8 of the Best BBQ Restaurants in Memphis, TN

Memphis is a city renowned for its rich musical history and, equally, for its mouth-watering BBQ. If you’re on a quest for the best BBQ in Memphis, you’re in for a treat. This city boasts some of the finest BBQ joints in the country, each offering its unique twist on this beloved cuisine. Here’s a guide to eight of the best BBQ restaurants in Memphis that you simply can’t miss.

Best Memphis BBQ in Memphis, TN

The Bar-B-Q Shop

History and Background The Bar-B-Q Shop, originally named Brady & Lil’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant, has been a staple in Memphis since the 1980s. Brady Vincent, the original owner, had a passion for BBQ and pasta, which he imparted to Frank and Hazelteen Vernon before retiring in 1981. The Vernons took over, renamed the restaurant, and it has since become a beloved spot in Midtown Memphis.

Signature Sauces and Seasonings The Bar-B-Q Shop is famous for its Dancing Pigs Bar-B-Q Sauce, available in Original and Hot flavors, and a dry seasoning perfect for rub enthusiasts. These sauces are a testament to the shop’s dedication to quality, earning them a loyal customer base and numerous features on Food Network and Travel Channel.

Corky’s Ribs & BBQ

A Legacy of Flavor Founded in 1984 by Don Pelts, Corky’s Ribs & BBQ quickly became a Memphis icon. Known for its long lines and delicious offerings, Corky’s pioneered shipping BBQ across the U.S. in 1987, making their famous ribs and pulled pork accessible to everyone.

Expansion and Recognition Corky’s has expanded to multiple locations and offers their BBQ in grocery stores. Their BBQ ribs have even been featured on QVC, making them a household name nationwide. Corky’s continues to set the standard for Memphis BBQ, having been voted the #1 BBQ joint in Memphis 22 times.

Marlowe’s Ribs and Restaurant

Family Tradition Since 1974, Marlowe’s Ribs and Restaurant has been serving award-winning BBQ pork ribs, beef brisket, and more. Located just a mile from Graceland, Marlowe’s offers a unique combination of Southern hospitality and delicious BBQ, making it a must-visit spot for locals and tourists alike.

Deep Roots Founded by Tony Gigliotti and now run by his daughter, Melissa Gigliotti Coleman, Marlowe’s prides itself on its family traditions and home-like atmosphere. Their commitment to quality and community has made them a beloved fixture in Memphis.

Elwood’s Shack

Unique Offerings Elwood’s Shack combines the best of a deli and a smokehouse. Known for their stacked sandwiches and traditional Memphis BBQ, Elwood’s is a favorite for both breakfast and lunch. Their menu includes innovative items like the breakfast pizza and the country biscuit sandwich.

New Ventures With a new location set to open, Elwood’s Shack is expanding its reach in Memphis. Reuben Skahill, the managing partner, brings his passion for food and community to this beloved eatery, ensuring it continues to thrive and delight customers.

Commissary BBQ

A Staple of Memphis Cuisine For over 25 years, The Commissary has been a key player in the Memphis BBQ scene. Located in Germantown, this restaurant offers slow-cooked BBQ that has delighted locals and celebrities alike, including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Historic Beginnings Originally a country store, the building was transformed into a BBQ restaurant by Walker Taylor in 1981. The Commissary has maintained its reputation for high-quality BBQ, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking authentic Memphis flavors.

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous

Iconic Dry Rub Ribs For over 75 years, Charlie Vergos Rendezvous has been serving their signature dry rub ribs in a basement near the Peabody Hotel. This historic spot has become synonymous with Memphis-style BBQ, attracting visitors from around the world.

A Family Affair The Vergos family continues to run the restaurant, maintaining the traditions and flavors that made it famous. The experience of dining at the Rendezvous, with its smoky aroma and lively atmosphere, is as iconic as the ribs themselves.

Leonard’s Pit BBQ

A Memphis Tradition Since 1922 Leonard’s Pit BBQ is one of the oldest BBQ establishments in Memphis. Founded by Leonard Heuberger, it started as a small stand and grew into a large drive-in restaurant known for its pit-smoked ribs and pork shoulders.

Continued Excellence Under the ownership of Dan Brown, Leonard’s has maintained its dedication to traditional BBQ methods and recipes. This commitment to quality has kept Leonard’s at the forefront of Memphis BBQ for over 85 years.

One & Only BBQ

A Modern Favorite Founded in 2011 by a group of friends, One & Only BBQ has quickly made a name for itself in Memphis. Known for their slow-smoked meats and delicious sides, One & Only BBQ offers a modern take on traditional BBQ.

Expanding Influence With three locations in Memphis and a reputation for top-quality BBQ, One & Only BBQ has become a significant player in the local food scene. Their commitment to excellence ensures that every meal is a memorable experience.

BBQ in Downtown Memphis, TN

Visit Landers Auto Group

Whether you’re a Memphis local or visiting to enjoy the best BBQ in Memphis, make sure to visit a Landers Auto Group dealership. Our dealerships offer a wide range of vehicles to suit your needs. With our dedication to customer satisfaction, you’ll find the perfect car for your next adventure. Come by and see why Landers Auto Group is the best choice for your automotive needs.

Memphis is a city that knows its BBQ, and these eight restaurants showcase the best of what the city has to offer. From historic spots like Charlie Vergos Rendezvous to modern favorites like One & Only BBQ, there’s something for every BBQ lover in Memphis. And while you’re here, don’t forget to stop by any of our Landers Auto Group dealerships for all your automotive needs.


Where can I find the best dry rub ribs in Memphis?

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous is renowned for their dry rub ribs, a Memphis BBQ staple.

Is there a BBQ restaurant near Graceland?

Yes, Marlowe’s Ribs and Restaurant is located just a mile from Graceland and offers award-winning BBQ.

Can I get Memphis BBQ shipped to my home?

Corky’s Ribs & BBQ offers shipping of their famous ribs and pulled pork, so you can enjoy Memphis BBQ no matter where you are.

What makes Memphis BBQ unique?

Memphis BBQ is known for its unique blend of spices, slow-cooked meats, and the use of both wet and dry rubs, creating a flavor that’s distinctively Memphis.

Are there family-friendly BBQ restaurants in Memphis?

Yes, Marlowe’s Ribs and Restaurant and Leonard’s Pit BBQ are both known for their family-friendly atmospheres and delicious BBQ.