8 Best: Must-Try BBQ Joints in Arkansas

Arkansas Barbecue ARKANSAS - Arkansas is known for its rich culinary culture. From boiled peanuts and homemade cornbread, Arkansas has always been known for providing tasty meals combined with great hospitality. Arkansas barbecue is steeped in community spirit. When visiting any one of Arkansas' many barbecue joints, be assured that those working there will treat you like family and offer warm hospitality - you are sure to be welcomed with open arms and smiles.

Top 8 Best BBQ Joints in Arkansas

5 Best BBQ in Arkansas

1. Jones' Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna

Loyal fans raised money to rebuild the diner after a fire destroyed its pit house a few years ago. The old brick chimney in the back of the restaurant is now covered with a new, shiny structure. And the white cinderblock building itself remains the same, as well as the menu. Look for chopped pork BBQ by the pound and mouth-watering BBQ sandwiches.

2. Craig's Bar B-Q in De Valls Bluff

Craig's De Valls Bluff is not fancy. It's a low-slung, white building with a tiny dining area. The menu boards offer burgers, barbecue sandwiches, and ribs. Look for soft buns filled with meat and creamy slaw. There is also plenty of brown gravy. But make room for dessert because this pit-house serves an excellent coconut pie.

3. McClard's Bar-BQ in Hot Springs

In 1928, Alice McClard and Alex McClard transformed their tourist restaurant on Albert Pike into a barbeque restaurant. Look for ribs with a sweet, tangy glaze and beef or pork sliced in juliennes. But, no meal at McClard's would be complete without a tamale, whether seated on the red leather stool in front of the counter or in the booth in the dining area with white walls.

4. Dixie Pig in Blytheville

The Pig Sandwich has been a local legend for more than 100 years. The smoky pork is tucked into a warm, toasty bun and topped with simple, crunchy slaw. It's just long, thin shreds of cabbage with a mild tang. You can make a sandwich as tasty as you want and don't forget to grab one to take home.

5. Little Rock Count in Porkula

Walt Todd and Kelly Lovell opened their first brick-and-mortar location in 2018 and now have two sites that offer full service in Little Rock. Look for prime briskets, baby back ribs, sausage links, and chicken. But make room for the Almost Famous Nachos, topped with chicken or pulled pork and smoked wings (in your favorite sauce), a delicious fusion between old and new BBQ.

6. Wright's Barbecue in Johnson

Jordan Wright is building an empire of craft barbecue with his take on Texas-style-cue. This means brisket in thick slices, ribs with a hearty flavor, turkey, and sausage on paper-lined plates. Do not skip the burnt-ends roasted with bacon. The sweet and peppery glaze on the tender pork belly is a treat worth breaking tradition to get. Don't forget the sides, such as gooey mac and cheese or collards with meat.

7. Sims Bar B-Q in Little Rock

Amelia Sims and Allen Sims opened Little Rock's first barbecue restaurant in 1937. They serve beef, pork ribs, and sausages cooked in the pit house adjacent to their restaurant. The brown sauce is a perfect accompaniment to the finely chopped meat that's rolled into white bread. Plus, you can make a traditional Arkansas-style plate by adding a few sausage slices, potato salad, and sweet-tart barbecue beans.

8. Kibb’s Bar-BQ in Stuttgart

Walter Kibble opened the first Kibb's Bar-B-Que restaurant four decades ago in Stuttgart, Germany. He continues to run the original location while his family operates outposts at Pine Bluff and North Little Rock. They're true hidden gems in the state but be prepared for long lines. However, enjoying these delicious beef and pork sandwiches is worth the wait. The smoked meat is sliced thinly, chopped, and then generously covered in the sauce you choose: mild, medium, or hot. Be warned that even the medium version is spicy and will tingle your mouth.