Your guide to delicious BBQ in Columbia, SC
Whether you are looking for a BBQ buffet, southern sides or simply awesome Carolina-style BBQ, this guide to the best BBQ in Columbia has you covered! We have detailed so many great restaurants that are definitely worth checking out.
Not only do we share awesome barbecue places in Columbia, but we also highlight a few in Columbia and more off-the-beaten-path BBQ joints in the area.
And if you are new to Carolina BBQ, you’ll find a quick overview of the various types at the end of this article. Yes, there are several types of ‘Carolina’ BBQ!
There are so many great eateries in the area worth trying, so be sure to check out our list of over 20 awesome restaurants in Columbia. But if you’re specifically looking for BBQ in Columbia, read on!
Map of Columbia, SC BBQ Restaurants
BBQ in Columbia, SC
When it comes to BBQ, the Columbia food scene has no shortage of delicious Carolina-style BBQ restaurants to satisfy your needs. Check out the list of our favorite spots below!
near Williams Brice Stadium
Columbia’s go-to BBQ buffet
Doc’s is a lunch-only BBQ joint located a bit off the beaten path in Columbia’s Shop Road industrial area near USC’s Williams Brice Stadium. It’s one of Columbia’s many hidden gems!
Doc’s is consistently one of the best BBQ restaurants in Columbia. You can serve yourself at their BBQ buffet or order individual sandwiches or barbeque baskets.
They also sell BBQ by the pound and even offer tailgate specials that feed 10 to 15.
Upscale BBQ restaurant in Five Points
Charleston’s favorite BBQ joint has a location in the heart of Five Points in Columbia, SC.
Their large renovated restaurant is one of the best lunch spots in Columbia SC and a great spot for friends and families to enjoy delicious BBQ. They have high-top seating, tables and a bar with TVs throughout the restaurant. It’s a great place to catch a game!
We love getting ‘The Board’ platter served family style for a crowd. And if someone in your group isn’t a BBQ fan, they have outstanding tacos and one of Columbia, SC’s best burgers. Check out Home Team’s menu for all the details.
BBQ spots with a ton of great varieties near Five Points
Located on Hampton Street, not far from Five Points, you’ll find this gem serving up a ton of BBQ styles including Carolina pulled pork, Texas brisket, St. Louis Spare Ribs, pulled chicken and chicken wings. You can order their smoked meats on a sandwich or as a plate.
If you can’t decide what to order, try them all with The Tubman sampler plate which feeds 2 to 3 people.
The pork and brisket are smoked to perfection and the ribs are tender and fall off the bone. You won’t be disappointed by their sides either, with 10 options to choose from they have something for everyone.
Railroad BBQ is a must-stop in the Columbia BBQ scene.
the North Main area
Southern fare and BBQ in Cottontown
The War Mouth is a unique Columbia restaurant with gourmet southern dishes and a laid-back atmosphere. Their menu includes culinary treats like crawfish beignets, pork belly burnt ends, smoked sorghum duck and BBQ.
They are best known for making some of the best wood-smoked whole hog BBQ available in Columbia. While you’re enjoying the delicious cuisine, make sure you check out their cocktail list.
Located in the quaint Cottontown neighborhood just off North Main, The War Mouth is frequented regularly by neighbors near and far.
BBQ buffet and fried chicken near Carolina’s campus
When you’re on the hunt for excellent BBQ in Columbia, SC and you have a big appetite, check out Palmetto Pig. They serve an all you can eat BBQ buffet with pulled pork, fried chicken, hash and a ton of sides.
Not only is their pulled pork BBQ delicious, but they also have some of the best fried chicken in Columbia.
Located downtown near USC’s campus, this unassuming spot is popular with students and locals.
Cross Hill Market
Casual BBQ restaurant near Devine Street
Lucky for us, Charlotte’s favorite BBQ Restaurant, Midwood Smokehouse has a location in Columbia, SC.
Located in the Cross Hill Market (Whole Foods) shopping center, it’s the perfect spot for BBQ whether you choose to eat in their casual dining room, on their patio or order takeout.
Midwood offers regional BBQ styles including Carolina pulled pork, Texas-style brisket, and St. Louis Style ribs. And for those who aren’t fans of low-and-slow BBQ, they have some of the best burgers in Columbia.
BBQ buffet restaurant in Northeast Columbia
When you find a restaurant that has been serving BBQ since 1963, you know you’ve found a gem. Located on Alpine Road in Northeast Columbia, Little Pigs Barbecue serves Carolina-style BBQ with quintessential South Carolina mustard base BBQ sauce as well as vinegar-based and red BBQ sauces.
Little Pigs BBQ is a buffet-style restaurant so you can try all of their mouthwatering meats and delicious sides.
The buffet includes pulled pork, ribs, brisket, pork chops, chicken, wings and fish. You can also order sandwiches plates and baskets if you don’t want the full buffet or you want BBQ to go.
West Columbia BBQ
Oak and hickory wood smoked BBQ
Off the beaten path in West Columbia, you’ll find the unassuming Hite’s BBQ. And when you find it you will not be disappointed! Hite’s BBQ has been serving oak and hickory wood-smoked Carolina BBQ for generations since 1957.
You can order a BBQ sandwich or a pork, rib, or chicken plate served with hash, rice, slaw and rolls (or you can upgrade to green beans or baked beans.) Hite’s BBQ is served with classic mustard-based South Carolina BBQ sauce.
They also sell all their meat by the pound, from chopped pork to ham, to skins. Hite’s offers takeout service only, but they do have some picnic tables on the property near a pond.
Open only on Fridays and Saturdays, make sure you beat the crowds!
Weekend-only BBQ in West Columbia
Another hidden gem BBQ joint located in West Columbia, True BBQ is the real deal. They have perfected the art of wood-smoked BBQ and make some of the best chopped pork BBQ in Columbia. Their menu includes chopped BBQ, baby back ribs and spare ribs.
They have house-made tomato, mustard and vinegar-based sauces. Make sure you try their hash and rice! You can also order in bulk, so it’s a great option to feed the family.
They’re only open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am until 8 pm so make sure you plan accordingly!
BBQ Near Columbia, SC
Carolina-style BBQ near Lake Murray
Price’s BBQ has been serving Carolina-style BBQ since 1964. Located in Gilbert, SC near Lake Murray, they are just a short drive from Columbia. Their mustard-based BBQ is among the best BBQ that Columbia has to offer.
At Price’s, you can order BBQ sandwiches, baskets, bulk or eat at their lunch or dinner buffet.
Price’s BBQ is located in an unassuming building off the beaten path. It’s always fun to find this kind of gem!
BBQ buffet in Batesburg-Leesville
Located in Batesburg-Leesville, SC about 40 minutes from downtown Columbia, Shealy’s Bar-B-Que has been serving mouthwatering BBQ and southern food since 1969. You can dine in and enjoy their famous buffet or order to-go plates and family meals.
In addition to top-notch BBQ, they have excellent fried chicken on their buffet. As far as BBQ sauces go, they have mustard, vinegar &pepper and hickory BBQ sauces. They also have no shortage of delicious sides and desserts to enjoy.
With no frills family-style tables, you will feel at home at this old-school BBQ buffet.
Delicious BBQ buffet in Chapin, SC
Located in Chapin, SC less than 30 minutes from downtown Columbia, Farm Boys offers a tantalizing BBQ buffet in a classic country establishment.
Their BBQ specialties include pulled pork, ribs and BBQ chicken with no shortage of sides to go along (note that the chicken and ribs are available at dinner only). They have mustard and vinegar-based barbeque sauces available.
Run by a competition BBQ Pitmaster, Doko Smoke BBQ serves up competition-level BBQ. Located in Blythewood, SC just north of Columbia, Doko Smoke is open for lunch Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays serving pulled pork, ribs, brisket and chicken.
As you would expect, all of the meats are smoked to perfection especially the brisket (and that sauce is delicious!)
About Carolina BBQ
Carolina barbecue is amazing, no matter the style or the sauce, though some barbecue enthusiasts can be very opinionated about which Carolina has the best barbecue. Each region in the two states has its own flair and each local BBQ restaurant has its own unique recipe.
See below for details on the differences between states!
South Carolina Barbecue
South Carolina barbecue is smoked pork served either pulled (most common), shredded, chopped or sliced. Depending on the restaurant and its location in the state, you’ll find mustard, tomato (vinegar + ketchup mix), heavy-tomato and/or vinegar sauces.
Mustard-based sauces are known as the state’s unofficial sauce because they aren’t common anywhere else.
The two types of North Carolina Barbecue
Just like its southern neighbor, North Carolina also smokes its BBQ pork in pits, but there are two main types:
- Eastern-style barbecue uses the whole hog with a lemon/vinegar pepper-based sauce and no tomatoes. Eastern style is served chopped.
- Lexington-style barbecue, found in the Piedmont and western areas of NC, uses just the pork shoulder with a light tomato sauce (vinegar, ketchup and spices.) Western NC BBQ can typically be found on a sandwich.