In Tennessee, we take bbq VERY seriously. From one end of the state to the next, it’s our pride and joy and bit of glory we put on the dinner table for our family. It’s what keeps tourists coming back and the locals happy, too – and we’re about to make you a barbecue convert.
We’ve found a couple of places that come highly recommended by true Tennesseans – people born and bred in Tennessee, the kind that have bbq sauce in their blood, and they helped us come up with a fantastic road trip across the state. Did your down home favorite make the list?
1. Central BBQ - Memphis
Most folks in Memphis are going to steer you clear of the tourist trap that is Rendezvous, and send you straight to the downtown location of Central BBQ. Still fairly popular, the low-key bbq eatery won't be as crazy but deserves all the hype.
You'll be looking to order the pulled pork or the pulled chicken if you know what's good for you, but we'd also recommend sharing a plate of nachos for the table. You can't mess up bbq, and throwing it on chips sounds pretty fabulous. Pro tip: it is. (147 E Butler Ave)
2. Scott's Parkers Barbecue - Lexington
It's pretty simple out at Scott's, just pulled pork and pulled chicken, but we say JUST lightly. Both meats are cured to perfection and elicit the kind of food-drenched smile only a great meal can induce. It's a local family favorite, and deserves a visit. (10880 US-412)
3. Family BBQ - Dickson
We're huge fans of Family BBQ, they serve good food on a tight schedule (check their hours before you go!) and still manage to infuse your experience with a whole lot of southern hospitality. Everything on the menu is good and worth the drive!
Here's a closer look at all the perfect. If you want to get any closer, you have to find it yourself! (2199 Yellow Creek Road)
4. Hog Heaven - Nashville
Hog Heaven is Nashville's hole-in-the-wall, and rightfully so. It sits right by Centennial Park, making it a popular eatery during the summertime.
Smoked chicken with an in-house white sauce, pork and spare ribs are the specialty here, and you can grab it and go! Everything is served through their walk-up window. (115 27th Ave N)
5. JC's Family BBQ - Harrison
Folks here rave about the sides and brisket! We've been told that their chicken is delectable as well, and we've included a shot of their loaded baked potato...
Can we just admire this gorgeous piece of food right here?! It's fantastic. Our mouths are watering. (9070 TN-58)
6. Love that BBQ - Knoxville
The bbq at Love that BBQ is solid, but here you'll also be treated simply as part of the family. The service gets as much attention as the menu items, and that truly makes this Knoxville restaurant stand out. (1901 Maryville Pike)
How many of these bbq hotspots have you enjoyed? Which one would you like to see on a future list…?