The Best Barbecue Restaurants in Florida, According to Southern Living and Travel Websites

L. Cane

Barbecuing is arguably a simple way to cook. Depending on how fancy one wants to be, all you need is meat, sauce, and a grill. Of course, some cooks have the process down to an elevated science, and some restaurants can have such a mastery of barbecue that people line up for a taste.

Many of these restaurants are quite popular, and there is no shortage of places to get your barbecue fix. According to Brizo Food Metrics, there are over 41,000 establishments in the United States and Canada that offer barbecue on their menus.

Some states, like Texas and Tennessee, are known for their barbecue, but Florida arguably has some very solid barbecue joints to offer, too. And sites like Southern Living, Best Things Florida, Trips to Discover, and Only in Your State have weighed in to name what they think are the best barbecue offerings in Florida. Many choices overlapped. Below are some barbeque restaurants that were glowingly mentioned:

Jenkins Quality Barbeque, Jacksonville: Southern Living recently named this restaurant as the best barbecue restaurant in the entire state of Florida. The site noted that all slabs of ribs and half chickens are cooked on open brick pits and slathered in unique mustard sauce.

Shiver's BBQ, Homestead: A favorite with locals, this joint is considered an institution that's been in business for over 50 years. Popular choices are the baby back ribs or pulled pork combo with cornbread souffle.

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Altamonte Springs, FL: This restaurant may already be familiar to you if you watch the Food Network. It's won numerous awards and has also been featured in USA Today. Their meats are carefully slow-cooked over a hardwood fire, and the attention to detail shows. Some reviewers talk about traveling long distances to eat here.

Captain's BBQ, Palm Coast: Not only is the food arguably great here, but the view is unique, as the restaurant is waterside and offers views of the Atlantic Ocean. They offer all the classics, but they're also known for creative dishes like a pulled pork burrito with Baja sauce. This restaurant feels like old Florida, especially when you order a side of collard greens.

Georgia Pig, Fort Lauderdale: Since this restaurant has been in business for more than 60 years, it's not a surprise that it's one of the oldest barbeque restaurants in south Florida. The vintage decor is charming, but the real draw is the tangy signature sauce that covers classic specialties cooked over an oak-fire pit.

Al's Finger Licking Good BBQ, Tampa: Blink and you might miss this unassuming-looking restaurant/bungalow, which is technically in Ybor City. The ribs and pulled pork are popular choices, but what is really revered here are the spicy collard greens. Most reviewers thought the heat was more than worth it.

Smokin’ D’s BBQ, St. Augustine: This is another joint that has an unassuming exterior with some surprises inside. All meats are smoked fresh daily, and they serve up hearty portions of traditional offerings such as ribs, pork, turkey, brisket, or chicken with your choice of sauces. Some reviewers noted that the pork is diced instead of pulled, but still delicious.

Big Lees Serious About Barbecue, Ocala: This food truck is known for being featured on Food Networks BBQ brawl. The offerings are known to sell out quickly, especially the burnt ends brisket. Sometimes a side of okra is available.

Mojo BBQ, Several Florida Locations: This establishment has restaurants in Lakeland, Ocala, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Gainesville. There are lots of traditional choices here, and if you can't decide, you can always try the “whole dawg” which is a choice of various types of meat and 4 sides. This restaurant offers fried green tomatoes.

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