The Best (And Worst) BBQ Cities In America
Photo Credit: RicardoImagen

Photo Credit: RicardoImagen

The Best (And Worst) BBQ Cities In America

akron , chicago , el paso , kansas city , memphis , nyc
Bernadette Giacomazzo
Bernadette Giacomazzo Jun 30, 2021

When it comes to barbecue, Americans are second-to-none in their love of it. And now, with the Fourth of July just around the corner, LawnStarter did a survey of the best — and worst — BBQ cities in America.

Which list did your city make?

At the top of the list of the best BBQ cities in America is Kansas City, MO. It edged out its nearest competition, Memphis, because it had more winners in the World Series of BBQ than any other city. This, needless to say, is a source of pride for many in the area, who take their barbecue to heart. Dubbed a “powerhouse for quality brisket and burnt ends,” Kansas City is notorious for quality over quantity.

Other cities that rank high on the list of best BBQ cities in America include Chicago, IL (No. 2), Memphis, TN (No. 5), and New York City (No. 9).

But there are some cities which, unfortunately, were ranked the worst in America. On that list includes Akron, OH (No. 198), El Paso, TX (No. 193), and Anchorage, AL (No. 195).

Interestingly enough, even though North Carolina is known for having a “signature BBQ sauce,” none of its cities made the list of best BBQ cities in America.

“Why didn’t North Carolina’s signature sauce rank higher?” asked LawnStarter, rhetorically. “Maybe it’s because North Carolina ’cue culture is spread out in the state rather than concentrated in one area like Kansas City or Memphis. (Texas, too, was a mixed bag in our ranking.) North Carolina, while not the best ranked, is still a destination for those who prefer a hint of tang and a kick of vinegar. (Just don’t get caught up in the East vs. West debate.)”

Other determning factors included access to good restaurants (how many restaurants were in the area per 100,000 residents?), number of residents who ranked in the World Series of BBQ, and number of BBQ festivals.

To check out the full list of best — and worst — BBQ cities in America (read it & weep!), click here.