Follow the smoke to what local BBQ Hall of Famer Ray Lampe, better known as Dr. BBQ, calls "..the only truly American cuisine," and sample what Tampa has to offer when it comes to the "art of the BBQ".  BBQ is an art, a skill-set to be learned and perfected over time.  We are fortunate to have many dedicated practitioners among us, people experimenting with flavor profiles, and method, as they perfect their brand. With 4th of July about to explode across the Bay area what better time than now to suggest you relax while passing the tongs to an expert.  Call today,  pre-order for the holiday, or swing by soon to sample the best BBQ in Tampa Bay for your next lunch or dinner.  

Though not complete, Follow the Smoke | 12 of the Best BBQ Joints in Tampa is a list of great BBQ joints found locally, some you may know, others probably not! Discover the differences, try them all; we double-dog dare ya!  

Read how you can contribute to this article below! We want to know what you think!

North Tampa

Mission BBQ

At Mission BBQ you will find two friends passionate about superior BBQ, patriotic for the U.S.A.; these are people who run their business with meaning and purpose. Follow the link above to their 813area page and their website to read more. The food is great, the atmosphere special and their purpose, divine!  Hurry out to dine at Mission BBQ!

5602 W Waters Ave, Tampa FL Phone (813) 999-0922

The Smoke Shack

Tampa Bay's premier, gourmet BBQ destination! Known by locals who faithfully followed the food truck, how exciting to have them in a store front! Swear to you, award winnng baked beans that are the bomb! So goo.  Can't say enough about this group and the food they produce.  Consistently good, the meat melts in your mouth and their homemade sauces are perfection, choose from Carolina, Texas Mustard, Chipotle, Kansas City and more.  Find them on Gandy Boulevard toward Bayshore Blvd. and open from 11 am to 9 pm.

W Gandy Blvd, Tampa FL Phone (813) 443-2574

Ybor City

Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

Located in a bungalow off 7th Ave in historic Ybor City, Al's Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que is dedicated to serving the most delicious BBQ while demonstrating true Southern hospitality. A previous Best of the Bay award winner, Al will be open on Monday, the 4th of July 2016!  Stop in and grab a slab, but get there early, you do not want to miss out!

1609 Angel Oliva Sr St, Tampa FL Phone (813) 956-0675

New World Brewery

Located in Tampa's prime entertainment district, New World Brewery brings you the best in original music from the local independent music scene to recognized and respected national bands, along with simple, honest, delicious BBQ.  Bring your four-legged friends, enjoy craft brews and amazing BBQ on the patio at New World Brewery one day soon! 

1313 8th Ave., Tampa FL Phone 813-248-4969

South Tampa

BJ's Alabama BBQ

BJ's is a premier destination for top of the line, authentic Southern barbecue in Tampa. Stop by this no-frills eatery for a hearty dose of everything from ribs to pulled pork, smoked chicken, brisket and more. A long-time resident of the South Tampa restaurant scene, resident's are familiar with the irresistible smells emanating from Big John's BBQ.  A real treat, stop by today, and don't forget to order the cornbread!!!

3307 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa FL Phone 813-374-0219

Holy Hog Barbecue

Become a member of the Hog Nation at the “HOG”, you know you want to, truly great barbecue is what they do. As a member of the 'Nation' you receive special offers, discounts and prizes. Heck, you get 10% off your next meal just for signing up!  Holy Hog is a family-friendly restaurant serving the very best southern B-B-Q in the Tampa Bay area. Enjoy all your favorites, dine-in or take out! 

3501 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa FL Phone 813-879-4647

4 Rivers Smokehouse

Founded in Winter Park, 4 Rivers Smokehouse opened their 8th location in South Tampa at Swann and Mac Dill this year. Dine-in or take-out at the convenient streetside window, call ahead and it's a breeze to swing by and grab dinner any night.  If you love great BBQ beans, theirs are difficult to beat!  We love everything about this modern, eclectic BBQ.  You will too!

14330 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa FL

East Tampa and Southshore

Smokin' Aces BBQ & Steakhouse

It's ALL good at this family owned and operated business with 2 locations, a food truck, and a catering operation, Smokin' Aces can be found in Lakeland and Plant City.  Hours are as follows at these locations:
Lakeland:  (Lunch Only)

  • Monday-Thursday: 11am-4pm
  • Friday: 11am-5pm

Plant City:

  • Monday-Thursday: 11am-9pm
  • Friday-Saturday: 11am-10pm
  • Sunday: 11am-8pm
Plant City FL Phone 813-704-1374

Scooter's Saloon

A great BBQ destination in Brandon, Bike or drive-in for an unforgettable man-sized meal! Scooter’s Saloon offers some of the best American-BBQ including BBQ, Burgers, Chicken, Ribs, and Pulled Pork Sandwiches, using Scooter’s own BBQ sauce. Prepared fresh, it's tough to beat Scooter when it comes to BBQ!

9847 E Adamo Dr, Tampa FL Phone (813) 621-1694

Peck's Flamed Broiled Chicken

Peck's Flame Broiled Chicken is the healthiest and tastiest chicken around! At Peck's you find only farm fresh grade-A chickens marinated in a special blend of herbs and spices sure to keep you coming back!

8203 US Hwy 301, Tampa FL Phone 813-671-9940

Johnson BBQ

Everyone loves the barbecue at Grandpa Johnson's BBQ in Plant City! Known to locals for years, this place is road-trip worthy if you live out of the Plant City area. Take a drive and savor great BBQ flavor!

1407 West Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Plant City FL Phone 813-759-0009

Trust Me BBQ

Located inside the BP gas station, Trust Me BBQ seriously has the BEST NAME EVER! How can you not trust this family-owned BBQ eatery specializing in traditional and Caribbean inspired BBQ, with everything from jerk chicken to ribs, red beans and rice, and more, they put soul on a plate!

8624 US 301 S., Riverview FL Phone 813-919-6410

First Choice BBQ Plant City

Established in 1992, this purely southern BBQ joint is family owned and operated. With each and every bite, you experience top-quality Tampa Bay BBQ! Perfect for catering, call to let them know what you need today. They will handle everything while you sit back and relax!

712 South Collins Street, Plant City FL Phone 813-752-7788

BBQ is something you 'enjoy', NOT just 'something you eat'. Involving all the senses from the first smell to the look, to the sound of joyous people about us, to that first soft, savory bite; with gooey hands, we wipe the corners of our mouths and smile. Good BBQ does that.  So follow that smoke, and get your hands on the best BBQ in Tampa Bay today!

Let us know what your picks for Best BBQ in Tampa are in the comments below, we are always looking to add to our lists, searching for the best of the best we will check it out and can add them to the list. Register on the site to begin sharing your thoughts and reviews as you too connect to the businesses you support.  We look forward to hearing from you! 

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