B's Cracklin' BBQ with locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia

The Best Barbecue Joints in Georgia

From the coast to the Piedmont, the metro hub and beyond, Georgia is home to some of the world’s best barbecue. Spicy, sweet, smoky and smothered with homemade sauces, there is no end to the creative forces behind the Peach State’s mouthwatering creations.

Here, for your gastronomic enjoyment, we’ve rounded up some top barbecue spots across the state. Hungry? Grab your napkins and dig in!

Start your sticky-sweet-savory dining adventure on the Georgia coast, with one of the state’s best barbecue joints: Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island. Housed in a former gas station-turned-seafood market, the Southern Soul crew converted the space into a restaurant more than five years ago, only to have it tragically burn down in 2010. But, thanks to a hefty social media campaign and a mega-dose of community support, the boys rebuilt the restaurant and rose, strongly, like a Phoenix from the ashes. Now, Southern Soul offers smoked pork, brisket, turkey and chicken alongside a long menu of Southern-style veggies, plus bottled sauces, gifts – and easy access to beaches along the coast.

Photo: Guy Fieri/GuyFieri.com

Up the road a bit in Savannah, diners can find Wiley's Championship BBQ, which has routinely been named the city’s best in that realm. Opened in 2005, the restaurant has claimed national titles in barbecue competitions every year for nearly a decade, thanks to a menu that includes smoked meats and sausage, pulled pork, stuffed baked potatoes and classic banana pudding.

Photo Credit:  Sarah Breckley

A bit farther north, you can find some of the South’s best barbecue at Sconyers Bar B Que in Augusta and Fincher’s Barbecue in Macon. Old-fashioned pit-smoking with oak and hickory hold the key to the Augusta spot’s praised menu, where hungry diners will salivate over lean tenderloin, tender ribs and smoked hash, all cooked using a secret family recipe. Macon-based Fincher’s is popular enough to be spread out to four location throughout the city, so diners have ample opportunity to try their Southern pork, chicken and turkey dishes.

In Atlanta, dozens of barbecue options await. But top picks go to Heirloom Market BBQ and Sweet Auburn BBQ, two relative newcomers that are delighting tasters. Community Q in Decatur is also a favorite for locals. Down the road in Athens, be sure to stop by Harry’s Barbecue for, well, pig – plus other succulent options like smoked wings, fried green tomatoes and barbecue nachos.

Heading to the mountains? Several barbecue bistros dot the journey. Jim's Smokin' Que in Blairsville not only offers all your barbecue needs, but also has a welcoming, hometown atmosphere ideal for mountain dining. They are closed in January and February, but reopen to start serving on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays in March.

Now, who’s hungry?

Published: October 2014