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A Taste of Charleston's Best Barbecue

July 12, 2023

A Taste of Charleston's Best Barbecue - Essentially Charleston

BBQ sandwich with sides                                                              Photo by Rachel Bramlett on Unsplash

You may think seafood first when you're on the coast, but when it comes to barbecue, Charleston doesn't disappoint. With its unique blend of traditional Southern flavors and innovative twists, Charleston's barbecue joints offer a mouthwatering experience that will leave you craving more. Join us as we embark on a smoky, saucy journey through the city to discover the best barbecue "pit" stops!

1. Lewis Barbecue: Our first stop is Lewis Barbecue, a true gem in Charleston's barbecue landscape. Located in the Upper Peninsula, this lively establishment is a must-visit for barbecue enthusiasts. The restaurant boasts a Texan-inspired approach, slow-smoking meats over oak coals to perfection. From the succulent beef brisket and juicy ribs to the flavorful sausage and pulled pork, every bite at Lewis Barbecue is a savory delight. Don't forget to try their mouthwatering sides like the green chili corn pudding or the tangy slaw to complete your barbecue feast.
464 North Nassau St., Charleston, SC 29403

2. Rodney Scott's BBQ: Next on our barbecue adventure is Rodney Scott's BBQ, an iconic spot that has put Charleston on the map for its whole hog barbecue. Rodney Scott, a James Beard Award-winning pitmaster, has perfected the art of slow-cooked, tender, and smoky pork. The juicy, pulled pork sandwich is a crowd favorite, complemented by Rodney's signature vinegar-based sauce. The sides, such as the baked beans and macaroni and cheese, are equally delicious, making for a true Southern comfort food experience.
1011 King St., Charleston, SC 29403

3. Home Team BBQ: For a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere combined with finger-licking good barbecue, Home Team BBQ is a top choice. With multiple locations across Charleston, Home Team BBQ offers a diverse menu that caters to different tastes. Whether you're craving classic smoked ribs, flavorful pulled chicken, or unique dishes like smoked turkey or Korean barbecue, Home Team BBQ has it all. Their inventive sauces, including their famous Alabama white sauce, add an extra kick to the smoky goodness.
126 Williman St., Charleston, SC 29403
1205 Ashley River Rd., Charleston, SC 29407
2209 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
3563 N Hwy 17, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466

4. Swig & Swine: With three locations, Swig & Swine is a barbecue joint that has garnered a loyal following for its authentic flavors and commitment to quality. Here, the pitmasters smoke meats for up to 14 hours, resulting in tender, flavorful barbecue that keeps patrons coming back for more. From St. Louis-style ribs and succulent smoked chicken to the tantalizing burnt ends, each dish is a testament to Swig & Swine's dedication to the craft. Make sure to pair your meal with their delectable homemade sides, such as collard greens or smoked Gouda mac and cheese.
1217 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, SC 29407
2379 SC-41, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
1990 Old Trolley Rd., Summerville, SC 29485

5. Poogan's Smokehouse: Last but not least, we have Poogan's Smokehouse, a Charleston staple that brings together Southern hospitality and mouthwatering barbecue. Situated in a historic building on East Bay Street, Poogan's Smokehouse offers a menu filled with barbecue classics and innovative creations. Sink your teeth into their tender pulled pork, savor the smoky beef brisket, or try their tantalizing smoked chicken wings. Don't forget to explore their selection of craft beers and cocktails to complement your meal.
188 E Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401

Charleston's barbecue scene is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, where pitmasters masterfully smoke and season meats to create unforgettable culinary experiences. From the traditional slow-cooked whole hog barbecue to inventive Texas-style offerings, the city offers a range of options to satisfy any barbecue lover's cravings. So the next time you find yourself in craving 'cue, use this list to prepare for a finger-licking adventure that will leave you hankering for more of Charleston's smoky delights.

CHARLESTON COOK'S TIP: Up your at-home barbecue game by using one of Charleston's locally made sauces. Add one (or a few!) to your pantry today!

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