Ohio is known for its barbeque, so if you're in the mood for some fatty beef brisket, tender pulled pork, and glistening baby back ribs (naturally served with hearty portions of creamy slaw, sweet and spicy baked beans, or comforting mac and cheese on the side), you'll have no problem satisfying the craving. But where exactly can you find the best BBQ in Ohio? Everyone's got their favorite, but here's our pick of the 10 best BBQ joints in the Buckeye State.
10. Bubba's Q (820 Center Rd., Avon, OH 44011)
If you've never had the joy of eating fall-off-the-bone, heart-breakingly tender deboned baby back ribs, make an appointment with Bubba's Q in Avon, stat. While you're there, you might also want to give their honey BBQ turkey wings and crisp, cool marinated slaw a try.
9. Proper Pig Smokehouse (17100 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107)
Since starting out as a food truck, Proper Pig Smokehouse has found a brick-and-mortar location, inspired a cult following, and won some of the best reviews for BBQ in Ohio. A no-frills, no-fuss diner with an emphasis on good, fast service, a relaxed ambiance, and generous portions of tender meat, it's a must-visit. The experience of watching the smoked meats cut to order as you wait gets it extra marks.
8. Moe's Original Bar B Que (21 W Church St, Newark, OH 43055)
If you're looking for one of the best BBQ joints in central Ohio, look no further than Moe's Original Bar B Que. Owners Ben Gilbert, Mike Fernandez, and Jeff Kennedy came up with the idea for the business in Alabama, refined their style of southern BBQ in Colorado, then expanded into Ohio, where they now dish up some of the most comforting, tastiest BBQ in the state. Key dishes to try include the platter of award-winning Bama-style pulled pork shoulder, dressed in a tangy sop sauce and served with house-made sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and pickles; the golden-brown fried catfish served in a toasted bun with tartar sauce, marinated slaw and pickles; and the hot, smoked turkey served on a toasted bun with sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, marinated slaw, Alabama style white BBQ sauce, and pickles.
7. City Barbeque and Catering (5979 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43213)
As Three Best Rated explains, City Barbeque and Catering is a counter-serve barbeque joint dishing up award-winning BBQ in a welcoming environment. The diverse menu has enough to satisfy even the most discerning BBQ fan, including a fabulous selection of sandwiches, tasty salads, made from scratch sides, and, of course, every type of meat you can rub, smoke and BBQ, including turkey, Amish chicken, beef brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis-cut ribs. Don't leave without trying their signature secret recipe sausage.
6. Kiser’s Barbeque (1002 E State St, Athens, OH 45701)
If you prefer your BBQ joints to come with a conscience, the family-owned and family-operated Kiser’s Barbeque should be right up your street. What can be sourced locally, is, while the commitment to using biodegradable and recycled products is admirable. Obviously, none of that would mean much if the food wasn't up to scratch, but fortunately, it is. Expect plates piled high with smoked meats cooked low and slow to bring out the maximum amount of flavor, together with an impressive list of sides like creamy slaw and sweet, smoky baked beans.
5. The Boondocks BBQ & Grill (4651 OH-60, McConnelsville, OH 43756)
The Boondocks BBQ & Grill slogan is "Great Food for Great People at Great Prices," which sums up almost everything you need to know about this award winning Ohio BBQ joint... that, and a buttery, fatty, heart-meltingly divine hickory-smoked brisket that could give even the most committed vegan pause for thought.
4. Seven Miles Smokehouse (285 E 7th St, Chillicothe, OH 45601)
As Only In Your State says, with a low and slow philosophy towards BBQ and a giant selection of made from scratch sides, the family-owned and operated Seven Miles Smokehouse serves up some excellent barbeque. For a meal you won't forget in a hurry, opt for "The Mad Dog," a belly-busting combo of pulled smoked chicken, buttery beef brisket, and juicy pulled pork served with heaps of grilled onions and the house's signature coleslaw.
3. Ray Ray’s Hog Pit (2619 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202)
If you're in Columbus and have a craving for BBQ, take the advice of 2laneamerica.com and head for Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, a proud advocate of the farm to table ethos and home to some of the best low and slow BBQ in the state. Everything's local (even the hickory and oak used for the smoke is foraged from nearby woods), everything's tasty, and, judging by the lines snaking away from the counter, everything is in hot demand.
2. Bill's Real Pit Bar-B-Q (5945 Frazeysburg Rd, Nashport, OH 43830)
From the outside, Bill's Real Pit Bar-B-Q looks like the kind of unassuming, small-town canteen that you wouldn't go out of your way to grab a drink at, let alone a meal. But appearances can be deceptive. Once you've taken a seat, get ready to try some of the best southern BBQ in the state. The portions are piled high, the prices are tiny, and the smoked meats are too memorable for anyone within traveling distance of Nashport to want to miss.
1. Eli’s BBQ (3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45226)
If you want to enjoy some of the fine BBQ at Eli’s BBQ, be prepared for a wait, especially if you decide to risk visiting on the weekend. Is it worth braving the lines? Absolutely. Launched in 2011 as a small food truck in Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, its since moved into a bricks-and-mortar location and grown into one of Cincinnati's must-visit destinations. The hickory smoked pork sandwiches topped with homemade BBQ sauce and coleslaw are a must-try, but neither will you want to miss the cheese and jalapeño cornbread, the chicken wings dusted with dry rub and served with a side of Carolina sauce, or the sweet and spicy baked beans.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn