Memphis is a city with several attractions, but music and BBQ are its most well-known. In Memphis, the two go hand in hand.
Elvis Presley began his career as a musician in Memphis, where he adored barbecue so much that he even owned a restaurant. Memphis is famous for shrimp and grits, as well as other musical greats such as BB King, and it was the birthplace of rock and roll.
The state is also a thriving barbecue destination, the only area in the country where you can taste the delicious ribs you love, which is why this post will walk you through the greatest BBQ in Memphis.
In the Memphis region, there are almost unlimited alternatives for barbecue, ranging from Tennessee to Texas-style.
Essentially, you name anything, and you get it! Do you want some pulled pork? Do they sell ribs? My objective is to introduce you to ten of the top barbecue establishments in the area where you can fulfill your demands for succulent baby back ribs, juicy pulled pork, and spicy sausage on a bed of tender pulled pork, with sides of baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad. Delicious!
Visiting other places in Tennessee? Check out our other tasty guide:
- 8 Best Knoxville Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Memphis Restaurants
- 1 The Best Memphis BBQ
- 2 Synopsis of the Top 10 Barbecue Restaurants in Memphis
The Best Memphis BBQ
Memphis, Tennessee +190177474441802 Elvis Presley Boulevard
A&R Bar-B-Q is a local favorite since it specializes in hot links. Its menu includes hog ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and my personal favorite, hot links.
As a consequence, A&R BBQ’s meat is grilled to perfection and tender and juicy enough to fall off the bone.
Get the dry-rubbed rib to get all of the meat’s characteristics without the sauce disguising them. You’ll be able to taste the smokiness of the meat and understand why I frequented A&R Barbecue during my vacation to Memphis.
The Barbecue Store
Memphis, Tennessee +190127212771782 Madison Ave
The Vernons own a Memphis landmark Bar-B-Q Establishment, which is famous for their Dancing Pigs Bar-B-Q sauce and rub.
The sauces are great as marinades and basting sauces for meats ranging from pig and beef to chicken and turkey, and have almost five decades of expertise in delivering up first-rate barbecue food.
Vernon family sauces have received honors in the Fiery Food Challenge National Contest, beating 800 competitors countrywide, in addition to being sold in more than 100 grocery shops in five Southeast states.
You may get platters of smoked sausage, hog shoulder, or beef with the restaurant’s signature sauce at the Bar-B-Q store. Probably one of Memphis’s top BBQ joints.
Central Barbecue (Midtown)
Memphis, Tennessee +190127293772249 Central Ave
Central BBQ is accessible at three locations in the Memphis area: East Memphis, Downtown, and Midtown.
Central BBQ was established in 2002 and is consistently named as the finest BBQ in Memphis by the Memphis Flyer and Memphis magazine.
Although the slow-smoked Memphis-style ribs are popular, the barbecue nachos are the best-seller. They are very difficult to defeat. With tortilla chips or house-made barbecue chips, two types of cheese, sauce, and your choice of pulled pork, smoked chicken, or smoked portabella mushroom. You just cannot go wrong.
While the doors to the dining rooms are open, you may self-serve a selection of sauces, including mild, spicy, vinegar, and mustard.
Meeting with Charlie Vergos
Memphis, Tennessee +1901523274652 S 2nd St
It’s no wonder that Charlie Vergos Rendezvous has become a Memphis institution, since President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore both enjoyed their ribs.
Charles Vergos built a coal chute in his diner’s basement to start the BBQ side of things. It is just across the street from the historic Peabody Hotel.
Then he had the brilliant idea of putting a chute over a BBQ grill. The days of diners serving sandwiches are long gone.
Thousands of people now go to the Rendezvous to sample the Memphis-style ribs, which are cooked with dry rub flavor rather than sauce. Depending on your taste, you may choose pork ribs and shoulders or ribs with brisket. The greatest Barbecue in Memphis, according to many.
Corky’s BBQ & Ribs
Memphis, +190168597445259 Poplar Ave
Don Pelts launched the first Corkys in 1984 after working for more than a decade at other Memphis BBQ restaurants.
The meal at Corkys is slow-cooked over hickory wood and charcoal. Corkys was founded in East Memphis, but it currently has three more sites around Tennessee.
This is a vintage 1950s American restaurant, complete with neon, polished brass, and 1950s music on the speakers. The servers serve the meals while wearing bow ties.
Ribs are the house speciality, served either dry with an unique sauce and spice basting or wet with a slow-baked sauce. Ribs go well with pulled pork, fried catfish, and beef brisket.
Comfortable Corner Restaurant
Memphis, Tennessee +19015279158735 North Pkwy
There is no place in the ghetto like Cozy Corner, a hole-in-the-wall BBQ eatery. That is a great gift that you should not pass up.
When eating the brisket, you’ll sense the presence of the BBQ God as the flavors dance about in your tongue like slow love songs. This is why Cozy was named one of the greatest BBQ joints in Memphis.
Cozy Corner, which is now owned by Desiree, is a solid favorite among Memphis barbecue enthusiasts and has featured in magazines such as Saveur.
The restaurant serves a range of fascinating dishes, like iconic Memphis pork ribs, and you can pre-order a full Cornish fowl or turkey.
As an option, you may order two, four, or six ribs with chicken wings. Have the delicious Memphis Mud cake for dessert; it’s fantastic!
The One and Only Barbecue
Memphis, +19012494227567 Perkins Extd
One & Only seems more like a beautiful boutique restaurant than a BBQ business. But don’t be misled by the opulent surroundingswrought iron tables outside, a magnificent blackboard menu inside full of enticing choices, and a well-heeled clientele.
Since the meat is marinated for 24 hours before slow cooked at 225 degrees, the BBQ here is authentic. Pork shoulder may be pulled or cut at your liking, and ribs are available dry or moist.
In addition to the smoked meats, there is chicken, bacon, and sausage, as well as a selection of sides such as sweet potato fries, a mustard potato salad, and even fresh fruit.
Nothing beats handmade treats, such as the hosts’ wife’s banana pudding topped with meringue.
Interstate Bar-B-Que Jim Neelys
Memphis, Tennessee +190177523042265 S 3rd St
Interstate has a large menu. and whether you eat in or take it out, this long-time staple does brisk business.
Interstate is the definition of down-home, with wood stored outside and ready to be placed on the fire, and you can order at the counter for takeaway or sit down to a full dinner in the dining room.
There’s a lot on the menu, including barbecued pig and beef ribs, hash, chicken, bologna, hot wings, and even spaghetti. The service is prompt and courteous, and the barbecue sauce is delicious. You’ll want to return for more!
Leonard’s Pit BBQ
Memphis, +190136019635465 Fox Plaza Dr
Leonards Pit Barbecue has been serving the greatest BBQ in Memphis since 1922. The Deep South Salad, the most popular dish on the menu, is said to be Leonards’ original barbecue salad.
I began with their traditional Deep South salad before moving on to the hog shoulder sandwich. The baked beans and slaw were excellent side dishes, and the wedge fries that came with the burger were among the finest I’d ever had.
If you go to Leonards, you must taste their catfish; it is perfectly battered.
Memphis, +190176198984523 Summer Ave
Elwoods Shack serves a broad range of cuisine, including sandwiches, breakfasts, hot dogs, and pizzas.
Despite this, Elwoods Shacks BBQ is so well-liked by residents that it should not be neglected while ranking the greatest barbecue restaurants in Memphis.
A BBQ burrito with pork or beef, jalapeño, onion, tomato, and lots of sauce is offered. BBQ pork with nachos and jalapeño peppers is also available, as is BBQ bologna on crisp white bread.
Just off Summer Avenue in East Memphis, there are also barbecue choices on the menu, such as BBQ sliders with pulled pork, spicy pork, brisket, and BBQ quesadillas with pulled pork and sweet bell peppers.
Synopsis of the Top 10 Barbecue Restaurants in Memphis
You can’t know Memphis until you eat barbecue, as the phrase goes. That is totally correct! Barbecue establishments are as renowned as blues clubs and gospel choirs in this town.
You may discover genuine Memphis friendliness and lots of home-style Southern pleasures at each of them, including fried chicken and catfish, pot-luck casseroles, collard greens and mac & cheese, and sweet tea served in Mason jars. Don’t forget about dessert; these restaurants are famed for their banana pudding, which you should not miss!
Memphis is all about food. Smothered pork chops, fried okra and turnip greens, and, of course, barbecue keep the locals coming back for more. With so many excellent eateries to select from, there is always something fresh to taste when you visit.
Therefore, don’t delay any longer and enjoy the greatest BBQ in Memphis!