Yes, Virginia, there is a Good Spot for Ribs: Best BBQ around Alexandria

August 6, 2015 / editor

When you hear the word “BBQ,” what geographic location pops into your head first?

North Carolina? South Carolina? Kansas City? Memphis? Texas?

We may not be one of the Carolinas, but Virginia holds its own in the war for best BBQ. After all, legend has it that a prominent US government official–whose name starts with “W” and rhymes with Noshington”–enjoyed “barbicue” in Alexandria in 1769. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Father of our Country, it’s certainly good enough for us!

From smoky ribs to chopped pork sandwiches, Alexandrians can enjoy the best of summer’s official food near The Parker. Drop that boring turkey sandwich and head straight to the best BBQ around Alexandria, VA. (Just make sure you change out of that white shirt first.)

Johnny Mac’s Rib Shack

If it’s a no-frills tender pork BBQ sandwich you’re after, you’ve got to head to Johnny Mac’s Rib Shack (8526 Richmond Hwy). Opt for a glass of sweet tea and don’t skip the coleslaw on the North Carolina style BBQ sandwich; it’s fresh and crunchy, the perfect compliment to the “western NC style pork,” according to one Yelp reviewer. Over here, things are baked, not smoked, but don’t let that or the “no frills,” appearance of beloved Johnny Mac’s deter you. This roadside stand is the definition of simple, with hearty helpings and just plain good food. Finish off your meal with that creamy sweet soft serve that’s halfway between whipped topping and Mister Softees.

Southside 815

What isn’t good at Southside 815 (815 S Washington St)? The defining factor? A mix of classic and creative BBQ. From old-school fried green tomatoes to ingenious jalapeno-honey pulled chicken (spicy sweet decadence), this place does Virginia BBQ just right. Say yes to the Boardinghouse Breadbasket–a cornucopia of homemade buttermilk biscuits, sweet potato biscuits, and cornbread. Slather this bread trip with homemade peach pepper jelly, apple butter, or just plain sweet butter. We could wax on poetically about beautiful crab and corn drop fritters deep fried and served with peach pepper jelly, or The Virginia Burger–topped with Virginia Ham (yes, we’re proud), cheddar cheese, and hickory smoked bbq sauce. But we’ve gone on long enough. Ditch your diet immediately.

King Street Blues

King Street Blues (112 N St Asaph St) gets props for their authentic hush puppies, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and BBQ brisket and sausage. If you’re looking for the quintessential foods of the deep south, you don’t need to look further. And we would never dare suggest a salad at a BBQ joint–but their Pig Salad, with your choice of pork BBQ or chicken BBQ over mixed greens, chopped veggies, shredded cheddar jack, sour cream, and scallions, is pretty darn good. The bluesy music scene isn’t half bad, either–enjoy dinner and a show, and gawk at paper mache caricatures of the rich and famous scattered throughout the restaurant’s decor.

Rockland Barbeque and Grilling Company

Pulled. Chicken. Platter. FTW. The Rockland Barbeque and Grilling Company (25 S Quaker Ln #11) has great BBQ, and the reputation and awards to prove it. This is the place to get your baby back ribs fix, and it’s the most popular thing on the menu. Their ribs don’t come out slathered in sauce, so you can get a true taste of smoky meat. You should probably get a side of mac ‘n’ cheese, because in the south, that counts as a vegetable. Seriously. Take it all out to the patio and pretend you’re in the Smokies.

If all this barbecued deliciousness has gotten your appetite up for living in the heart of this BBQ-filled community, check us out at the Parker today! After all, what could be better than filling up on amazing BBQ and taking a tap in your own luxury apartment in Alexandria?


Image Source: Flickr via fiftynightshades

Tagged: Alexandria, dining near The Parker, local businesses, restaurants, restaurants in Alexandria