Originally published 4/9/18. Updated 7/11/19.
Anthony Bourdain once said, “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”
In a world dominated by instant gratification, it’s a little surprising that something like slow-cooked meats that can take most of one day to create are growing in popularity. But in the past few years, Columbus has seen an explosion of BBQ restaurants and food trucks.
If you’re craving some perfectly cooked ribs or too-beautiful-to-eat brisket in our fair city, allow me to intervene. Here is The Best BBQ In Columbus.
Ray Ray’s Hog Pit serves up pork, beef, and chicken, all of which is dry rubbed and cooked with a smokey and delicious flavor over 12 to 16 hours. But the meat isn’t the only perfect thing around Ray Ray’s. They’ve got some killer sauces, including spicier options like habanero and jalapeño. To view the full menu, click here.
Where: 424 W Town St, Columbus, OH 43215
Tennessee Pitt BBQ is a fan favorite here in Columbus. The food is cooked with care over cherry wood and coals, and the incredible customer service puts them over the edge from fantastic to freakin’ amazing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting wings, ribs, greens, mac & cheese, or all of the above. You will leave a very full and very happy customer!
Where: 4955 Arbor Village Dr, Columbus, Ohio 43214
Discovering Legacy Smokehouse is probably the happiest accident of my entire life. The first time I ate this traditional, Central Texas-style Barbecue, they were just a food truck sitting in an abandoned Long John Silver’s parking lot. Now they’ve got a space in Short North Food Hall and they’re working on a brick and mortar shop in Hilliard that should be open soon. I hope you’re ready to eat some mind-blowing brisket.
Where: 1112 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
Smoked on High has been serving up their Southern-style barbecue for years now. They may have undergone a few name changes (Papaya and Buckeye Back Ribs) but their top-notch barbecue is still as delicious as it always has been. Not only is their barbecue tasty, the restaurant also has a unique and delicious mac n’ cheese.
Where: 755 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
For those craving good, old-fashioned barbecue, B & K Smoke House should definitely be on your list of places to try. The store itself may be tiny, but it makes up for the “cozy” atmosphere by serving up some of the most insane sized portions. They also make collard greens that are so good that you’ll end up dreaming about them.
Where: 1114 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43205
Not only does The Pit BBQ Grille have amazing food, it has such a good vibe. The restaurant was started by four friends who met in college. Afterward, they decided they wanted to give back to their community, and the best way they could was to open The Pit BBQ Grille. The restaurant feels more like going over to a friend’s house for a cook-out and it’s an experience you won’t want to miss out on.
Where: 3545 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43224
Red Door BBQ may be a carryout-only restaurant, but don’t let that discourage you. The food is carefully cooked for up to 12 hours before getting carved up and served to you on a delicious platter. Red Door BBQ is perfect for events, as well as a quick to-go lunch during your busy work week. But like their website says, “When it’s gone, it’s gone”, so don’t take too long to decide.
Where: 177 S Cypress Ave, Columbus, OH 43223
Okay, so technically this one isn’t in Columbus, you got me. It’s in Sunbury. But, it is on Columbus St, so that totally counts, right? Oak Hill Barbecue may be a little bit of a commute, but the trip will be worth it. Oak Hill is small, casual, and local. Most importantly it makes authentic, handmade food each day, just waiting to be gobbled up by the masses.
Where: 60 N Columbus St, Sunbury, OH 43074
Are you hungry? Because I’m hungry.
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