It’s no secret that Alabama is home to some of the nation’s best barbecue. Although each barbecue joint has its own way of doing it, we think all ’cue fans can agree that there is nothing like a plate of smoked, juicy pork. We’ve rounded up some of the best places in the state to find pulled and chopped pork. All you have to do is dig in!
The Brick Pit, Mobile
This little joint boasts a custom smoker built to serve 500 pounds of meat every day. The meat that comes from The Brick Pit’s massive smoker is unforgettably tender and perfectly messy – just don’t forget your napkin!
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur
Big Bob Gibson himself is said to have created the white barbecue sauce known as an Alabama classic, but the smoked pork at this institution is not to be overshadowed. Pit-smoked and infused with an unmistakable hickory taste, Big Bob’s pork has won scores of awards throughout the years, yet has stayed as humble (and delicious) as ever.
Bunyan’s Bar-B-Q, Florence
Known by locals for its famous hot slaw and smoked pork, Bunyan’s is a good old classic Alabama barbecue spot with a penchant for local pride and friendly service. Fans devour pork by the platefuls here, whether on its own or paired with traditional sides.
Whitt’s Barbecue, Decatur
Since 1966, Whitt’s Barbecue has smoked its pork slowly over hickory coals inside a masonry pit designed by Floyd Whitt. Thesucculent pork is just as good piled on a sandwich as it is by the pound, and don’t forget the lunchbox options!
Full Moon Bar-B-Que, Birmingham
Famous for its half-moon cookies and Southern chowchow, Full Moon’s barbecue empire spans eight locations, including the original spot in Birmingham’s Southside. The pork is slow-smoked and seasoned with the eatery’s signature tangy, award-winning sauce.
Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, Bessemer
Opened in 1957, this Bessemer establishment is credited with establishing one of the first drive-thru operations in the United States. Bob Sykes’ son, Van, runs the operation today, serving up hickory-smoked pulled pork sandwiches to hungry customers from far and wide.
Saw’s BBQ, Birmingham
Serving North Carolina style barbecue out of three different locations across Birmingham, Saw’s BBQ has made a name for itself on the local and national stage. It’s thin, tangy signature Saw’s sauce adds just the right amount of kick to every plate of smoky, tender pulled pork. Want an even more unique Alabama food experience? Order the pork and greens dish: a plate of cheese grits heaped with pulled pork, collard greens and topped with crispy fried onions.
Triple R BBQ, Scottsboro
Triple R BBQ serves its pit-smoked pulled pork with the slogan “cooked slow, gone fast.” According to fans, this motto could not be more true. The first Triple R restaurant was built in 1987 and seated only about 12 people, but the barbecue destination has since grown to a 170-person restaurant serving home-cooked food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Jim ’N Nick’s, Birmingham
Always a strong contender in our annual barbecue bracket, Jim ’N Nick’s has built quite a following around the South and beyond. The pulled pork here is hickory-smoked, chopped and sprinkled with a vinegar-pepper sauce to add a little tanginess to the smoky meat. Just pair this pork with one (or two, or three) of the chain’s famous cheese biscuits.
The BBQ Shack, Dothan
In the Wiregrass region, there’s no other barbecue restaurant serving up such succulent smoked barbecue. The BBQ Shack of Dothan prides itself on the sauce recipe that’s been handed down for three generations. In addition to its standard barbecue vinegar-based sauce, The BBQ Shack offers customers a red or mustard sauce with varying temperatures – sweet, mild, medium or hot.
Top Hat Barbecue, Hayden
Top Hat has been a local institution since 1952, pairing its smoked meat with red barbecue sauce, a combination that stands out in Alabama as a fan favorite. The aroma of hickory wood from the smoking pits wafts beyond Top Hat Barbecue and pulls in fans from near and far.
LawLers Barbecue, Athens
“Cooked slow, served fast” is the motto at LawLers, an as authentic-as-it-gets smokehouse in Athens. Known especially for itspulled pork, LawLers serves smoked meat heaped on plates alongside traditional homemade Southern sides. And don’t skip dessert – the “bistro cakes” in the flavor of the month are always delicious.
Dreamland was originally known for serving only ribs, white bread and sauce. Today, pulled pork is one of the restaurant’s most popular menu items, served by the plate or by the pound. Belly up to the bar and enjoy the friendly service and tender, juicy pork.
The views expressed here are those of the author.