(Franklin, Tenn.) -- Livability.com, a national website that highlights more than 500 of America's best places to live and visit, has released a list of the Top 10 Best BBQ Cities - Surprisingly Great Places for BBQ.
Much has been written about the smoking, saucing and rubbing going on in places like Memphis, Austin, Chicago and Kansas City - those cities by which all other barbecue is measured. So for their list of the best places for BBQ, Livability.com editors purposely strayed from the herd, instead concentrating on those lesser known cities with a large and loyal local barbecue fan base.
To narrow down the list, editors looked at the number of barbecue restaurants, joints and shacks in a city as well as the quality of those establishments based on customer reviews - and in some cases, a little messy hands-on research.
"Part of what we do at Livability.com is uncover those hidden gems in cities and help them shine. So when a list of the best BBQ cities was proposed, it was decided that we wouldn't take the easy route of listing the usual suspects. Instead we'd go mining for those gems that the rest of the country might not yet have discovered," said John Hood, spokesman for Livability.com.
While Lexington is frequently listed among the top cities for great barbecue, it's usually after the larger cities. But to residents and city leaders, Lexington is the BBQ Capital of the Nation. Known for a unique style of flavoring that yields juicy, smoky, sweet meat, Lexington boasts 14 established barbecue restaurants - 15 if you count Troutman's in nearby Denton. This gives residents plenty to compare and contrast, and boy do they.
Since 1984, Lexington has held an event to celebrate the 'cue. The Barbecue Festival is held at the end of October, a month local officials have declared, what else, "barbecue month". Events during this day-long celebration, which brings in more than 150,000 people, include a golf tournament, tennis tournament, 5K run, live music, parade, and of course, a barbecue contest. Read more.
Top 10 Best BBQ Cities - Surprisingly Great Places for BBQ
1. Lexington, NC
2. Tuscaloosa, AL
3. Greenville, SC
4. Hattiesburg, MS
5. Tyler, TX
6. Springfield, MO
7. Bethesda, MD
8. Fayetteville, AR
9. Gainesville, FL
10. Cumming, GA