Not since politics and religion has there been a more heated debate regarding Newark as a major national destination for BBQ. Break it down, take a good hard look and make some comparisons and you will agree that there is a very good argument to name Newark King of the Northeast for great BBQ.
Part of the criteria to get into the top 10 cities with the best BBQ was the number of BBQ outlets but numbers alone weren’t going to get you in, if that was the case there would be an overwhelming argument for New York who has more than 4 times the number of BBQ outlets as Newark as well as Memphis, Dallas, Kansas City and Birmingham are major BBQ destinations with many BBQ outlets.
There apparently is a major controversy regarding the rankings. Chef’s Pencil, a blog and food site from Australia, used data they got from TripAdvisor who uses reviews and ratings to rank the cities and Newark ranked 9th best in the country overall and number one here in the Northeast. Chef’s Pencil also posted the worst BBQ cities which listed San Antonio and other Texas cities. Well that didn’t sit well with Texas and loyal Texans started a twitter war with TripAdvisor who claimed they didn’t put out the poll. With that said here’s what they found:
The top 10 Cities for BBQ were listed in order as:
- New Orleans
- Oklahoma City
- Charlotte, N.C
- Wichita, Kan.
- Virginia Beach, Va.
- Columbus, Ohio
- St. Louis
- Newark, N.J.
While New York and Memphis may have a tremendous amount of BBQ outlets, many are ranked at 3.3 or under. Newark has fewer outlets but higher ratings, which is why they ranked so high, as a matter of fact Newark averages a 4.1 rating.
There are a number of different BBQ outlets in Newark who have a significant Portuguese and Brazilian community. There are many churrascarias which serves barbecue meat that is incredibly good. The numbers of Brazilian and Portuguese BBQ outlets are many and most of them are outstanding. I love going to the Ironbound community and enjoying so many of the great restaurants that they have. Newark also has the good old fashioned North American BBQ that many of us know so well.
New Jersey has over the years become a great haven for BBQ; I used to go to the New Jersey State BBQ Championships held in July in North Wildwood. The New Jersey teams that compete have won national tournaments. I invite you to enjoy the BBQ delicacies of Newark, it's worth the trip but take my advice, go hungry!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.