Fox Brothers BBQ, located on Dekalb Avenue in the Candler Park area just east of Little Five Points, is a favorite among Atlanta barbecue lovers - especially if they are looking to pig out (pun intended)! The casual joint with a bit patio is always overflowing (the one downside is sometimes waits can top an hour on busy weekends). Fox Brothers serves up all the classic BBQ favorites including beef brisket. The founders have Texan routes, but say their style reflects a bit of Texas and a bit of Atlanta.
Must-have dishes: Fox-a-roni (that's mac and cheese topped with Brunswick stew), something fried from the huge appetizer menu (I'm a sucker for fried pickles)
Fat Matt's Rib Shack, located on Piedmont Avenue between on the north end of Midtown, is a landmark in Atlanta. A little, colorfully painted building with a big neon sign - this place is serving up some amazing ribs! Fat Matt's is the kind of place you take out-to-town guests to give them a taste of Atlanta. They have live music nightly and their website warns "if you're wearing a tie, you must loosen the knot before entering." It's a place to kick back, relax and enjoy some messy eating. In addition to their famous ribs, Fat Matt's has chopped pork, chicken and plenty of sides.
Must-have dish: The ribs, obviously!
If you think Fat Matt's is a bit of a ramshackle restaurant, it's only because you haven't been to Daddy D'z yet. Daddy D'z, located in Grant Park near Turner Field, has the vibe of a truly old-fashioned, family-run BBQ joint (or joynt, as they call it). It's a place to go for a plate of pork with classic sides. They've also got some tricks up their sleeve, offering items like BBQ pork wrapped in bite sized dough fried crisp.
Must-try dish: Whatever goodness your heart desires, they have it all.
Community Q, located in Decatur, really does have a sense of community about it. When you dine in, you share large tables with your fellow diners. Choose from pulled pork, brisket, chicken, sausage, or ribs (two kinds!). Like many barbecue restaurants, their menu is small, but focused. They emphasize quality, cooking everything fresh daily (get it before it's gone!) and donating any leftovers to the food bank each night.
Must-try dish: I'm a big fan of the coleslaw, and many people rave about the mac and cheese
Sam's BBQ1 and Dave Poe's
It wouldn't be fair to talk about Community Q without also mentioning Sam's BBQ1 and Dave Poe's. Sam and Dave, along with Community Q founder David, all started together back in a little kitchen in an East Cobb strip mall at a place called BBQ1. It had only a few tables, but it quickly became the a popular spot for those searching for Atlanta's best barbecue. Eventually it was split in to two restaurants. All of these BBQ folks are putting out amazing food - so make a visit to whichever is convenient, or complete the holy trinity and eat at all of them!
Sam's BBQ1 can be found at 4944 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta.
Dave Poe's is near Historic Marietta Square at 660 Whitlock Avenue in Marietta.