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Here Are The Best Black-Owned BBQ Restaurants In The South

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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The South: where BBQ is king and pitmasters are royalty. If you plan on making a trip below the Mason-Dixon line, do yourself a favor and follow that aroma from the BBQ pits to these top restaurants that pride themselves on tradition, flavor, and Southern hospitality. 

Big T Bar-B-Q, Gadsden, SC

Big T’s offers old fashion pit cooked pork, beef, and chicken with their famous sauce. With a massive menu of options, it’s impossible to leave this place hungry or unsatisfied. 

Scott’s Bar-B-Que, Hemingway, SC

Southern fried catfish and pit-cooked BBQ chicken provide variety to an otherwise pork-packed menu. Homemade sides like fresh-cut shoestring fries satisfy a craving like nothing else can. Owner Rodney Scott is a BBQ legend and 2018 James Beard best chef winner. Smoked over coals of oak with a touch of hickory and pecan hardwood, Scott’s Bar-B-Que is an experience you’ll never forget. 

Photo via rodneyscottsbbq.com

RELATED: 50 in 50: Best Black-Owned Soul Food Spots In Each State

Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue, Kansas City, MO

According to their website, Arthur Bryant, the legendary King of Ribs, is the most renowned “barbequer” in history. He created a sauce that has attracted the likes of former Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama to his restaurant.  If Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue is good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me. 

Photo via arthurbryantsbbq.com

Jenkins Quality Barbecue, Jacksonville, FL

Melton Jenkins, Jr. and his wife, Willie Mae, opened their first Jenkins Quality Barbecue in 1957. He had a secret sauce handed down from his father that kept customers coming back for more. Today, Jenkins Quality Barbecue’s mouthwatering ribs, chicken, beef and pork are cooked daily on their oak wood-fired pit & smothered in their famous sauce. 


B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue, Savannah & Atlanta, GA

Head BBQ Pitmaster, Bryan Furman, is living the dream having left his day job as a welder to pursue cooking his signature-style pit-smoked barbeque, chicken, and ribs.  From fried pickles to rib plates, the buzz around B’s is real. 

Photo via bscracklinbbq.com

Helen’s Bar-B-Q, Brownsville, TN

Black and female-owned, Helen’s Bar-B-Q is a Brownsville staple where customers regularly praise the owners, service, and of course, legendary BBQ. 

RELATED: How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Memphis

Grady’s Barbecue, Dudley, NC

Serving lunch four days a week, Grady’s Barbecue is located in an unassuming, roadside building where every meal tastes like your grandma’s home cooking. Gerri Grady opened the doors in 1986 serving rich, nutty, brown, hand chopped pork with a smoky woodsy taste that only comes from slow smoking over wood on open pits. 

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