Searching for an excuse to dine out this week? We’ll give you five. Southern Living just published “The South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints Of 2023,” featuring five of the Holy City’s own. Check out the featured eateries below + some of our favorite menu items.
Home Team BBQ, multiple locations
When classic Southern comfort foods meat upscale cuisine, you get Home Team BBQ. This local favorite was featured at No. 42 on Southern Living’s list, and was specifically lauded for its menu that combines “contemporary creations” with tried-and-true barbecue delights.
Standout dishes: Fiery Ron’s Smoked Chicken Wings and the Pulled Pork Platter
Bessinger’s Barbecue, 1602 Savannah Hwy., Charleston
This West Ashley staple tied with Melvin’s BBQ for the No. 39 spot. Southern Living called attention to the eatery’s “plate of chopped pork barbecue dressed in South Carolina’s signature tangy/sweet yellow mustard sauce,” which is always a winner in our book.
Standout dishes: Brisket Plate and Banana Pudding
Melvin’s BBQ, 538 Folly Rd., Charleston + 925 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Mt. Pleasant
It’s true that no Lowcountry barbecue tour is complete without a trip to both Melvin’s and Bessinger’s, so seeing them tied on Southern Living’s list is fitting. In addition to calling out the eatery’s Texas-style brisket, Melvin’s was celebrated for its wood-cooked pork.
Standout dishes: Hushpuppies and the Big Joe Pulled Pork Sandwich
Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ, 1011 King St., Charleston
As the name suggests, the whole hog barbecue is this restaurant’s staple. But Rodney Scott’s is also loved for its spareribs, pulled chicken, and catfish platter. Plus, we never leave without a pint of potato salad to stock in the fridge. It’s no wonder we found Rodney Scott’s at No. 28 on Southern Living’s list.
Standout dishes: Nick’s Onion Rings + Rod’s Original Whole Hog Pork Plate
Lewis Barbecue, 464 N. Nassau St., Charleston
Coming in at No. 8, Southern Living said, “everything about Lewis Barbecue is impressive,” and we couldn’t agree more. If you haven’t visited this Texas-style barbecue joint, you’re sorely missing out because the brisket is heavenly. And if you have a sweet tooth like us, no meal at Lewis is complete without an order of the Chocolate Dirt Pie.
Standout dishes: A half pound of brisket + Cowboy Beans
What other barbecue spots do you like around town? Let us know so we can make a Lowcountry barbecue guide.