Where are the best barbecue cities in America? Some of the obvious places are near the top, but three North Carolina cities actually made the top 50!

Let the raging debate on the best barbecue cities in America begin, and yes North Carolina cities are in the discussion!

But first, can we agree that nothing is better than a big old plate of bar-b-que (or BBQ, or barbecue, or whatever 50 other ways you want to spell it)? And if you will permit, I personally think we in North Carolina have, by far, the best Que in the country.

Our friends over at LawnStarter aimed to “solve” the great barbecue debate, and ranked the biggest U.S. cities based on 18 hallmarks of a true ’cue hub.

The criteria used examined the number of cooking teams and smokehouse per square mile, the consumer rating for both, the awards won by the teams, the number of bar-b-cue festivals held and the number of Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned events held.

“What are the key ingredients of the best BBQ city? Award-winning barbecue restaurants, experience hosting a “master-level” competition, multiple barbecue festivals, and high ratings, among others.”

Below is a list of the top 10. Also included in the list are 7 North Carolina cities that made the cut. There are a couple obvious ones at the top, but it’s notable that the first North Carolina city doesn’t come in until number 15!

And in case you are wondering, yes Fayetteville is in the top 50 for best barbecue cities in America, along with two other North Carolina cities. Let’s take a look.

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