Greenville's BBQ Roots Run Deep

On the hunt for a great plate of BBQ? You've come to the right destination because we practically eat, sleep and breathe the stuff.

We've scoured the Upstate for the hands-down best barbecue and have found award-winning restaurants, like Smoky Dreams, and eateries that are local favorites, like Henry's Smokehouse.

We also tried spots you might not have considered because they're a bit off the beaten path, like Local Cue or Mike & Jeff's

In this selection of 10 BBQ joints, you'll find both chopped and pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken, Korean BBQ and scads of southern sides.  The sauces are inventive and the ends are burnt.  These are truly Greenville's best.


Bucky's Bar-B-Q

When it comes to BBQ, Bucky's gets few complaints from diners, who rave about the flavorful meat, tangy red and yellow sauces, and rotation of side dishes such as mac and cheese, green beans, potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw. Guests enjoy helpful, efficient service and may eat in the casual dining room or outdoors.

Somehow, the rustic log cabin that houses this restaurant seems an apt setting for the smoky flavor of good barbecue. Mutt's is right on target with their pork and chicken, prepared daily on the premises. Customers reap the benefits of this care, digging into sandwiches, plates (with two sides), or even racks of lean ribs. And among sides, the sweet potato crunch, baked with plenty of brown sugar, is the undisputed king. If you've got a hefty appetite, or want to sample a bit of everything, try the buffet.

Haywood Road
Local Cue
Photo courtesy of Local Cue

Local Cue is not a conventional BBQ joint; it's so much more. Serving as a favorite gathering spot for locals, the restaurant offers a bar (nice place to watch sports), board games, foosball, dartboards and pool. On top of all that, they serve up their unique take on good barbecue. You can still get a traditional pulled pork sandwich here, but you could also order a pulled pork shepherd's pie or pork and collard spring rolls.

Little Pigs

For over 30 years, Little Pigs has kept local BBQ fans coming back for sandwiches and platters. This popular eatery offers great food three ways: dine-In, carry-out, or drive-thru. Its pulled pork is the real deal, and Greenville 'cue aficionados will stand up for Little Pigs every time a heated debate about barbecue ensues (which is often). The chopped pork and unique sauce make this BBQ different from all the others. A kids' menu also offers grilled cheese sandwiches, corn dogs and chicken nuggets.

Sure it's a small shack-size joint, but regulars agree there's nothing small in taste about Mike & Jeff's. Enjoy some great Upstate barbecue in one of the city's best hidden secrets. The menu is expansive, as are the portions, offering ribs, burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork and chopped chicken. Old school and simplified – let these folks show you what's meant by wood-smoked meat and homemade sauce.

Woodruff Road

Locals keep coming back to this casual joint for generous portions of scrumptious pulled pork, barbecued chicken or brisket, with tempting sides like mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole. A few hush puppies also accompany each sandwich plate, which is definitely an extra we can get behind. The sauce choices here are vast and inspired including two variations of vinegar, a sweet mild and a World Championship Cheerwine sauce. The ribs, burgers and hot dogs are good, too.

Widely proclaimed as the best barbecue in town, Henry's is Greenville's great equalizer, seating business and government types alongside guys in jeans and work boots. Such a response isn't surprising when you sample the tender, succulent meat (and your choice of sauce) served with sides like baked beans, mac and cheese, fries, cole slaw, sweet potato casserole or hash and rice. It's a classic Southern lunch, and you can readily gauge its popularity by the crowds. The decor at Henry's isn't fancy and seating is somewhat limited but, after the first bite, you'll know where the restaurant has directed its attention.

This tavern next door to Earth Fare on Pelham Road draws diners of all ages, who come to sample Chef Anthony Gray's farm-to-table fare. The chef cures his own meats and smokes heritage pork onsite over local peach wood. On the menu, diners will find appealing dishes from house-made hot dogs, crafted from local, grass-fed beef, to wild South Carolina shrimp and grits. The atmosphere is boisterous and casual, with seating augmented by the deck out back.

Woodruff Road

Winner of our Readers' Choice contest for Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in South Carolina, Smoky Dreams couldn't be more aptly named. You might find yourself fantasizing about this unbelievably delicious barbecue, not to mention the accompanying sides. Owned and operated by one of the sweetest families you'll ever meet, you'll be sorry you didn't discover this place sooner! Smoky Dreams offers a nice selection of smoked favorites, including their award-winning pulled pork, brisket, chicken, wings and even hot dogs. Sides consist of southern fare like green beans, mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad and our all-time favorite, sweet potato crunch. Don't be fooled by the restaurant's shack-like exterior; there's plenty of seating to be found inside the attached dining room, or at the outdoor picnic tables if the weather's nice.