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There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a delicious plate of barbecue, and Arkansas is home to some of the best BBQ joints in the country. From classic, slow-smoked meats to tangy sauces and delectable sides, there’s a BBQ joint in Arkansas that’s sure to satisfy your cravings.

We’ve split up the state’s rich BBQ scene by region to help you explore the top 15 BBQ joints worth visiting across the state. Whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor hoping to experience the best of Arkansas’s culinary traditions, these restaurants cook up some of the most mouth-watering bar-b-q the state has to offer.

15. Hog Pen Bar-B-Q – Conway

ribs from hog pen bbq in conway arkansas
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Are you a BBQ aficionado looking for an authentic taste of Arkansas? Look no further than Hog Pen Bar-B-Q. This beloved Conway joint has been serving up mouthwatering local treasures since 1979, with fresh ingredients and traditional cooking methods making each dish unique.

Located at 740 S Harkrider St, this cozy and unpretentious restaurant has been serving up some of the best BBQ in the area for over 40 years. Staple meats like pulled pork, chicken, and sausage are all available to be enjoyed in combination with scrumptious sides such as potato salad or coleslaw. One of the specialties at Hog Pen Bar-B-Q are their Bar-B-Que Ribs, which are “all you can eat” on Wednesdays beginning at 5 pm.

Overall, Hog Pen Bar-B-Q is a hidden gem in Conway’s BBQ scene. If you’re in the area and looking for some delicious and authentic BBQ, be sure to stop by and give them a try.

View of meat in the smoker at Holy Smokes BBQ and Catering14. Holy Smokes BBQ and Catering – Mountain Home

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If you’re looking for delicious BBQ in the heart of Mountain Home, be sure to check out Holy Smokes BBQ and Catering. Located at 400 Highway 201 N, this family-owned and operated restaurant is known for its flavorful meats, generous portions, and warm-hearted service.

At Holy Smokes, the menu is packed with distinctive BBQ specialties. They offer a variety of meats, including brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, sausage, and ribs. You can order individual plates or build your own sandwich with your choice of meat and toppings. There’s also a large selection of delicious wraps and sandwiches. Don’t forget to try their signature sides like “Brent’s Famous Potato Salad” or the smoked mac and cheese.

Holy Smokes BBQ and Catering is also available for catering services for events of all sizes. Whether you’re planning a backyard BBQ or a wedding reception, they can create a customized menu to suit your needs. The restaurant itself has a warm and inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for a casual meal with friends and family. Holy Smokes also offers outdoor seating so you can enjoy your meal in the sunshine.

All in all, if you’re looking for some of the best BBQ in Arkansas, Holy Smokes BBQ and Catering is a must-visit. With delicious meats, tasty sides, and friendly service, it’s the perfect spot for a hearty meal.

View of a meal from Bubba's BBQ13. Bubba’s BBQ – Eureka Springs

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Bubba’s BBQ in Eureka Springs is a must-visit destination for barbecue lovers. This family-owned restaurant has been serving up delicious smoked meats and classic southern sides since 1979, and has become a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. “It may not look famous, but it is!”

One of the specialties at Bubba’s is their pulled pork sandwich, with tender, juicy meat that’s bursting with flavor. They also offer other classic BBQ meats like brisket, ribs, and chicken, all of which are cooked to perfection.

Besides their tasty sandwiches, they also offer salads and burgers, all made with the same attention to quality and flavor. And don’t forget about the sides! From “Bubba’s Industrial Strength Nachos” to “Bubba’s Loaded Fries”, they have all the delectable sides you could want.

The restaurant itself is cozy and welcoming, with a rustic decor that’s fitting for its location in the Ozark Mountains. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, Bubba’s is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some delicious food. You can find Bubba’s BBQ at 166 West Van Buren. They’re open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, so there’s no excuse not to stop in and try some of their mouth-watering BBQ.

View of meal at Count Porkula BBQ12. Count Porkula – Little Rock

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For over a decade, Count Porkula has been tantalizing taste buds in Little Rock with its world-class barbeque. Located at 201 Keightley Drive, this popular joint serves up mouthwatering smoked meats and classic sides that draw the attention of locals and tourists alike. Come see why Count Porkula is an absolute must for any BBQ lover visiting Arkansas’ capital city. 

At Count Porkula, the emphasis is on slow-cooked meats that are cooked to perfection over hickory wood, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth flavors that keep customers coming back time and time again. Some of the restaurant’s most popular specialties include the pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, which are all slow-smoked to perfection and served with your choice of sauce.

In addition to these classic BBQ staples, Count Porkula also offers a range of other delicious dishes, including smoked chicken, smoked sausage, and smoked turkey, all of which are equally delicious and perfectly seasoned. Sides are also a highlight here, with classics like mac and cheese, house-made slaw, and baked beans being the perfect accompaniment to any BBQ plate. Step outside the box and try the dill pickle pasta salad or the deviled egg potato salad.

The atmosphere at Count Porkula is warm and welcoming, with a cozy dining area that’s perfect for families and groups of friends. The restaurant also offers catering services for events and parties, making it a great choice for anyone looking to feed a crowd with delicious, mouth-watering BBQ. If you’re looking for top-notch barbecue in Little Rock, Count Porkula is definitely worth a visit. With its delicious smoked meats, appetizing sides, and friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder that this restaurant has become a local favorite.

View of meal from Smokin' Buns BBQ & Catfish11. Smokin’ Buns BBQ & Catfish- Jacksonville

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If you’re in Jacksonville and craving some seriously good BBQ, you won’t want to miss Smokin’ Buns BBQ & Catfish. Located at 25401 Hwy 107, this popular joint is a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.

What sets Smokin’ Buns BBQ apart is its commitment to using only the freshest locally-sourced ingredients, which are then smoked to perfection using traditional techniques. The result? Mouth-watering meats that are packed with flavor.

From ribs, corn on the cob, and baked beans to fried catfish, coleslaw, fries, and hushpuppies, they have something to satisfy any craving. They also offer wraps, rolls, and their famous “Piggie Pie,” which is a bed of Fritos smothered with smoked BBQ beans, and smoked pork, and topped with sauce and homemade coleslaw. Don’t forget to order yourself one of their delicious fried pies.

In addition to its delicious BBQ, Smokin’ Buns also offers a variety of sides that are the perfect complement to any meal. From mac and cheese to coleslaw and baked beans, these sides are made from scratch and bursting with flavor. So, if you’re in the mood for some incredible BBQ, head on over to Smokin’ Buns BBQ & Catfish and experience some of the best of what Jacksonville has to offer.

View of a meal from The Dixie Pig BBQ10. Dixie Pig – Blytheville

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Located in the charming town of Blytheville, the Dixie Pig is a legendary BBQ joint that has been serving up some of the best BBQ in the state for over 60 years. Founded in 1954, the Dixie Pig has become a beloved institution for locals and visitors alike, known for its classic Southern-style BBQ and warm hospitality.

One of the standout specialties of the Dixie Pig is its “Pig Sandwich,” which is made from slow-cooked, tender pork that is then shredded and topped with a tangy BBQ sauce. The “BBQ Ham” is another crowd-pleaser, with incredible flavor that packs a punch. 

In addition to its mouth-watering BBQ, the Dixie Pig is also known for its cozy, nostalgic atmosphere, complete with vintage decor and friendly, welcoming staff. It’s the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family.

If you’re planning a visit to Blytheville, be sure to add the Dixie Pig to your list of must-visit spots. You’ll find it at 701 North 6th Street, right in the heart of town, open every day 10 am to 8 pm. So come on in, pull up a chair, and experience some of the best BBQ that Arkansas has to offer at the iconic Dixie Pig.

View of H.B.'s Bar-B-Q in the snow9. H.B.’s Bar-B-Q – Little Rock

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H.B.’s Bar-B-Q is a family-owned and operated restaurant since 1961. This place is known for serving up some seriously delicious barbecue in Arkansas for half a century. It’s a no-brainer to add to your foodie bucket list!

One of the things that sets H.B.’s Bar-B-Q apart from other BBQ joints in the area is its commitment to slow-cooking its meats over hickory and pecan wood for up to 14 hours. This gives the meat a tender, smoky flavor that keeps customers coming back time and time again. Their menu features classic barbecue dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket, as well as sandwiches, salads, and sides like coleslaw and baked beans.

But what really sets H.B.’s Bar-B-Q apart is its sauce. Many frequent customers claim that the sauce is the best they’ve ever tasted. It’s a secret recipe, made fresh every day. It’s so popular, they even bottle it to go. It’s a true flavor explosion that’s not to be missed.

Located at 6010 Lancaster Road in Little Rock, H.B.’s Bar-B-Q is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. With its friendly service, down-home atmosphere, and heavenly BBQ, it’s no wonder that H.B.’s Bar-B-Q has become a staple of the Little Rock community.

View of meal from Reid's Hometown Barbecue8. Reid’s Hometown BBQ – Booneville

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If you’re a BBQ enthusiast and find yourself in Arkansas, you won’t want to miss a trip to Reid’s Hometown BBQ. This place is practically holy grail territory for meat lovers, with mouth-watering aromas and flavors that will tempt even the strictest of vegetarians. Located in the small town of Booneville, this family-owned BBQ joint has been serving up mouth-watering smoked meats and classic southern sides since 2008.

One of the standout specialties at Reid’s Hometown BBQ is their signature pulled pork sandwich. This sandwich is piled high with juicy, slow-smoked pulled pork that’s been seasoned to perfection with its own blend of spices. Another crowd favorite is their brisket, which is smoked low and slow until it’s fall-apart tender and bursting with flavor.

But Reid’s Hometown BBQ isn’t just about the meat. Their sides are just as delicious, with classics like mac and cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw that perfectly complement the BBQ. And if you’re feeling extra hungry, be sure to try their loaded baked potato, which is topped with your choice of meat and all the fixings. Many locals swear by the Karly fries. Their desserts are equally as tasty, with a large selection of divine fried pies and specialty cheesecakes with new flavors each week. 

It’s not just the food that draws people in, though—it’s the atmosphere. From the family-themed decor to the friendly staff, every aspect of Reid’s Hometown BBQ makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem. Located at 42 W Main St, the casual atmosphere will make you feel right at home. Whether you’re passing through Booneville on a road trip or you’re a local looking for your new favorite BBQ spot, Reid’s Hometown BBQ is a destination that’s sure to leave you satisfied. So grab a bib, bring your appetite, and get ready for a truly unforgettable BBQ experience.

View of a meal at Mean Pig BBQ7. The Mean Pig BBQ – Cabot

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The Mean Pig BBQ is a legendary spot for carnivores in Arkansas. For over 20 years, this family-owned restaurant has been dishing up some of the most delicious and finger-lickin’ good barbecue around! Make sure to bring an appetite when you visit 3096 Bill Foster Highway—Adam Richman from Travel Channel’s Man Vs Food did just that when he took on their notorious “Shut Up Juice Challenge”!

One of the specialties at The Mean Pig BBQ is their pulled pork, which is slow-smoked for up to 16 hours with hickory wood, resulting in tender, juicy meat that’s bursting with flavor. Their perfectly smoked and moist pork ribs are another crowd-pleaser, served with a dry rub and your choice of sauce. If you’re looking for something a little different, be sure to try their “Smoked Frito Pie,” which is a unique, yet delectable option. 

The Mean Pig BBQ has a cozy, rustic atmosphere with friendly service that makes you feel right at home. The walls are adorned with pig-themed decor, and the scent of BBQ wafts through the air, tantalizing your taste buds before you even take a bite. The restaurant also offers catering services for events of all sizes, making it a popular choice for weddings, parties, and corporate events.

In addition to their tasty BBQ, The Mean Pig also has a selection of sides and desserts to complete your meal, including their patented smoked beans and a delicious slice of pie. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, be sure to make a stop at The Mean Pig BBQ in Cabot for a truly satisfying BBQ experience.

An elevated view of Smokin' Joe's Ribhouse restaurant6. Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse – Rogers

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If you’re a barbecue lover, Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse is an absolute must. This family-owned establishment has been sizzling up succulent smoked meats with mouthwatering flavor for over 25 years and has earned itself the title of one of the best barbecue joints in the state. With its relaxed atmosphere at 200 N 8th Street, it’s perfect for gathering together friends and family to have an enjoyable meal out.

What sets Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse apart is its commitment to using only the best ingredients and traditional smoking methods. The restaurant’s specialty is, of course, their ribs, which are cooked low and slow to ensure they’re fall-off-the-bone tender. They also offer pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and sausage, all smoked to perfection and served with your choice of homemade sauce. For an incredibly unique lunch option, order the BBQ burrito!

But the menu at Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse isn’t just about the meats—they also offer a variety of sides that are just as delicious. From classic BBQ sides like baked beans and coleslaw to unique offerings like cajun rice and fried squash, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud.

If you’re in the Rogers area and looking for some top-quality BBQ, be sure to check out Smokin’ Joe’s Ribhouse. With their commitment to using only the best ingredients and traditional smoking methods, you’re sure to leave satisfied and planning your next visit.

View of a meal at Whole Hog Cafe5. Whole Hog Cafe – Various Locations

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BBQ connoisseurs, rejoice! Whole Hog Cafe has come to the rescue with its tantalizingly smoked meats prepared using a state-of-the-art whole hog pit technique. Ready your taste buds for an unforgettable experience that will make all of your smoky dreams come true. This restaurant prides itself on serving up some of the best smoked meats in the state.

Located at 150 East Oak Street in Conway, Whole Hog Cafe offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for enjoying a meal with family and friends. The menu boasts a wide range of barbecue specialties, including pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken, and sausage. Each dish is cooked low and slow, infusing the meat with a delicious smoky flavor that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

One of Whole Hog Cafe’s most popular dishes is the Ultimate Platter, which allows you to try a little bit of everything. This generous platter features pulled pork, beef brisket, pulled chicken, and baby back ribs, all served with beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and two dinner rolls. The ribs are especially noteworthy, with tender and juicy meat that practically melts in your mouth.

If you’re a fan of spicy food, be sure to try the jalapeno sausage. These are made in-house and are packed with flavor and heat. And for those who want something a little different, the smoked turkey is a tasty option. Open every day of the week, Whole Hog Cafe is just waiting for you to experience some of the best barbecue in Arkansas.

View of a meal at Wright's Barbecue4. Wright’s Barbecue – Johnson

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Serving flavorful smoked meats and classic Southern side dishes since 2016, this local gem is a favorite among barbecue aficionados. Located at 2212 Main Drive, Wright’s Barbecue is a must-visit spot for barbecue enthusiasts. The restaurant boasts old methods of bringing about flavor and tenderness using open flame, 100% wood fire, on a pit. They also use pecan wood from downed Arkansas trees to achieve their iconic flavor. It doesn’t get more Arkansas than that!

One of Wright’s Barbecue’s specialties is its brisket, which is slow-smoked for up to 14 hours and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The pork ribs are another popular menu item, seasoned with a house-made dry rub and smoked until tender. For something a little different, try their smoked bologna sandwich, a classic Southern barbecue staple that is elevated to new heights at Wright’s.

The sides at Wright’s Barbecue are just as impressive as the meats. From the ranch potato salad to the honey butter green beans, each side is made from scratch and perfectly complements the smoky flavors of the meats. And don’t forget to save room for dessertthe banana pudding is a crowd favorite and is the perfect way to end a meal at Wright’s.

The atmosphere at Wright’s Barbecue is casual and welcoming, with picnic tables and an outdoor patio for dining al fresco. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick lunch or planning a family feast, stop by Wright’s Barbecue.

View inside Sim's Bar-B-Que3. Sims Bar-B-Que – Little Rock 

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Sims Bar-B-Que has been a staple of delicious, smoky BBQ since 1937. Founded by A.J. Sims over 80 years ago, this legendary restaurant is beloved throughout the state—and if you’re a fan of classic Southern barbecue fare, it’s well worth visiting for an unforgettable meal.

One of the specialties at Sims Bar-B-Que is their chopped pork sandwich, which is made from tender, slow-smoked pork that is chopped and served on a bun with a side of their signature BBQ sauce. The ribs are also a crowd favorite, seasoned to perfection and served with a side of coleslaw and baked beans.

The restaurant itself is a humble and unassuming spot, with limited seating and a simple atmosphere. However, what Sims Bar-B-Que lacks in ambiance, it more than makes up for in flavor. The meat is cooked low and slow, resulting in a mouthwatering, smoky flavor that will leave you wanting more.

There are two Sims Bar-B-Que Little Rock locations: 2415 Broadway St and 1307 John Barrow Rd. It is open Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 9 am, and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm. If you’re looking for a true taste of Arkansas barbecue, be sure to stop by Sims Bar-B-Que.

Owner standing in front of Jones' Bar-B-Q Diner2. Jones Bar-B-Q Diner – Marianna

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Jones Bar-B-Q Diner is a legendary restaurant located in Marianna that has been serving some of the most delectable barbecue in the state since 1910. It’s a true gem in the Arkansas Delta and is worth visiting for anyone who loves great food and history. The diner’s iconic sign featuring a flying pig welcomes visitors to the small establishment, which is little more than a small shack with a handful of stools inside. But don’t let the humble appearance fool you—the food here is truly exceptional.

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner serves up a no-frills menu with mouthwatering simplicity. You can savor the juicy meat in sandwiches, with or without Jones’s famous homemade slaw, or take home a generous portion by the pound. The menu may be limited, but one bite, and you’ll agree that Jones has mastered the art of barbecue. You won’t find any fancy sides, but a cold drink and a bag of chips are the perfect complement to your meal. 

It’s a one-man show at the diner, but Jones knows that sticking to the basics is the key to success. He’s tried experimenting with barbecued bologna sandwiches, but that proved too time-consuming. With loyal customers flocking daily, Jones estimates that he can cook up to 900 pounds of pork per week. Its unique charm and delicious barbecue have even garnered national attention, with Jones Bar-B-Q Diner being featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and the History’s “15 of America’s Most Historic Restaurants”

The diner is located at 219 West Louisiana Street, and is every day of the week, except Sunday, from 7 am to 1 pm or “until the food runs out.” If you’re in the area, don’t miss out on the chance to experience one of Arkansas’s most iconic barbecue spots at Jones Bar-B-Q Diner.

Inside look at McClard's BBQ.1. McClard’s Bar-B-Q – Hot Springs 

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McClard’s Bar-B-Q is a beloved barbecue joint located in the charming city of Hot Springs. Since its establishment in 1928, McClard’s has been serving up some of the tastiest and most authentic barbecue in the state. In 2020, readers of Southern Living magazine voted McClard’s barbeque to be #1 in Arkansas. Who needs a time machine when you can just duck into this iconic establishment—not only will your taste buds enjoy what they find, but also your sense of nostalgia. 

One of the specialties of McClard’s Bar-B-Q is their famous ribs, which are slow-cooked to perfection and served with a delicious secret sauce that has been passed down through generations. The sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor that perfectly complements the smoky meat, making for an unforgettable dining experience. Another must-try menu item is the pulled pork, which is cooked low and slow until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Located at 505 Albert Pike Rd, McClard’s Bar-B-Q is a longtime family-owned joint serving up hearty ribs, fries, and beer in a basic diner-style setting. The place is open seven days a week, so you can satisfy your barbecue cravings any day of the week. In addition to its delicious barbecue, the restaurant also serves up a variety of sides and desserts, including coleslaw, baked beans, and banana pudding. So come with an empty stomach and high expectations, because this barbecue joint is about to blow your mind!



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