It’s summer, which means it’s the high season for barbecue. The wealth of options at a local joint includes pulled pork, brisket, and the holy grail of smoked meats: ribs.
There’s nothing like eating with your hands, fingers sticky with sauce or dry rub catching on your lips. Although it’s preferable to dine outdoors at a picnic table within sight of the smoker and an ice cold beer at the ready, there’s an emerging fine-dining barbecue tradition emerging.
For the fifth year in a row, we’ve tallied our favorite rib joints. There are a lot of stalwarts on the list, restaurants that have endured our careful vetting, but we have a few newcomers as well. (Let us introduce you to a Colorado barbecue champion.) We also didn't discriminate between pork and beef ribs. You may have strong opinions — and we'd love to hear them — but we know there are convincing arguments to be made for both.
Best of all, these restaurants' accolades aren't just limited to the ribs. Fill your plate up with homemade sides and desserts for a well-rounded meal.
Additional reporting by Dan Myers and Chelsea Davis.