4 Rivers Smokehouse
The BBQ joint that helped turn Winter Park into one of <a href="https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/best-small-us-cities-with-world-class-food-scenes" target="_blank">America’s best small food cities</a> has a South Florida outpost in Coral Springs, too. The barbecue at 4 Rivers encompasses most regional styles in America perfectly, from St. Louis ribs to an 18-hour hickory-smoked Texas brisket. And it even throws in a South Florida twist with its Smokehouse Cuban sandwich, made with smoked pork and ham added to the traditional mustard, mayo, pickles, and cheese.
The basics: For the early part of the 2010s, the only big name in Florida barbecue was Four Rivers, a Winter Park original that spread throughout the state. The local offshoot offers flavors designed for the region, including smoky Sazon Pork and brisket, plus barbacoa bowls. 4 Rivers also offers copious options beyond meat and sides, with BBQ Street Tacos, Burnt End Melts, and the Six Shooter Sandwich, a base of cheese grits topped with pulled pork, coleslaw, and jalapenos.
What the pitmaster says: “We started 13 years ago touting we were true Texas-style,” says founder and CEO John Rivers. “But people don’t care if it’s Texas-style, they just want good food. So we tried to incorporate things from Miami and South Florida to make it representative of the region.”