If you’re looking for barbecue, you’re in the right place. South Carolina barbecue consists of pork, served shredded or pulled. Depending on who you ask, this mouth-watering delicacy should be served with one of three types of sauces: a hearty, thick tomato-based sauce, a thin vinegar and pepper sauce, or South Carolina’s traditional mustard-based sauce—the locals call it "Carolina Gold." No matter which side you choose in the great sauce debate (we admit, we’re biased), there’s no wrong way to enjoy this Southern classic.
For a casual barbecue lunch in Columbia, Palmetto Pig, Doc’s Barbecue, and Little Pigs offer Southern buffets loaded with pulled pork, mac and cheese, and all the fixin’s. If you make your way outside of town, Farmboy’s in Chapin and Shealy’s in Batesburg-Leesville are worth the drive and are sure to satisfy your BBQ cravings. If you can’t handle the buffet—no one can blame you for lacking self-control—Midwood Smokehouse and Hudson’s offer full-service restaurants with build-your-own barbecue sandwiches featuring beef brisket, pulled pork, or barbecue chicken.
If you're in the capital city looking for unforgettable barbecue, you'd be remiss if you didn't stop by Home Team BBQ in Five Points. From the pulled pork sandwich on a Hawaiian bun to smothered BBQ nachos, an afternoon on the Home Team patio enjoying fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and their famous frozen cocktail the Gamechanger, will delight visitors and locals alike.
When seeking out the best barbecue, don’t judge a book by its cover. You might find the best sandwich of your life in an unassuming hole-in-the-wall. Big T’s and Hite's may be casual establishments, but they take their reputation for serving delicious pork very seriously. At True BBQ in West Columbia, you may even catch the owner outside in the parking lot cooking his barbecue “low and slow” in the traditional pit.
Feeling more adventurous? Check out Southern Belly, voted best BBQ in Columbia by Yelp. Their specialty BBQ sandwiches and nontraditional flavor combinations (like barbecue with grilled pineapple, cheddar, and bacon) ensure everyone can find something to love. For something a little more upscale, head to War Mouth for craft cocktails and a smaller menu featuring local ingredients. Be sure to try the ribs, and don't forget to ask for the Carolina Gold Rice!
Finally, we have to mention Maurice’s, a local chain with 12 restaurants around town. Their delicious barbecue is smoked naturally with local 100% hickory and oak wood in a one-of-a-kind barbecue pit that operates 24 hours a day.