Eat + Drink

Find the Best Finger-Lickin’ Good BBQ at These Tampa Restaurants

Loosen your belt as you dig into Tampa’s tastiest barbecue. (Photo: Courtesy of Holy Hog)

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as savoring a heaping plate of fall-off-the-bone BBQ. Thankfully for hungry carnivores, Tampa has BBQ restaurants in abundance, which means visitors must try at least one of these top-notch barbecue spots during their next Florida vacation.

Say “Holy Cow!” at Holy Hog

Holy Hog
Step right up and enjoy Holy Hog’s famed barbecue. (Photo: Courtesy of Holy Hog)

In order to feed all the demanding, BBQ-loving Tampanians, Holy Hog has opened five different locations throughout Tampa — and all of them draw a crowd. Get your BBQ fix with a tender pulled pork sandwich paired with a side of corn fritters and jalapeno mac ‘n’ cheese, or try their sweet Burnt Ends paired with their popular Holy Gold sauce.

It’s All About the Sauce at Big John’s (BJ’s) Alabama BBQ

Don’t be fooled by the name; Big John’s Alabama BBQ is 100% Florida. During your Tampa visit, you’ll often hear locals swear by Big John’s Alabama BBQ sauce. In their books, this high praise translates to BJ’s being one of the best BBQ restaurants in Tampa.

BJ's Alabama BBQ
Tuck into a heaping platter at BJ’s Alabama BBQ. (Photo: Courtesy of BJ’s Alabama BBQ Inc.)

Since its founding in 1968 by born-and-bred Alabamian Rev. John “Big John” Stephens, Big John’s BBQ has cemented its reputation as a Tampa landmark for the past 40 years. Big John’s BBQ is most famously known for its tangy sauce, as well as an open-pit barbecue grill and ready-to-please service. Pair your pulled pork sandwich with a side of collard greens before finishing off with Big John’s decadent sweet potato pie.

BBQ Love in Tampa Continues at Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que

Its casual environment, succulent BBQ chicken and famous baked beans (with a dash of cinnamon) makes Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que truly rave-worthy. Named a Best of the Bay award winner by YELP, which rated the joint a Top Rated BBQ Restaurant in Tampa, Al’s has earned its commendations.

Clear your schedule and stop by for Turkey Leg Thursday; while you’re there make sure you try their unique collard greens, which have a kick of spice in them. Fridays promise Tia’s gooey TGIF Mac and Cheese, which the locals go nuts over.