A large tray of barbecued meats and sides

Barbecue selection from Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Where to Find the Best Barbecue 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!

Barbecue and side dishes on a restaurant table

Barbecue and sides from Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island

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, 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.

A plate of barbecue and sides

Barbecue and sides from Fresh Air Barbecue in Jackson, Georgia

Fresh Air Barbecue in Jackson

The menu doesn’t stray from the basics that put this roadside institution of pure Georgia barbecue on the map in 1929: smoked pork, slaw, Brunswick stew, pickles, and bread.

Barbecue and various side dishes at a restaurant

Barbecue and sides from Jomax BBQ in Metter, Georgia

Jomax BBQ in Metter

Heading to Atlanta from Savannah, you'll want to stop off I-16 for lunch at Jomax BBQ in Metter. This lodge-like restaurant named for founders Joe and Maxine Hulsey who started it more than 30 years ago is a detour you won't regret.

Overhead view of a table filled with barbecue and side dishes

Barbecue and sides at Heirloom Market BBQ in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photo by @chefcodytaylor

Heirloom Market BBQ in Sandy Springs

Husband and wife Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee combine the flavors of home —Tennessee and South Korea — at metro Atlanta hotspot Heirloom Market BBQ, giving Korean BBQ a whole new meaning. Try the spicy Korean smoked pork for an exemplary taste of this beautiful marriage that serves up bold and surprising flavors.

Sauces being poured over barbecue ribs

Barbecue ribs

Miller Brothers Rib Shack in Dalton

Since Walter and Eugene first served ribs and chicken from a front-yard smoker in 1978, Miller Brothers has been a household name in Dalton. Want to add some heat? Ask for the homemade Dragon Lady sauce.

A giant barbecue sandwich with toppings spilling over the side

Barbecue sandwich at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Atlanta, Georgia

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Atlanta

Smoked wings, colossal beef ribs, and juicy, charred brisket — these are the smokehouse sensations of their Texas youth that Jonathan and Justin Fox bring to Fox Bros. Bar-B-Que in Atlanta's Candler Park neighborhood and at The Battery Atlanta.

Blackbeard's B&B Bar-B-Que in Albany

Smoked ribs, half chickens, and barbecue pork make this longstanding shrine to Southern food live up to its name, but the menu covers all manner of Southern staples, from fried catfish and hushpuppies to cheese grits and country fried steak.

Barbecue and side dishes sitting on a table

Barbecue and sides at Sconyers Bar B Que in Augusta, Georgia

Sconyers Bar B Que in Augusta & Fincher's Barbecue in Macon

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 locations throughout the city, so diners have ample opportunity to try their Southern pork, chicken and turkey dishes.

Overhead view of a tray of barbecue and side dishes

Barbecue and sides at Wiley's Championship BBQ in Savannah, Georgia

Wiley's Championship BBQ in Savannah

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.

A tray of barbecue ribs

Barbecue ribs at Jim's Smokin' Que in Blairsville, Georgia

Jim's Smokin' Que in Blairsville

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 open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Barbecue ribs and side dishes

Barbecue ribs and sides at Daddy D'z BBQ in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Daddy D'z BBQ

Daddy D'z BBQ

Located in a quirky building off of Memorial Drive in Atlanta, it’s hard to miss Atlanta favorite Daddy D'z BBQ. Try favorites like their beef brisket, smoked turkey sandwich, or rib plate — all cooked on a hickory and oak pit by hand.

A plate of barbecue and sides

Barbecue and sides at Dawg Gone Good BBQ in Athens, Georgia. Photo by @scratched_vinyl

Dawg Gone Good BBQ

Known by locals as having the best barbecue in Athens, Dawg Gone Good BBQ offers up staples from pulled pork sandwiches to sausages, and of course, a variety of classic Southern sides like macaroni and cheese, Brunswick stew, yams, and spinach supreme.

Published: May 2023
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