Sandwiched as we are between Missouri and Texas, it’s no surprise that Oklahoma City’s barbecue scene draws inspiration from both styles: Kansas City and central Texas. That means you’ll find sauces from hot and savory to sweet and even tangy. You’ll find local influences, too, such that our barbecue joints serve a wide variety of options from chicken to pimento cheese, catfish to smoked bologna, and the usual suspects like ribs, brisket and pulled pork. Arguing about who has the best barbecue is at least 10 percent of the fun related to eating barbecue, and while we’re not settling on a winner here, you’ll find supporters for all these as “OKC’s best barbecue.”  


Clark Crew BBQ 

No one has won more barbecue championships in the past 15 years than Travis Clark, and his awards include a win at the famous Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. It seems Clark has won a championship for nearly every item on the menu, but you’ll want to start with the amazing beans and burnt ends before moving on to brisket, turkey, ribs or even the meal-for-two Diablo Burger. (Yes, it’s hot, as the name suggests.)  


Earl’s Rib Palace 

With multiple locations around the metro, it’s easy to dive into what Earl’s proudly calls “Oklahoma barbecue.” In addition to the brisket and ribs, you’ll find chicken, turkey, hot links, Polish sausage and wings. It’s also nice to find curly fries – a barbecue staple in Oklahoma – on the Earl’s menu.  


Edge Craft 

Zach Edge spent time in central Texas perfecting his pitmaster skills, and his brisket, ribs and sausages are stellar. The jalapeno and Oaxacan cheese sausage is a unique treat in OKC, but everything at Edge is fantastic. The sides are eclectic and delicious, and it’s nice to see cheese grits as an option alongside standard fare like mac ‘n’ cheese and potato salad. 


Iron Star Urban Barbeque 

You won’t find a more diverse menu at any barbecue place in the state. Daily features include tenderloin meatloaf, smoked red chili chicken enchiladas, and smoked potatoes. The traditional fare is always done well, and the sausage trio is a delicious dive into what Iron Star can do. Do not fail to order corn pudding. 


Jamil’s Steakhouse 

One of only three Lebanese steakhouses in Oklahoma, Jamil’s serves up smoked ribs and the city’s best bologna sandwich (with pimento cheese and bacon) alongside Lebanese staples like tabouli and cabbage rolls. The bologna sandwich is a two-person affair, especially if you get there in time for their steak fries. They have a very limited number of steak fries available each day, and they are life changing.  


Jo-Bawb’s BBQ 

Lon and Joanne Mitchell have won nearly as many awards in the meat categories as Travis Clark. Their west-side joint is a destination for rib lovers especially, but everything on the menu is top notch. The ribs are St. Louis style, and you can get them on the generous sampler platter. Tucked into the menu is one of OKC’s best sandwiches, the KeiNan, a massive brisket sandwich with jalapenos and mango-habanero sauce.  


King’s Custom Smoked Meats 

Who goes to a barbecue spot for tacos? If you’re going to King’s, the answer is smart people. The pulled pork taco with spicy slaw is worth the drive to this west-side hidden gem. They also serve turkey legs, chicken quarters, smoked wings, ham and catfish.