Sean Pavone / Alamy

Some like it pristine; others prefer it slathered in mustard sauce. When picking the best cities for barbecue, Travel + Leisure readers were ready to face some hickory-smoked heat.

No. 11 Atlanta

12 of 22

Hotlanta—which also made the top 20 for nightclubs and its singles scene— does not clearly pick sides in the BBQ debate, but tends to give classics a Georgia spin. One local favorite is Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, which serves ribs, chopped pork sandwiches, “rum” baked beans, and sweet potato pie, as well as nightly blues music. At Bone Lick BBQ, which started as a pop-up but now has a home in West Midtown, you can try the ménage à trois sampler (spareribs, Texas brisket, sausage) along with starters like fried pickles, boiled peanuts, and flavor-of-the-day pork rinds.

America's Best Cities for Barbecue 2014

No. 11 Atlanta

Hotlanta—which also made the top 20 for nightclubs and its singles scene— does not clearly pick sides in the BBQ debate, but tends to give classics a Georgia spin. One local favorite is Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, which serves ribs, chopped pork sandwiches, “rum” baked beans, and sweet potato pie, as well as nightly blues music. At Bone Lick BBQ, which started as a pop-up but now has a home in West Midtown, you can try the ménage à trois sampler (spareribs, Texas brisket, sausage) along with starters like fried pickles, boiled peanuts, and flavor-of-the-day pork rinds.

Sean Pavone / Alamy

America's Best Cities for Barbecue 2014

Explore More