If you dream of rosy ribs, tender pork chops, and fatty brisket, then Pennsylvania has what you need. Home to some of the US's best BBQ joints, the Keystone State knows the value of a sweet, sticky sauce, a salt and pepper rub, and melt in the mouth meaty morsels better than most. We've sifted through the menus and smoked out the best places for Pennsylvania BBQ. If you're ready to tantalize your taste buds with some meaty delights, here are the 10 top destinations you won't want to miss.
10. Road Hawg BBQ, Dillsburg
If you want to bring your own beer to Road Hawg BBQ in Dillsburg, feel free. Feel free to bring your appetite too - with a menu bristling with good eats like smoked sausage, fatty beef brisket, jumbo smoked wings, St Louis-style ribs, and tender pulled pork, you're going to need it. Along with the meaty dishes, there's an excellent selection of sandwiches, sides like mac & cheese, smoky baked beans, garlic mashed potato, and creamy coleslaw, and a kids' menu for little ones.
9. Mission BBQ, Camp Hill
If you want to combine doing something good for your belly with doing something good for the community, make a beeline for Mission BBQ in Camp Hill. Along with making authentic, finger-licking good BBQ, the restaurant also strives to give back to the local community and the local police, firefighters, and first responders who make it what it is. Since opening its doors in 2011, the chain has donated over $10,000,000 to vital charities, fundraisers and service projects. Menu highlights include Texas-inspired, oak-smoked brisket, slow-smoked, hand-pulled pork, tender, juicy chicken, and jalapeno and cheese sausage. If you can't decide which one to try, opt for the belly-busting Meat Sampler for a little taste of everything. Whatever you pick, leave a little room on your plate for sides like green beans and bacon, Maggie's mac and cheese, and crisp and creamy coleslaw.
8. Baby Blues BBQ, Philadelphia
Named as one of the best places to grab some BBQ in Philly by threebestrated.com, this southern-inspired BBQ restaurant dishes up a fabulous array of lip-smacking treats, from slow-cooked Carolina-style dry-rubbed baby back ribs to sliced Texas brisket and grilled tiger shrimp topped in a New Orleans remoulade. The service is as rich in southern charm as the menu, creating a hugely enjoyable, family-friendly destination.
7. Harvey's Main Street BBQ, Mount Joy
If you're in the mood for some top-notch BBQ in Mount Joy, you won't regret a visit to Harvey's Main Street BBQ. Whether you want to eat in or take out, nibble on slow-roasted pork or tender, hickory and cherry smoked beef brisket and award-winning Bar-B-Q chicken, enjoy your meal with a side of slow-baked beans or creamy coleslaw, or plump for a little bit of everything, there's enough choice to keep everyone happy. If you're feeling particularly hungry, opt for "The Decision Maker," a gut-busting combo of ribs, chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, and cajun sausage served with a dinner roll and your choice of sides.
6. Southside BBQ Company, Pittsburgh
As America Top 10 says, Southside BBQ Company offers “slow and low” Southern cooking on the road, serving up a mean selection of ribs, chicken, pork, brisket and other meats along with a tempting selection of sandwiches (the Big Mike's combo of pulled pork, chicken and brisket topped with Redneck and Not Sauce shouldn't be missed) and sides like Pepper-Jack Mac and Cheese, North Carolin Slaw, and Grilled Memphis Corn on the Cob. Try out their restaurant on 17th street in the South Side or grab a sandwich to go from their food truck, "The Carnivoremobile.”
5. Bad Bones BBQ Inc., Coplay
Bad Bones BBQ Inc. is an award-winning BBQ joint that does the kind of American crafted, artisan BBQ that needs to be tasted to be believed. Their barbeque is wood-fired and slow-smoked with fruit woods for an authentic, old-school flavor. Homemade, handcrafted sauces, rubs, and artisan salts add an extra dimension to the taste experience, elevating the all-natural beef, chicken, and pork to new heights of deliciousness.
4. Mike’s BBQ, Philadelphia
According to foodandwine.com, Mike's BBQ in Philly does some of the best ribs in the state. Judging by the lines of hungry customers snaking out the door, they're not the only ones to think so. Rubbed and smoked till they're juicy and tender, they're impossible to resist. While you're there, don't miss the prime brisket and homemade sausage - a Lancashire chicken wing or two won't go amiss either.
3. Federal Hill Smokehouse, Erie
If you're already in Erie or don't mind driving there to grab some tasty BBQ, Federal Hill Smokehouse is the place to head. With friendly service and a welcoming ambiance, it's a great place to catch up with friends. Even if your friends are busy, go anyway - it might be a bummer to dine alone, but the glistening, melt-in-the-mouth ribs, buttery brisket, smoked turkey, meaty sausages, and deep-fried pulled pork cakes served with chipotle cream more than make up for it.
2. Acme Barbecue & Catering Company, Williamsport
Named as one of the best places in PA for BBQ by Only in Your Street, this unpretentious little BBQ joint on Williamsport's North Market Street might not look like much from the outside, but as soon as you get a whiff of the meaty, smoky delights inside, you'll never want to eat anywhere else. Stop by Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m to enjoy a smorgasbord of good eats like pulled pork sandwiches sliders, chicken wings, and naked or dressed ribs.
1. Deke’s Bar-B-Que, Philadelphia
If you like fine dining, you might want to give Deke’s Bar-B-Que a miss. If, on the other hand, you'd happily do without silver service and white tablecloths if it means enjoying some of the most finger-licking-good BBQ in Philly, set your sat nav for 4901 Ridge Avenue without delay. Open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m, this unpretentious little hole-in-the-wall serves up a selection of butter-soft brisket, sweet n' spicy BBQ chicken, glistening ribs, and tender pulled pork sliders that are guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson