Barbecue may not have been invented in Mississippi, but it sure was perfected here. Whether you’re in the state’s Northern Hills region, on the Gulf Coast, or anywhere in between, delicious barbecue is never too far away. From places only the locals know about to nationally-recognized restaurants, these 11 barbecue joints will definitely satisfy that craving for some smoky goodness.
1. Leatha’s Bar-B-Que Inn, Hattiesburg
This barbecue joint has been attracting both foodies and celebrities since 1976, and for good reason. Not only has Leatha’s been the recipient of numerous awards but the nationally renowned restaurant has been featured on several television shows as well as being the subject of the book, “If These Walls Could Talk.”
2. Abe's Barbecue, Clarksdale
Situated at the crossroads where Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to this devil, Abe’s famous location may be what draws customers in but it’s the award-winning food and signature barbecue sauce that keep them coming back. Don’t live in the area? No problem; Abe’s ships its famous sauce all over the United States.
3. Pig Out Inn Barbeque, Natchez
Considered some of the best barbecue in the state, Pig Out Inn specializes in slow-smoked meats, which are cooked for a minimum of 16 hours on a custom built pit that never goes out. Prior to cooking, all of the meat is seasoned with a special rub and served with the restaurant’s signature barbecue sauce, which is said to be the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
4. Memphis Barbecue Co., Horn Lake
With only three locations nationwide, the fact that Mississippi is home to this restaurant sure is lucky! Memphis Barbecue Co. has won thousands of awards, including several world championships, and has even been featured on a few national television shows.
5. Westside Bar-B-Que, New Albany
Over the years, this off-the-beaten-path eatery has become known for its amazingly delicious wood-smoked barbecue, even landing a spot in Southern Living’s “Mississippi Back Roads” article. While there, be sure to save room for dessert because the only thing that rivals Westside’s irresistible barbecue is the homemade cakes and pies.
6. Sonny's Smokehouse, Ackerman
Sonny’s remote location may make it a bit difficult to find but once you’ve tried the delicious ribs, tender brisket, and out-of-this world steak, you won’t regret making the trip. And according to customers, the mouthwatering food is only outshined by the extremely generous portions and beyond reasonable prices.
7. Sho Nuff BBQ, Picayune
Raved about on customer review websites like Trip Advisor and Yelp, this local barbecue joint is the place to go when craving some smoky goodness. From the pulled pork to the flavorful brisket to the St. Louis ribs, Sho Nuff is known for serving the best of the best.
8. The Pig and Pint, Jackson
Even though this Jackson eatery has only been open since 2014, it’s already a top contender for the best barbecue in the state. The consistent competition-level barbecue can be partially attributed to the fact that its roasting fires are kept burning 24/7. This method has won The Pig and Pint numerous accolades and so many trophies that the restaurant had to start storing them elsewhere.
9. Squealer’s Bar-B-Que, Meridian
Not only has this restaurant received the Meridian Star’s Reader’s Choice Award for the “Best Barbecue” every year since 1998, it was recently named the “BBQ Capital" for the state by MSN.com. The menu is filled with mouthwatering barbecue, which includes the pulled pork sandwiches Squealer's has become known for.
10. Spooney’s Bar-Be-Cue, Greenwood
After perfecting his talent in Kansas City, Leroy "Spooney" Kenter Jr., returned to his home state of Mississippi and opened a barbecue restaurant in Greenwood. Eventually, Kenter closed his storefront, but that didn’t mean he stopped cooking. Travelling with his smoker, the locally-renowned cook serves barbecue near his home in historic Baptist Town. You may have to spend some time looking for Kenter but once you try his ribs, you’ll realize it was time well spent.
11. The Shed, Ocean Springs and Biloxi
If ever there were a restaurant that encompassed the definition of “dive,” it’d be The Shed. The restaurant itself was actually constructed out of old junk and scraps, but don’t let the appearance fool you. From their secret shed rub to homemade barbecue sauce, this is barbecue you don’t want to miss.
Eaten at any of the places listed above? Have another mouthwatering Mississippi BBQ joint to add to the list? We want to hear about it! Tell us in the comments section below.