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Atlanta Chefs Make Their Picks for the Best Barbecue in Town

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Where the pros go when they're craving 'cue

Ribs, chicken, and Brunswick stew at Community Q.
Ribs, chicken, and Brunswick stew at Community Q.
Yelp/Courtney K.

Want to find the best barbecue in Atlanta? It might be a good idea to consult those who know food the best. In honor of Barbecue Week, Eater Atlanta reached out to chefs and restaurateurs from across the city to find out their favorite smokehouses and go-to orders. Below, find this town's best bets for smoked meats from a variety of Atlanta's culinary pros.

Jamie Adams, Il Giallo chef/owner

Swallow at the Hollow's pulled pork and Three Brothers in Alpharetta's pork ribs.

Woody Back, Table & Main executive chef

Grand Champion BBQ, run by Robert Owens and his wife, just opened here on Canton street. Their brisket is amazing, and so is their smoked sausage. They have a side called redneck lasagna that is comfort food to the max. Also, Meating Street BBQ by Brian Keenan is another brisket favorite. He does pop-ups around Roswell and can be found in front of Founders Hall on Alive in Roswell nights.

Michael Bertozzi, Two Urban Licks executive chef

Hands down, Fox Bros. The only other place would be Smoke Ring. Go-to order at Fox Bros, the BC plate with brisket, ribs, and wings with baked beans and coleslaw. Although they have great sauce, their barbecue doesn't need sauce, which, by definition, is what great barbecue should be.

Michael Braswell, Little Five Points Corner Tavern chef

Anna's BBQ in Kirkwood. The brisket, always. Smoked wings and the sampler plate are amazing.

Alex Brounstein, Grindhouse Killer Burgers and Hi-Five Diner owner

Community Q has the best sides — their mac and cheese is the best I've ever had. Heirloom Market BBQ has the best brisket and pork, and I really like the smoked sausage at Grand Champion BBQ. I'll give a nod to The Local for having super-solid smoked wings (I get them sauceless, with the sun-dried tomato rub).

Fred Castellucci III, Castellucci Hospitality Group co-owner

Community Q for brisket and Fat Matt's for ribs.

Nick Chompoonich, Fuji Hana Thai Peppers chef/owner

Right now, my favorite has to be Dave Poe's BBQ in Marietta. I really like their barbecue ribs, but their redneck lasagna has me completely hooked. It's mac and cheese layered with Brunswick stew, and it's just so good.

Ford Fry, Ford Fry Restaurants owner

Depending what area of town I'm closest to, there are two that know how to "nail" the brisket. Fox Bros. and Community Q.  Always order "fatty" brisket. And this doesn't mean that it has chunks of fat on it. It comes from the best part of the brisket, and it jiggles like nobody's business. At Community Q, I (want to) get macaroni and cheese, and at Fox Bros., I (want to) get the frito pie — but I tend to stick with a side salad with barbecue vinaigrette (really tasty) and cole slaw at Fox Bros. At Community Q, Dave [Roberts] always has something special he plops on my tray.

Jason Hall, Hampton & Hudson executive chef

When it comes to barbecue, I'm all about the whole-smoked pig and doing it myself in the backyard with close friends. When dining in the city, I love Hankook Taqueria for Korean barbecue tacos. Their daeji gogi pulled pork with spicy Korean barbecue is my top pic. For more traditional barbecue, I typically head to Fox Bros. for their pulled pork on Texas toast with a side of slaw, smoked wings, and some of their house made cheddar sausage. I also hear that Joey Stallings is doing great work over at Sweet Auburn. I haven't been by yet, but they're on my short list of places to try next.

Eddie Hernandez, Taqueria del Sol chef/co-owner

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q — the brisket is my favorite, but if pastrami is on the menu, that is what I order.

EJ Hodgkinson, King + Duke executive chef

My favorite barbecue spots are based on what I feel they do best. Fox Bros.: smoked wings, Fatt Matt's: low-country ribs, and Moonies Texas BBQ: brisket.

Yoshi Kinjo, Nakato Japanese Restaurant executive chef

It has got to be a tie between Fox Bros.' pulled pork and DBA's barbecue ribs. They are two of my favorite dishes in town.

Eli Kirshtein, The Luminary chef/co-owner

My go-to is usually Community Q. Dave does a great job of executing different types of 'cue well. Some guys are "known" for one specific type, but Community excels at all. I am also a really big Fox Bros. fan. Their diverse menu with cool plays on barbecue dishes are always fun and exciting. South of the city, I really love Fresh Air. Its a bit of a drive [to Jackson], but worth it for authentic pit barbecue.

Mike Klank, Taqueria del Sol co-owner

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. I always order their wings — they have such a great flavor. But what I really love at Fox Bros. is their sides. I think that they serve the best sides in the city.

Michael Lennox, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall owner

If time allows, brisket and mac and cheese from Heirloom [Market BBQ] is in a league of its own, locally. It's a bit of a haul from my home in Decatur, so I more regularly get a beef rib and whatever awesome vegetables they have at Community Q.

Melanie Rabb, Corner Taverns co-owner

I'll let you in on a top secret: If brewer Jamey Adams makes a brisket at an event at Arches Brewery in Hapeville, I am there. Besides John Lewis BBQ from Charleston, it's the best I have ever tried.

Craig Richards, St. Cecelia executive chef

Sliced brisket plate at Fox Bros. with fried okra and collard greens after beginning with the Tomminator. And all of it with a couple of ice-cold Lone Stars.

Chris Sheehy, Edgewood Corner Tavern chef

Anna's BBQ. Chicken and rib plate with collard greens, baked beans, extra cornbread, and a piece of Key lime cake. Everything on the menu is good, but the collards are the best in the city.

Andrew Smith, West Egg Cafe executive chef

The pulled pork and mac and cheese at Community Q, of course.

Jarrett Stieber, Eat Me Speak Me chef/owner

As far as barbecue in Atlanta goes, I actually don't think we have anything particularly special here — certainly not compared to real deal barbecue outside of the city. I would rather drive three hours to Buxton Hall in Asheville when I'm really hankering for some badass meat sweats. There are some good things at a few places in town, but I don't know of any that does a bunch of stuff consistently well. I like Community Q the best, probably, or Anna's in Kirkwood.

Mel Toledo, Foundation Social Eatery chef/owner

Meating Street BBQ. Go-to order is brisket, beef short rib (bone-in), and the burnt ends.

Wesley True, The Optimist executive chef

Fox Bros. for their fantasic sides and brisket.

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