A new ranking of the best BBQ cities in the USA had what some may consider a surprising entry in the top 20, the city of Grand Rapids.

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While traditional BBQ strongholds like Kansas City, Memphis, and Houston were joined in the top 5 by Cincinnati & Chicago; Grand Rapids placed 17th ion the list, between southern BBQ stalwarts like Atlanta & Austin. The list, compiled by a Texas group called LawnStarter, compiled the information from the American Royal Association, Everfest, Kansas City Barbeque Society, National Barbecue and Grilling Association, and Yelp to come up with the rankings.

The website rankings evaluated the top 199 cities in categories like access to BBQ restaurants, the quality of the BBQ available in each city, and the number of BBQ events and festivals in each metro area. Each category had a ranking from 1 to 199.

For Grand Rapids the rankings were as follows:

  • Access - 105th out of 199
  • Quality - 19th out of 199
  • Events - 16th out of 199
  • Overall - 17th out of 199

According to Yelp these are the top BBQ locations in Grand Rapids:

  • The Pit Stop: 6479 28th St SE
  • Two Scotts BBQ: 536 Leonard St NW
  • Slows BBQ: 435 Ionia Ave SW
  • Smokey Bones: 4875 28th Street SE
  • Daddy Pete's BBQ: 2921 Eastern Ave SE
  • Mission BBQ: 2190 E Beltline Ave NE
  • Gilly's Smokehouse at The B.O.B.: 20 Monroe Ave NW
  • Horseshoe Smokehouse: 333 Grandville Ave SW

The top 20 barbecue cities and their scores follow:

  1. Kansas City, Missouri (60.14 points)
  2. Chicago, Illinois (46.46 points)
  3. Houston, Texas (37.51 points)
  4. Cincinnati, Ohio (35.88 points)
  5. Memphis, Tennessee (34.08 points)
  6. Louisville, Kentucky (31.47 points)
  7. St. Louis, Missouri (29.86 points)
  8. New York, New York (29.22 points)
  9. Minneapolis, Minnesota (28.61 points)
  10. Overland Park, Kansas (27.26 points)
  11. Washington, D.C. (27.07 points)
  12. Richmond, Virginia (26.47 points)
  13. Denver, Colorado (25.33 points)
  14. Los Angeles, California (25.30 points)
  15. Omaha, Nebraska (25.22 points)
  16. Atlanta, Georgia (25.08 points)
  17. Grand Rapids, Michigan (24.64 points)
  18. Austin, Texas (23.04 points)
  19. Elk Grove, California (23.03 points)
  20. Raleigh, North Carolina (22.87 points)

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