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A platter of brisket, smoked chicken, and smoked ribs with sides of potato salad, hash, picked onions, and Texas toast from Atlanta barbecue pop-up Secret Pint BBQ. Secret Pint BBQ

31 Essential Atlanta Barbecue Restaurants and Pop-Ups to Know

Racks of ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and smoked chicken paired with mac and cheese, collards, and fried okra

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The word "barbecue" is synonymous with the American South, and which restaurants have “the best” barbecue always generates fierce debate among those loyal to smoked meat. It should come as no surprise that barbecue is a really big deal in Atlanta and requires its very own essentials list. From barbecue platters at sit-down restaurants to smoked meat plates paired with Southern sides served at pop-ups in parking lots, these are the Atlanta barbecue spots to know.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Zeigler's BBQ & Catering

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Some say the best ribs in metro Atlanta can be found way up yonder in Acworth. Whether that’s true or not, the ribs are definitely good and worth ordering. This longtime restaurant and catering business serves everything from those popular ribs and wings to platters of chicken and pork smoked over pecan wood. Make sure to order a side of mac and cheese and Zeigler’s banana pudding for dessert paired with a glass of sweet tea.

Wallace Barbeque

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Wallace Barbecue has been turning out smoked meats in Austell since 1966, and its prices are a nice throwback to that era. A sliced pork sandwich will set the wallet back $3.70, while a 12-ounce rib eye dinner costs right around $22.

Ohio Hog Company

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Family-owned and operated, Ohio Hog Company brings a bit of Cleveland-style barbecue to the South. Look for beef brisket, slabs of glazed ribs, smoked chicken plates, and a take on Cleveland’s famed Polish Boy sandwich stuffed with smoked kielbasa. It’s then topped with fries, coleslaw, and tangy barbecue sauce.

TDT BBQ

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This barbecue joint next door to a Shell gas station serves barbecue sandwiches and heaping plates of ribs, pulled pork, sausages, wings, and chicken smoked on site. Those in search of vegan and pescatarian barbecue options will find those at TDT BBQ, too, including vegan meatloaf and smoked salmon. Meals come with sides like baked beans, green beans, and mac and cheese. There’s peach cobbler for dessert.

Dave Poe's BBQ

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Dave Poe opened his barbecue dream restaurant in 2009. In addition to the traditional barbecue mains and sides, Poe serves the ridiculous "redneck lasagna," which is macaroni and cheese topped with Brunswick stew.

Thompson Brothers Barbeque

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Run by five brothers, this is where to head for smoked ribs near Truist Park before or after a Braves game. Make it a sandwich with a side, a plate with two sides, or a platter with three sides and nearly a pound of ribs. Order a bowl of Brunswick stew and a slice of pineapple upside-down cake for dessert.

Stan’s Smoke Signals BBQ

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Typically located in a parking lot at 850 James Jackson Parkway and Hightower Place, the lines for this pop-up barbecue trailer are a solid indicator there’s great ‘cue to be had here. Stan’s serves up meaty racks of smoked ribs and rib sandwiches, sizable smoked turkey legs, and wings paired with mac and cheese, dirty rice, sweet potato cobbler, and fried corn. There’s banana pudding for dessert. Grab a turkey leg or rib plate and two sides for around $15, or splurge on a ribeye or lobster tail dinner for $30. Maybe mix it up with a surf and turf platter. Follow on Instagram for dates and locations and menus.

Hattie Marie's Texas Style BBQ & Cajun Kitchen

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The big, ranch-style lettering outside is inspired by the Lone Star State, and so is Hattie Marie’s barbecue. The pit-smoked brisket is the real standout here, but try the pork ribs (cooked over cherry wood), sausage links, and Cajun-fried catfish, too. Owners Willie and Ramona Griggie also own a location in Decatur and plan to expand their barbecue restaurant to Duluth.

Heirloom Market BBQ

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This Cobb County barbecue spot has limited seating, but chefs and owners Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee bring more than enough flavor to compensate for the cramped quarters or a ride home with a to-go box. Taylor and Lee’s Southern-Korean barbecue restaurant offers a must-try spicy Korean pork sandwich on its menu with chopped rib meat marinated in fermented chile paste, topped with kimchi coleslaw, black sesame seeds, and a sliced scallion. Order the sandwich with a side of Brunswick stew, cucumber radish salad, or kimchi slaw. 

Das BBQ

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This Westside smokehouse serves brisket and pulled pork by the pound, sausage by the link, and pork ribs by the rack. The menu also includes sandwiches and plates with traditional barbecue sides. A second, larger location with lots of outdoor seating is now open in Grant Park.

Pit Boss BBQ

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Pit Boss in Hapeville is often packed with Delta employees, weary travelers, locals, and off-duty (hopefully) police who come to indulge in the sweet, spicy, savory, and smoky ’cue here. Make sure to order the smoked wings, which are dry-rubbed overnight before being smoked on pecan, oak, and hickory woods and flash-fried for a crispy skin. There’s also a location in Stockbridge.

Rodney Scott's BBQ Atlanta

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Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott opened an Atlanta location of his popular Charleston barbecue restaurant in 2021 across from the Met. Like Scott’s other locations, head in for South Carolina-style whole hog barbecue, ribs, and chicken and Southern sides, like collards, golden cornbread, and banana pudding, which can come by the pint or quart to go.

Sam's BBQ 1

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Since opening his restaurant in 2004, Sam Huff has lived the dream of being able to quit his day job as an attorney to run a barbecue joint full-time. Sam's is a favorite of former Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, and catered several lunches while he was in office in Washington, D.C.

Secret Pint BBQ

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Billed as small batch Texas-style barbecue, this pop-up serves plates and sandwiches of pastrami, pork belly burnt ends, pulled pork, Spanish manchego links, and beef ribs smoked over oak and pecan wood. Folks can catch Secret Pint BBQ hosting intimate backyard dinners around town or slinging ‘cue at Atlanta breweries on the weekends. Follow on Instagram for pop-up dates and menu details.

Wood’s Chapel BBQ

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The Summerhill barbecue restaurant, from the team behind The General Muir, Fred’s Meat and Bread, Yalla, opened inside a 1930s building along Georgia Avenue in 2019. The menu includes smoked meats by the pound, barbecue sandwiches, brisket tacos, and smoked sausage hot dogs, along with sides like potato salad, mac and cheese, and beet and jalapeño slaw. A takeout location called Wood’s Chapel BBQ Shortstop is now open at Krog Street Market.

Greater Good BBQ

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Greater Good feels like a neighborhood pizza place, only instead of pizza, the restaurant serves up racks of ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. Pair the tasty and tender rib sandwich with pimento-barbecue potato skins, smothered in pork or brisket, for a grand a la carte meal.

Daddy D'z

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Ron Newman opened Daddy D’z in 1993 between Hill and Fort streets on the edge of Grant Park near historic Oakland Cemetery. Christianah Coker-Jackson purchased the barbecue joint from Newman in 2017.  The ribs and Brunswick stew far outshine the decor here. Start with the famous ‘cue wraps and settle into the bite-size barbecued pork that's wrapped in dough and deep fried.

Fat Matt's Rib Shack

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Don’t be deterred by the line out the door or the lack of parking. The line moves quickly and parking spots appear out of thin air at this Piedmont Road mainstay. Heralded by the late Anthony Bourdain, the restaurant hosts live blues bands that play sweetly to the tune of rib-eating patrons.

Grand Champion BBQ

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Owner Robert Owens is working on a burgeoning barbecue empire in Atlanta. After originally opening Grand Champion in Roswell in 2011, there’s now a location in Milton and in Smyrna. Try the baby back ribs, brisket sandwich on a Martin’s potato bun, or the pork and beef sausage plate.

D.B.A. Barbecue

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If the Archie Bunker sandwich, complete with smoked pulled pork, mac and cheese, sweet barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese on Texas toast, doesn’t do the trick, the banana pudding will. Dine here for a rambunctious patio in the heart of Virginia-Highland and return to try all of the creative barbecue combinations here.

Sweet Auburn Barbecue

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Kick off the meal with pimento cheese wontons at this Poncey-Highland restaurant owned by Howard Hsu and Anita Hsu, who started it as a Sweet Auburn Barbecue food truck and a counter food stall at Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Try the St. Louis spare ribs, Texas-style brisket, or pulled pork bowl with cheddar grits paired with green papaya slaw, bourbon baked beans, or wok-fired green beans. Don’t forget to order a side of pimento cheese wontons, too.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

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Jonathan and Justin Fox don’t mess around. Their Texas-style barbecue joint is famous for bringing Frito pie to the Southeast, but their brilliance shines in the Tominator, a base of tater tots covered in Brunswick stew and smothered in melted cheese. For those living and working north of Midtown, check out the Que-osk housed in a converted shipping container on Ottley Drive. The brothers opened a second location of their barbecue restaurant at the Works complex in northwest Atlanta. A third location opens this year in Brookhaven.

Anna's BBQ

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Located in the heart of Kirkwood, this neighborhood barbecue spot, owned and operated by pitmaster Anna Phelps, is said to serve some of the best smoked ribs in the city. This includes the popular smoked turkey legs and ribs here. Anna’s often sells out long before closing and serves some non-traditional ‘cue items on the menu like barbecue nachos and fish fry dinners.

Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ

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A newer addition to the barbecue scene in Atlanta, this Southern barbecue restaurant from chefs Todd Richards and Josh Lee pays homage to classic BBQ techniques. Meats at Lake and Oak are smoked using a combination of charcoal and white oak and pecan woods. The menu features rib tips and half and whole slabs of ribs, smoked wings, a half smoked chicken, and brisket, along with sides like Brussel sprouts and cabbage slaw, collard green fried rice, and smoked mac and cheese. Make sure to grab some banana pudding for dessert. A second location opens this year at Lee and White in West End.

Community Q BBQ

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The reliable pulled pork is enough to fill up the Decatur location, but the unconventional and creative side dishes take the cake. David Roberts’ infamous mac and cheese blends rigatoni, cheddar, Monterey Jack, parmesan, and heavy cream, and the blueberry-pecan bread pudding will satiate any sweet tooth.

Tookes Country Bar-B-Que

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Tookes keeps its menu tight serving up classic Southern barbecue plates of smoked chicken, racks of ribs, smoked sausage links, and pulled pork sandwiches paired with Brunswick stew, fried okra, and potato salad. There may be a wait for food here as this is a small operation, so be patient.

BBQ Cafe

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BBQ Cafe serves what’s described by the owners as traditional, slow-smoked barbecue rooted in recipes from Mississippi. Meats on the menu here include pulled pork, ribs, and brisket, and smoked chicken and pulled turkey on the weekends, with Southern sides like Brunswick stew, corn salad, bread and butter pickles, and baked beans. There’s banana or bread pudding for dessert, too. Barbecue plates feature one meat, two sides, bread, and sauce for between $12 and $15.

Old Hickory House

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Once a metro Atlanta chain, the last remaining Old Hickory House is still going strong in Tucker after over 50 years. This barbecue institution serves hickory-smoked meats on its menu like baby back ribs, sliced or chopped pork, and half chickens. Don’t pass on the squash casserole or Brunswick stew here. For those not into ‘cue, Old Hickory House also doubles as a meat-and-three, of sorts, with platters such as country fried steak and catfish served with a corn bread muffin and a choice of two vegetable sides.

Ford's BBQ

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Ford’s Barbecue opened on Main Street in 2020 serving Texas-style barbecue plates and sandwiches. Look for St. Louis rib or pulled pork butt sandwiches and smoked turkey or brisket plates here paired with sides like Brunswick stew, fried okra, and chili con carne. A second location opened in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur in 2021.

Crazy Ron's BBQ

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Located next door to a Citgo gas station, Crazy Ron’s serves wood-smoked ribs, chopped pork, chicken, and even hots dogs on the menu. There’s also the option to order just a vegetable plate here. Order a Lunatic sandwich — nearly a pound of chopped pork topped with coleslaw and pickles with a choice of sides, including greens and baked beans.

Socks Love Barbecue

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Located a little over 35 miles north of Atlanta, it’s all about the pulled pork and brisket served with generous helpings of mac and cheese, fire-roasted cream corn, and Frito chili pie at this Cumming-based barbecue joint. Order ‘cue here by the sandwich, plate, or pound. Make sure to order the ribs, too, which typically occur as a special on Fridays.

Zeigler's BBQ & Catering

Some say the best ribs in metro Atlanta can be found way up yonder in Acworth. Whether that’s true or not, the ribs are definitely good and worth ordering. This longtime restaurant and catering business serves everything from those popular ribs and wings to platters of chicken and pork smoked over pecan wood. Make sure to order a side of mac and cheese and Zeigler’s banana pudding for dessert paired with a glass of sweet tea.

Wallace Barbeque

Wallace Barbecue has been turning out smoked meats in Austell since 1966, and its prices are a nice throwback to that era. A sliced pork sandwich will set the wallet back $3.70, while a 12-ounce rib eye dinner costs right around $22.

Ohio Hog Company

Family-owned and operated, Ohio Hog Company brings a bit of Cleveland-style barbecue to the South. Look for beef brisket, slabs of glazed ribs, smoked chicken plates, and a take on Cleveland’s famed Polish Boy sandwich stuffed with smoked kielbasa. It’s then topped with fries, coleslaw, and tangy barbecue sauce.

TDT BBQ

This barbecue joint next door to a Shell gas station serves barbecue sandwiches and heaping plates of ribs, pulled pork, sausages, wings, and chicken smoked on site. Those in search of vegan and pescatarian barbecue options will find those at TDT BBQ, too, including vegan meatloaf and smoked salmon. Meals come with sides like baked beans, green beans, and mac and cheese. There’s peach cobbler for dessert.

Dave Poe's BBQ

Dave Poe opened his barbecue dream restaurant in 2009. In addition to the traditional barbecue mains and sides, Poe serves the ridiculous "redneck lasagna," which is macaroni and cheese topped with Brunswick stew.

Thompson Brothers Barbeque

Run by five brothers, this is where to head for smoked ribs near Truist Park before or after a Braves game. Make it a sandwich with a side, a plate with two sides, or a platter with three sides and nearly a pound of ribs. Order a bowl of Brunswick stew and a slice of pineapple upside-down cake for dessert.

Stan’s Smoke Signals BBQ

Typically located in a parking lot at 850 James Jackson Parkway and Hightower Place, the lines for this pop-up barbecue trailer are a solid indicator there’s great ‘cue to be had here. Stan’s serves up meaty racks of smoked ribs and rib sandwiches, sizable smoked turkey legs, and wings paired with mac and cheese, dirty rice, sweet potato cobbler, and fried corn. There’s banana pudding for dessert. Grab a turkey leg or rib plate and two sides for around $15, or splurge on a ribeye or lobster tail dinner for $30. Maybe mix it up with a surf and turf platter. Follow on Instagram for dates and locations and menus.

Hattie Marie's Texas Style BBQ & Cajun Kitchen

The big, ranch-style lettering outside is inspired by the Lone Star State, and so is Hattie Marie’s barbecue. The pit-smoked brisket is the real standout here, but try the pork ribs (cooked over cherry wood), sausage links, and Cajun-fried catfish, too. Owners Willie and Ramona Griggie also own a location in Decatur and plan to expand their barbecue restaurant to Duluth.

Heirloom Market BBQ

This Cobb County barbecue spot has limited seating, but chefs and owners Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee bring more than enough flavor to compensate for the cramped quarters or a ride home with a to-go box. Taylor and Lee’s Southern-Korean barbecue restaurant offers a must-try spicy Korean pork sandwich on its menu with chopped rib meat marinated in fermented chile paste, topped with kimchi coleslaw, black sesame seeds, and a sliced scallion. Order the sandwich with a side of Brunswick stew, cucumber radish salad, or kimchi slaw. 

Das BBQ

This Westside smokehouse serves brisket and pulled pork by the pound, sausage by the link, and pork ribs by the rack. The menu also includes sandwiches and plates with traditional barbecue sides. A second, larger location with lots of outdoor seating is now open in Grant Park.

Pit Boss BBQ

Pit Boss in Hapeville is often packed with Delta employees, weary travelers, locals, and off-duty (hopefully) police who come to indulge in the sweet, spicy, savory, and smoky ’cue here. Make sure to order the smoked wings, which are dry-rubbed overnight before being smoked on pecan, oak, and hickory woods and flash-fried for a crispy skin. There’s also a location in Stockbridge.

Rodney Scott's BBQ Atlanta

Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott opened an Atlanta location of his popular Charleston barbecue restaurant in 2021 across from the Met. Like Scott’s other locations, head in for South Carolina-style whole hog barbecue, ribs, and chicken and Southern sides, like collards, golden cornbread, and banana pudding, which can come by the pint or quart to go.

Sam's BBQ 1

Since opening his restaurant in 2004, Sam Huff has lived the dream of being able to quit his day job as an attorney to run a barbecue joint full-time. Sam's is a favorite of former Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, and catered several lunches while he was in office in Washington, D.C.

Secret Pint BBQ

Billed as small batch Texas-style barbecue, this pop-up serves plates and sandwiches of pastrami, pork belly burnt ends, pulled pork, Spanish manchego links, and beef ribs smoked over oak and pecan wood. Folks can catch Secret Pint BBQ hosting intimate backyard dinners around town or slinging ‘cue at Atlanta breweries on the weekends. Follow on Instagram for pop-up dates and menu details.

Wood’s Chapel BBQ

The Summerhill barbecue restaurant, from the team behind The General Muir, Fred’s Meat and Bread, Yalla, opened inside a 1930s building along Georgia Avenue in 2019. The menu includes smoked meats by the pound, barbecue sandwiches, brisket tacos, and smoked sausage hot dogs, along with sides like potato salad, mac and cheese, and beet and jalapeño slaw. A takeout location called Wood’s Chapel BBQ Shortstop is now open at Krog Street Market.

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Greater Good BBQ

Greater Good feels like a neighborhood pizza place, only instead of pizza, the restaurant serves up racks of ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. Pair the tasty and tender rib sandwich with pimento-barbecue potato skins, smothered in pork or brisket, for a grand a la carte meal.

Daddy D'z

Ron Newman opened Daddy D’z in 1993 between Hill and Fort streets on the edge of Grant Park near historic Oakland Cemetery. Christianah Coker-Jackson purchased the barbecue joint from Newman in 2017.  The ribs and Brunswick stew far outshine the decor here. Start with the famous ‘cue wraps and settle into the bite-size barbecued pork that's wrapped in dough and deep fried.

Fat Matt's Rib Shack

Don’t be deterred by the line out the door or the lack of parking. The line moves quickly and parking spots appear out of thin air at this Piedmont Road mainstay. Heralded by the late Anthony Bourdain, the restaurant hosts live blues bands that play sweetly to the tune of rib-eating patrons.

Grand Champion BBQ

Owner Robert Owens is working on a burgeoning barbecue empire in Atlanta. After originally opening Grand Champion in Roswell in 2011, there’s now a location in Milton and in Smyrna. Try the baby back ribs, brisket sandwich on a Martin’s potato bun, or the pork and beef sausage plate.

D.B.A. Barbecue

If the Archie Bunker sandwich, complete with smoked pulled pork, mac and cheese, sweet barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese on Texas toast, doesn’t do the trick, the banana pudding will. Dine here for a rambunctious patio in the heart of Virginia-Highland and return to try all of the creative barbecue combinations here.

Sweet Auburn Barbecue

Kick off the meal with pimento cheese wontons at this Poncey-Highland restaurant owned by Howard Hsu and Anita Hsu, who started it as a Sweet Auburn Barbecue food truck and a counter food stall at Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Try the St. Louis spare ribs, Texas-style brisket, or pulled pork bowl with cheddar grits paired with green papaya slaw, bourbon baked beans, or wok-fired green beans. Don’t forget to order a side of pimento cheese wontons, too.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

Jonathan and Justin Fox don’t mess around. Their Texas-style barbecue joint is famous for bringing Frito pie to the Southeast, but their brilliance shines in the Tominator, a base of tater tots covered in Brunswick stew and smothered in melted cheese. For those living and working north of Midtown, check out the Que-osk housed in a converted shipping container on Ottley Drive. The brothers opened a second location of their barbecue restaurant at the Works complex in northwest Atlanta. A third location opens this year in Brookhaven.

Anna's BBQ

Located in the heart of Kirkwood, this neighborhood barbecue spot, owned and operated by pitmaster Anna Phelps, is said to serve some of the best smoked ribs in the city. This includes the popular smoked turkey legs and ribs here. Anna’s often sells out long before closing and serves some non-traditional ‘cue items on the menu like barbecue nachos and fish fry dinners.

Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ

A newer addition to the barbecue scene in Atlanta, this Southern barbecue restaurant from chefs Todd Richards and Josh Lee pays homage to classic BBQ techniques. Meats at Lake and Oak are smoked using a combination of charcoal and white oak and pecan woods. The menu features rib tips and half and whole slabs of ribs, smoked wings, a half smoked chicken, and brisket, along with sides like Brussel sprouts and cabbage slaw, collard green fried rice, and smoked mac and cheese. Make sure to grab some banana pudding for dessert. A second location opens this year at Lee and White in West End.

Community Q BBQ

The reliable pulled pork is enough to fill up the Decatur location, but the unconventional and creative side dishes take the cake. David Roberts’ infamous mac and cheese blends rigatoni, cheddar, Monterey Jack, parmesan, and heavy cream, and the blueberry-pecan bread pudding will satiate any sweet tooth.

Tookes Country Bar-B-Que

Tookes keeps its menu tight serving up classic Southern barbecue plates of smoked chicken, racks of ribs, smoked sausage links, and pulled pork sandwiches paired with Brunswick stew, fried okra, and potato salad. There may be a wait for food here as this is a small operation, so be patient.

BBQ Cafe

BBQ Cafe serves what’s described by the owners as traditional, slow-smoked barbecue rooted in recipes from Mississippi. Meats on the menu here include pulled pork, ribs, and brisket, and smoked chicken and pulled turkey on the weekends, with Southern sides like Brunswick stew, corn salad, bread and butter pickles, and baked beans. There’s banana or bread pudding for dessert, too. Barbecue plates feature one meat, two sides, bread, and sauce for between $12 and $15.

Old Hickory House

Once a metro Atlanta chain, the last remaining Old Hickory House is still going strong in Tucker after over 50 years. This barbecue institution serves hickory-smoked meats on its menu like baby back ribs, sliced or chopped pork, and half chickens. Don’t pass on the squash casserole or Brunswick stew here. For those not into ‘cue, Old Hickory House also doubles as a meat-and-three, of sorts, with platters such as country fried steak and catfish served with a corn bread muffin and a choice of two vegetable sides.

Ford's BBQ

Ford’s Barbecue opened on Main Street in 2020 serving Texas-style barbecue plates and sandwiches. Look for St. Louis rib or pulled pork butt sandwiches and smoked turkey or brisket plates here paired with sides like Brunswick stew, fried okra, and chili con carne. A second location opened in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur in 2021.

Crazy Ron's BBQ

Located next door to a Citgo gas station, Crazy Ron’s serves wood-smoked ribs, chopped pork, chicken, and even hots dogs on the menu. There’s also the option to order just a vegetable plate here. Order a Lunatic sandwich — nearly a pound of chopped pork topped with coleslaw and pickles with a choice of sides, including greens and baked beans.

Socks Love Barbecue

Located a little over 35 miles north of Atlanta, it’s all about the pulled pork and brisket served with generous helpings of mac and cheese, fire-roasted cream corn, and Frito chili pie at this Cumming-based barbecue joint. Order ‘cue here by the sandwich, plate, or pound. Make sure to order the ribs, too, which typically occur as a special on Fridays.

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