In The Big Peach, you can find everything barbecue-related. It’s easy to understand why Georgia’s capital city is dubbed the Barbecue Capital of the World thanks to its mustard-based recipes and Latin influences. Local neighborhoods all have their favorite barbecue joints.
The best way to spend an afternoon is over a plate of barbecue piled high with friends. You’ll always find a place in the Atlanta area that delivers perfectly smoked ribs or succulent pulled pork with all the fixings.
Here are ten great places that serve delicious BBQ in Atlanta to satisfy your barbecue craving, regardless of whether you’re looking to enjoy an old classic or a new twist.
Visiting other destinations in Georgia? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 9 Must-Try Restaurants In Cartersville, Georgia
- 10 Must-Try Atlanta Seafood Restaurants
- 6 Must-Try Restaurants in Helen, GA
- Best Bainbridge GA Restaurants
The 10 Must-Try Restaurants For The Best BBQ In Atlanta
2243 Akers Mill Rd SE, Atlanta // +17706122502
It’s hard to find a place to sit at Heirloom Market, located in the Cumberland area adjacent to a nondescript convenience store, but people still line up outside the restaurant.
Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor, the co-owners of Heirloom Market BBQ, share a love story between their Korean cooking and their homestyle Texan cooking, and between all of Atlanta’s and those gochujang-brushed ribs.
A Korean twist is present at Heirloom Market’s smoked meats. Korean-style smoked brisket is injected with miso, gochujang sauce is used for the chicken and spicy pork.
In addition to the meats, you’ll find mouth-watering sides such as macaroni and cheese with kimchi, fried sweet potatoes with a soy-ginger sauce and kimchi coleslaw. Of course, don’t forget the fried chicken, either.
1238 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta // +14045774030
If you need barbecue in Atlanta, Fox Brothers is the place to go. Jonathan and Justin Fox once fed 250 people during a backyard party and began their barbecue careers.
You must try the brisket “burger” with bacon, pickles, onions, pimento cheese, and jalapeno mayo on a brioche bun, or their plate with two sides, on which should be the Fox-a-Roni, a hearty combination of mac and cheese and Brunswick stew.
Aside from the legendary brisket, the brothers’ over-the-top barbecue menu features Frito Pie served in the bag, hickory-smoked wings dressed in homemade sauce, and a nine-inch, smoked beef rib that will make you drool all over the place!
350 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta // +14048507373
The Westside joint takes the name from Czechs and Germans who brought barbecue to Texas. The Texas-style barbecue has now reached Atlanta, thanks to Das.
When you enter the restaurant, you’ll notice the offset wood smokers that will leave you salivating.
The Texas-style restaurant of Stephen Franklin is known for its thickly-sliced brisket. You can choose between fatty, lean or half and half—and no matter what you choose, you’ve made the right decision.
Briskets with the black, nubby bark are perfect, as is the meat that is smoked on Pancho or lefty, two old-school smokers. DAS BBQ offers quite a nice experience and I recommend that you try it! Best BBQ in Atlanta for sure!
656 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta // +16785153550
If you and your party want barbecue, but also other food, go to Sweet Auburn in Poncey-Highland. Like brisket and pulled pork, the meats are great, but so are their Asian-inspired dishes.
Howard and Anita Hsu have grown up working in the restaurant industry and know how to please your taste buds with dishes such as coconut lemongrass wings, barbecue nachos with pulled pork, charred corn, and queso fresco, and pimento cheese wontons.
You cannot go wrong with the Curb Market spare ribs (in Wu-Tang sauce) or the house-smoked brisket.
Additionally, you should definitely not miss out on the Wu-Tang wings and pimento cheese wontons. Finally, try the Bing & Rosemary Cocktail (gin, rosemary syrup and lemon) to wash down all that food.
1811 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta // +14046071622
One of Atlanta’s best barbecue spots, this place is an Atlanta institution. For nearly 30 years, it has called Piedmont Avenue home.
Don’t let the simple decor fool you; this joint has been serving ribs, chicken, and turkey since 1983.
You’ll find friendly service, tasty southern food, and great hospitality here. And, you might even recognize one of the many blues musicians who play here regularly.
You will get juicy and delicious meat no matter how you order it. Despite using quality ingredients, they do not charge a fortune for them. Short version: Fat Matt’s is more than just a rib joint. It’s an experience and deserves it’s place in the list for the best BBQ in Atlanta.
1190 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta // +14042495000
D.B.A Barbecue is a barbecue joint worth checking out. You kind of have to know where it is; it’s nestled behind the VaHi USPS office just north of North Highland.
The experience of visiting their spacious dining room (for a barbecue place), excellent hospitality, insanely good smoked wings, and bourbon cocktails is truly worth the time.
You’ll find ribs, brisket, and pulled chicken among the menu items. However, what sets this restaurant apart are their sandwiches.
Try the Archie Bunker for a large meal with smoked pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, barbecue sauce, and cheddar on Texas Toast.
29 S Main St, Alpharetta // +17704107611
Smokejack has been serving yummy BBQ and southern dishes since before the area’s revitalization and continues to do so every day.
It has been a goal of owner Dave Filipowicz to sample as many different regional BBQ styles as possible, and he has managed to combine them all on his menu.
SmokeJack attributes their success to using the freshest ingredients and making every item from scratch, but something about the brand has me hooked. No wonder it’s on the list with the best BBQ in Atlanta.
I had their brisket sandwich topped with a heap of pimento cheese and homemade pickles when I was there, and it was wonderful!
2358 Hosea L Williams Dr NE, Atlanta // +14042055913
On Atlanta’s barbecue scene, East Lake (Lake And Oak) is one of the newest restaurants.
As well as some of the best barbecue sauce around, Lake And Oak offers some truly inventive appetizers and sides, including collard greens, fried rice and house-made pimento cheese with bacon.
They serve smoked meats such as brisket, wings, half chickens, and ribs for dinner and drinks. Their brisket sandwiches with pimento cheese are excellent. While fried rice and cabbage slaw are popular sides, banana pudding completes the meal.
You can enjoy local meat and produce at an affordable price with Lake And Oak while still filling your stomach.
1976 Hosea L Williams Dr NE, Atlanta // +14049636976
Anna’s BBQ is owned and operated by Anna Phelps, who became a pitmaster in 2013 without any training. These days, she sees long lines and sells out frequently. Why? Her smoked ribs and turkey legs are some of the best in the city. You shouldn’t miss the brisket or pulled pork, either.
The moment you walk into Anna’s BBQ, a fast-gentrifying barbecue spot in the middle of Kirkwood, you can feel the love.
It’s hard to choose, but the pulled pork on a platter, in a sandwich, or as “Anna’s Favorite” (a sandwich topped with slaw) is worth starting with.
Served with a sweet-and-hot sauce, the pork is juicy and well-seasoned. While the collards are appealingly briny, the mac and cheese is sufficiently decadent (if a little salty) – in any case, this joint deserves it’s place amongst the restaurants with the best BBQ in Atlanta.
85 Georgia Ave SE, Atlanta // +14045223000
Todd Ginsburg opened a barbecue restaurant after running a southernized Jewish deli. It may not seem like a logical next step, but it was for him.
Ginsburg produces smoked chicken, jalapeno & Oaxaca sausage and chopped beef with wood smokers at Wood’s Chapel.
Smoked salmon is available on Sundays, which is tender and unlike anything you will find at most barbecue joints in Atlanta. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the creative side of things, but the beet and jalapeno slaw is a standout. It definitely has one of the best BBQ in Atlanta!
Summary Of The 10 Must-Try Restaurants For The Best BBQ in Atlanta
Unlike other Southern cities, Atlanta doesn’t specialize in one particular type of barbecue. The style that has emerged in the past couple of decades has been shaped and, dare I say, even improved through the melding of traditions from across the region and even abroad. The best of both worlds can be found in Atlanta barbecue.
From down-home cooking to haute cuisine, Atlanta’s top restaurants offer a variety of cuisines and culinary styles.
However, BBQ is well-represented among local favorites since this is the South. Although Atlanta may not be a barbecue capital like Austin or Memphis, their best barbecue comes close, with smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork and all the sides you expect from great Southern food.