17 Virginia BBQ Joints You’re Going to LOVE

by Casey Higgins | Posted on May 31st, 2013

We’re always on the hunt for the best of Virginia – everything from hikes and drives to wines and eats. The list that follows includes 17 great BBQ joints for those who travel with their taste buds. Note that these are not ranked, recommended by locals and we invite you to leave a comment below to give a shout-out to your favorite.

The Checkered Pig

The Checkered Pig

1. In Virginia’s motorsports hotbed sits the family owned and operated Checkered Pig Barbecue. You might have seen this Martinsville gem on Food Network, the Travel Channel or Versus, or tasted their award-winning ribs and sauces at a festival. No? Consider this the drop of the green flag for you to put your pedal to the metal.

2. Saucy’s Walk-Up BBQ is a deceptive delight. A converted shipping container sits on the corner of 5th and Bollingbrook Streets in Petersburg. It’s there that you’ll literally walk up and order some of the most delicious homemade barbecue pork, chicken and ribs in Virginia. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Southern Living found it to be noteworthy, so …

3. Hailed as the best pulled pork, chicken, ribs and brisket in the New River Valley, Due South BBQ in Christiansburg is indeed an award-winning establishment with quite a few first place claims to fame. Don’t miss out on their Tuesday night all-you-can-eat deal or their Wednesday night “kids eat free” opportunity.

The BBQ Exchange, Gordonsville

The BBQ Exchange, Gordonsville

4. The Northern Virginia and Washington, DC crowds LOVE Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company with their Alexandria and Arlington locations. Rocklands uses red oak and hickory to smoke their meats – a little cooking strategy that has garnered them “Best of DC” acknowledgements five years in a row.

5. If St. Louis style ribs and Memphis style BBQ are your weakness, The Galax Smokehouse in Galax is the place to be. In fact, everyone wants to be there. It didn’t take long after its 2003 opening for this BBQ joint to become a magnet for locals and tourists alike. When you’re good, you’re good.

6. Old-school, slow-cooked, open-flame barbecue-you’re-going-to-LOVE comes from BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville. The Hartman’s have spent more than 30 years perfecting their hickory-smoked pork and chicken. You’re in for an amazing treat when you look up this whitewashed gem in Orange County.

7. Smitty’s Better Burger - An authentic 1950′s drive-in and Hampton Landmark.

8. Dixie Bones - Named one of the Top 100 Restaurants by Washingtonian Magazine. Woodbridge

9. Log Cabin Barbecue - Enjoy your down-home barbecue in a 200 year old log cabin in Elkton.

10. Buz and Ned’s Real BBQ - Man v. Food and Throwdown with Bobby Flay have embraced Buz and Ned’s in Richmond.

11. Monk’s BBQ - Have a little Corcoran craft brew or wine with your southern-style barbecue in Purcellville.

12. Q Barbeque - “So good it won barbecue competitions across the country.” We’ll take that as good. Find it in Midlothian.

13. Pierce’s PITT Bar-B-Que   - Pierce’s hickory-smoked, Tennessee-style Bar-B-Que made with “Doc” Pierce’s Original Bar-B-Que Sauce brings you the flavor and taste that’s a true American original. Located in Williamsburg

14. The Barbeque Grill - “Ribs must be served fresh from the smoker,” is the philosophy of this Vinton joint, so come get a fresh, hot rack Fridays after 5.

15. Allmans BBQ in Fredericksburg – Serving BBQ since 1954. Vicki says “I have never found any better than Mama’s pulled barbeque – as well as her slaw – yum! and the sauce – oh my!”

16. Alamo BBQ – Alamo specializes in authentic Texas style BBQ, including an award winning beef brisket. Southwest influenced. Try the jalapeno mac-n-cheese!

17. Extra Billy’s Smokehouse – Great barbecue and an on site brewery!

Updated: May 7, 2014

Go ahead and start your food tour this weekend.

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Joseph Head says:

So who set this up, try Crazy Cajun in King George,Va. SOme of the finest NC Style BBQ and Ribs in the area. Located right on Rt 301 with the big pig named Dixie right out front. We serve NC BBQ, Ribs and smoked Chicken. Also we do traditional Cajun Food.

Amber says:

Shameless self-promotion.

Matt says:

A shame that Smokin’ Pig has been out of usiness for over a year, now. In its place is a new one called Jon Boyz BBQ Shack.

Chrystal says:

BBQ Exchange is our favorite. We don’t live close so it’s only when we are on the bike that we stop or for some reason are in the area. I wore my BBQ Exchange t-shirt into Q’s at Virginia Center Commons and the guy called me out for it. Oh well.

Chrystal, You rock!! wear your shirt next time you come to The BBQ Exchange and I will hook you up!! Guess what, when someone wears any BBQ shirt to our spot , we buy them dessert!!

anon says:

Excuse me, but where is Pierce’s Pitt BBQ on that list!?

People used to literally drive off I-64 to get to that place. It’s been served to presidents and governors. Or what about Doumars–you know, known for inventing the ice cream cone. Sheesh, do some research

anon says:

it’s #15, way to pay attention!

michael M says:

I read this and it is amazing that you all didnt get to the east of VA!
YOU forgot DOUMAR’S in Norfolk and Pierce’s in near Williamsburg!

Mark P says:

I been to a few of the places you listed. The best IMHO is ALLMAN’S in Fredericksburg VA

alida ault says:

There used to be a Mr. B’s BBQ outside of Front Royal (White Post) a little off of rt 50, we stopped there recently and it changed hands…not so good now… i wonder where Mr. B went?

Mary says:

Mr. B’s moved down the road a bit. It’s just outside of Berryville.

BBQ Lover says:

You left out Willards BBQ in Chantilly.

Shanski says:

The other weekend I was at a wedding that was catered by Ace Biscuit and Barbecue in Charlottesville. Seriously, the best spread I’ve had in a while.

Pete says:

Alamo BBQ in Church Hill (Richmond) blows all these outta the water

Deb says:

So we live in Virginia Beach and drove to Petersburg based on the fact that the title of this blog was 17 Virginia BBQ joints and you recommended Dixie Restaurant. While the restaurant was very nice and the owners are great the only BBQ on the menu is a pulled pork sandwich. Do a little more research please.

Mark says:

ROCKLANDS? ROCKLANDS? Rocklands is a disgrace to barbeque. Literally the worst I have ever had ANYWHERE on the planet. There is fast food drive through barbeque that’s better. ROCKLANDS? ROCKLANDS? Rocklands is an abomination. I have NEVER EVER met anyone who likes barbeque who has been there who thought it was even passable. ROCKLANDS? ROCKLANDS?
If it is a choice between dying of starvation or Rocklands, choose death.

Nick says:

Go to CARTER’S PIGPEN BBQ in Mechanicsville! Look for the pink pig painted on the roof. Best around.

Patti says:

Allmans BBQ in Fredericksburg NEEDS to be on this list!!

Vickie Burns says:

Hear Hear! I’ve been eating Allman’s Bar-BQ for 50+ years and I have ne er found any better than Mama’s pulled barbeque – as well as her slaw – yum! and the sauce – oh my! I catered my husband’s 50th Bday with Allman’s and they’re still going strong.

Furgs says:

Uh, Pierce’s Pitt IS on the list. Kwitcher bitchin’!

Lloyd Blevins says:

I think Bootleg BBQ in Floyd deserves to be on this list,. I highly recommend the ribs which are the meatiest I’ve ever had. Their hot sauce is amazing, however everything is so flavorful, you probably won’t want sauce.

J Dickerson says:

Why is Extra Billy’s not on this list. A Richmond staple for almost 30 years!

Kit Rudd says:

A new entrant that deserves a visit is Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ Company in Culpeper. Open since March and they’ve already won accolades including best new restaurant and best catering in Fauquier County. In addition to the staples, they offer more creative entrees such as BBQ Burrito Bowls, loaded baked potatoes, smoked salmon, nachos etc. And they have all you can eat ribs on Monday and Tuesday as well as a kids eat free offer with the purchase of an adult entree.

Tiffany says:

I agree Shawn’s definitely deserves to be on that list. I was kind of shocked that they weren’t

K. Richardson says:

Yes, Shawn’s is outstanding and definitely deserves to be on this list! Good call, Kit. You’re right in line with really great barbecue. Living in Culpeper, I used to swear by the Culpeper Cattle Co. until Shawns came to town. Now, they have the best barbecue around until you hit the BBQ Exchange in Gordonsville. But driving past Shawn’s and smelling their slow smoked pork and beef is phenomenal. Tates better than it smells. Great place to stop on a trip up to Shenandoah.

Lynette Oren says:

I am feeling left out. There are no BBQ places listed in the Alexandria, Arlington towns. I wish there were some great ones. Love good BBQ. Any recommendations?

Clem says:

Check out Deep Run Roadhouse in the West End in Richmond. The owner previously owned the Alamo. They have the best BBQ in Richmond by far. Amazing pulled pork burrito- with cornbread and jalapeño mac-n-cheese!! Great food and great staff, worth checking out.

anonymous says:

I’m thinking Bad to the Bone Smokehouse in Gainesville should’ve made the list…
Voted best Bbq by Northern Va Magazine, and the pulled pork nachos are amazing!

Jay Ponton says:

Another great BBQ source is Cowling’s BBQ in Waverly, Va, on Rt 460… The best NC style I’ve ever had!!

Craig says:

When you are near Gainesville you gotta try “Bad to the Bone Smokehouse” and “The BONE” in Manassas

Stewart says:

SW VA’s Parks Mill BBQ in Abingdon, VA.

Anonymous Texan says:

Who cares if Pierces Pitt and Doumars is on the list? Being from Texas, I know BBQ, and they definitely aren’t on my top 20. I don’t even like the sides! I make it all at home instead! My mother and husband (who is from the west coast) totally agree with me. Save your money until you can get out of Hampton Roads.

Jerry Worley says:

I cannot believe K & L BAR B Q is not on this list , great BAR B Q and great prices ! Hopewell ,Va

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