It’s no secret that Charleston is currently undergoing a barbecue boom. In fact, last year the Washington Post called our city “the future of barbecue.” The list below is by no means all-inclusive, but they are my top 5 favorites of the many choices available. They’re the places that I keep raving about to friends, and where I bring out-of-town guests. Let’s take a look.
Home Team BBQ
Out of all the restaurants listed here, Home Team offers the most choices, from chicken wings to barbecue tacos. All three locations serve traditional barbecue with an array of sauces and all the fixings.
Locations: downtown, Sullivan’s Island, West Ashley
Known for: live music, trivia, and general laid-back atmosphere
Must try: barbecue nachos, mac & cheese
I am very partial to Lewis Barbecue, and wrote an entire post singing its praises last fall. We keep telling all of our friends about this place.
Known for: Texas-style brisket, selections of housemade sauces
Must try: chopped brisket, pickled onions, spicy potato salad, key lime pie ice cream
Melvin’s is a family-friendly restaurant that serves traditional South Carolina barbecue with their famous “Golden Secret Recipe” sauce. The restaurant was recently on “Delicious Destinations Charleston” with Andrew Zimmern.
Locations: Mt. Pleasant, James Island
Known for: traditional South Carolina mustard-based barbecue
Must try: hot pepper bar, giant onion ring, banana pudding
Please note: closed on Sundays
Rodney Scott’s BBQ
The newest barbecue joint on this list is already a popular lunch destination north of downtown. For years, Rodney Scott has cooked legendary barbecue in Hemingway, SC. Now he’s brought his famous recipe to Charleston.
Known for: authentic South Carolina pit-cooked barbecue, vinegar-based sauce
Must try: whole hog (pulled pork) sandwich, baked beans
Swig & Swine
Opened in 2013, Swig & Swine is a popular West Ashley restaurant and bar. Their food is excellent, but I have a suspicion that almost all of their dishes contain mustard-based sauce in them. So if you have a strong aversion to mustard like my mom does, then this is not the place for you.
Location: West Ashley
Known for: craft beers and bourbon selection, pit-smoked barbecue
Must try: ribs, family platter