Top 5

Top 5: Barbecue Spots in Memphis

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Barbecue styles vary by region in the United States. Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis and Texas are the four styles commonly referenced. Memphis specializes in ribs and sandwiches, served wet or dry, with a heavy smoke flavor and sweet, tangy sauce. Check out one of these restaurants for traditional barbecue on your next trip to Memphis.


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Central BBQ

The award-winning Central BBQ is frequently on Best Of lists in Memphis. Open daily, the restaurant serves barbecue classics and offers a self-serve sauce bar. Sandwiches come in regular or large sizes. Platters and combos are served with sides. There are currently three locations.


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Cozy Corner Restaurant

This no-frills barbecue spot is famous for its Cornish hen. While not classical barbecue, the hen has the smoky flavor of Memphis’ traditional barbecue. BBQ bologna is another unusual favorite at Cozy Corner. All plates come with bread and two sides.


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Germantown Commissary

Open in a century-old corner store, this barbecue spot has been open for business since 1981. Sandwiches, barbecue nachos and tamales are the main draw. Besides barbecue, Germantown Commissary makes great desserts like coconut cream pie and banana pudding.


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Payne’s Bar-B-Que

Located in an unassuming cinderblock building, Payne’s Bar-B-Q is best known for their chopped pork sandwiches and smoked sausage. Sandwiches come dressed in sauce and tangy slaw. Be prepared to get messy while eating the loaded sandwich.


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Top’s Bar-B-Q

Top’s Bar-B-Q is a chain with 15 locations in and around Memphis. Don’t let this detract you from experiencing its top-notch barbecue. All locations prepare the meat in the traditional method of cooking over open charcoal pits. Fans also swear by the burgers.


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