This road trip takes you to Ohio's 10 very best BBQ restaurants
Love BBQ? Hit Ohio's very best barbeque joints all on this one epic road trip...
Southern states might get most of the attention when it comes to BBQ, but that doesn’t mean the midwest can’t smoke up some rocking BBQ. Are you up for trying our 10 favorites? Hit them all on this Ohio BBQ adventure.
Eli’s BBQ (Cincinnati, OH)
When Eli’s first opened, it was like the speakeasy of Cincinnati BBQ. A simple outline of a pig marked the way to the best BBQ in town. Word quickly spread, and now Eli’s is gaining plenty of national attention for their mouthwatering BBQ (They’re so popular, they opened a second location in OTR near downtown). Of course, our favorite time to visit is in the summer when we can sit outside with a beer (BYOB, BTW) and some of their super tasty grub.
Ray Ray’s Hog Pit (Columbus, OH)
If when you think “farm-to-table,” you think of some trendy fu-fu salad place, you’ve never had Ray Ray’s Hog Pit. Using mostly hickory and oak they harvested from their own woods, Ray Ray’s smokes in some pretty phenomenal flavors on meat often coming from local farms. Low, slow, and local. What’s not to love? (FYI Ray Ray’s is a food truck parked outside Ace of Cups bar)
7 Miles Smokehouse (Chillicothe, OH)
And the winner for most ridiculously absurd and awesome sandwich goes to… 7 Miles Smokehouse. Seriously, their Mad Dog sandwich made the “9 Ohio sandwiches to try before you die” list from onlyinyourstate.com. But don’t just stop at the Mad Dog. Try all 8 of their absurd (yet somehow very reasonably priced) specialty sandwiches, and they’ll give you a t-shirt. If you like wood-fired southern-style BBQ, you can’t go wrong with 7 Miles Smokehouse.
Kiser’s Barbeque (Athens, OH)
As a Miami grad, it pains me to put something from Athens on the list, but we stopped here a while back and must admit: it’s dang good. OU kids, you got me there. With an emphasis on sourcing their ingredients locally and being eco-friendly in their operations, Kiser’s Barbeque fits in perfectly in the little college town of Athens.
Bill’s Real Pit BBQ (Nashport, OH)
Run by Bill’s son Russell, Bill’s Real Pit BBQ still serves up Bill’s sauce recipe he perfected several decades ago. The place may not be decorated to the nines like some of the others on our list, but there’s a reason folks from Nashport, OH continually rave about Bill’s.
Omahoma Bob’s Barbeque (Wooster, OH)
Located in a beautifully restored historical building right on Wooster’s quaint downtown square, Omahoma Bob’s is a local favorite with their dry rub, smoked low and slow. Thanks to their 40+ years in the meat industry, you get to enjoy some of the most mouth-watering BBQ in Ohio.
Proper Pig Smokehouse (Lakewood, OH)
Like Eli’s down in Cincinnati, Proper Pig quickly became so legendary they had to expand from a food truck to a good ol’ brick-and-mortar location- and for good reason. It’s awesome. Cut and served to you on a cafeteria tray with sides of pickles, onions, and a little bread, Proper Pig Smokehouse somehow takes you from the frigid tundra known as Cleveland to Texas hill country.
Bubba’s Q (Avon, OH)
You may remember Bubba’s Q from their appearance on “Shark Tank,” but their TV fame isn’t the only reason to stop by. Their barbecue has been bringing in the crowds long before Hollywood caught wind of their delicious food. Bubba’s uses applewood to slow smoke a meat so tender their ribs literally slide off the bone and can be eaten with a fork. (It was these “boneless” ribs that landed them on “Shark Tank”)
Jimmy G’s (Fremont, OH)
They just wanted to be nice to people… Serve up some good BBQ for some good causes. Then people started asking them to cater events. Then people started clamoring for more and more delicious BBQ until they just had to open a true restaurant. Any BBQ joint that’s born from the townspeople flat-out demanding more is bound to be excellent. Jimmy G’s is no different and is easily one of the best BBQ spots in Ohio.
Comb’s BBQ (Middletown, OH)
Our absolute favorite on the list, Comb’s BBQ isn’t just about great good. It’s about great people and a great atmosphere as well. We stumbled upon Combs thanks to a little word of mouth and soon found ourselves making excuses to go to Middletown. With several local craft beers available to wash down the delicious BBQ ribs, sandwiches, and more as you gawk at the eclectic wall hangings, it’s the total package.
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