16 Barbecue Chains Across America That Are Actually Worth Trying

Plate of BBQ

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City Barbeque
Brittany C./Yelp

Holy Smokes

There are tons of incredible hole-in-the-wall barbecue joints that will have your mouth watering from the moment you step out of your car in the parking lot. While those gas stations and mom-and-pop restaurants certainly have allure, there are plenty of worthwhile barbecue chains to choose from too. These must-try restaurants offer tons of delicious menu options and feature the added bonus of quick and convenient ordering and dining.  

Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q
Caroline C./Yelp

1. Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q

Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q is a staple in Florida, where it has at least 18 locations. Bono’s is best described by their slogan: “If you don’t see a pit, it ain’t legit.” The barbecue joint smokes all of their meat over a pit, making it one of the most authentic restaurants of its kind. With a jam-packed menu, there are so many incredible options to choose from, but Bono’s is best known for their fall-off-the-bone St. Louis style ribs.

Related: How to Feed a Crowd 15 Ways With Cheap Pork Shoulder

Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ
Belly G./Yelp

2. Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ

If real Texas barbecue is what you’re after, Rudy’s is the place to go. The menu stays true to the foundations of barbecue with a variety of meats and traditional sides, plus there are a variety of old-fashioned, southern dessert options like peach cobbler, banana pudding, and buttermilk pie. Unlike other barbecue restaurants, Rudy’s offers breakfast options and the spicy chop, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos are to die for. Originally a country store, Rudy’s still has a storefront where you can find all kinds of unique merchandise including barbecue-scented candles. With a huge presence in Texas, the chain boasts some 50 locations in at least six states.

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Corky’s Ribs and BBQ

3. Corky’s Ribs and BBQ

You can enjoy all of the best barbecue staples at Corky’s, but their claim to fame is definitely the hickory-smoked ribs, which you can order with or without sauce. The restaurant has stayed true to its Memphis roots even as it spread to Mississippi and Arkansas, offering local favorites like fried catfish and smoked sausage. You can also find some more out-there options at Corky’s, like chili-topped hot tamales.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Chris G./Yelp

4. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

While barbecue might have southern roots, it isn’t exclusive to the region. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has establishments scattered across New York and New Jersey and offers some of the most sought-after barbecue in the Northeast. The restaurant began as a honky tonk-style rib joint and has since expanded into a booming chain. Some of the most popular menu items include the tender brisket which is pit smoked for 14 hours, slow smoked St. Louis ribs, and Carolina-style pulled pork. Not only is the menu at Dinosaur incredible, the atmosphere is next-level with live music and a bar. 

Related: The Best Barbecue Ribs in Every State

Famous Dave’s
Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que/Yelp

5. Famous Dave’s

With locations in at least 30 states, Famous Dave’s is a perfect barbecue chain to visit for dinner with family. On the menu, patrons can grab family meal deals that allow for build-your-own style combination meals allowing customers to try all of the staple dishes. But what are the hidden gems of Famous Dave’s? The Devil’s Spit pickle chips are packed full of heat and flavor and are so good you can buy them by the jar. 

Bodacious Bar-B-Q
Picha M./Yelp

6. Bodacious Bar-B-Q

Bodacious Bar-B-Q has been around since 1960 and has always stayed true to its Texas roots. All of the restaurant’s meats are smoked over mesquite wood, filling them with unique, robust flavors. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure you check out the homemade pies, too.

City Barbeque
Brittany C./Yelp

7. City Barbeque

City Barbeque originated in Ohio and has since spread across eight different states. The menu is a melting pot of different regional barbecue styles, offering pulled chicken with Alabama white sauce, two types of pulled pork, Nashville hot chicken, and 18-hour smoked brisket. All meats are smoked on-site each day and anything left over at the end of the day is handed out to the less fortunate.  

Smokey Bones
Smokey Bones/Yelp

8. Smokey Bones

If you love beer and barbecue, Smokey Bones is right up your alley. With 60+ locations in the Midwest, the Northeast, and Florida, the restaurant has an extensive menu and a full bar. Customers especially love the smoked chicken wings which are available in dry rubs and a variety of sauces.

Full Moon BBQ
Full Moon BBQ/Yelp

9. Full Moon BBQ

Alabama-based Full Moon BBQ is a small but mighty chain dubbed “the Best Little Pork House.” While you can indulge in plenty of freshly smoked meats at Full Moon, the real show-stopper is the vinaigrette slaw.

Mission BBQ
Demond S./Yelp

10. Mission BBQ

Northeast-based Mission BBQ has locations across 29 different states. There are two things the restaurant chain takes seriously: barbecue and American pride. Mission BBQ supports nonprofits that focus on veterans and law enforcement and makes every effort to hire veterans — it even opened the first restaurant in the chain on Sept. 11, 2011.  

4 Rivers Smokehouse
4 Rivers Smokehouse/Yelp

11. 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Florida-based 4 Rivers Smokehouse has 15 locations scattered throughout the state. The 4 Rivers Smokehouse is best known for its Angus brisket and its house-made sauces. Patrons can also enjoy some less traditional dishes including a barbecue quesadilla and cheese grits loaded with pulled pork, coleslaw, jalapeños, pickles, and barbecue sauce.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit/Yelp

12. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

With more than 450 locations, Dickey’s is one of the most well-known barbecue chains there is. Dickey’s offers an array of pit-smoked meats and plenty of sides to choose from. The no-frills menu stays true to good, old-fashioned barbecue, which is what makes Dickey’s so well-loved.

Dreamland BBQ
Richard R./Yelp

13. Dreamland

If you’re in Alabama and have a hankering for good barbecue, eating at Dreamland is a must. The restaurant, which also has locations in Georgia and Florida, has followed the same tried-and-true recipes since 1958 with some tasty new additions along the way. If you want to know what really makes the chain so successful, all you need to do is try the ribs — they’re truly dreamy. 

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse
Josh T./Yelp

14. Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse

Looking for a barbecue joint that has all of the traditional favorites? Dallas' Sonny Bryan’s embraces all that is Texas barbecue, offering ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken, smoked sausage, and plenty of scrumptious side dishes. If you visit a Sonny Bryan’s, you can’t miss out on the award-winning Frito pie or the giant onion rings.

Mighty Quinn's BBQ
Trip Advisor

15. Mighty Quinn's BBQ

Born in New York, Mighty Quinn's BBQ has locations sprinkled along the East Coast (along with a seemingly random Dubai location). The chain says they approach barbecue the old-fashioned way with plenty of wood and smoke, using high-quality ingredients. Patrons also appreciate how Mighty Quinn's switches the sides menu up seasonally and offers contemporary menu items like rice bowls.

L&L Hawaiian BBQ

16. L&L Hawaiian BBQ

Yes, barbecue was born in the South, but don't pigeon hole your thoughts of the cuisine to states like Texas and Tennessee. If you're into Hawaiian BBQ, L&L is the chain that should be sky-high on your radar, offering a variety of meats and, of course, Hawaiian macaroni salad.