Louisville

The 10 Best BBQ Joints in Louisville

In any style you could want.

Whether you’re looking to belly up at a local staple or track down a fan favorite food truck or pop-up, Louisville’s BBQ scene has something to satisfy any hankering. Brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, Kansas City-style open face—it's all here. So pull up a chair, bust out the wet wipes, and get ready to add a new notch (or two) to your belt as you dive into the 10 best BBQ spots in the Derby City.

Four Pegs Beer Lounge
Courtesy of Four Pegs

Four Pegs has long been a staple of the Germantown neighborhood, and when Chris took over the restaurant in recent years he spiced up the menu with his unique flair for BBQ and smoked meats, which you can smell wafting down the street anytime you drive or walk by. Come for the jumbo smoked wings and stay for the assortment of local draft beers, expertly crafted cocktails, and their BBQ beer cheese nachos. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout

It all started with six years of fine tuning a Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe and ended with some of the best hot chicken and smoked barbecue in Louisville. Pounds of brisket, pork, and wings are smoked daily, and other fan favorites include their hot tenders (with heat levels ranging from medium, hot, extra hot, to extra extra hot) as well as their corn on the cob and green beans. Swing by their OG location at 4222 Poplar Level Road to grab lunch or dinner or visit them for lunch downtown at 505 W. Broadway.
How to order: Order online via Toast Tab

Feast BBQ
Courtesy of Feast BBQ

Feast BBQ

East Market District

Feast BBQ is a classic counter style BBQ joint with options for vegetarians, gluten-free folks, as well as soy-free routes as well. 10/10 would recommend ordering Fried Pickles or Pork Cakes to share (or not) with your table, and you can’t go wrong with a plate of your favorite meat. Why? Because it comes with two sides - mac & cheese and baked beans are your best bet. Can’t forget dessert, obviously, and that banana pudding is gonna have you wanting seconds. 
How to order: Order online via Toast Tab

Babie Bac’z Good Grill

Pleasure Ridge Park

Babie Bac’z Good Grill has been a family owned and operated staple in Louisville for over 20 years serving up some of the best barbecue in town. Meals are always best shared with family, and they pride themselves on feeding us all like family. Their high quality products and practices have not changed since they began serving up their slow-smoked hickory BBQ goodness from the “Little Smoke Shack” in South Louisville. A visit isn’t complete without an order of their Smoked Nachos loaded with a half pound of smoked meat and housemade cheese and sweet BBQ sauce, and the Tip Dinner is so tender you don’t even need teeth to eat it. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Momma's Mustard, Pickles, & BBQ
Courtesy of Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ

You may recognize the name from an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and yes, their food really is as good as it looks. In true Kentucky fashion Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ was born out of Kentucky Derby winnings and a love for the restaurant scene in Louisville, and thanks to that stroke of luck and little love we now have true Kansas City style BBQ in town—as well as Momma’s Mustard and Pickles. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout
River Road BBQ
Courtesy of River Road BBQ

River Road BBQ

Brownsboro Zorn

If you’ve ever found yourself taking the Mellwood Avenue exit off Interstate 71 you’ve more than likely seen The Beast (River Road BBQ’s trusty 10,000 pound smoker imported straight from Texas) puffing out fragrant clouds of smoke. So whether you’re feeding a small army and need smoked meat by the pound or are looking to enjoy a pulled pork sandwich by the sometimes beautiful Ohio River you’ve come to the right spot. 
How to order: Call 502-592-7065 for pickup 

Mark's Feed Store
Courtesy of Mark’s Feed Store

No matter if you grew up in the Louisville area, are new to town, or happen to be just passing through it’s highly likely that you’ve seen at least one Mark’s Feed Store sign around town. They’ve been a staple in the community since 1988 and happen to have been serving up some of the best barbecue in Louisville that entire time, and with six area locations they’ve got your BBQ fix covered no matter where hunger strikes you. BUT if you’re looking to enjoy your BBQ with a side of people watching their Highlands location at 1514 Bardstown Road serves up a delicious combo of both. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Frankfort Ave Beer Depot
Courtesy of FABD Smokehouse

“We Rub The Best Butts” could be taken more than a few ways, but in this case it seems that FABD is referring to the pork butt they smoke in their barrel smokers right off Frankfort Avenue. Those best butts are then used to craft local favorites like Hillbilly Wontons, Burgoo, and Smokehouse Chili. Not in the mood to dine in? You’re in luck! Cause you can grab your butt and go for the low, low price of $55.99. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout

With barbecue that’s “So Good It Oughta Be Illegal” Bootleg Bar B Q has been serving up BBQ, side fixing, and award winning Hot & Sticky Wings in Louisville for over 25 years. The “Bootleg-style” moniker is rooted in old-fashioned cooking techniques and from the farm family recipes handed down from generation to generation. These classic offerings draw heavily from Kentucky’s rich culture, heritage, and of course, home style cooking. 

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Shack In The Back
Courtesy of Shack in the Back

Shack in the Back is just a hop, skip, and jump from the heart of Louisville, and just so happens to be located in an original log home built in 1896. They slow smoke their meat on old-fashioned pits for a minimum of 14 to 18 hours, craft all their side dishes from scratch in their kitchen, and just like all good Kentucky families, take great pride in providing hearty, quality food. 
How to order: Call 502-363-3227 for takeout

Josh Johnson is a Thrillist contributor.
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