Four Memphis restaurants have made Southern Living's annual list of "The South's Top 50 Barbecue Joints 2019.”
A road map for the best barbecue across the South, this list was chosen by the magazine’s editors. These are their top picks chosen after traveling across the region and sampling barbecue.
The Memphis spots were among nine from Tennessee.
Ridgewood Barbecue (Bluff City), Helen's Bar BQ (Brownsville), Scott's Parker's Barbecue (Lexington), Peg Leg Porker (Nashville) and Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint (Nolensville) rounded out the Tennessee honorees.
Food writers Jennifer Chandler of the Commercial Appeal and Brad Schmitt of the Tennessean tour the Memphis bbq scene Memphis Commercial Appeal
Southern Living's list is compiled in order of ranking.
A&R Bar-B-Que landed in the 10th spot.
Southern Living says, “A&R serves the best barbecue sandwiches in Memphis. The first bite of chopped pork explodes with flavor, the tender meat merging into the warm, soft bun with cool, crisp pops of yellow-tinged slaw. The rib sandwich is even better — a short, meaty slab wedged, bones and all, between two slices of plain white bread, with plenty of slaw and A&R’s signature sauce. The Pollard family still cooks their barbecue on old-school charcoal-fired pits, and their sauce is thick and only moderately sweet, the perfect partner for some of the best smoked pork in the South.”
Cozy Corner ranked 37th, while Rendezvous came in 40th and Bar-B-Q Shop 47th.
Just up the road in Brownsville, Helen’s Bar BQ was ranked 15th best.
According to Southern Living, the criteria used when compiling the list was “the overall dining experience: the physical setting, the aroma from the pits, the sauces and dishes served alongside.”
“Whether it’s a bare-bones take-out stand or a full-service restaurant with a wine list and clean restrooms, each place needs a spirit and flair that’s all its own. We try to cast as wide a net as possible, too, seeking out the restaurants that best embody the particular barbecue style of their region.”
Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina, landed in the top spot for the second year in a row.
And wondering where that barbecue restaurant that was listed as the best in Tennessee by a readers’ poll earlier this year landed? Peg Leg Porker in Nashville ranked 36th.
The complete list of winners can be viewed at southernliving.com/travel/bbq-restaurants.
Also, it's not too late to cast your vote for the annual readers' poll of the best barbecue joints in the South. Let's make sure Memphis is on top this year. Vote at southernliving.com/southsbestvote.