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Tennessee Cities Claim Top Two Spots on Travel+Leisure's Best American Cities for Barbecue

On Travel + Leisure's "America's Best Cities for Barbecue" for 2014, Tennessee cities have claimed the top two positions. But, surprisingly it is Nashville which places number one and Memphis number two. Memphis is world renowned for their barbecue and the epicenter for "dry rub" ribs, but the variety of barbecue styles available in Nashville are what pushed it to the top. Also making a strong showing, Texas cities claim 4 of the top 10 positions. From Travel+Leisure:

No. 1 Nashville
It’s a Tennessee takedown: with its ever-expanding foodie scene, Music City won for compiling a greatest-hits collection of barbecue styles—from the whole-hog approach of rural Tennessee, the tomatoey sauces of Memphis, and even the mayo-and-vinegar white sauces typical of Alabama—with southern-style catfish, fried okra, and banana pudding thrown in. Alongside traditional platters, the best places in Nashville offer some cheeky twists: Martin’s Bar-B-Que has Redneck Tacos (filled with brisket or pulled pork), while Peg Leg Porker in The Gulch offers an appetizer of Memphis Sushi (cheese and sausage on saltines). At Edley’s Bar-B-Que, both in East Nashville and 12South, the Tuck Special is a brisket sandwich topped with house-made pimento cheese, an over-easy egg, red and white sauce, and pickles. In a perhaps related note, Nashville also scored near the top for its civic pride.

No. 2 Memphis, TN
Ribs and pork sandwiches are the staples of Memphis-style barbecue: dry-rubbed and smoked over hickory, and often mopped with sauce while cooking. To eat with the savviest locals, head to one of the branches of Central BBQ, which does a classic pork sandwich, pulled-pork nachos, and even a four-ounce barbecued bologna sandwich (the newest is downtown, next to the National Civil Rights Museum). Another favorite—especially with local chefs—is the Bar-B-Q Shop (“home of the Dancing Pigs BBQ sauce”), which claims to be the birthplace of another Memphis staple, sauce-coated barbecue spaghetti. And while the locals ranked at the bottom of the survey for being physically fit, Memphis impressed readers with its bluesy street performers and low-cost luxuries.

Rounding out the top 10 (in decending order) are: Kansas City, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Charleston, Dallas-Ft Worth, Savannah, New Orleans.

Go to full slideshow: Travel + Leisure's "America's Best Cities for Barbecue"

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