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Looking for the best bbq in Chattanooga TN?  Come with us on an epic journey!

Grill restaurant. Closeup of smoked pulled pork served with pickles on wooden board. Roasted meat and ribs in background.

Every time our family plans a trip to Chattanooga, the excitement is contagious. As a mom to four energetic boys and a husband who is a culinary teacher, our adventures are always filled with laughter, exploration, and of course, good food. 

Chattanooga, with its scenic beauty and vibrant local places, has become one of our favorite getaways. From the first time we set foot in this charming city, we were captivated by its blend of natural wonders and culinary delights. But if there’s one thing that keeps us coming back, it’s the quest for the best bbq in Chattanooga. 

Our taste buds have journeyed through countless bbq joints, each visit becoming a delicious memory etched in our hearts. Whether it’s the smoky aroma of hickory wood, the tang of a perfect dry rub, or the comfort of homemade desserts after a hearty meal, Chattanooga’s bbq places have a special place in our family’s story. 

And as we continue to explore, one thing remains certain: Chattanooga is not just a great place to visit; it’s the perfect place for a family that loves great bbq.

Best BBQ in Chattanooga

Sugar’s Ribs

Nestled amidst the breathtaking views of Chattanooga’s surrounding mountains, Sugar’s Ribs stands as a testament to authentic Southern BBQ. Established by local restaurateurs, Lawton and Karen Haygood, Sugar’s Ribs offers a BBQ experience reminiscent of an old-fashioned, roadside joint but with the comfort of a modern setting.

The restaurant prides itself on serving freshly cooked meat, reminiscent of what one might prepare in their own backyard. At Sugar’s, the emphasis is on spareribs smoked in the style of the old South, ensuring they are moist inside and crunchy outside.

The restaurant’s commitment to authenticity means you won’t find boiled ribs drenched in commercial sweet sauces here. Instead, expect to savor the rich flavors that every BBQ purist dreams of.

On the Menu:

  • Snacks: BBQ Leg & Wing, Crispy Potato “Nachos”, Poppers, Mini Q’s.
  • Salads: Spinach & Cabbage Salad, Mojo Salad.
  • Sandwiches: BBQ Pork Butt, House Made Smoked Sausage, BBQ Brisket, BBQ Chicken.
  • Plates: Spare Ribs, BBQ Pork Butt, House Made Smoked Sausage, Fried Catfish, BBQ Brisket, Chicken Half.
  • Tacos: Combos of Spicy Pork Butt, Wood Grilled Chicken, Fried Catfish, Smoked Brisket, and a Sampler option.
  • Sides: Regular sides like Texas Pintos, Spicy Vinegar Slaw, Cornbread, and special sides like Mac ‘N Cheese, Crispy Potatoes.
  • Desserts: Jesslyn’s Banana Pudding, Chocolate Chunk Cookie.

Our Recommendations:

  • Must-Try Meat: The spareribs, known for their old South style of smoking, are a delight for the taste buds.
  • For the Sides: The Mac ‘N Cheese and Crispy Potatoes are a delightful accompaniment to any BBQ dish.
  • Dessert Delight: Jesslyn’s Banana Pudding is a sweet treat that perfectly rounds off a hearty meal.
  • Beverage: Pair your meal with their refreshing IBC Root Beer for a complete dining experience.

With its rich flavors, diverse menu, and commitment to authenticity, Sugar’s Ribs promises a BBQ experience that’s both memorable and delicious.

Learn more about Sugar’s Ribs here

Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que

Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que, a staple in Chattanooga since 1984, has been serving the community with mouth-watering BBQ dishes that resonate with the authentic flavors of the South.

With a commitment to providing the best food at the best prices, this local joint ensures that every visitor feels right at home. The ambiance is reminiscent of a cozy family gathering, where the aroma of meats smoked over hickory wood fills the air.

Their unique dry rub and special BBQ sauce enhance the flavors, making each bite a delightful experience. With a legacy spanning decades, Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que has become synonymous with comfort, quality, and affordability.

On the Menu:

  • Appetizers: Onion Rings, Cheese Sticks, Chicken Fingers, Stormy’s Chicken Fries, Poppers, Dynobites, Fried Mushrooms, Fried Pickles.
  • Salads: Bar-B-Que Salad, House Salad.
  • Sandwiches: Chopped Bar-B-Que Sandwich, Corn Dog, Fried Bologna Sandwich, Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich, BLT, Paige’s Grilled Cheese.
  • Plates: Chopped Pork, Chopped Beef, Chopped Chicken, Half-a-Chicken, Spare Pork Ribs, Lindsey’s Steak, Killer Stuffed Bar-B-Que Potato.
  • Burgers: Kaden Burger, Hickory Pit Burger, CJ Burger, Skyler Burger.
  • By The Pound: Chopped Pork, Chopped Beef, Pulled Chicken, Ribs by the Slab.
  • Desserts: Apple Pie, Cheese Cake, Banana Pudding, Funnel Cake.

Our Recommendations:

  • Must-Try Meat: The Chopped Bar-B-Que Sandwich, smoked slow over hickory wood and topped with their special sauce.
  • For the Sides: The Freedom Fries and Potato Salad are a must-have with any BBQ dish.
  • Dessert Delight: The Banana Pudding is a creamy, sweet treat that perfectly complements the savory BBQ.
  • Beverage: Pair your meal with a refreshing soft drink or tea to quench your thirst.

With a menu that boasts of diverse offerings and flavors that cater to every BBQ lover’s palate, Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que promises an unforgettable dining experience for the entire family.

Learn more about Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que here

The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe

Tucked away at the base of the picturesque Lookout Mountain in Historic St. Elmo, The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe offers a delightful blend of traditional Southern BBQ and picnic fare.

This charming cafe, conveniently located next to the Historic Incline Railway, is the perfect spot to grab a picnic lunch before heading to the nearby attractions. With its world-famous BBQ and a cozy ambiance, The Purple Daisy has become a beloved spot for both locals and visitors.

Whether you’re dining in or opting for a carry-out, the cafe promises a culinary experience that captures the essence of Chattanooga’s rich BBQ tradition.

On the Menu:

  • Appetizers: Onion Rings, Cheese Sticks, Chicken Fingers, Stormy’s Chicken Fries, Poppers, Dynobites, Fried Mushrooms, Fried Pickles.
  • Salads: Bar-B-Que Salad, House Salad.
  • Sandwiches: Chopped Bar-B-Que Sandwich, Corn Dog, Fried Bologna Sandwich, Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich, BLT, Paige’s Grilled Cheese.
  • Plates: Chopped Pork, Chopped Beef, Chopped Chicken, Half-a-Chicken, Spare Pork Ribs, Lindsey’s Steak, Killer Stuffed Bar-B-Que Potato.
  • Burgers: Kaden Burger, Hickory Pit Burger, CJ Burger, Skyler Burger.
  • By The Pound: Chopped Pork, Chopped Beef, Pulled Chicken, Ribs by the Slab.
  • Desserts: Apple Pie, Cheese Cake, Banana Pudding, Funnel Cake.

Our Recommendations:

  • Must-Try Meat: The Chopped Bar-B-Que Sandwich, a classic that never disappoints.
  • For the Sides: The HASHBROWN CASSEROLE is a delightful twist on a traditional side.
  • Dessert Delight: The Banana Pudding, a creamy and sweet treat that’s perfect after a BBQ meal.
  • Beverage: Opt for a refreshing soft drink to complement the rich flavors of your meal.

The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe, with its inviting atmosphere and delectable menu, is a must-visit for anyone looking to savor the true flavors of Chattanooga’s BBQ scene.

Learn more about the Purple Daisy here

Sticky Fingers

At the heart of Chattanooga’s vibrant BBQ scene lies Sticky Fingers, a place where barbecue is celebrated without apology. With a rich history that spans decades, Sticky Fingers has become a beacon for BBQ enthusiasts, offering a tantalizing array of dishes that are both authentic and delicious.

The restaurant’s ethos revolves around the sheer joy of indulging in BBQ – the messiness, the abundance of meat, and the delightful stickiness that ensues.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Sticky Fingers invites you to relish in the BBQ experience, to let the sauce run down your chin, and to enjoy every bite without any reservations.

On the Menu:

  • Starters:Brisket Nachos, Buffalo Chicken Tots, Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheese, Rib Fingers, Loaded Cheese Fries, Deviled Eggs, Soul Rolls, “Award Winning” Hickory Smoked Wings.
  • Handhelds: Pulled Pork Sandwich, Ribhouse Sandwich, Brisket Philly, Cheesy Chicken Sandwich, Barbecue Sliders, Memphis Bacon Cheeseburger, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, BBQ Banh Mi, Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich.
  • From the Smoker: “Award Winning” Hickory Smoked Ribs, Brisket, Brisket Burnt Ends, Pulled Pork, Half Smoked Chicken, Smoked Wing Dinner, Sticky Duo, Sticky Trio, Rib Sampler for Two, Brisket Mac & Cheese Bowl.
  • Greens: Smokehouse Club Salad, Brisket Caesar Salad, Sticky Chicky Sally, Pick-a-Chick Salad, House or Caesar Salad.
  • Sides: Loaded Baked Potato, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Collards, Mac & Cheese, Fried Corn, Hush Puppies, French Fries, Potato Salad, Sweet Potato Casserole, Tater Tots.

Our Recommendations:

  • Must-Try Meat: The “AWARD WINNING” HICKORY SMOKED RIBS, a testament to Sticky Fingers’ expertise in BBQ.
  • For the Sides: The MAC & CHEESE and SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE are a delightful pairing with any BBQ dish.
  • Dessert Delight: While not explicitly mentioned, always ask for the dessert of the day to round off your meal.
  • Beverage: Pair your BBQ with a refreshing drink from their extensive beverage menu for a complete dining experience.

Sticky Fingers, with its legacy and commitment to quality, offers a BBQ experience that is both memorable and finger-licking good. Whether you’re dining in or taking out, every visit promises a feast for the senses.

Learn more about Sticky Fingers here

Mission BBQ

Nestled in the heart of the BBQ world, Mission BBQ stands as a testament to the power of passion and purpose. Opening its doors on September 11, 2011, the founders aimed to bring a change, a positive one, to a world that had seen so much change a decade prior.

Mission BBQ isn’t just about the food; it’s about the heroes of our country. Founded by two friends who share a love for BBQ and a deep respect for our nation, the restaurant serves as a tribute to soldiers, firefighters, police officers, and first responders.

Every dish is a journey across America, from Texas to Kansas City, the Carolinas to St. Louis, capturing the essence of what makes American BBQ great. And if you happen to visit during lunchtime, you might just witness their daily salute to the Stars and Stripes. At Mission BBQ, it’s not just about serving food; it’s about serving those who serve us.

On the Menu:

Meat Market: Entree size portions accompanied by a complimentary piece of cornbread. Offerings include Texas Inspired Oak Smoked Brisket, Jalapeno & Cheese or Classic #41 Sausage, and a Meat Sampler to try a bit of everything.

Smokehouse Signatures: Ribs come in various sizes – By the Bone, 5 Bone, or 10 Bone. Choices include BAY-b-Back Ribs which are fall-off-the-bone tender, and Spare Ribs in the St. Louis Style.

Sandwiches: Freshly made to order, with options like the Marinated in Memphis Belle.

Salads: Garden Greens with crispy iceberg and fresh veggies.

Sides: Made from scratch, the sides range from Maggie’s Mac-N-Cheese, Baked Beans with Brisket, Cold Slaw, Green Beans with Bacon, to Fresh Cut Fries and more.

Drinks: Iced Cold Kettle Brewed Iced Tea, both sweetened and unsweetened, and the special American Heroes Cup which supports nonprofit organizations.

Kids Menu: Includes options like the Pulled Chicken Slider, sized just right for the little ones.

Our Recommendations:

  • For Meat Lovers: The Texas Inspired Oak Smoked Brisket is a must-try.
  • Ribs: The BAY-b-Back Ribs are tender and flavorful, a true delight for rib aficionados.
  • Sandwich: The sandwiches, especially those marinated in Memphis Belle, are a treat.
  • Sides: Maggie’s Mac-N-Cheese is creamy and delicious, while the Baked Beans with Brisket add a meaty touch to a classic side.
  • Drink: The Kettle Brewed Iced Tea is refreshing and pairs well with the BBQ dishes.

Mission BBQ promises an experience that goes beyond just food. It’s a celebration of American values, heroes, and of course, the rich and diverse world of American BBQ.

Learn more about Mission BBQ here

Edley’s Bar-B-Que

Nestled in the heart of the South, Edley’s Bar-B-Que is a family-owned gem that has been tantalizing taste buds since its inception in 2011. Founded by the dynamic duo, Will and Catharine Newman, Edley’s has expanded its roots from Nashville to various locations, including the vibrant city of Chattanooga.

Garnering accolades from renowned publications like Southern Living, USA Today, and Garden & Gun, it’s no surprise that Edley’s has been crowned the Best Bar-B-Que in Nashville for four consecutive years by the readers of The Nashville Scene.

At Edley’s, the essence of Southern hospitality is alive and well, with every dish reflecting their unwavering commitment to quality. From meats smoked to perfection using Southern white oak to sides crafted from scratch daily, Edley’s promises an authentic Southern BBQ experience.

Named in tribute to Will’s late grandfather, Edley Newman, the restaurant embodies the values of generosity, hard work, and, above all, Southern hospitality.

On the Menu:

  • Shareables: Nashville Hot Links, BBQ Nachos or Fries, Smoked Wings, Fried Pickles, Basket of Fries.
  • Off The Smoker: Brisket Platter, Burnt Ends, Tuck Special, Brisket Sandwich, Brisket Tacos, St. Louis Cut Ribs, Pork Platter, Pork Sandwich, Pork Tacos, Chicken Platter, Chicken Sandwich, Wings Platter, Turkey Platter, Turkey Sandwich, Hot Pork Sandwich, Hot Pork Platter, Hot Pork Tacos, Hot Chicken Platter, Hot Chicken Sandwich, Hot Chicken Tacos, Catfish Platter, Catfish Sandwich, Catfish Tacos.
  • Sides: Green Beans, Mac & Cheese, Cornbread, Banana Pudding, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Grits Casserole, Bean Salad.
  • Salads: Southern Salad, BBQ Avocado Plate.
  • Desserts: Pecan Pie, Chess Pie, Brownie.

Our Recommendations:

  • Brisket Platter: Thinly sliced brisket served with red BBQ sauce and pickles, offering a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • Burnt Ends: Sauteed in tangy Viola sauce and served on a bed of grits casserole, this dish is a must-try for those seeking a burst of flavors.
  • Hot Chicken Tacos: A delightful fusion of cheese, bean salad, pico de gallo, jalapeño ranch, and cilantro, these tacos are a testament to Edley’s culinary prowess.
  • Mac & Cheese: A creamy blend of four cheeses with elbow macaroni, baked to perfection and topped with crispy bread crumbs.
  • Banana Pudding: A classic Southern dessert, this pudding combines the sweetness of bananas with the creaminess of vanilla pudding, layered with cookies and whipped cream.

Learn more about Edley’s Bar-B-Que here

Chatt Smoke House

Located on E. MLK in Chattanooga, TN, Chatt Smoke House is a beacon of flavor and authenticity in the world of BBQ. Owned by James Massengill, this establishment has been serving the Chattanooga community for over 7 years from its prime location on MLK.

With a clientele that boasts many regulars, it’s evident that Chatt Smoke House has made a mark with its delectable barbecue offerings. The secret behind their mouth-watering dishes lies in the meticulous preparation – the meat is slow-cooked daily using charcoal and hickory wood.

The rubs, sauces, chili, and even the coleslaw are all original recipes crafted by James himself. And for those who have a penchant for grilled hot dogs, Chatt Smoke House promises a treat with their homemade chili-topped variants. If you’re seeking a BBQ experience that’s rich in flavor and rooted in tradition, Chatt Smoke House is the place to be.

On the Menu:

  • Sandwiches: Rib Sandwich, Pork Sandwich, Beef Sandwich, Smoked Chopped Chicken Breast, Fish Sandwich, Barbecue Hot Dog, Chili Dog, Hot Dog with Relish, Open Face Sandwich.
  • Plates: Rib Plate, Pork Plate, Beef Plate, Smoked Chopped Chicken Breast Plate, Chop Wiener Plate (available in Small, Large, and Deluxe with cheese & onions), Fish Plate, Chili-Cheese Fries, Chili-Fries, Bowl of Chili.
  • Side Items: French Fries, Okra, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Potato Chips.
  • Beverages: Sweet Tea/Unsweet Tea, Lemonade, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Strawberry, Grape, Pineapple, Orange.
  • Bulk Pricing: Slab of Ribs, Pork by the Pound, Beef by the Pound, Chicken by the Pound, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, and Cole Slaw (sold by the quart).

Our Recommendations:

  • For Meat Lovers: The Rib Sandwich is a must-try, offering a hearty serving of perfectly smoked ribs between bread.
  • Plates: The Beef Plate and the Smoked Chopped Chicken Breast Plate are both delightful choices that promise a fulfilling meal.
  • Sides: The Chili-Cheese Fries are a unique blend of flavors, combining the spiciness of chili with the creaminess of cheese.
  • Beverages: The Sweet Tea is a classic Southern choice that pairs well with any BBQ dish.
  • Bulk Purchase: If you’re hosting a gathering, consider the Slab of Ribs or the Pork by the Pound to ensure there’s enough delicious BBQ to go around.

Chatt Smoke House is more than just a restaurant; it’s a culinary journey that celebrates the rich flavors and traditions of Southern BBQ. Whether you’re a local or just passing through Chattanooga, make sure to stop by and savor the flavors that have made this establishment a local favorite.

Learn more about Chatt Smoke House here

Rib and Loin

For over three decades, Rib and Loin has been a staple in Chattanooga’s culinary scene, offering a delightful array of authentic Southern barbecue.

From the tender shredded pork shoulder to the succulent chicken breasts, and from the flavorful barbecue beef brisket to the Memphis-style ribs, Rib and Loin promises a gastronomic journey that’s both rich in tradition and taste. Every dish is complemented by their homemade mild barbecue sauce, but for those who crave a little extra heat, their spicy hot sauce is sure to hit the spot.

Beyond the meats, Rib and Loin also boasts an array of custom Southern trimmings, ensuring that every meal is a wholesome experience. And if you have a sweet tooth, their cobblers and banana pudding are the perfect way to round off your feast.

Whether you’re dining in, ordering carry-out, or opting for their convenient drive-thru service, Rib and Loin guarantees a BBQ experience that’s both authentic and unforgettable.

On the Menu:

  • Main Courses: Shredded Pork Shoulder, Chicken Breasts, Barbecue Beef Brisket, Memphis-style Ribs.
  • Sauces: Homemade Mild Barbecue Sauce, Spicy Hot Sauce.
  • Southern Trimmings: A variety of sides that perfectly complement the main courses.
  • Desserts: Cobblers, Banana Pudding.

Our Recommendations:

  • Shredded Pork Shoulder: A classic BBQ dish that promises tenderness with every bite.
  • Memphis-style Ribs: For those who love their ribs with a distinct flavor profile, this is a must-try.
  • Homemade Mild Barbecue Sauce: Perfect for those who prefer a subtle sweetness with their BBQ.
  • Banana Pudding: A delightful dessert that combines the creaminess of pudding with the natural sweetness of bananas.

Rib and Loin is more than just a restaurant; it’s a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the South. With its array of mouth-watering dishes and commitment to authenticity, it’s no wonder that it remains a favorite among both locals and visitors alike. If you’re in Chattanooga and have a craving for some genuine Southern BBQ, Rib and Loin is the place to be.

Learn more about Rib and Loin here

Jim ‘N Nick’s

Jim ‘N Nick’s is a culinary haven for barbecue enthusiasts, celebrating the artistry of slow-cooked Bar-B-Q with recipes that have been cherished and handed down through generations.

Established in 1985 in a repurposed pizza restaurant on Clairmont Avenue in Birmingham, AL, Jim ‘N Nick’s has grown to become an iconic figure in the barbecue community. The restaurant’s philosophy is simple yet profound: honor the legacy of barbecue masters, offer a menu without any shortcuts, and treat every guest like family.

Whether you’re dining in, ordering for take-out, or opting for delivery, Jim ‘N Nick’s promises an authentic barbecue experience that’s deeply rooted in Southern tradition.

On the Menu:

  • Salads, Potatoes & Soups: Pig in the Garden Salad, Chopped Southern Salad, Not-So-Naked Potato, Loaded Bar-B-Q Baker, Our Famous Brisket Chili.
  • Trimmings: Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Mac & Cheese, Bar-B-Q Corn on the Cob, and more.
  • Starters: Onion Rings, Brisket Chili Cheese wedges, Smoked Wings, Deviled Eggs.
  • JNN Classics: Classic Pulled Pork, Carolina-Style Pork, Beef Brisket, Bar-B-Q Chicken, Mr. Jim’s Combo Plate, and more.
  • JNN Ribs: Classic Spare Ribs.
  • JNN Sandwiches: Pig on a Bun, Carolina-style Pork, Bar-B-Q Chicken, Joe’s Original Turkey Sandwich, and more.
  • JNN Burgers: JNN Original Burger, Southern Burger.
  • Desserts: Banana Pudding, Mable’s Homemade Pies.

Our Recommendations:

  • Pig in the Garden Salad: A delightful mix of bacon, cheddar cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, almonds, and homemade croutons, topped with smoked pulled pork or chicken.
  • Loaded Bar-B-Q Baker: A generously sized baked potato topped with your choice of smoked meat, bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions, butter, sour cream, and barbecue sauce.
  • Classic Pulled Pork: Slow-smoked pork served with Original BBQ Sauce, a must-try for all BBQ lovers.
  • Banana Pudding: A classic Southern dessert that’s creamy, sweet, and the perfect way to end your meal.

Jim ‘N Nick’s is more than just a restaurant; it’s a celebration of the rich barbecue heritage of the South. With its diverse menu, commitment to quality, and warm hospitality, it’s no wonder that Jim ‘N Nick’s has become a favorite among both locals and visitors. If you’re in the mood for some genuine Southern BBQ, Jim ‘N Nick’s is the place to be.

​Learn more about Jim ‘N Nick’s here

Final Thoughts on the Best BBQ in Chattanooga

Every trip to the scenic city of Chattanooga with my husband and our four energetic boys is a delightful culinary adventure. We’ve journeyed through the best barbecue spots in the TN area, and each visit reaffirms our love for Chattanooga BBQ.

From the succulent best ribs to the mouth-watering best pulled pork, each restaurant offers its unique flavor, making every meal a memorable experience.

While we’ve had our share of delicious food in many places, the local favorites in Chattanooga hold a special place in our hearts. Whether it’s the bone ribs that melt in your mouth or the best BBQ sandwich that’s become a staple in our family’s Chattanooga visits, the quality and great service never disappoint. And let’s not forget the comfort foods that accompany these BBQ delights – from creamy ice cream to delicious desserts, there’s something for everyone.

We’ve ventured to hidden gems off Ringgold Road, enjoyed the daily specials in bustling downtown Chattanooga, and relished the great sides that perfectly complement the main content of our plates. And for those days when we want to relax in our accommodation, the convenience of BBQ delivery from some of these spots is a blessing.

Our best decision? Exploring the BBQ restaurants of Chattanooga. Each offers a unique taste of the local place, from the traditional to the innovative, like the intriguing Korean BBQ. As we drive through the Chattanooga area, from East Ridge to the heart of the city, the aroma of good BBQ wafts through the air, promising another delicious meal.

So, if you’re ever in the vicinity and find yourself craving some authentic southern BBQ, remember these places. They’re not just restaurants; they’re a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the South. And as we always say, nothing beats a chicken plate after a long day of exploring the scenic city with family. Until our next visit, Chattanooga, keep those grills hot and the BBQ sizzling!

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