There's no denying the popularity of barbecue in South Carolina, but it wasn't until the past few years that Charleston saw an explosion in restaurants serving smoked meats. Now there are plenty of establishments to quell cravings, whether that be for pulled pork, flame-kissed chicken, or fatty brisket.Read More
7 Standout Barbecue Spots in Charleston
Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork
1. Slaughterhouse BBQ & Brew
Chef Nigel Drayton is well known for his Geechie wings at his eponymous restaurant Nigel’s Good Food, but with Slaughterhouse BBQ & Brew, he brings other meats to the forefront, like smoked ribs, barbecued chicken, pig feet, pulled pork — not to mention plenty of sides, including the very unique blueberry cornbread.
2. Lewis Barbecue
Pitmaster John Lewis brought brisket perfection to Charleston by way of Austin, and it's been a hit since day one. Don't miss the fatty brisket, green chili corn pudding, or the super-moist turkey slices. Bring friends to help with the leftovers. If the line is line, grab a margarita at the Juan Luis truck on the far end of the outdoor dining area.
3. Rodney Scott's BBQ
When James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott opened his whole hog barbecue restaurant in North Central, Charleston reached full pulled pork frenzy. Lines are out the door every day for the smokey delights that made Scott famous in Hemingway, South Carolina. The ribeye sandwich is often overlooked, but should be tried at least once.
4. The Rib Guy
As the name hints, Huger Street restaurant the Rib Guy excels at smoking slabs of ribs. Pitmaster Guy Simmons started his setup by grilling in his family’s yard and giving away slabs to friends in the neighborhood, but that turned into his own eatery in 2015. There’s also fried fish, okra soup, baked chicken, and red rice on the menu too.
5. Home Team BBQ
Home Team BBQ has three locations for maximum smoked meat consumption. The dry-rubbed wings with Alabama white sauce are addictive, as are the frozen boozy Gamechanger cocktails. The daily specials are always a hit, like juicy Lucy burgers or giant pastrami sandwiches.
6. Swig & Swine
West Ashley eatery Swig & Swine has a top-notch selection of bourbons, beer, and barbecue. Most folks hit up this restaurant for the great variety of options available on the menu. Pulled pork, wings, and sausages are just a few of the smoked varieties offered. There’s also locations downtown, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville.
7. Palmira Barbecue
Hidden inside the Port of Call food hall on the Market, Palmira Barbecue is a destination for tender beef cheeks, smoky hot links, and juicy pulled pork from heritage breeds from Peculiar Pig Farm. Chef Hector Garate uses an offset smoker (which is considered Texas style) and keeps sustainability in mind when sourcing his meat.