U.S. News online travel report ranks Memphis top in barbecue cities

Pit master Floyd Dodson Jr. takes ribs off the pit at Cozy Corner at 745 North Parkway. The Cozy Corner was listed in the U.S. News online travel report as one of the places that makes Memphis the best barbecue city.

Photo by Dave Darnell // Buy this photo

Pit master Floyd Dodson Jr. takes ribs off the pit at Cozy Corner at 745 North Parkway. The Cozy Corner was listed in the U.S. News online travel report as one of the places that makes Memphis the best barbecue city.

DeAndre Fears and Tony Dentman (right) dine at  Central BBQ, whose food is praised by  U.S. News & World Report.

Photo by Brandon Dill, Brandon Dill/Special to The Commercial Appeal

DeAndre Fears and Tony Dentman (right) dine at Central BBQ, whose food is praised by U.S. News & World Report.

Pork sandwiches on toasted buns are big at A&R Bar-B-Que on Stage Road in Bartlett, but they were cited for great sides in the U.S. News online travel report on America's best barbecue cities.

Photo by Dave Darnell

Pork sandwiches on toasted buns are big at A&R Bar-B-Que on Stage Road in Bartlett, but they were cited for great sides in the U.S. News online travel report on America's best barbecue cities.

As if Memphians needed to be told their city smokes the most succulent barbecue in the nation, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Memphis top among the seven best barbecue cities in America.

The magazine's travel website, which launched in 2010, analyzes thousands of user reviews and online sources to assemble its rankings.

"We are the barbecue capital of the world, and that's been undisputed for quite some time," said Diane Hampton, executive vice president of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

Among the Bluff City's roughly 80 establishments serving the finest swine, the report specifically gave a nod to Corky's and Central BBQ for their fall-off-the-bone rib meat; A&R Bar-B-Que for its great sides; Cozy Corner for its Cornish hens and The Pig on Beale for just being on Beale Street.

Proof of the city's smoking power can be seen in Memphis' presence on the Food Network and its annual barbecue contest, Hampton said.

"We see folks coming from all over the world to try the world's best barbecue. Last year, even in spite of historic floods, there was great attendance," she said.

Cities lagging behind Memphis as top barbecue destinations were Lockhart, Texas; Kansas City, Mo; Lexington, N.C.; Austin, Texas; Nashville and St. Louis.

Barry Pelts, co-owner of Corky's, is particularly proud his ribs got a mention. "Basically, 90 percent of what (barbecue restaurants) do in Memphis is two items: ribs and pork shoulder," he said.

U.S. News scoured travel blogs and dining reviews from sites like TripAdvisor to create the ranking, said lead travel editor Miriam Weiner. "We started with cities known for their barbecue," she said.

Weiner said she does not know how much weight travelers give such rankings, but added, "People travel for a lot of reasons and more often than not, they take food into consideration."

-- Lindsay Melvin: 529-2445

© 2012 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.