With the unofficial kick off to summer just days away, travelers who can't get enough barbecue (and who can?) will need to get their rib fix while on the road. Foursquare looked at barbecue joints nationwide and found last summer's most popular establishments based on check-ins. If popularity is any indicator of deliciousness (and that's not always the case), make your plans to visit these 10 spots early.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, New York City
New York City is the No. 1 travel destination this Memorial Day weekend, and while Manhattan has no shortage of excellent barbecue joints, a trek to Harlem for Dinosaur Bar-B-Que from tourist-heavy Midtown is well worth the effort.
Phil's BBQ, San Diego
Look for the long lines in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego and you may have found Phil's. Since opening its doors in San Diego in 1998, Phil's BBQ has served more than one million pounds of barbecue sauce, the restaurant claims. Closed Mondays.
Hill Country Barbecue Market, New York City
Aside from the usual brisket, ribs and chicken, you can also find Beer Can Hen on the menu at the place on 26th Street New Yorkers just refer to as "Hill Country." This joint takes its cues from Lone Star State BBQ and the dry-rub style popular in Central Texas. Leave room for a peanut-butter-and-jelly cupcake.
The Salt Lick, Driftwood, Texas
The Salt Lick is so popular, people even want it for their weddings. That's right, there's an entire section for the restaurant's website dedicated to nuptials. And it's affordable: $20 gets you the family-style, all-you-can-eat beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs, potato salad, cole slaw and beans. Cash only.
Oklahoma Joe's BBQ & Catering, Kansas City, Kansas
Though it comes in fifth on Foursqaure's list, it may just come in first place for No. 1 most interesting location: inside a gas station. If you can get past the locale, you're in for great Kansas City barbecue. Looking for something on the lighter side? Don't miss the Pig Salad.
Fette Sau, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Manhattanites may tell you a trip to Brooklyn on your Big Apple tour isn't worth the time, but barbecue enthusiasts may disagree. Housed in a converted garage in trendy Williamsburg, the grub at Fette Sau -- meaning "fat pig" in German -- is priced by the pound. You'll also find fare -- like Wagyu Cheeks -- that you won't likely find in a gas station in Kansas City.
Slows Bar-B-Q, Detroit
In an interesting marriage of barbecue and Mexican, one of the items on the appetizer menu at Slows is the Brisket Enchilada. Aside from the expected pulled pork, brisket and chicken, there's also jambalaya and catfish on the menu.
Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, Atlanta
When a restaurant tells you up front to "loosen your belt," you know you're in for serious eating. While the barbecue at Fox Bros is often referred to as "Texas-style," the restaurant prefers to call itself southern-style. But the mix-up in understandable: Fox Bros was born when its owner couldn't find barbecue in Atlanta that reminded him of what he ate growing up in Texas.
Stubb's Bar-B-Q, Austin, Texas
"Cold beer, live music." That pretty much sums up the experience -- plus great barbecue of course -- at Austin's Stubb's Bar-B-Q. In keeping with Austin's style, the restaurant website lists concerts for every day of the week. The Spicy Pollitos -- chicken bites with a bit of fresh jalapeno wrapped in crispy bacon -- seems tempting.
The Pit, Raleigh N.C.
North Carolina is famous for its barbecue, and yet The Pit is the only location in the state to make Foursquare's top 10 list. No matter: The restaurant in downtown Raleigh's warehouse district is among the most popular even though it serves -- gasp! -- Texas-style brisket, baby-back ribs and even barbeque turkey.