Best Barbecue Restaurants to Experience in Memphis

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Best Barbecue Restaurants to Experience in Memphis
CITATION: © Danny Gallegos / Unsplash

Living in the Midsouth gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the best barbeque in the county. Memphis continues to be among the top barbeque cities, with famous local eateries like Central BBQ and Leonard’s Pit Barbeque. Experience the best slow cooked and smoked meat and most delicious sauces in the county at these Memphis barbeque joints.

Cozy Corner

This comfortable spot is located in uptown Memphis and offers non-pork options and the “Super Hot” sauce, which lives up to its name. The charcoaled cooked Cornish hen is their most notable menu item, and the bologna sandwich and four bone rib are delightful, too.

Corky’s BBQ

The southern chain has a few locations scattered throughout the city, all of which feature a familial setting. The large menu offers everything from their “world-famous, Memphis-style ribs” (available wet, dry, or muddy) to their pitmaster dinners, which feature a variety of slow cooked BBQ meals.

Central BBQ

Central BBQ has locations by the National Civil Rights Museum and in Midtown Memphis. The menu is known for its slow smoked hickory and pecan, a secret combo of dry-rub spices, and a 24-hour meat marinade. Central BBQ offers ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, smoked hot wings, and more.

The Bar-B-Q Shop

The Bar-B-Q Shop has appeared on various television programs, highlighted by their ribs being voted #1 in America by The Food Network’s “Top Five Restaurants.” This establishment is known for its Barb-B-Q Spaghetti, Texas Toast Bar-B-Q Sandwich, and the Dancing Pigs line of Bar-B-Q Sauces and Dry Seasonings.

Leonard’s Pit Barbecue

Leonard’s is only open for lunch, but they pack a punch with a full menu that includes their famous pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, barbequed chicken, and catfish. The restaurant has been featured on popular shows like Guy Fieri’s “Dinners, Drive-ins and Dives,” and in the prominent book Southern Food by John Edgerton.

Payne’s Bar-B-Q

Don’t let the simple cinderblock building fool you—Payne’s is known for their excellent pork sandwich topped with their tangy barbeque sauce and radiant coleslaw. When Horton Payne passed away in 1984, his wife Flora took over the restaurant, where she and their son continue cooking traditions like turning pork shoulders over hickory coals.

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