These 7 Arizona barbecue restaurants were named among best in US — one landed in the top 3

Yelp released a list of Top 100 Barbecue Spots 2024, shouting out the best barbecue restaurants across the U.S. Seven Arizona joints made the list alongside iconic spots like Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, whose owners have "won nearly every major barbecue competition in the country." One metro Phoenix pitmaster even made it to the top three.

To curate the "all-time list of the Top 100 Barbecue Spots in the US," Yelp took into account the top mentions of barbecue and factors like the ratings and total volume.

Here's a look at all the Arizona barbecue restaurants that made Yelp's best in the U.S. list.

Colt Grill in Sedona ranked No. 80

With multiple locations in northern Arizona, Colt Grill features a menu centered around hardwood-smoked meat.

Rating: 4.5 from 314 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Nicole M. wrote: “This place has the best brisket I have ever had. We ordered the sampler platter and 2 sides which was a generous portion of all their offerings. Their assortment of BBQ sauces were fantastic, we like the Campfire sauce in particular. When eating the brisket, it was shredding on my fork just trying to pick it up. I will definitely make a point to stop by Colt Grill next time I am in Sedona!”

Details: 6101 State Route 179, Suite D, Sedona. 928-325-7200, coltgrill.com.

Word Of Mouth Grill in Tempe ranked No. 71

This family-owned restaurant uses mesquite for its barbecue. As the name indicates, they started as a catering business in 2011 and opened a brick-and-mortar in 2019.

Rating: 4.6 from 440 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Johnny B. wrote: “Nice local place it has been consistently good. I really like the brisket. I prefer sweeter corn bread their version is fine it's typical and the only thing there that I have not been impressed with but that's my personal taste which I understand is not normal when it comes to cornbread. I highly recommend this place I don't think you can go wrong here.”

Details: 7660 S. McClintock Dr., Suite 103, Tempe. 480-621-6247, wordofmouthgrill.com.

Holy Smokin’ Butts BBQ in Tucson ranked No. 64

This spot offers woodfired barbecue style and specialty blend burgers.

Rating: 4.4 from 560 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Forrest R. wrote: "Great food and service. I would gladly recommend this restaurant, one of the best in east Tucson".

Details: 6940 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson. 520-329-3088, holysmokinbutts.com.

Smokey Mo in Tucson ranked No. 54

Smokey Mo offers mesquite-smoked barbecue.

Rating: 4.4 from 644 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Gian Carlo A. wrote: "This was the best bbq I ever had it was amazing and such an amazing experience and some bomb kool aid and amazing and friendly service and food was and music was so good it had me dancing in my seat".

Details: 2650 N. First Ave., Tucson. 520-203-8250, smokeymo.com.

Smoked brisket at Caldwell County BBQ in Gilbert, AZ.
Smoked brisket at Caldwell County BBQ in Gilbert, AZ.

Caldwell County BBQ in Gilbert ranked No. 37

The restaurant serves Texas-style barbecue with an Arizona twist.

Rating: 4.7 from 1,507 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Nora N. wrote: "Best prime brisket in Arizona! Great service. Hidden place we are customers for Gilbert location on Power and 202 Freeway. Ask to get thin slices, my son love their Mac&cheese, my fav side dish is corn casserole".

Details: 18324 E. Nunneley Rd., Gilbert. 480-892-0512 ,caldwellcountybbq.com.

Alex Bernal cuts a red chile brisket burrito with mole sauce, June 29, 2021, at Little Miss BBQ, 8901 N. 7th St., Phoenix.
Alex Bernal cuts a red chile brisket burrito with mole sauce, June 29, 2021, at Little Miss BBQ, 8901 N. 7th St., Phoenix.

Little Miss BBQ in Sunnyslope ranked No. 20

Owner Scott Holmes offers Texas-style barbecue at Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix and recently opened a fried chicken and ribs restaurant downtown.

Rating: 4.5 from 1,184 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Ambrosia G. wrote: "Best bbq I've had in town thus far. The meat is delicious but the sides are equally stars of the show. I've had many bbq places where the meat is good but the sides are nothing to write home about. I left craving every item I tried. If you haven't been here before, you won't regret a visit."

Details: 8901 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. 602-314-6922, littlemissbbq.com.

Eric’s Family Barbecue in Avondale ranked No. 3

Veteran owned and operated, this is a Texas-style barbecue joint in Avondale.

Rating: 4.3 from 725 reviews.

Reviewer comment: Yelper Elite, Savannah V. wrote: “Phenomenal! Customer service amazing, meat juicy, sides delicious! We frequent smokehouses often, and this (is) hands down the best smokehouse in Arizona. We ordered 1/2 lb brisket and 1/2 lb pulled pork, potato salad and macaroni on the side. We stuffed our faces and will definitely be back.”

Details: 12345 W. Indian School Rd., Avondale. 623-248-0148, @ericsfamilybarbecue on Instagram.

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Reach the reporter at BAnooshahr@azcentral.com. Follow @banooshahr on X, formerly Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Brisket to pulled pork: 7 Arizona BBQ restaurants named best in US