It’s hard to judge a good BBQ place beyond its reputation, and there is no shortage of rib and smokehouse joints across greater Florida either. We’ve taken the time to research some fine establishments that represent an honest approach to defining the Florida-style barbecue experience, even if there is nothing so exclusive about their barbecue methods.
Here are 5 excellent best BBQ places in Florida that give Floridians a well-rounded BBQ flavor.
Kojack’s House of Ribs
South Tampa is full of BBQ hot spots that are all serving Cuban sandwiches, Kojack’s House of Ribs has proudly been serving barbecue of all sorts since 1978. Their specialty dish features dry-rubbed pork spare ribs but is no stranger to serving up poultry and chicken dishes. In particular, they feature their own BBQ sauces which included a savory Carolina-style BBQ sauce with mustard.
They’ve been a favorite for Tampa residents for over 40 years, but are a must for curious BBQ enthusiasts. If you happen to be in Tampa for more than a day, you need to stop by and indulge your love for authentic Florida BBQ.
Hot Spot Barbecue
Here’s a relative newcomer to the barbecue scene since 2013, Hot Spot Barbecue combines southern-style BBQ with a bit of St- Louis style all in one. They’re located in Pensacola and have gathered many awards for their brisket, but their spare ribs are often the real treat. They have one of the most unique recipes for St. Louis style ribs that go the extra mile to leave the riblets on the ribs rather than cutting them off.
It’s not the biggest BBQ joints you’ll find in Florida but their taste speaks for itself. Don’t worry about asking to bring home their exclusive BBQ sauce, they sell prepackaged bottles right at the cashier when you go to pay.
Palm Beach is rather tropical so it seems fitting that Tropical Smokehouse is serving up more than a few exotic dishes that are all barbecued to perfection. They have a wide selection of smoked fish and meats including brisket, salmon, turkey, and even Cajun Gator Sausage! Their BBQ style combines the best of Caribbean flavors with southern barbecue techniques for smoking.
If you’re into something different, you can find tempting treats all over the menu. They smoke all of their meats in a 500-gallon smoker that was custom-made in Georgia. The fish is all smoked separately so these flavors don’t mingle too much.
With a strong and steady history that spans back over 70 years, Shorty’s Bar-B-Q was originally built back in 1951. What self-respected list would not include Shorty’s might just be cheating the history books for such an iconic BBQ place in South Florida. Even though the original location burnt down in 1972, they have risen from the smoky ashes to present Texas-style BBQ smoked brisket like nothing else.
Shorty’s has also been very adept to expand their locations all over Florida including Davie, West Miami, and Doral, but for the best experience, you should pay a visit to their South Miami location.
The odd thing about Jonesez BBQ is not that they have multiple locations in addition to a food truck in South Florida, but their distinct BBQ flair. Some might say it’s the difference in how their ribs aren’t falling off the bone. To eat Jonesez BBQ, you’ll need to have a good set of choppers to tear through this tasty bark. It’s also one of the few types of meat that has an incredible smoke ring lovingly smoked into their meat.
Their whole operation is a family affair that gives such a distinct southern-style rib selection and side menu. Luckily, they offer three types of mean that include pulled pork, pork spare ribs, and pulled grilled chicken. If you love real country-style BBQ that you can taste the love that’s put into every item on their menu, Jonesez BBQ is your best bet!
Our opinion on the best Florida BBQ
We can’t attest to every single BBQ joint since everyone has their own opinion of what ribs and smoked meats are supposed to taste like. This list should give you a starting point for wonderful BBQ locations that are consistent and have shown they know what makes real barbecue appeal to many Florida BBQ fans.