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We’ve learned to trust Southern Living when it comes to food. Its peach-bourbon cheesecake recipe is one of our all-time favorites, and a list of 100 places to eat at now in the South inspired spirited office debate. So we’re inclined to once again follow the publication’s lead when it comes to the 50 best Southern barbecue joints. Spanning numerous cities in 16 states (plus D.C.) and highlighting the very best brisket, ribs, pork, chicken, sausage and turkey around, these picks from expert BBQ columnist Robert Moss range from gas-station pick-up spots to joints with hours-long waits in line to upscale sit-down venues. Food Republic is proud to exclusively reveal 20 of this year’s selections (note that these are not listed in any particular order). Head over to Southern Living to take a look at the entire list, which was just published.

  1. Scott’s Bar-B-Q (Hemingway, SC)
  2. Allen & Son (Chapel Hill, NC)
  3. Franklin Barbecue (Austin, TX)
  4. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Nolensville, TN)
  5. Skylight Inn (Ayden, NC)
  6. Fresh Air Barbecue (Jackson, GA)
  7. La Barbecue (Austin, TX)
  8. Old Hickory Barbecue (Owensboro, KY)
  9. Helen’s Bar BQ (Brownsville, TN)
  10. Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, TX)
  11. Kreutz BBQ (Lockhart, TX)
  12. Black’s BBQ (Lockhart, TX)
  13. Peg Leg Porker (Nashville, TN)
  14. Bar-B-Q Shop Restaurant (Memphis, TN)
  15. Big Bob Gibson (Decatur, AL)
  16. Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue (Kansas City, KS)
  17. Jack Stack Barbecue (Kansas City, MO)
  18. Heirloom Market BBQ (Atlanta, GA)
  19. 12 Bones Smokehouse (Asheville, NC)
  20. Hite's Bar-B-Que (West Columbia, SC)

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