Memphis is a bonanza of world-class barbecue, smoked and served in humble storefront shops as well as booming dinner halls. Anything and everything can be had barbecued in this city, from such oddities as barbecue salad and barbecue bologna to the delicate wonder of a Cozy Corner cornish hen. Ribs are the star attraction in most smoke parlors, available either wet (dripping hot-sweet sauce) or packed with dry-rub spices. Memphis also is birthplace of the barbecue sandwich, aka “pig sandwich,” in which chopped pork shoulder and cole slaw share a bun. Warm meat/cool slaw, spicy/creamy, piggy/veggie: the pig sandwich is a mesmerizing confluence of opposites, a yin/yang combination that is now popular throughout much of the South.
Charlie Vergos is famous for sauceless “dry ribs” blanketed with massive amounts of a paprika-colored spice mixture. A Memphis BBQ landmark!
If you have time for just one BBQ meal in Memphis (or anywhere on earth), go to Cozy Corner, one of the South's great barbecue parlors.
Offering decorator-rustic surroundings in an upscale Memphis neighborhood, Germantown Commissary serves some of the city's best ribs and pulled pork.
Leonard's is where the Memphis pig sandwich was invented, in 1922: barbecued pork on a bun topped with cole slaw.
Interstate is one of Memphis' top BBQs, serving ribs, shoulder meat, sausages, and bologna with all the proper fixins, including addictive bar-b-q spaghetti.
Just a few blocks north of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, A&R is a BBQ serving ribs (wet or dry), catfish dinner, hot tamales, & barbecue spaghetti.
Payne's is one of the great BBQs of Memphis, Tennessee, known for its "pig sandwich" of hacked up pork piled into a bun with cool, crisp cole slaw.