It would be easy to overlook Savannah's barbecue scene, considering Memphis, Texas and the Carolinas get all the credit after all. But one trip to the Hostess City of the South will change all of that.
Smoked meats, tomato and vinegar sauce, Brunswick stew −it's an underrated, but definitive style of barbecue unique to Savannah and south Georgia.
With that in mind, these are some of the best BBQ joints, Savannah style:
Wiley's Championship BBQ
4700 U.S. Highway 80 East, Savannah. 912-201-3259, www.wileyschampionshipbbq.com
If you walk into a place with a cigar-smoking pig on the door, you know you're in good hands. Wiley's Championship BBQ serves some of the best barbecue in the South − and has the reviews to prove it. The specialty is the St. Louis deep fried ribs but if you choose to go simple and hearty, you'll also find pulled pork, beef brisket, burnt ends and more. And since a meal is only as good as its sides, be sure to try the sweet potato casserole or delicious baked beans.
BowTie Barbecue Co.
6724 Waters Ave., Savannah. 912-354-7810, www.bowtiebarbecueco.com
If you’re a Savannah longtimer, you’ve probably heard of Johnny Harris and his renowned barbecue. BowTie Barbecue Co., the iconic Savannah restaurant Harris inspiredon Victory Drive, was open for nearly 100 years before closing its doors in May 2016.
The good news? One of the families behind Johnny Harris decided to take the best of Johnny in opening BowTie Barbecue Co. It's one of the newer barbecue spots in Savannah and already a smokin' success. One of the best things about this barbecue spot is that they work hard in a scratch kitchen, making your lunch or dinner option hard to pick. They offer the same classic fried chicken from Johnny's; batterless, salt and peppered with barbecue on the side. Or you can venture into the new-new with their barbecue ribs or lamb sandwich. And while you're trying new things, check out their whiskey selection. The 120-plus bottles on the back bar should have something you like. They don't mess around!
B's Cracklin' BBQ
12409 White Bluff Road, Savannah. 912-330-6921, www.bscracklinbbq.com
In 2015 after a faulty Coca-Cola machine caught fire and destroyed the original building, B's Cracklin' BBQ is back in a new location with an even larger crew and a bigger space to seat the crowds. Now located in a strip mall, B's barbecue aromas fill the surrounding area for what seems like miles. The menu has a nice variety of everything you want in barbecue: ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork. The barbecue has a deep red color and smoky flavor, which serves up nicely with a side of pork hash and rice.
And for those in Atlanta, consider yourself lucky because B's Cracklin' Barbecue has a second location not far from SunTrust Park.
8413 Ferguson Ave., Savannah. 912-356-5463, www.sandflybbq.com
The barbecue served up in the Savannah joint (a second location downtown) tastes much better than its name suggests. The profound smell of pork goodness greets you at the door like an old friend. Take a look at the menu on the wall and order at the counter; Sandfly BBQ's counter service makes for a quick lunch or easy dinner. The brisket is full of savory flavors and the Brunswick stew is heavenly. If you go to Savannah, make sure to check out this place. It's locally owned and the prices are low considering the quality and amount of food you're getting.
515 E. York Lane, Savannah. 912-232-9754, www.facebook.com/Wallsbbq
Wall's could be easily missed, what with the palmettos and tangled trees on both sides of the small white establishment nestled down a dirt alley in Old Savannah. You'll know you've found it once you find the aromas of slow-cooked, smoked meat are coming from. Order at the counter: ribs, pork barbecue, crisp coleslaw and more. Then have a seat, or if you must, do carry out because this no-frills barbecue gem is something you don't want to miss out on.
2601 Bull St., Savannah. 912-655-1068, www.facebook.com/Tricks-Bbq
Tricks is a real deal, roadside barbecue shack located on Bull Street in the up and coming Starland section of Savannah. All orders are to go and service is speedy -- but that doesn't mean don't try this place out. This is real southern barbecue with a line at lunchtime to prove it. The price is right too for substantial portions and unbelievable flavor.
750 Wheaton St., Savannah. 912-412-2671, www.facebook.com/pages/Randys-barbecue
Randy's Bar-B-Q is one of few top "roadside smoker" barbecue parking lots in Savannah. The other one is Trick's. There is no website and their Facebook page is bare; just head about four blocks off of Savannah's historic district and look for the long lines for this barbecue goldmine. The menu is smaller compared to the sit-down joints, but they do it right with ample portions. Try the deviled crabs if you're feeling extra adventurous.
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