Whether you call it pulled pork, chopped pork, Q or your favorite thing to eat, barbecue is coming of age in the Myrtle Beach area, and we have the Top 10 places to find it.
Big D's Bar-B-Que Barn, 350 George Bishop Parkway, Myrtle Beach, (843) 236-4666 and Big D's BBQ Trough, 2917 Church St. (U.S. 501), Conway, (843) 365-7485
Choose all-you-care-to-eat or a platter; in addition to the Q they also have regional specialties like Chicken Bog and Sweet Potato Casserole.
Big KT's Barbecue Shack, 1501 U.S.17 S., North Myrtle Beach, (843) 427-4117
Pulled pork is the game, and four excellent sauces are named hot, mild, mustard and vinegar. Two more must-tries: Tomato Pie and Brunswick Stew.
Gore's BBQ & Country Kitchen, 818 N. Main St., Aynor, (843) 358-1150
Edward Gore cooks whole hogs, and then chops and sauces his barbecue in a vinegar/pepper/mustard blend. It's tasty, with a pleasant softness to the texture. But while the barbecue is noteworthy, the side dishes are beyond excellent. Try the creamy candied sweet potato discs, sweet slaw, chopped collards with a kiss of sugar and sublime corn fritters. Note it's open only for lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Hog Heaven, 7147 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, (843) 237-7444
Established almost 50 years ago, you can have a barbecue buffet, a barbecue platter or pick up a pound or two of Q to take home. You might also want some of their excellent fried chicken. http://hogheaveninc.com/
Little Pigs BBQ, 6102 Frontage Road, Myrtle Beach, (843) 692-9774
Disregard the humble interior - this is one of the best barbecue spots in the area. You'll hear the thunk of hefty chopping knifes creating piles of pork perfection and smell a hog heavenly aroma from billowing clouds of steam.
Little Pigs BBQ, 3901 Dick Pond Rd., Myrtle Beach, (843) 808-0238
Chopped barbecue, ribs, barbecue hash, chopped chicken, sides and from-scratch desserts.
Old South BBQ Company, 1020 Sea Mountain Highway, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 663-1056.
Slow-cooked chopped barbecue with tantalizing bark and smoke rings is served in traditional plates and sandwiches, but also in quesadillas, nachos and spring rolls.
Radd Dew's Bar-B-Que Pit, 3430 S.C. 701, Conway, (843) 397-3453
It's about 15 miles west of Myrtle Beach and the buffet is served only on Friday and Saturday nights, but it's worth the trip. One of our top area barbecue experts, Certified SC Barbecue Judge Andre Pope, swears by it and says it is, "an authentic, old, country-style BBQ restaurant."
Simply Southern Smokehouse BBQ & Country Buffet, 1913 Mr. Joe White Ave., Myrtle Beach, (843) 839-1913
Two kinds of barbecue are on the buffet (one with vinegar sauce, one with no sauce), and more sauces are available on the side. Southern country dishes abound including collards, rice and gravy, slaw, potato salad, stewed tomatoes and okra, and banana pudding.
True BBQ, 4002 Socastee Blvd., Myrtle Beach, (843) 267-1787
This little carry-out (or you can eat at picnic tables outside) restaurant opened in September 2013, and locals are loving it! Longtime local restaurateur Joseph Evans and his family are smoking pork, chicken and ribs to delectable oak-infused tenderness. You have to plan to try it, though, because its operating hours are only from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Who decides the lists? Becky Billingsley: an award-winning local food and restaurant journalist who has been covering the Myrtle Beach area restaurant beat for local, regional and national publications for 15 years.
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List updated Oct. 9, 2013