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The Best BBQ Cities in America

Now you know exactly where to find some finger-lickingly good eats, no matter where you are in the country.

Part of what makes summer one of the best seasons is the food. There are just some mouth-watering meals you reserve for those hot months. And there really is nothing better than some barbecue.

But where exactly can you find the best BBQ food? Well, prepare to take the tastiest trip around the states, as LawnStarter compared 199 of the biggest U.S. cities based on 14 key markers to uncover the best, true barbecue city.

Everything from the number of national award-winning BBQ restaurants and chefs, whether the city has hosted at least one "master-level" competition or not, the number of barbecue festivals, and, of course, fan ratings were taken into account. From there, 2021's Best BBQ Cities in America were determined.

Think you know which city came out on top? Keep reading to uncover the 10 best BBQ cities in America, ranked from the good to the absolute best. And for more, check out 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

Overland Park, KS

kansas bbq

Snagging the No. 10 spot on the list is Overland Park in Kansas. The Heart of America is a powerhouse for quality brisket and burnt ends.

Minneapolis, MN

bbq sandwich

Next up is the city of Minneapolis. When you're in town, be sure to stop by Minnesota Barbecue Company.

New York, NY

pork ribs

New York is truly one of the greatest cities in the world for food-lovers—you can find any type of food, and there's a good chance it will be delicious. No wonder it snagged the No. 8 spot on this list.

St. Louis, MO

bbq sauce chicken

In seventh place is St. Louis, which snagged the second-highest score in the Quality category. So you know the BBQ food is excellent here.

Louisville, KY

bbq chicken

Louisville is the city in Kentucky serving up the best BBQ.

Memphis, TN

BBQ pork sandwich with a cup of beans

Memphis being the BBQ capital in Tennessee isn't all that surprising. One spot you'll want to eat at while you're in the city? Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous. It's been in business for more than 70 years!

Looking for more? Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

Cincinnati, OH

baby back ribs

Cincinnati has proven to be the BBQ hub in Ohio!

Houston, TX

texas bbq

When in Texas, Houston is where you'll find the tastiest BBQ. And there are plenty of options as to where you can feast on some truly delicious food, too.

Chicago, IL

charred chicken bbq

The windy city comes in as the second-best BBQ city in America. It actually tied with Memphis jointly claiming the top spot when it came to being the city with the most BBQ Events.

Kansas City, MO

ribs and barbecue sauce bottles
Jones BBQ/Facebook

And now you've reached the U.S. city with the best BBQ in all of the country—Kansas City. When it came down to it, this city had far more winners in the World Series of Barbecue contests and the second-highest number of national excellence awards. While you're there, be sure to pay Jones Bar-B-Q a visit, although you'll want to get there early, as food sells out quickly. Yes, it's that good.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer
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