America’s Most BBQ Obsessed Cities

    America’s Most BBQ Obsessed Cities

    It’s the season for a classic American meal: Barbecue. There’s nothing like a full rack of ribs hot off a BBQ smoker. Whether the sauce is vinegar or ketchup based, or if the meat is beef or pork, barbecue is as divisive in its rivalries as it is uniting in its deliciousness. Many cities claim to have the best BBQ around, but we analyzed thousands of Google searches to figure out which ones really are a cut above the rest.

    Top 50 Cities for BBQ-Lovers

    Map of America’s Best BBQ Cities - report by

    The South lives up to its reputation of having some of the best mouth-watering barbecue in the U.S. Out of the top 15 cities for BBQ, 11 are in the South! The state of Texas represented the most with four cities in the top 15 (Arlington, Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas).

    But the number one spot for BBQ is Atlanta. Kansas City ranked second (they don’t call it Kansas City-style barbecue for nothing!) There were some surprising outliers in the top 5. Tampa, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas ranked 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively for their BBQ! As for Tennessee, while Memphis made it into the top 10, Nashville ranked 11th.

    There are some cities foodies should skip if they’re hoping for fall-off-the-bone barbecue. New York City (50th) ranked dead last followed by Los Angeles (49th). In fact, a number of California cities didn’t earn high rankings for their American-style barbecue. San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Fresno were all in the bottom 10 cities.

    What are the top 3 States for BBQ?

    Most popular BBQ restaurants in Atlanta, Kansas City, and Tampa - report from

    If you make the journey to Atlanta, Kansas City, or Tampa there are some BBQ joints you can’t miss. We gathered the top 30 rated barbecue restaurants on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google and used Google search data to figure out which spots foodies are searching the most for in each respective city.

    In Atlanta, Das BBQ is the number one spot. The counter-service restaurant has been filling bellies with brisket and pulled pork for more than two decades. Other finger-licking good BBQ restaurants are Pit Boss BBQ and Sweet Auburn BBQ.

    Up in the Midwest, the most popular BBQ restaurant in Kansas City is Char Bar, which offers customers more than just good food. The restaurant has a beer garden along with a fire pit, picnic tables, and cornhole. Jack Stack Barbecue ranked second followed by Slap’s BBQ.

    Interestingly, in Tampa, the top BBQ spot is the national chain MISSION BBQ along with Konan’s BBQ (2nd), and Wicked Oak Barbecue (3rd).

    What are the Top 20 Must-Visit Cities for Korean BBQ?

    Top 20 cities for Korean BBQ in the US Map - report from

    When it comes to barbecue, there’s a lot more than just American-style BBQ. Korean BBQ is also trending nationally! While meat is also grilled, cooks normally marinate it with sweeter sauces instead of using a dry rub. It’s also often cooked on a smaller grill at the center of the table for a unique dining experience!

    So, where in the U.S. should you go for this cuisine? Head out West! 11 of the top 15 cities for Korean BBQ are in that region. Overall, the top city to enjoy some Korean BBQ is Las Vegas followed by Atlanta and Seattle.

    While California did not rank highly for American-style BBQ, it is one of the best states for Korean BBQ. In the top 15, 7 cities are from California including Long Beach (4th), Sacramento (5th), and San Francisco (8th).

    So, whether you’re craving some good old ribs and mac and cheese or want to branch out and try some Korean BBQ, there are a ton of options spanning across the United States. We hope your summer is filled with sunshine and good food.


    To determine America’s best BBQ cities we analyzed Google search volume of 2,121 search terms including “bbq near me,” “bbq recipes,” and “best barbecue near me” over the period of February 2022 to February 2023.

    To determine the top 15 best cities for Korean BBQ we analyzed Google search volume of 1,142 search terms including “Korean bbq,” and “best Korean BBQ near me” over the period of February 2022 to February 2023.

    Total search volume during this period was then calculated per capita and visualized per 100,000. This method of analysis allows us to even the playing field between smaller cities with lower populations or a lower search volume (such as New Orleans, Tampa, and Arlington, etc.) and cities with a large population with higher search volume (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.).

    To determine the Best BBQ restaurants, we gathered data on the top 10 rated BBQ restaurants on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google for each individual city (Atlanta, Kansas City, and Tampa). We then analyzed Google search volume of the 30 best-rated restaurants to determine the most popular ones by city.

    For media inquiries, please contact

    Fair Use

    When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing