to 1918, when they began serving quality barbecue of mutton, chicken, pork ribs, and beef, continuing to this day to produce barbecue exclusively made with hickory and smoked. The restaurant applies a signature sauce throughout the cooking process to ensure meats stay tender, with both the mutton ribs and pork ribs staying a popular choice here. The smoked flavors make the ribs flavorful enough on their own, with a juicy center and a slight tug when you sink your teeth into them.

Blue Oak BBQ
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Louisiana: Blue Oak BBQ

New Orleans

One of New Orlean's most popular barbecue joints is also nationally recognized for its pit barbecue offerings, including glazed barbecue ribs and smoked chicken wings. The ribs, succulent with an impressive pink color, pull away from the bone at just the right moment, the sign of a perfect cook. They're topped with a glaze that is sweet without being overpowering. They come with your your choice of two sides. Take our advice and substitute one of your sides for the Brussels sprouts, and save room to try the banana pudding for dessert.

Maine: Buck's Naked BBQ
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Maine: Buck's Naked BBQ


Buck's specializes in dry rub barbecue, using a house dry rub patted over the meats before cooking them low and slow to pay homage to authentic Southern barbecue. They offer both St. Louis-style ribs and baby back ribs, both of which come coated in a dry rub. The baby back ribs, with their tender texture and sweet flavor, are a popular choice here, delicious on their own but even more intriguing when combined with the eclectic sauces. The eatery offers a variety of sauces that include a thick, Texas-style sauce with smoked chipotle and honey and a North Carolina sauce with vinegar and pepper, but it's the blueberry barbecue sauce that diners say is the most unforgettable.

Maryland: Smokeshack Ribs and BBQ
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Maryland: Smokeshack Ribs and BBQ

Fort Washington

This no-frills stop is known for serving up tender ribs in a decadent sauce. Both the pork and beef ribs are popular with diners, thanks to the flavor they take on from the spot's signature seasoning blend. You can taste notes of hickory in the ribs, while the tangy sauce balances it all out. Make sure to save room for the peach cobbler, which diners say is especially delicious for those who love a crust-heavy cobbler dessert.

Joff's Backyard Grill
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Massachusetts: Joff's Backyard Grill


The can't-miss item at this local, casual barbecue spot is the Rooted Roasted BBQ Ribs. Big and meaty pork ribs get patted with Joff's dry rub and a root beer blaze. They're slow roasted and then fire grilled and barbecue basted, making the saucy ribs incredibly flavorful. Diners say the sauce is just as good, with a flavor that's decadent enough to enjoy on its own. Get the ribs in a rack or a bucket, but make sure to also try the fresh-cut fries as a side.

Michigan: The Pit Stop
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Michigan: The Pit Stop

Grand Rapids 

The Pit Stop's award-winning barbecue has landed it attention, regularly ranking as one of the top barbecue locations in the state. High-quality meats and pork cuts are a focus here, with a combination of hardwood charcoal, Michigan hardwoods, and dried Michigan cherry pits contributing to the expertly-executed smoke rings and flavor on the meats. The ribs are big and juicy here, from the baby back ribs to the St. Louis-style ribs routinely offered on-special. The spicy barbecue sauce adds a nice complement to the ribs, while the cornbread is also known to be top-notch.

Ted Cook's 19th Hole BBQ
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Minnesota: Ted Cook's 19th Hole BBQ


This historic barbecue joint has been dishing out its pit-smoked hickory and cherrywood barbecue since 1968, with diners saying the ribs taste just as good as they did decades ago. The restaurant offers both beef and pork ribs, but the pork ribs are the favorite and come with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. Fries here are sliced with a mandoline, served hot and crispy, while the coleslaw is fresh and crunchy.

Mississippi: The Pig and Pint
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Mississippi: The Pig and Pint


This gastropub and barbecue stop is known for its creative twists on Southern staples, adding inventive ingredients to everything from side dishes like coleslaw with fresh mango and their signature rib dish—baby back ribs glazed in a Pepsi cola sauce.  While the sauce might sound sweet, the balance of sweet and spice it provides is part of what makes the dish a local favorite. The tender ribs come seasoned with a good heat and covered in the barbecue sauce. Pair it with sides like the fried green tomatoes or boudin balls with tomato ginger jam and select from the 100 different craft beers.

Arthur Bryant's Barbeque
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Missouri: Arthur Bryant's Barbeque

Kansas City

Though Arthur Bryant's Barbeque moved to its current location in 1958, its history dates back much further, with it often credited as creating Kansas City-style barbecue sauce. Started by Arthur Bryant, whose niece later took over the restaurant, the restaurant is well-known for its succulent barbecue baby-back ribs, attracting everyone from celebrities to former presidents. The combination of slow smoking ribs over hickory and oak woods before they're bathed in the restaurant's signature original barbecue sauce makes this restaurant a must-try.

Montana: The Notorious P.I.G.
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Montana: The Notorious P.I.G.


While owner Burke Holmes draws his roots from St. Louis, this barbecue eatery pulls together a combination of barbecue styles, from its Memphis-style ribs to its Kansas City burnt ends. Meats are smoked and cooked each morning, and they're only available until they sell out for the day. The ribs here come with a crisp bark and a balanced seasoning that complements the flavor from smoking. The restaurant has an array of sauces to choose from on the table, from tangy and pepper-forward sauces to sweet ones.

Hartland Bar-B-Que
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Nebraska: Hartland Bar-B-Que


This locally-owned barbecue restaurant is a hole-in-the-wall with some of the juiciest ribs in the state. One diner even claimed it was the best barbecue pork ribs he has had in the Midwest. The baby-back ribs are what the stop is most known for, slowly smoked and juicy enough to devour on their own. You can choose your choice of a dipping sauce, from vinegar-based tangy sauces to sweeter selections. The ribs come with a cornbread loved for its texture, moist and reminiscent of cake.

BJ's Nevada Barbecue Company
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Nevada: BJ's Nevada Barbecue Company


Opened in 1986, this family-owned barbecue spot is known for its pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and dishes like their Kick-Ass Fries, hand-cut fries topped with pulled pork, cheese, sour cream, and the award-winning barbecue sauce. The restaurant has won an award seven times at the Best in the West Rib Cookoff, with ribs known for their tender and juicy texture. Everything, from the sauces, rubs, and gravies, is made from scratch.

Related: The Most Outrageous French Fries You Can Order

New Hampshire: KC's Rib Shack
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New Hampshire: KC's Rib Shack


It's all about the hickory-smoked ribs at KC's Rib Shack, where the hefty, pork spare ribs are cooked with dry rub and without sauces, though you can get homemade barbecue sauce to accompany them. The ribs are known for being incredibly tender, with one diner describing them as "drop-down-your-elbows-good ribs." The ribs come with cornbread that's just the right amount of sweet and your choice of two sides.

New Jersey: Bearded One BBQ
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New Jersey: Bearded One BBQ

Monroe Township

This food truck is gaining attention when it comes to the state's barbecue scene, securing long lines for locals who come to indulge in authentic, smoked barbecue. The ribs here have won several awards across the nation, with the pork spare ribs getting a generous seasoning of house-made rub before they're cooked low and slow and then topped off with just the right amount of glaze. They get another hit on the grill to give them a nice char while staying tender on the inside.

New Mexico: Whole Hog Café
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New Mexico: Whole Hog Café

Multiple Locations 

Whole Hog Café, which has locations in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, is nationally recognized for its Memphis-style barbecue. The award-winning pork ribs are a hit here, with your choice between four, six, or a full slab of the smoky and moist pork-loin ribs. While the ribs are flavorful enough to stand on their own, the restaurant is known for offering its range of signature sauces, from tomato and vinegar sauces to mustard and vinegar sauces reminiscent of the Carolinas. Heat lovers should ask for the volcano sauce, the hottest of them all.

New York: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
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New York: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Multiple Locations

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que now has locations throughout New York, but the original started in Syracuse in 1988, though its founders were serving top-notch barbecue across the Northeast at festivals and events even earlier. They're known for Southern-influenced barbecue, with spice rubs and sauces sold across the world. The St. Louis ribs, which are dry-rubbed and slow-smoked before getting glazed in an original sauce, come with a beautiful char and crust, with tender meat on the inside.

​​North Carolina: 12 Bones Smokehouse
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​​North Carolina: 12 Bones Smokehouse

Multiple Locations

This barbecue eatery, with two locations in the state, is garnering rave reviews for barbecue dishes that break the mold, going beyond any one particular regional style to offer a combination of cooking techniques, sauces, and flavors from around the country. This is reflected in the variety of sauces offered with the baby-back ribs, with the most popular being a blueberry chipotle sauce. There is also pineapple habanero, an extra hot sauce, and a traditional brown-sugar dry rub that diners love. Meats here smoke over oak and cherry hardwood and come with your choice of two sides and cornbread.

North Dakota: Bones BBQ Smokehouse and Grill
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North Dakota: Bones BBQ Smokehouse and Grill


Big meaty ribs cooked to have a clean pull off the bone and glazed just right are what you'll find at Bones BBQ. The loin-back ribs feature baby backs that are seasoned and hand-rubbed before they get smoked slowly over the restaurant's smoker with hickory wood for over four hours. They get brushed with the signature barbecue sauce for a sweet touch. Get them with sides like baked beans and add a freshly-baked corn muffin with honey butter to your meal.

Ohio: Ray Ray's Hog Pit
Gus W./Yelp

Ohio: Ray Ray's Hog Pit

Multiple Locations

This food truck has gained a reputation for mouthwatering barbecue offerings such as its St. Louis-cut spare ribs, a crowd favorite. The ribs here, which are slow smoked with a combination of hickory and oak and coated in a sweet and salty dry rub before getting grilled for a crispy exterior, are thick, juicy, and meaty. The tender texture allows them to stand on their own, though they're just as delicious with the range of sweet and savory sauces you can get on the side, from jalapeno to habanero.

Butcher BBQ Stand
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Oklahoma: Butcher BBQ Stand


This barbecue stand only opens for three days a week — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — but lines start forming as early as 9 a.m. for locals who come to indulge in the spot's signature hickory-smoked juicy ribs and barbecue plates. Pitmasters here know how to barbecue low and slow, winning several competitions with ribs that have a rich, flavorful crust, and are juicy enough to eat sauce-free. A signature item you won't want to miss here are the apple-pie baked beans, with apple-pie filling incorporated into baked beans for an unforgettable side.

Oregon Barbecue Company
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​​Oregon: Oregon Barbecue Company


This unassuming shack serves up award-winning brisket and ribs. The rack of ribs comes in a house rub with heat and a subtle sweetness, with the right amount of smoke to keep the ribs tender. The ribs then get covered in a sweet, barbecue-glaze sauce. Diners rave that the candied ribs here are some of the best they've ever had.

Pennsylvania: Jesse's Barbecue and Local Market
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Pennsylvania: Jesse's Barbecue and Local Market


This family-owned stop serves simple barbecue done the right way, specializing in slow-smoked barbecue cooked in wood-fired smokers. The St. Louis-style spare ribs are dry-rubbed and slow-smoked before getting hit with a barbecue glaze, giving them the ideal consistency and flavor. Get them with the corn fritters, a popular side served with a maple dipping sauce, and make sure to sample the freshly-brewed, Southern-style sweet tea.

Rhode Island: Becky's BBQ
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Rhode Island: Becky's BBQ


At Becky's BBQ, every piece of meat goes into the Smoker Pit, where it gets cooked over hickory wood. The ribs come hand-rubbed in a signature blend of spices before getting barbecued for hours over the hickory pit. While the ribs are delicious on their own, both the sweet Kansas City sauce and the vinegary North Carolina sauce are worth tasting. Diners say the sides are just as good, from the moist cornbread to the potato salad.

Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ
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South Carolina: Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ


As the name suggests, Rodney Scott's is famous for its whole hog barbecue from Eastern Carolina, though the pit-smoked ribs, chicken, and turkey are just as delicious. Pitmaster Rodney Scott, who has won James Beard Awards for his barbecue, cooks all of his meats, allowing him to achieve an impeccable flavor from the smoke. They're smoky, a bit spicy, and all the better with popular sides like the mac and cheese and shoestring fries.

J.R.'s Rhodehouse BBQ PIT
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South Dakota: J.R.'s Rhodehouse BBQ PIT


Opened in 2013, this barbecue restaurant has gotten the attention of The Travel Channel as well as locals who come for the Texas-style barbecue. The eatery regularly offers pork ribs, which are served dry to allow diners to taste the smoke and juices of the meat, with a brown-sugar crust formed around them for even more flavor. On Fridays, the restaurant also serves beef short ribs that are incredibly tender with a solid bark. Go for the baked beans, not too sweet and flavored just right, and the crisp coleslaw for sides.

Tennessee: Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous
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Tennessee: Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous


This historic barbecue stop is a must-try experience for ribs when visiting Memphis, where pork reigns supreme. Its history dates back to 1948, when founder Charlie Vergos located a coal chute in the basement of the restaurant that is still in its same location today. He converted the chute into a smoker for hams, eventually moving to ribs and finding his signature method. They're barbecued exactly 18 inches from the grill for an hour and 15 minutes and then washed with vinegar and rubbed in his special blend of Cajun spices.

Louie Mueller Barbecue
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Texas: Louie Mueller Barbecue


Often named the best barbecue in Texas, Louie Mueller still cooks most of its barbecue the same way it did when it opened back in 1949, with the family continuing to run the establishment today. It is also the first barbecue restaurant to get the James Beard American Classics award, with the giant beef ribs a must-try. They're tender, heavy on pepper on the outside, and juicy. Get them with sides like the hatch chili mac and cheese and enjoy freshly-made peach cobbler for dessert.

Charlotte-Rose's Carolina BBQ
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Utah: Charlotte-Rose's Carolina BBQ


This mom-and-pop barbecue stop specializes in serving authentic North and South Carolina barbecue, where meats are cooked in dry hubs and served with vinegar-based sauces. The sauces, like a honey habanero version, are as much of a hit here as the ribs that easily pull away from the bone and pack in a combination of sweetness and spice. Ribs come with a cornbread that diners rave is also some of the best they've had.

Vermont: Black Diamond BBQ
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Vermont: Black Diamond BBQ


For authentic barbecue that pulls in the best of local ingredients, head to Black Diamond BBQ, where wood-fired barbecue is the focus, using only local maple, sugar maple, black cherry, and applewood. Order either a half or full slab of the St. Louis style ribs and you'll be treated to melt-in-your-mouth meat with a delicate, smoky flavor. The ribs here don't skimp on sauce, making this hidden gem a local favorite.

Virginia: Pierce's Pitt Barbecue
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Virginia: Pierce's Pitt Barbecue


This locally-owned barbecue restaurant has been serving its Tennessee-style barbecue to lines of locals since 1971, receiving national recognition for its barbecue and sauces, which date back even further. Hickory and oak-smoked barbecue is the name of the game in a state where finding open-pit barbecue restaurants is rare, with meaty, St. Louis-style ribs massaged with a secret, dry rub and then smoked for hours over hickory and oak wood before getting brushed in a signature, honey barbecue sauce. The ribs are coated with just the right amount of sauce, featuring a spicy kick.

The Barbecue Pit
Yelp / Michael L.

Washington: The Barbecue Pit


This laid-back BBQ stop is known for its pulled pork and rib tips. Diners love that the ribs here have a salsa-like sauce with just the right amount of thickness (and kick). Dig into them with a plate of sides that include mac and cheese, potato salad, and greens.

West Virginia: Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill BBQ
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West Virginia: Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill BBQ


Starting out as a roadside barbecue stop offering ribs, pulled pork, and other staples in 2010, this barbecue favorite has expanded to a full-service restaurant where the ribs are still the star. Rubbed with spices like brown sugar, coated with barbecue sauce, and slow cooked, the ribs are tender and pack a combination of sweet and heat that keeps customers coming back to order them.  The sides, from greens to mac and cheese, are just as good as the main players.

Wisconsin: Double B's BBQ
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Wisconsin: Double B's BBQ

West Allis

While Double B's BBQ might still be considered a local secret, the low-and-slow hickory smoked barbecue is drawing in more and more diners who come to sample staples like the brisket and ribs. Pitmaster Mark Timber uses hickory smoke and a combination of sweet and savory spices to achieve meats best served naked, no sauce needed. The eatery offers both baby-back ribs and St. Louis-style butchered spare ribs, though the baby backs are the favorite. They're extra meaty and get a rub in the house blend before they're smoked over hickory, with a range of sauces that showcase the restaurant's combination of North and South Carolina, Texas, and Kansas City-style barbecue.

Wyoming: Fat Rack's BBQ
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Wyoming: Fat Rack's BBQ


Fat Rack's BBQ serves up Texas-style barbecue, offering juicy plates of baby-back ribs and brisket right out of a smoker attached to an outdoor trailer. The combination of a perfect smoke ring, tender texture, and flavor from smoking make the ribs a hit all on their own, but diners also love the smoky and tangy Texas barbecue sauce. Sides like the potato salad are fresh and satisfying, with notes of mustard and chunky potatoes, but make sure to get here early as ribs are a popular item and do sell out.