9 Barbecue Road Trips to Add to Your Bucket List

plate of bbq

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Food and travel go together like macaroni and cheese, so why not make your next roadtrip barbeque flavored?

We have rounded up some of the most tantalizing barbecue destinations, so you will not be short of ideas next time you pack up the car to go cruising.

1. Best Texas Pit Stops for Pitmasters

A road trip through Texas is not complete without sampling the food the state is so famous for.

Head over to this handy map made by Texas Monthly for not only a key to the top 50 barbeque establishments, but also some honorable mentions, and some hidden gems labelled “worth a detour”.

There is so much information crammed on this map, it will be a handy reference for many a road trip around Texas.

2. 25 of the Best Barbeque Joints in America

For those who have their sights set further afield, this detailed list provides a run down of the best barbeque spots around America – perfect if you are just in the country for a holiday and feel a bit overwhelmed by choice.

Two of the more famous spots on this list you might not want to miss is Franklin Barbeque in Austin, Texas, and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York. Just so you can say you have been there are eaten that.

But it’s safe to say, you could pull in to any of these joints and be assured of mind blowing barbeque.

3. Top 10 Barbecue Joints in One Ultimate Road Trip

If you are not interested in any particular style of barbecue, and just want to sample the best of the best, then this 3,478 mile trip is just the ticket.

It’s estimated this trip should take you about 3 days but could easily extend it.

Based on information collected on Trip Advisor and put together by Mashable, you can find that full itinerary and a handy map here.

Aside from the main attraction – barbecue – you may also want to sample some other truly American delights along the way such as crab cakes, hot dogs, collard greens and mac and cheese, as the trip takes you to barbecue joints that specialize in these dishes as well.

4. Barbeque Road Trip in the Carolinas

Pork barbecue sandwich
Pork Barbecue Sandwich

This list is a short and sharp, listing five barbecue establishments – meaning you can visit all five at a nice easy pace over as many days as you like.

Carolina barbecue is categorized into western style and eastern style. Western style is more tomato based, while eastern style features vinegary and peppery flavors.

This list includes establishments that showcase both the western style, like Lexington Barbecue, and those that create eastern style barbecue, such as Wilber’s.

Either way, Pork smoked with Hickory or Oak is likely to feature, and we think a dedicated trip to Carolina for the barbecue is totally worth it.

Check it out here.

5. North Carolina Barbecue Road Trip

If you are a stickler for tradition, while you are in this part of the country it might be worth checking out the North Carolina Barbecue Society’s barbecue road trip itinerary.

It covers 500 miles, and the establishments which make the list have to meet certain criteria. They must cook over wood or charcoal, have been in business for 15 years or more and make their own sauces.

There are a couple of joints on this list that you will also find on the list above, such as Lexington Barbecue – tells you they are a “must visit” on and Carolina barbecue road trip.

6. Hill Country Barbecue Trip

Southside BBQ Southside BBQ/Facebook

For those that may not be familiar, the Hill country refers to a picturesque region of Texas where Western, Central and Southern Texas meet.

This itinerary is conveniently mapped from North to South, meaning you can just pack your car and head off for some of the best barbecue while enjoying exquisite scenery.

While all the barbecue joints on this list are sure to impress, if you want real atmosphere, be sure not to miss the The Salt Lick in Driftwood. Check out it’s impressive barbecue pit and sample sides, desserts and wines while you soak up the unique atmosphere.

7. “3,000 Miles of Barbecue”

This itinerary is formed out of a New Yorkers quest to discover if good barbecue is a matter of taste or pure geography. The trip spans from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.

We think the answer is highly personal, but 3,000 miles of barbecue sure sounds like a fun way to find out.

With surprising discoveries along the way, follow the journey to discover not only where to find the best barbecue, but also where to find the best greens, sides, sauces and desserts – all vital elements which make a meal truly unforgettable.

8. 21 Stop North Carolina Barbecue Trail

This is another itinerary created by the North Carolina Barbecue Society. This trip focuses on the history of barbecue, with all the stops of the trail consisting of establishments which roast the beast traditionally, over pits of wood or charcoal.

Highlights include the Skylight Inn, which you can find out more about in this great video.

Many of these places are family run and have been in business for decades, which adds a lovely hint of nostalgia to the trip.

This list also features both eastern and western Carolina style barbecues.

9. Nashville to Memphis Barbecue Trail

Tennessee barbecue is tangy and a little sweet, and after partaking, you will truly begin to appreciate the virtues of a cracking dry rub.

This trail focuses on the 200 miles of the best barbecue in Tennessee. You can find the full rundown here.

This itinerary includes some old favourite eating spots as well as some newcomers to the scene.

The trip incorporates a nice variety of classic barbecue mains and sides that will present a solid case for Tennessee as the barbecue capital of the states.

Read more – How to Make a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Wrapping it up

Is it time for a break? Whether you have a couple of days or a whole week or two, there is no end of possibilities when it comes to barbecue road trips.

After taking a few trips you may even feel qualified to jump into the never ending debate over which state makes the best barbecue… if you’re brave.

If you know of any road trips that are worthy of a mention, please let us know in the comments section below.

And if you enjoyed this article, please share!

Featured Image Credit – BBQ done Right  by Luis Tamayo

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One Comment

  1. Ed Reilly says:

    The state of Georgia has a lot to offer BBQ lovers! Georgia was the first place the word “barbecue” was recorded in the US (1540) and the first documented place where pork was cooked on a barbecue (1563). It is also the first place BBQ sauce was bottled (1907) and the first BBQ to travel in space (1968)! Georgia also has a style all its own that can be found from Columbus to Savannah. Georgia has 5 major regions of bbq styles with Atlanta being a hot messy mix of classic and craft bbq styles. Georgia has the second most BBQ restaurants and is home to several major grill manufacturers like Big Green Egg, CharBroil, MasterBuilt, Primo, Kamado Joe, Lang Smokers, Royal Oak Charcoal, and Rectec Pellet Grills.

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