BBQ Restaurants in Tennessee

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Fat Larry’s quaint checkered tablecloths, worn wood floors, and warm colors greet meat eaters seeking saucy, down-home Memphis barbecue and eats. Molars masticate a bevy of appetizer options, including fried dill pickles ($4.99) and barbecue nachos ($6.99). Tickle flavor whiskers with the catfish plate ($9.99), paired with a helping of well-trained hush puppies fetching a second side of slaw. Barbecue sample plate No. 1 ($13.99) brims over with ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, beans, and slaw. Keep belly foundations safe from hungerquakes by teaming four bone ribs with a 10-ounce steak ($19.99), then washing it down with a domestic beer ($2.75). Kids’ meals include mini corn dogs, hamburgers, two chicken strips, or grilled cheese ($4.99 each). Save space in abdomen storage facilities for coconut cake ($2.95) or a large banana pudding ($2.95), then walk out of Fat Larry's with a full house of goodies.

7537 US Highway 70
Bartlett,
TN
US

The new Nashville Shores Marina location offers outdoor deck seating overlooking the J. Percy Priest Lake. They also provide live blues and jazz on Friday, Saturday and Sunday featuring performers including local artists like John Richards and Gil Gann.

The tale of Papa Turney's begins humbly, in a tiny trailer with a hickory smoker out back. Every Saturday, barbecue aficionados Mike Turney and his wife Mrs. Irene would open up the trailer for business, doling out plates of slow-smoked meats to an ever-growing following of devoted diners. When demand for Mike's tender brisket and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs grew too great for the little trailer to handle, Mike moved the family-owned and operated business into two full-service restaurant locations, complete with checkered-cloth tables and photograph-speckled walls.

Within the restaurants' kitchens, Mike and his chefs continue to whip up the barbecue specialties that made his trailer famous, piling pork, brisket, chicken, and catfish onto sandwiches and plates. The chefs douse the slow-smoked meats in house-made barbecue sauce before pairing them with classic sides of greens and baked beans. They also offer a selection of rotating daily specials, such as bacon-stuffed rib eye and smoked bologna lauded by reporters from Nashville Scene as, "thick-cut and delicious". For dessert, the chef dish out slices of signature pies made fresh 5 days a week, which can also be found on the shelves of local Kroger and Publix grocery stores and cooling on the windowsills of enchanted cottages.

5835 Old Hickory Boulevard
Nashville,
TN
US

For more than 70 years, jewels used to fill the African mahogany cases lining Sapphire's walls. The dark wooden cabinets remain, although they now brim with more than 40 kinds of vodka, Tennessee and Kentucky whiskeys, and rums from Central and South America. Sapphire may no longer drape its customers in precious gemstones, but it does aim to preserve the sense of elegant refinement that characterized the historic building for decades.

This commitment is readily apparent in the menu of upscale southern cuisine, which includes Tennessee cheeses from Sweetwater Farms, bacon and ham from nearby Benton's, and seasonal produce from local farms. These ingredients appear throughout the selection of regionally inspired dishes. Some dishes, such as the Louisiana-crawfish-stuffed hushpuppies with cajun remoulade, assertively announce their southern roots, whereas others show a bit more restraint, such as beef-tenderloin medallions, which arrive with a simple southern succotash.

On Thursday through Saturday evenings, the elegant environment in the long, narrow room becomes livelier as the night progresses and DJs begin their sets. Upbeat rhythms echo off the high ceilings and the vintage mahogany woodwork while patrons enjoy one of the martinis that earned Sapphire a spot on Metro Pulse's Best of Knoxville 2012 list.

428 S Gay St
Knoxville,
TN
US

It's clear from their menu that Blacksmith's Bistro & Bar's cooks don't take things too seriously. They named a burger crowned with pimento cheese and russian dressing the "Gooey" and affectionately called a pulled duck sandwich smothered in cherry barbecue sauce "Duck Duck No Goose." Still, fried-chicken sliders with tomato jalapeño jam and mac 'n' cheese with chunks of andouille sausage and crawfish prove that they can create some serious eats.

That southern influence can be found at brunch, too, with entrees ranging from spicy barbecue shrimp served over cheese grits to buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy.

Feasts unfold in a down-home space where tables line wood-paneled walls and menus top wooden barrels that can later be used on the nearby Tennessee River to float customers home. At the bar, mixologists whip up craft cocktails.

3914 Saint Elmo Ave
Chattanooga,
TN
US

Barbecue is about balance, about finding the right suspension of smoky and sweet flavors even if it requires hours of labor and patience. At Slick Pig BBQ, chefs achieve flavor harmony by slow cooking and saucing up meats—which range from classic ribs to honey-barbecue wings—and then plate them with requisite sides such as corn bread, turnip greens, and mac ‘n’ cheese. They also tantalize visitors with an array of Southern staples, frying up catfish, baking chess pie, and sweetening tea by telling it how special it is.

1920 E Main St
Murfreesboro,
TN
US

Chef Reggi, the reigning pit master at Reggi’s BBQ & Wings, piles hickory-wood-smoked and sauce-slathered pork, chicken, and beef high on hearty dinner plates or inside hefty sandwiches. Sauce-friendly fingers can leaf through the menu before settling on the Monterey chicken sandwich, featuring a juicy poultry serenade with a sautéed-onion and bell-pepper accompaniment on a bed of jack cheese ($4.89). Regular ($5.89) or jumbo pork sandwiches ($6.89) mingle with french fries, laze alongside baked beans, or play horseshoes with onion rings, and platters of rib tips ($8.99), pulled pork ($7.89), and beef brisket ($8.99) convene with cool coleslaw, texas toast, potato salad, or french fries. Weighing in at either a half pound or a full pound, bulk packs of pork, beef, rib tips, or barbecue bologna expedite the journey from the lips to the stomach with an irresistible heft of meat and promises of a better tomorrow ($4.29–$8.59).

292 Parkstone Pl
Jackson,
TN
US