Barbecue. Barbeque. BBQ. Bar-b-q. No matter how you prefer to spell it, there’s one thing we can all agree on: it’s delicious. And NoVA is home to some serious ‘cue craftmanship. Whether you like your meats Carolina-style, with just a hint of smoke, or with an international flair, our region has everything on the spectrum, from old-school traditional to all-out modern.
Allman’s has been a Fredericksburg fixture for nearly 70 years, but welcomed a new pitmaster, Matthew Deaton, last year. He brought a delicate touch of smoke back to the menu. Deaton’s Instagram gives a brief but delectable glimpse into what’s to come at the “new” Allman’s, like a crispy fried chicken thigh sandwich topped with house-made pickles and aioli, and a Virginia hickory- and oak-smoked pork shoulder sandwich featuring crispy onions, cheese, and Allman’s rib sauce. 1299 Emancipation Hwy., Fredericksburg
Located in an unassuming strip mall along Richmond Highway, Dixie Bones has been serving traditional Southern barbecue for more than 25 years. Its meats are done Alabama-style, which tips off barbecue fans that a delicious white sauce awaits. Try one of the giant stuffed potatoes, an oversized spud loaded with your choice of tender pork, beef, chicken, sausage, or chili. 13440 Occoquan Rd., Woodbridge
Hammerdown is one of those barbecue joints with hours like “open ‘til sold out,” so arrive early—and hungry. (Pre-ordering is an option, too.) Ken Soohoo and his brother (and fellow pitmaster) Bing expertly smoke an array of meats so delectable they’re whisked to tables or out the door in to-go containers faster than you can say, “I’ll have more brisket, please.” 41153 John Mosby Hwy., Aldie
Grab some fellow barbecue enthusiasts and order The Boss Hog, Monk’s enormous sampler platter loaded with several pounds of meat from the restaurant’s extensive menu. You’ll get pulled pork, brisket, pastrami, burnt ends, chicken quarters, a full rack of ribs, a Texas hot link, and bacon on a stick (a house-cured, smoked slab of pork belly) alongside Texas toast. And if you still have room to indulge, try the smoked gouda mac ‘n cheese or custard-filled cornbread. 251 N. 21st St., Purcellville
There’s nothing odd at all about Odd BBQ, unless you’re a traditionalist uninterested in trying a little kimchi with your pit beef. The owners are both former sous chefs at Mokomandy in Sterling, so expect to find Asian flavors amid barbecue classics. The spicy pork belly is flavored with Korean pepper sauce while a side of seasoned rice has a soy glaze and furikake on top. And then there are the cheese biscuits that are so popular they inspired their very own standalone concept, Odd Biscuit Co. 4520 Daly Dr., Ste. 102, Chantilly
Sure, this restaurant dedicated to the craft of ‘cue has classics like pulled pork and wings, but it’s the “modern” eats that set it apart. Everything on the menu gets the smoky treatment to create delightful twists on appetizers, sandwiches (like the Cue-Bano and ‘Q’lub), entrées, sides, and desserts (the cedar plank chocolate brownie s’mores is a must-try). 1051 N. Highland St., Arlington
What started out as a BBQ taco food truck has since morphed into two brick-and-mortar restaurants and a busy catering biz. Tacos are still on the menu at the Alexandria location, but now there’s also smoked jalapeño cheddar sausage, Mac ‘N Meat (a heaping serving of hickory-smoked meat atop creamy mac), collard greens, and cheesy jalapeño grits. There’s also an assortment of sauces. Not that you’ll need them. 3250 Duke St., Alexandria; 2910 N. Sycamore St., Arlington
At Texas Jack’s, there’s a little bit of everything—and then some. Bone-in beef short rib: check. Beef brisket: check. Barbecue burrito and Mexican street corn: check and check. And you can’t help but want to start your meal off with a “Pure Smoke” old fashioned and finish the evening with a flawlessly concocted “Perfect Banana Pudding” made with dulce de leche and coconut shavings. 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington
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