Living in the Tampa Bay area, almost every day is a good day for barbecue, but May is officially National Barbecue let’s celebrate in style! On those days when you don’t feel like dealing with the mess of cooking and cleaning-up but still want the smoky flavors and finger-lickin' good experience, check out some of the best barbecue restaurants in and around Tampa.

The Smoke Shack
3324 W. Gandy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida

Reviewers put The Smoke Shack at the top of nearly every list for the past few years. The barbecue is genuine, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the menu is just what you’d expect from a great BBQ place with one exception. After you decide between brisket, pulled pork, ribs, or sausage, you’ll find truffle mac n’ cheese on the menu. That’s not your Mama’s mac and cheese. Don’t tell her we said so, but it may be better.

Al’s Finger-Licking Good Bar-B-Que
1609 Angel Oliva Sr. St.
Tampa - Ybor City

Named the number two restaurant in Tampa on Yelp, and a 2014 Best of the Bay Winner, you know Al’s Finger-Licking Good Bar-B-Que has got to be something special. Al’s specialty is Tennessean barbecue with a dry rub and a tomato-based sauce. The whole place is a family affair, and you can tell with one glance the menu. Leave room for dessert because they’re also known for their pies, too.

Frankie’s Patriot BBQ
2364 Keystone Road
Tarpon Springs, Florida

Frankie’s Patriot BBQ might seem like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, but you can’t miss the red, white, and blue or the smell of barbecue. And once you taste the food, you’ll understand why people come from miles around. Patriotism is important at Frankie’s with visitors encouraged to thank a veteran or shake their hand. The restaurant was built in honor of the late CPL Frank R. Gross, killed in action on July 16, 2011. The menu is packed with options but if you want a bite later in the day, give them a call because they can and do run out of certain options.

4 Rivers Smokehouse
14330 N. Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa - Carrollwood

Would you believe 4 Rivers started with a smoker in a garage and is now one of the most successful barbecue chains in Florida? One taste, and you’ll believe it. You’ve got options on this full menu with everything you want in a barbecue joint, plus a few extra surprises like the 4R Style “Burnt Ends” sandwich - just the best part of the barbecue on bread. The desserts are out of this world, too. Is your mouth watering yet?

Jimbo’s Pit Bar B-Q
4103 West Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, Florida

Voted the Best Ribs in Tampa and in business for 42 years, Jimbo’s Pit Bar B-Q knows a thing or two about barbecue. Whether you dine in, take out, or have them cater your event, the smell of barbecue will have you bellyin’ up to the table in no time. Best of all, at Jimbo’s, you can get your barbecue for breakfast, lunch, or dinner - or maybe all three.

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