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Memphis-style barbecue is one of the four major regional styles of American barbecue, the other variations being Carolina, Kansas City and Texas. Characterised by the use of pork ribs and shoulders as its base, Memphis-style barbecue is slow-cooked in a pit and flavoured either with dry rub seasoning or drenched in a tasty barbecue sauce. We’ve picked out the top restaurants in Memphis for foodies to indulge in this Southern speciality.
With its long-standing title as one of the top three BBQ restaurants in Memphis voted by locals, there is little reason not to eat at Central BBQ. Central slow smoked ribs, pork, chicken, turkey, beef brisket, sausage, bologna and even hot wings fill the menu. Television appearances include Pitmasters, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Crave and BBQ with Bobby Flay. Southern sides complement the meat menu, including mac n’ cheese, greens, home cooked pork rinds, slaw and BBQ beans. Central also offers salads and a smoked portobello sandwich, so vegetarians can enjoy the menu as well.
Central BBQ, 4375 Summer Avenue, Memphis, TN, USA +1 (901) 767 4672
Each May the city of Memphis hosts the Memphis in May International Festival downtown. One of the main events of the festival is the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest. Although due to local food regulations, festival goers are not permitted to sample barbecue from the contestants, the festival is full of other famous barbecue vendors and patrons will become familiar with the hottest rising stars in the barbecue scene. Memphis staple Central BBQ was founded after the two head chefs met at the World Championship Contest. The contest offers a comprehensive introduction to the wide variety of barbecue styles in Memphis and beyond.
Offering live music on the weekends and fantastic barbecue, Double J Smoke House and Saloon is for foodies who like to eat and party. For travellers enjoying a meal or even just a few drinks before heading to a game or concert at the nearby FedEx Forum, Double J offers a limo shuttle service, allowing guests to arrive safely and in style. The menu includes the barbecue classics of ribs and pulled pork sandwiches as well as some more unusual house specialties: smoked pork eggrolls and fried gator tail. Double J also has a brunch menu featuring the Memphis BBQ omelette, consisting of three eggs, the Double J pork butt and cheese.