Article Last Updated July 1, 2020. Restaurant openings/closings are rapidly changing; please refer to restaurant websites for the most up-to-date information or call ahead.
Do you have a hankering for a half-slab slathered in thick, sticky-sweet barbecue sauce? Atlanta is a melting pot of cultures and just about every style of ‘cue can be found here. Atlanta Eats presents our list of down and dirty neighborhood barbecue joints, from traditional to upgraded favorites, around the metro Atlanta area.
Chopped judge, Chef Aaron Sanchez, knows food. In a sauce-centric episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, he admits that he can’t get enough of the sauce at Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt. Located about a mile east of 75/85 on Memorial Drive, Daddy D’s has the motto “We ain’t pretty, but we’re good,” and it more than lives up to expectations. From the outside it definitely ain’t pretty, but once your plate arrives, you’ll forget everything else until you run out of napkins.
2. Fox Bros BBQ
On Dekalb Avenue, where Little Five Points meets Candler Park, Fox Bros BBQ has become one of the most well-known hit BBQ spots in Atlanta. From getting bottles of their delicious BBQ sauce onto the shelves of local Kroger stores, to a feature on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri, it’s safe to say Fox Bros BBQ has cemented their popularity in ATL and around the nation. The founders of Fox Bros call their style of BBQ a mixture of “where we are from and where we are at” — Texas with a southern influence, and began selling their ‘cue as a catering business, and then out of Smith’s Olde Bar, before moving to their first spot on Dekalb Avenue and beyond.
D.B.A Barbecue is a gem of a barbecue joint. Stuck behind the VaHi USPS Office on North Highland, it’s one of those places that you kind of have to know it’s there to know it’s there. But it’s absolutely worth taking the time to go to experience their spacious dining room (for a BBQ place), great hospitality, insanely delicious smoked wings and moonshine or bourbon cocktails. Available for pickup, delivery, and patio dining at this time.
4. Community Q
One of the best places in Decatur to get barbecue — actually in the whole of Atlanta — is Community Q on Clairmont north of N. Decatur Road. Here you’ll find all the plates you’d expect at a BBQ restaurant: St. Louis style ribs, brisket, half-chicken…the usual meaty suspects. But where Community Q blows away the competition is in the sides- Brunswick stew, baked beans, and arguably the best straight-up mac n cheese in the city! Takeout only at this time.
While you’ll find several bottles of traditional and Southern BBQ sauces on the tables at most ‘cue joints, Heirloom Market BBQ in Cobb County (a bone’s throw from the 75/285 interchange) includes KB sauce — Korean Barbecue. BBQ vaults are shipped in from Houston, Texas, and they use locally sourced hardwoods for the smoker. Keeping the footprint small, as many of the ingredients as possible are also sourced locally from Georgia farmers. Available for pickup at this time!
Over the years, Fat Matt’s Rib Shack on Piedmont has become something of a local institution. On his show, The Layover, Anthony Bourdain admits that Fat Matt’s doesn’t serve “real” barbecue, but what it does is great utilitarian pork and beef smothered in sticky sauce. And he’s right. He is, after all, Anthony Bourdain, so of course he’s right.
Greater Good BBQ in Buckhead/Sandy Springs is one of those hole-in-the-wall spots that everyone seems to know about. There isn’t a bad item on their entire menu, but we definitely have our favorites. Their specialty potato skins topped with pimento cheese, coleslaw, brisket and BBQ sauce are certainly one of a kind. We can’t drive past GG without ordering a rack of ribs and a cup of mac n’ cheese, so take that into consideration.
Twin Smokers BBQ brings the key flavors of North Carolina, Kansas City and Memphis barbecue to downtown dining! There is something for everyone here, but make sure not to skip the Texas-Style Brisket Chili or the Twin Smokers Signature Sausage. Twin Smokers is temporarily closed, but we’re excited for when they’ll reopen!
Hit the road and head to Smokejack! This downtown Alpharetta institution has been there since before the area’s revitalization and continues to deliver delicious BBQ and southern dishes every day. Owner Dave Filipowicz made an effort to try as many different regional BBQ styles as possible, and he brings them all together in one place. They attribute the success to using the freshest ingredients and making every item from scratch, but there is something about SmokeJack we can’t get out of our minds. It may be an off-the-menu item, but we had their brisket sandwich topped with a heap of pimento cheese and homemade pickles at the Alpharetta food trucks and we’ve been craving another ever since. Curbside pickup and dine-in available at this time if that’s what you’re comfortable with.,
10. Hometown BBQ
Like many other slab-and-sauce spots, Hometown BBQ in Lawrenceville goes with the “converted house” look — and makes it work. The meat here is southern traditional with sauces on the side, and there’s nothing you won’t enjoy about the food — be warned, though: Hometown doesn’t accept cards but there’s an ATM in the restaurant. Takeout available at this time.
11. The Tipsy Pig
Boasting that it has “the best butts in town,” the Tipsy Pig in Lilburn, GA operates out of a gas station in Lilburn, the definition of hole-in-the-wall. So while the ambiance may not be the fanciest, you should still stop in for some great ‘cue.
The kings of “low and slow”, Pig-N-Chik is known for incredible classic barbecue and a couple non-traditional menu items (i.e. smoked salmon, fried okra, hushpuppies…etc). The craziest concoction they offer? Redneck Nachos! Fries are loaded with Cheddar cheese, chunks of pork and barbecue sauce. Find this spot in Chamblee, in the Fountain Oaks Shopping Center, and Briarcliff Rd! Curbside pickup and dine-in available at this time.
13. Dave Poe’s BBQ
Dave Poe’s BBQ serves award winning pit cooked BBQ in Marietta. All the meats and sides you want at a barbecue place, and three sauces to drown your smoked meat in, but this place has something…unexpected. Redneck Lasagna: mac n cheese covered with Brunswick stew – why didn’t anyone think of this before? Curbside pickup and dine-in available at this time.
14. JR’s Log House
Off Peachtree Industrial at Jones Mill Road, JR’s Log House has been serving up excellent BBQ for over 30 years. Their St. Louis ribs are fantastic and their brunswick stew is unparalleled. Curbside pickup and dine-in available at this time.
15. Pit Boss BBQ
Airport district area folks know Pit Boss BBQ has some of the best BBQ in the city! Wade McSwain serves up smoked wing excellence and angus brisket exceptionalism at this hole-in-the-wall place where everybody’s welcome. Line’s are pretty much always out-the-door at this joint, but it’s worth it every single time. Available for pick-up and on UberEats!
16. Lovie’s BBQ
Buckhead spot Lovie’s is always filled to the brim during the workweek lunch hour. Starting off as a catering truck, Lovie’s owners saw what happens at tailgates when good fun and great friends come together, and they recreate it at Lovie’s every day. Don’t overlook their breakfast biscuits! Open for pick-up and delivery!
For Chicago natives, you’ll have to make the trip over to McDonough to try out Southside Chicago BBQ’s hot links and Chicago style dogs when you’re missing home! The owners are bringing home the Chicago flavor they missed from their hometowns to the Southside Atlanta community, and while the wait can be lengthy, diners say it’s always more than worth it! Available for delivery on DoorDash!
18. Anna’s BBQ
You gotta give all the props to a female pitmaster who serves up phenomenal and affordable BBQ time after time . This hole-in-the-wall spot in Kirkwood has got fabulous ribs, sweet potato cobbler, and fried okra that will have you coming back again and again. Open for pick-up!
This College Park joint is a great family spot with an amazing brisket sandwich, perfectly smoked wings, and jaw-dropping giant dino beef ribs! It’s all cooked low and slow, Texas-style with a bit of Louisiana influence.
Hungry for more barbecue inspiration? Check out barbecue spots around Atlanta here. Be sure to catch Atlanta Eats on Peachtree TV every Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m.!
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