Barbecue restaurants (also known as BBQ joints, spots, pits) serving dishes like pork rib, cole slaw, potato salad and more have long been popular among African Americans, and there are many Black-owned ones located across the country. Several, however, have been around for quite a few decades and were even frequented by civil rights heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr.
#1 – Bar-B-Q Shop: Located in Memphis, Tennessee, this joint is known for its acclaimed sauces & dry seasonings top ribs, spaghetti & pork sandwiches served on Texas toast. Many say that barbecue spaghetti, one of the city’s signature dishes, got its start here.
#2 – Brenda’s Barbeque Pit: Located in Montgomery, Alabama for nearly 75 years, Brenda’s Bar-B-Que Pit is the fourth-oldest barbecue joint in the state. Since opening in 1942, the west side staple has witnessed Montgomery’s changing history, at times seeing it first-hand.
#3 – McMillan Bar-B-Que: This joint in Mobile, Alabama, was established after Hurricane Frederick destroyed the gas lines to the family’s service station in 1979. Now, however, it is run by a second generation of the family. The owners cook toothsome pork ribs over oak wood in a brick-and-plaster pit that the family built themselves.
#4 – Bunyan’s Bar-B-Q: Located in Florence, Alabama, this restaurant is known for what the Washington Post calls its “sensational mustard-based hot slaw”. It’s a cozy, retro-style pit stop for hot dogs, beans & chicken, and renowned foodist Michael Twitty has called their barbecue “edible jazz.”
#5 – Tony Morrow’s Real Pit BBQ: Located in Atlanta, Georgia, this restaurant (pictured above) is known as a brick-walled spot that plays old R&B music. The diner features cowhide-adorned seats, and a delicious menu of BBQ & Southern standards. They are specifically known for their outstanding lemon-pepper ribs and moist red velvet cupcakes.
#6 – Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot: Located in Selma, Alabama, this black-owned restaurant is, according to The Washington Post, “a meticulously maintained, high-ceilinged, white-walled neighborhood restaurant” that’s been around for about 75 years. It’s also known for being a local community center.