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Top 10 Best BBQ Restaurants in Louisville for Meat Lovers

smoked barbecue platter on wooden table

Louisville, Kentucky, a city known for its rich history and vibrant culture, also holds a special place in the hearts of barbecue enthusiasts. Nestled in the heart of the American South, Louisville boasts a diverse array of barbecue joints that cater to the discerning palates of meat lovers. Whether you're a fan of smoky brisket, tender ribs, or succulent pulled pork, this is your ultimate guide to the best BBQ joints in the city. Join us as we uncover both the hidden gems and longstanding favorites that make Louisville a true haven for barbecue aficionados.

1. Momma's Mustard, Pickles & BBQ

exterior of the BBQ restaurant

A true Louisville legend, Momma's delivers classic barbecue that's as "Kentucky" as it gets. With the winnings of a horserace, the owner turned a successful food truck into a homestyle restaurant boasting his Momma's homemade mustard, pickles, and barbecue sauce. The rustic charm and warm ambiance create a perfect backdrop for a meaty feast. With the help of prestigious barbecue champion Paul Kirk, their tender ribs, chicken wings, brisket, and pulled pork are smoked to perfection, bursting with flavor. More homemade sauces and scrumptious sides make Momma's a dream for barbecue fans.

2. Feast BBQ

two barbecue platters with ribs and fries

Feast BBQ has earned its title as one of Louisville's Best Barbecue for good reason. Consistently topping the charts since 2015, it's a no-reservation gem that delights all palates. Their commitment to diversity shines through with vegetarian, gluten-free, and soy-free options. With long cooked meats and scratch made sides, this joint is a must-visit for anyone craving top-tier barbecue in the heart of Kentucky.

3. Mark's Feed Store Bar-B-Q

barbecue sampler being delivered by waiter

Since 1988, Mark's Feed Store has been a beloved fixture in Louisville's culinary scene. Their secret recipes give their BBQ a unique, unforgettable flavor. The founder, Mark Erwin, left the service industry to pursue his passion for food, and worked with pit masters across Western Kentucky to develop the unique flavors found here. From tender ribs to smoky pulled pork, every bite is smoky and strong. The cozy, welcoming atmosphere only adds to the charm - and yes, it is in an actual, old feed store! Don't miss out on the chance to savor their legendary creations.

4. Mission BBQ

baked beans and brisket meal

In the heart of Louisville, Mission BBQ stands as a symbol of patriotism and flavor. Opening up after the attack on September 11, their mantra is "Proudly serving those who serve." The authentic BBQ is a savory salute to tradition, featuring fresh, smoky delights. The atmosphere is infused with a deep sense of pride and gratitude. In order to truly understand BBQ, they founders Bill and Newt traveled across the country finding new and powerful flavors. For a taste of American tradition, Mission BBQ is your destination. And for the founders, it's more than a meal; it's a tribute to those who serve our nation.

5. Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar

massive barbecue burger and fries

Nestled in a historic distillery on Whiskey Row, Doc Crow's offers a taste of the past with a modern twist. While their delicious meats shine, there's something for everyone on the menu. Whether you're savoring smoky delights or exploring other enticing options such as seafood or other Southern favorites, Doc Crow's provides a flavorful journey through Louisville's culinary heritage. With a dash of history and a whole lot of taste, Doc Crow's is definitely an option to be considered.

6. Frankfurt Avenue Beer Depot

outside seating of FABD BBQ

For night owls with BBQ cravings, Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot (FABD) is a savory sanctuary and local favorite. With barrel smokers that infuse meats with deep, smoky flavors, they're a barbecue haven that knows how to please. Their late-night hours, open until 1 am (midnight on Sundays), make it the perfect stop for those seeking a post-midnight BBQ fix. With a welcoming atmosphere and a bar and menu that satisfies every smoked meat desire, Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot is the place to relish smoky goodness long into the night.

7. Shack in the Back

BBQ sampler plate, with sides and ribs

Another gem in Louisville's BBQ scene, The Shack in the Back has earned its fame after it was featured on Food Network on the show "Man, Fire, Food!". This family-run business delivers an unforgettable taste of Southern hospitality and mouthwatering barbecue. The Shack recently underwent a stunning renovation, and it's back with a bang. This restaurant is a must-visit for those seeking family-crafted BBQ that's as delicious as it is charming.

8. City Barbecue

chicken, ribs, fries BBQ platter

City Barbecue in has mastered the art and science of BBQ, using specific wood types to enhance each meat's flavor. With a choice of five signature sauces, your taste buds are in for a treat. Whether you're a BBQ connoisseur or a casual diner, City Barbecue's commitment to quality and community shines through in every bite. This restaurant is a local favorite, and it sponsors many fundraisers and non-profit organizations. It's where the love of BBQ brings people together, creating a flavorful experience that's hard to beat.

9. Louie's Hot Chicken and BBQ

hot chicken sandwich with slaw

Louie's Hot Chicken and BBQ is the brainchild of three friends who dared to reimagine Nashville hot chicken. With their perfected recipe, they've crafted a unique fusion of fiery spice and smoky barbecue. Breaking the mold of typical hot chicken joints, Louie's tantalizes taste buds with a menu that offers the best of both worlds. The result? A mouthwatering culinary adventure that's a must-try for anyone seeking bold flavors and a twist on tradition. Louie's is where the heat of Nashville meets the smoldering allure of BBQ, creating a sizzling dining experience. (And if you follow the link above to their site, there are discount codes available!)

10. Rubbies BBQ and Brew

cheesy barbecue burger

Rubbies is a BBQ gem that combines finger-licking goodness with affordability. With live music in the evening, it's a great setting for a fun meal. Whether you're dining in o opting for take-out, their menu offers delicious options that won't break the bank. From ribs to brisket, every bite is a testament to their passion for grilling. So, if you're looking for a taste of the South that won't empty your wallet and comes with a side of live entertainment, Rubbie's BBQ is your go-to spot.


Louisville's vibrant culinary scene has proven time and time again that it's more than just the Derby City; it's a BBQ haven that celebrates the art of smoked meats and savory flavors. From the iconic and historic to the innovative and reimagined, these top ten BBQ restaurants have showcased their passion for the grill, leaving patrons with unforgettable memories and taste buds craving more. Have fun exploring the unforgettable tastes that make Louisville a meat lover's paradise!

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