When you’re traveling around the country, food has got to be one of your top priorities. Whether you’re in Manhattan and on the search for the best burger in NYC, hanging out in Philadelphia and deciding to find their most amazing cheese steak, or hanging out in the south looking for some great barbecue, great food is a simple pleasure.

Today we’re focusing on the glorious tradition of barbecue, a way of roasting meat over pits slowly, resulting in a flavor that is unlike any other. The meat becomes infused with smoky flavor and becomes tender, often with a flavorful external crust. It originated in the South but quickly spread across America.

Here are four famous barbecue styles from four different regions.

Memphis

If you’re walking or driving in Memphis, you have got to check out their barbecue. Visit Memphis BBQ Co., Rendezvous, or Corky’s Ribs and BBQ to get a good feel for this region’s BBQ menu! Memphis barbecue is known for its dry barbecue with spice rubs or wet barbecue which involves routine basting of a thick sauce over the meat before, during, and after cooking. The area is particularly known for slow roasted pork ribs and shoulders, but also for being home to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.


Kansas City

Home to the Kansas City Barbeque Society as well as KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce (take barbecue tours downtown if you have time!), Kansas City has unique BBQ that you’ll remember long after the meal is over. With slow-smoked meats over different wood types and a tangy-spicy-sweet tomato and molasses-based barbecue sauce, you’ll get an amazing flavor and a sweetly caramelized outside. Try the burnt ends, a local specialty that tastes better than it sounds! Visit Joe’s Kansas City BAR-B-QUE, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, Q39 Restaurant, or Three Little Pigs BBQ to have some authentic regional grub.


Texas

Texas is definitely known for its barbecuing, grilling, and overall love of meat. So if you’re in this state, you have got to eat some BBQ! Barbecue here changes depending on the region. Go to West Texas and you may find the BBQ has a distinctive mesquite taste thanks to being cooked over the same wood. Visit East Texas, and you may find that it’s marinated with sauce and cooked over hickory extra-slow. Go South and you may find that the sauce gets even thicker, or go to central Texas where they spice-rub the meat and cook it over pecan or oak.

If you’re in the area, check out Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, Gatlin’s BBQ and Triple J’s Smokehouse in Houston, Mike Anderson’s BBQ House or Pecan Lodge in Dallas, La Barbecue, John Mueller Meat Company or Franklin Barbecue in Austin, or Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart for some great authentic Texas BBQ!


Carolina

Carolina barbecue is truly in a league of its own. This style of barbecue loves to incorporate pork whenever they can, and that savory taste of pull apart, fall apart pulled pork is something you’ll never forget. This regional BBQ loves to incorporate a good sauce to go with that tender barbecue.

A staple is the mustard and vinegar-based bbq sauce that uses cayenne, brown sugar, honey, and other spices, but there are so many sauces and marinades that your head will spin. If you’re in North Carolina, check out B’s Barbecue in Greenville, The Honey Monk in Lexington, Little Richard’s in Winston-Salem, or High Cotton BBQ in Kitty Hawk for some great Carolinian barbecue food!