Trying to find the best Memphis bbq restaurants? I’ve got you covered! I am a Memphis native so I know where the locals go to get their bbq fix so I know where to find the best bbq in Memphis.
If you’re visiting Memphis and looking to indulge in some world-famous slow-cooked barbecue you might as well start with my list of Memphis’s best BBQ restaurants.
Memphis is considered one of the top culinary capitals in North America, Memphis is known all over the world for its slow-cooked bbq.
Pork ribs and shoulders are the main ingredients at any bbq restaurant in Memphis and they are slow-cooked then topped with dry-rub and a rich barbecue sauce.
Here are 15 of the best barbecue restaurants in Memphis – the big, small, hole in the wall, well-known, and even the most underrated restaurants to try out in Memphis, Tennessee.
Memphis also hosts one of the world’s largest BBQ Festivals every May which brings pitmasters from all across the world to Memphis in hopes of taking home the coveted award of Best BBQ Pitmaster!
How did I pick the Top 15 barbecue joints?
There are over 117 barbecue restaurants in Memphis so I had to limit the number of bbq restaurants to taste test for this review.
I started my review of the best barbecue restaurants in downtown Memphis and then made my way out East so keep reading to find the best of the best bbq in Memphis.
Where To Eat Barbecue In Memphis!
Out of the 117 barbecue restaurants in Memphis, not one made Travel and Leisure’s list of Best BBQ Spots in the U.S.
Travel and Leisure’s list included Arizona, Nevada, California, Idaho, and Washington!
What kinda Mayo loving, unseasoned bbq, Avocado toast-eating, rhythmically challenged, bitter-deviled egg munching list is this?
Clearly, Karen wrote this whitewashed article with her raisins in the potato salad loving ass.
Memphis Barbecue is always cooked low and slow!
Authentic bbq in Memphis is cooked low and slow using indirect heat.
Whether you call it barbecue, barbeque, ‘que, bbq, or bar-b-q if you are from Memphis, it means f”all off the bone” with ooey-gooey sticky molasses-based bbq sauce.
The best bbq in Memphis that will have you licking your fingers instead of using a napkin. Because who uses a napkin when eating BBQ?
Pulled pork and ribs are what most Memphians order but I personally love brisket especially the brisket from the one and only Cozy Corner BBQ!
Most Memphis restaurants include coleslaw, baked beans, and potato salad as the side dish.
What is my favorite barbecue restaurant in Memphis?
This is almost an impossible question to answer but I am going to say it’s a tie between A & R bbq and Cozy Corner bbq.
Cozy Corner bbq was just recently inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony took place on Saturday, September 19 during the 2020 American Royal World Series of Barbecue at the Kansas Speedway.
Click Here To Watch The Memphis In May BBQ Cook-Off 2019!
Memphis In May BBQ Festival
Memphis In May is one of the world’s most Recognized and Prestigious Barbecue Contest.
The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day competition held in Tom Lee Park on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis, TN.
Updated: World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will proceed as planned May 12-15, 2021 with strict COVID19 protocols in place.
The World Championship will be somewhat different and smaller with capacity restrictions that may be in place at that time.
Nearly 250 teams travel from around the world and across the U.S. to compete for the title of World Champion and a share of the more than $115,000 in prize money.
The Contest draws more than 75,000 attendees, including teams from twenty-six states and six countries, from as far away as Japan and the Czech Republic to compete in the championship.
Categories include – Ribs, Shoulder, and Whole Hog, as well as the ancillary competitions of Hot Wings, Sauce, and “Anything But Pork.”
If you are looking to enjoy Memphis BBQ make sure you check out the Memphis In May BBQ Festival.
Best BBQ In Memphis
WHAT TO SEE IN DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS
If you’re visiting downtown Memphis here is a list of things to do after you have devoured all of the BBQ in Memphis.
- Watch the Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park
- Catch NBA action with the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum.
- Catch NCAA action with the Memphis Tigers at the FedExForum.
- Learn about our civil rights pioneers at the acclaimed National Civil Rights Museum
- Say “Hi” to the ducks at the Peabody Hotel.
WHERE TO STAY IN MEMPHIS
Canopy by Hilton is the best hotel in downtown Memphis. Creative, atmospheric, and historically layered, Canopy hotel is located in the oldest area in the city and within walking distance lies America’s most iconic road, Beale Street.
You can walk everywhere during your stay at Canopy including Beale Street, I AM Man Plaza, MLK Reflection Park, Ernest Withers Museum, First Baptist Church, and many more attractions.
The hotel is located next to Autozone Park and a half-mile from FedEx Forum Arena. The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is five minutes away and they are under a mile from Mississippi River Park and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
If you want to venture outside of downtown you can catch a taxi to anywhere in Memphis in under 20 minutes.
If you in need of a staycation or just some alone time but you are afraid to travel to due COVID-19 let me assure you Hilton is taking the safety of its guests very seriously.
Canopy offers a clean stay program which means there is a seal on each and every door to ensure no one has entered the room prior to you checking in and you also have the option of digital check-in.
The rooms are AMAZING y’all!
Beautifully decorated in contemporary 70’s music themes that include rhythm and blues influences of the South.
The rooms are locally inspired by the music that was created by legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, and many more.
They also included a cozy bathrobe, slippers, and a pair of colorful and branded socks to kick back and relax.
If you’re spending the weekend in Memphis check out these additional hotels in Memphis:
- Hotel Napoleon – Boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Memphis
- Peabody Hotel – The grand dame of Memphis
- Madison Hotel – Chic boutique hotel up Main Street on Madison
- Hampton Inn & Suites – Centrally located near Beale Street
- Westin Memphis Hotel – Located steps from Beale Street FedEx Forum
Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!
I have come to the end of my ultimate Memphis barbecue guide!
Hopefully, your mouth is watering and your taste buds are singing and dancing for some fall off the bone ribs and savory pulled pork.
What do you think about my list of the 15 best bbq restaurants in Memphis?
Additional Travel Articles
What are your favorite BBQ restaurants in Memphis? Let me know via the tip line or in the comments, and I will update as needed.
Are you also on Pinterest?
Why not save this post to your Pinterest board for later? I am also on Pinterest so feel free to follow Passports and Grub boards and get the latest pin directly.