8 Great Atlanta BBQ Joints for National Barbecue Month

Fill your belly with the best BBQ in Atlanta during during National Barbecue Month.
  • Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has delicous options to please everyone.
    Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has delicous options to please everyone.
  • Say hello to author and the "Winningest Woman in Barbecue," Melissa Cookston of Memphis BBQ.
    Say hello to author and the "Winningest Woman in Barbecue," Melissa Cookston of Memphis BBQ.
  • No one's going home hungry after this sample platter from DBA Barbecue.
    No one's going home hungry after this sample platter from DBA Barbecue.
  • Heirloom Market puts a Korean twist on barbecue.
    Heirloom Market puts a Korean twist on barbecue.

May is National Barbecue Month, and Atlantans sure love our barbecue even if there isn't a particular style associated with Georgia barbecue. Here are our picks for the best barbecue restaurants in Atlanta. 

  1. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – As Fox Brothers is No.1 on this list, it goes without saying that pulled pork and ribs are outstanding. But what else should you get? Any wing lover should get some because they are smoky, sweet and citrusy all at the same time. Start your meal off with the fried pickles and fried ribs. Yes, fried ribs. Tip: Burger lovers will want to try the brisket burger topped with bacon. Southern sides of collards and black-eyed peas are a terrific choice. 

  2. Heirloom Market BBQ  Heirloom Market BBQ is a teeny tiny spot situated next to a convenience store. But that doesn’t stop fans from patronizing the market. The uniqueness about this 'cue is the Korean twist  on the all items. Think Korean barbecue sandwiches with kimchi slaw. Don’t be daunted by the long lines; Heirloom gets orders out quickly. 

  3. Memphis Barbecue Company  Did you know the winningest woman in barbecue opened a restaurant in Atlanta? Melissa Cookston is an author and barbecue champion. Her cheese balls appetizer was even featured on Food Network’s "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." The award-winning barbecue is smoked for 16 hours over pecan wood. Order one of the MBC platters like the Grand Champion, which comes with chicken, brisket, sausage, and pulled pork, baby back and spare ribs, enough to feed about six people. This gigantic platter is served in a garbage can lid. How cute is that? 

  4. DBA Barbecue  While many on this list are order-at-the-counter style, DBA, or “Doing Business As,” Barbecue sets itself apart by offering an upscale atmosphere and table service. The bacon-wrapped shrimp are a must at this Virginia Highland spot. Get the sampler platter that comes with ribs, pulled pork, chicken and turkey. 

  5. Smoke Ring  This became a Castleberry Hill favorite soon after opening. While the smoked meat is perfection by itself, one of the sauces, like white and ancho chili red sauce, makes a nice addition. For starters get the Smoke Ring jerky, crispy pig ear “fries,” or stick with the barbecue deviled eggs with bourbon marmalade.

  6. Community QDecatur folks are happy to have their own barbecue spot with Community Q. The brisket is highly recommended. However, ribs don’t disappoint either. Favorite side? The mac and cheese, definitely. Expect to find lots of families here and note the Q closes early, so plan your dining accordingly. 

  7. Bone Lick BBQ – Located in trendy West Midtown, Bone Lick BBQ was born from the creations of Mike LeSage’s collaborations with a nearby restaurant. More than your average barbecue joint, Bone Lick has excellent cocktails and even vintage games, like Skee Ball, that you can play for free. You can’t go wrong with the sampler platters like the Menagé a Trois or Fat Ass Sampler. Tip: Bone Lick serves a killer brunch.

  8. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack – One of the oldest barbecue joints in Atlanta, Fat Matt’s has not changed its model based on restaurant trends, instead opting for old-fashioned décor and counter service. It still has patrons lining up. Not only is the barbecue phenomenal but evenings bring live blues.

Interested in more finger-licking barbecue joints in Atlanta? Find out where to go at our BBQ restaurants page.

Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta, Food Blogging 101 and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She has been a contributing writer to USA Today and has been featured on HGTV, Huffington Post and About.com. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the president of the Association of Food Bloggers and her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram


Sign Up for Email Updates


Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2020 - 233 Peachtree Street, NE Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30303

Heavens to Betsy…Our site is a little all over the place in this browser. If you don’t mind upgrading to the latest version, it’ll look just right.


It could be that you are using Internet Explorer in ‘compatibility view’.

If so, Atlanta.net may really look a hot mess. Let us help you remove our site from your Compatibility View list.

By using our site, you accept our recently updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.