The 10 best barbecue joints in America, ranked

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10. The Joint

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Foursquare rating:9.44

Wooden walls and mismatched furniture give The Joint an authentic, cozy feel from the minute you step in. The food doesn’t disappoint either.

“Some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had!” Foursquare user Stephen McQuaid noted. “Ordered a bit of everything, but the highlight was definitely the ribs. Drown it in their homemade barbecue sauce and you can’t go wrong.”

9. Q39

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Foursquare rating:9.44

After a series of wins in barbecue competitions, classically-trained chef Rob Magee opened Q39 to bring the distinctive flavor of competitive barbecue to the public. Q39’s first batch of meat goes in the smoker at 2 a.m. every day, precisely timed to be hot and ready for the lunch crowd. The dinner meat follows, ensuring that customers only consume freshly prepared food.

8. Smoque BBQ

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Foursquare rating:9.45

At Chicago’s Smoque BBQ, all of the sauces and rubs are made from scratch and designed to precisely complement certain cuts of meat. The attention to detail and willingness to mix styles pays off: Patrons come back again and again for the smoky spare ribs and moist brisket.

7. Bogart’s Smokehouse

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Foursquare rating: 9.49

You might think you’ve had great ribs before, but you don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve ordered a rack from Bogart’s Smokehouse in St. Louis. Dry-rubbed and topped with a caramelized apricot glaze, the ribs come out tender and slightly sweet — consistently a customer favorite.

6. The Salt Lick

Location: Driftwood, Texas

Foursquare rating: 9.5

Situated in the heart of Texas Hill Country, The Salt Lick has recipes that are steeped in family tradition. The restaurant still uses the original barbecue pit that owner Scott Roberts’ father built in 1967. For $25 per person, chow down on the all-you-can-eat family-style platter, complete with beef brisket, sausage, and pork ribs.

5. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Location: Rochester, New York

Foursquare rating: 9.52

Touted as some of the best barbecue in America by shows and outlets like “Good Morning America” and the Food Network, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que proves that top-notch barbecue can be found as far north as upstate New York. Expect a line, but it’s worth it for the juicy pulled pork sandwich.

Though Dinosaur originated in Syracuse, New York, the Rochester location is the highest-rated on Foursquare.

4. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Foursquare rating: 9.52

What started as a backyard passion for Texas-born twins Jonathan and Justin Fox quickly blossomed into an all-out affair, with the brothers cooking for over 250 people. They decided to go into the barbecue business full-time, and today, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q stands as an Atlanta staple. Stop by for a larger-than-life serving of the beef short rib.

3. Eli’s BBQ

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Foursquare rating:9.53

Enjoy your dinner al fresco at Eli’s BBQ, a cash-only, BYOB spot in Cincinnati. Foursquare users rave about the pulled pork sandwich, but take note: You’ll be instantly addicted. Be sure to couple it with a side of Eli’s famous baked beans.

2. Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue

Location: Tyler, Texas

Foursquare rating: 9.54

The oldest mom-and-pop barbecue joint in Tyler, Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue has something for the whole family. The extensive menu includes everything from stuffed baked potatoes to Frito pie to tacos, all featuring the spot’s pit-smoked ‘cue. Wash it all down with a selection from more than 70 American craft whiskeys.

1. Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Location: Kansas City, Kansas

Foursquare rating: 9.58

Yes, the best barbecue in the country can be found inside a gas station. But don’t judge a book by its cover: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que serves up award-winning recipes, born out of the proprietors’ love of competition and belief that smoke can transform any cut of meat into a delicacy. The ribs, pulled pork, and Z-Man sandwich — which comprises slow-smoked beef brisket, smoked provolone, and crispy onion rings — are all must-trys.

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