By Meagan Moore
With Charleston’s growing popularity as a foodie destination it should come as no surprise that there are restaurants offering one-of-a-kind, great tasting fare on every corner. Before it earned its reputation as a hotspot for exceptional and unique food, Charleston was serving up some of the best barbecue in the south. With a wide variety of styles and flavors among the top Charleston SC barbecue establishments, if you like Southern barbecue you simply can’t go wrong. But with so many to choose from, you may wonder … what’s the best BBQ in Charleston SC?
The Scott family has been serving up pit-roasted, whole hog BBQ for nearly half a century. A veteran pitmaster, Rodney Scott cooked his first hog when he was just 11 years old. Roasted over a bed of glowing oak coals and doused in Scott’s secret sauce, his whole hog barbecue has a flavor all its own that attracts folks from around the globe. Catering to all walks of life, diners can eat in at their King Street location or swing through the drive-thru and pick up dinner for the family. The menu is filled with not only whole-hog options, but spare ribs, pit chicken, fried catfish, and classic sides.
A Texas native, pitmaster John Lewis brought his hand-welded smokers and Texas-style barbecue to the lowcountry on Nassau Street downtown. With the help of his “bar-b-crew” Lewis delivers flavorful smoked barbecue with traditional cowboy favorites. Served up cafeteria style, with your choice of anywhere from 1/4 to 1 lb (or more!) of meat, classic Texas barbecue sides, and a full bar, guests can escape the southern heat by dining indoor, or take their tray out onto the rustic, string light-filled patio.
With three authentic, honky tonk-themed locations (Downtown Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, and West Ashley) Home Team BBQ has been serving up some of Charleston’s favorite BBQ since 2006. While they have a diverse menu offering a variety of fare, most come for the signature dry rubbed and slow smoked barbecue. It’s that signature dry rub and variety of sauces that gives Home Team BBQ it’s unique taste the keeps people coming back for more.
A sister restaurant of the famed Poogan’s Porch, a popular destination for those seeking the quintessential Charleston “weekend brunch,” Poogan’s Smokehouse stands alone as purveyor of true southern kitchen fare. Chef Daniel Doyle draws on his Carolina roots to serve up classic slow-cooked barbecue alongside all of your favorite lowcountry fixins’ with a contemporary twist.
Famous for their St. Louis-style pork ribs and “Boston Butts” BBQ, Melvin’s has been a Charleston tradition since 1939. Melvin’s secret to success might be their top secret family sauce recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation, giving their barbecue a flavor all its own. Whether you enjoy barbecue in Mount Pleasant or on James Island, when you eat at Melvin’s you’re part of the family.
Note: While Charleston SC has come to be known as a culinary destination, it is, after all, southern first and foremost and therefore BBQ ranks high among visitors and residents alike. If you’re curious about checking out more than just the tasty scene, have a look through our FREE “Discover Charleston ” guide to find out more about areas, home prices and tips about the Holy City …