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LocalEats® Names 20 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America for 2013
Posted by LocalEats

Bbq Winner Badge 13[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 24, 2013] Another summer is upon us, and it’s been exactly a year since we at LocalEats released our inaugural list of the country’s 20 Best Barbecue Restaurants. Though we feared backlash, outrage and menacing letters written in BBQ sauce from the passionate online barbecue community, the response was by and large positive and the discussion civil and thought provoking. We went back for seconds and are proud to announce the 2013 edition of America’s Best Barbecue Restaurants.

For the 2013 list, we’ve broadened our scope – within reason, of course. As much as we’d like to explore the countless styles of international smoked meats, from churrascarias of South America to the stone-fired meats of Mongolia, we’ve confined our list to the continental U.S. There are more than enough wonderful barbecue variations to explore between state and even county lines. Of course, prominent on the list are heavy hitters from Kansas City, Memphis, North Carolina and Texas. But also represented are fantastic smoke shacks from Louisiana, New York, Detroit, Southern California and even the Pacific Northwest.  From timeless institutions run by old-school pitmasters who rarely sleep to the innovative, newer joints building on family and regional traditions, these establishments embody the passion and patience required to produce outstanding barbecue.

In addition to the Top 20 barbecue restaurants in America, we’ve compiled a list of 80 more excellent barbecue restaurants, “Honorable Mentions,” all with sterling reputations and rabid fan followings. Altogether, that’s a rib-sticking lineup of 100 of the country’s best barbecue restaurants – a smoky, saucy bucket list for those who know the difference between lump and briquette charcoal.

The winning selections represent the opinions of LocalEats’ editorial staff, which has spent months in smoke-filled rooms relentlessly researching, compiling, and drawing from their personal experiences and collective barbecue fascination. There are no national chains listed, and restaurants cannot pay for inclusion.

To view a slideshow of the winners:

To download a PDF press release: 2013 Best Barbecue Winners.pdf

A sample of barbecue award winners:

Louie Mueller Barbecue Taylor, TX
“Rubbed with salt and pepper then slow cooked four to six hours in 50 year-old pits, the brisket at Louie Mueller's is legendary. This iconic Texas eatery also serves up sausages by the link and meat by the slice or pound, while a thin, tomato-based sauce is meant to ‘complement, not coat.’"

Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue, Raleigh, NC
One step through the door verifies the appeal and popularity of this downtown Raleigh darling, with old-timey photographs, a buzzing service counter and the sweet aroma of down-home cooking.”

Franklin Barbecue, Austin, TX
From its humble beginnings — a trailer in a parking lot — to its current brick and mortar store with a line that’s always a mile long, Franklin Barbecue is the crown jewel of Austin’s flourishing barbecue scene.”

Smoque BBQ, Chicago, IL
"Smoque celebrates the varying styles of our nation's most noteworthy barbecue regions. But it's their Texas-style brisket (which they nearly left off the menu) that keeps the place consistently packed.”



CONTACT: Rachel Lawson,, 615-263-7760

Owned and operated by Magellan Press, Inc., LocalEats is a company dedicated to providing the best curated restaurant guide in America. Founded in 1991, the company began as an independent book publishing company, which created the popular Where the Locals Eat dining guide. In 2008, the guide went digital and has become the top paid dining app in the iTunes App Store. Today the LocalEats® iPhone and iPad apps and website are leading sources for the best regional dining information nationwide. More information is available at

The LocalEats app is free on the iPad and costs 99 cents for the iPhone. Listings are updated regularly without additional charge to the user. features the same restaurant content as the app, as well as links to the nation’s best dining blogs, local and national dining news, and the ability to find restaurants near popular U.S. landmarks. The app has received national recognition by The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Budget Travel, Business Week, Mashable, Peter Greenberg, Kim Komando Show, and CNET.


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Since 1995, "Where The Locals Eat" and LocalEats dining guides have featured locally owned restaurants across America. From the finest steakhouses and sushi bars, to classic burger joints and roadside barbecues, LocalEats recommends unique restaurants to suit every taste and price range. More
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