The Best (And Worst) BBQ Cities In America

When it comes to barbecue, Americans are second-to-none in their love of it. With summer reaching its peak, LawnStarter did a survey of the best — and worst — BBQ cities in America.

Which list did
your city make?

At the top of the list of the best BBQ cities in America is Kansas City, MO. It edged out its nearest competition, Memphis, because it had more winners in the World Series of BBQ than any other city.

This is a source of pride for many in the area, who take their barbecue to heart. Dubbed a “powerhouse for quality brisket and burnt ends,” Kansas City is notorious for quality over quantity. 

Other cities that rank high on the list of best BBQ cities in America include Chicago, IL (No. 2), Memphis, TN (No. 5), and New York City (No. 9).

But there are some cities which, unfortunately, were ranked the worst in America. On that list includes Akron, OH (No. 198), El Paso, TX (No. 193), and Anchorage, AL (No. 195).

Interestingly enough, even though North Carolina is known for having a “signature BBQ sauce,” none of its cities made the list of best BBQ cities in America.

Why didn’t North Carolina’s signature sauce rank higher? Maybe it’s because North Carolina ’cue culture is spread out in the state rather than concentrated in one area like Kansas City or Memphis.

North Carolina, while not the best ranked, is still a destination for those who prefer a hint of tang and a kick of vinegar. (Just don’t get caught up in the East vs. West debate.)

Other determining factors included access to good restaurants, number of residents who ranked in the World Series of BBQ, and number of BBQ festivals.

To check out the full list of best — and worst — BBQ cities in America (read it & weep!), click below.