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Where to find the best barbecue in St. Louis

Hungry for some barbecue? Here's a list of some the best spots in the Lou.
Credit: Getty

ST. LOUIS – I think we can all agree, there are so many great barbecue places in the St. Louis area.

So, it was no surprise when we asked our Facebook followers where they could find the best of the best, we received thousands of comments!

We decided to make a list of the top barbecue places to check out in St. Louis and, due to a high volume of comments, we included a few across the river as well!

Top St. Louis Barbecue

Pappy's Smokehouse 

Pappy’s Smokehouse got the most votes, no surprise there, Pappy’s is a St. Louis favorite!

Pappy’s got its name from a man named Jim “Pappy” Emerson. According to the restaurant’s website, Pappy liked to keep things simple. He worked hard and when people came to visit him, he tried to provide great food and great times.

And that’s what owners said is a perfect description of Pappy’s Smokehouse!

“Pappy's is like a comfortable pair of shoes,” David Sullivan said.

“Hands down...Pappy's!” said Stephen Swanson.

“PAPPY'S IS THE BEST!!!” said Emily Ann.

At Pappy’s you can find ribs, beef brisket, burnt ends and pulled pork. They also provide sides like baked beans, slaw, sweet potato fries and more!

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Sugarfire Smoke House

Several people who voted for Pappy’s as the best barbecue spot also voted for Sugarfire as the second best.

On its website, Sugarfire staff said they are ‘reinventing barbecue.’

“Our award-winning barbeque tantalizes taste buds,” the barbecue joint said.

At Sugarfire, you can indulge in baby back ribs, juicy pulled pork and the ‘best beef brisket in town.’

Along with classic barbecue, the restaurant serves up andouille, artichokes, cheese curds, mushrooms and more!

“Sugar Fire no doubt🔥” said Sean Alexander.

“Sugarfire beats them all!” claimed Judy Murphy.

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Salt + Smoke

Also, to absolutely no one’s surprise, those who voted for Pappy’s and Sugarfire, also threw in a vote for Salt + Smoke!

So, I think it’s safe to say, these are the top three barbecue spots in the city.

Everything served at Salt + Smoke is made from scratch in house and the restaurant offers catering for events as well!

In addition to being a barbecue favorite, Salt + Smoke said they strive to make a positive impact on the community by donating food to local organizations and non-profits!

Bogart's Smokehouse 

And last but not least, Bogart’s in Soulard tops our list of best barbecue in the Lou.

Bogart’s is managed by Skip Steele who got his barbecue knowledge from his hometown, the barbecue capital, Memphis.

“We strive to bring you the freshest, most flavorful dining experience around,” the website read.

At Bogart’s you can find sandwiches, ribs, combo platters and more!

“Bogart’s period, end of story,” said Scott Haskenhoff.

Other notable barbecue spots near the St. Louis area:

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Top Illinois Barbecue


“All killer, no filler.”

That’s the first thing you see when you visit this barbecue joints website, so you know they mean business.

An overwhelming amount of our Facebook followers voted for Beast Craft BBQ as the best barbecue place around, so we had to feature it here (even though it’s not in St. Louis).

“Beast Craft hands down,” said Sean Dodel.

“Beast Craft BBQ Belleville, IL,” said Michael Dollar. “Every time I fly home from Vegas, I’m there within 24 Hours.”

In addition to the food on Beasts menu, you can also get meat in bulk!

Other notable barbecue spots in Illinois:

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