Yelp's Latest Report Uncovers The Absolute Best Barbecue In The US

sliced beef brisket
sliced beef brisket - sherwood/Shutterstock

Which state in the U.S. has the best barbecue may be the biggest source of controversy and discord within the American food landscape. The South often lays claim to the cuisine, with well-known regional barbecue styles in Texas, Alabama, and Memphis, not to mention four distinct varieties comprising the difference between North Carolina and South Carolina barbecue. But plenty of other places -- Kansas City most notable among them -- have their claims to the distinction. Now, Yelp seeks to settle the matter with a list that, according to the company, identifies the top 100 barbecue spots in the United States.

The results are somewhat surprising. Although the winner, Wright's Barbecue, is indeed from the South, it might not be from exactly where you'd expect, as it's located in Johnson, Arkansas (the only entry from Arkansas on the list). Quite a number of the other top scorers are from places not widely known for a distinctive barbecue culture -- among others, there are entries from Nevada, California, Arizona, and even Pennsylvania in the top 25. Some of the states entirely left out are equally surprising: There isn't a single restaurant listed from anywhere in Mississippi, Louisiana, or Oklahoma. Alabama, meanwhile, only has one entry, and while Tennessee has two, neither of them are from anywhere near Memphis.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

The Yelp Best Barbecue List Is All Over The Place

A slab of barbecue ribs with sauce
A slab of barbecue ribs with sauce - hlphoto/Shutterstock

Yelp's methodology involved weighing both average rating and total number of reviews for businesses in the Barbecue category that met a certain threshold for mentions of the word "barbecue." All businesses were still operating as of February 28, and in the case of chains that met the criteria, only the highest-rated location was added to the list. Granted, this wouldn't take into account places with great food but low ratings due to perceived customer service issues, but it's still an interesting list to peruse.

Some of what resulted makes sense, as 11 of the top 25 are from Texas (coming in at Nos. 3, 4, 14, and 16), Missouri (Nos. 6, 12, 13, and 15), North Carolina (No. 7), Tennessee (No. 10), and Florida (No. 9). But then it starts to get weird: the state with the most restaurants is California with five, while Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona have two each (Arizona has the No. 2 pick overall, Eric's Family Barbecue in Avondale). Montana and Pennsylvania round out the top 25 with one entry apiece. The highest-ranked restaurant from the Northeast sits at No. 43, while there are only two entries from the Pacific Northwest -- fewer, even, than Hawaii, which has three.

Ultimately, this just goes to show that delicious barbecue can come from anywhere. Nevada, California, and Montana may not be known as barbecue havens, but that doesn't mean greatness can't be found in unexpected places.

Read the original article on Daily Meal