Summer has arrived. For many people, this signals the return of the barbecue season. While many restaurants will just grill up a piece of meat, slop store-bought sauce on top, and claim it to be barbecue; there are still places in Northeast Ohio that will properly bring BBQ to customers who deserve delicious food.
Best Overall – Old Carolina Barbecue Company
The southern half of the U.S. is legendary for having some of the best BBQ in the entire world and the Old Carolina Barbecue Company brings that quality and techniques to Ohio. This “True Q” spirit, as they call it, is what truly separates Old Carolina from other restaurants. Old Carolina as a restaurant is a love letter to the south, with local products, such as the Cherwine soda, being offered. It is also the simplicity of their menu that stands out. Old Carolina is not preoccupied with an over-diverse menu as all of the talent that is in the kitchen goes to the meats, which are cooked for at least 12 hours and delicious. The Old Carolina Barbecue Company has eight locations in Ohio in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and Lyndhurst and has extremely affordable prices and bulk options if you want them to cater your summer events.
Best Menu – Blazin Bills
Many great barbeque establishments will only feature the typical standbys: chicken, ribs, and pulled pork. While Blazin Bills, located in Burton, does have those options, it is the rest of the menu that stands out. Blazin Bills has a wide selection of seafood options with crabs and shrimp, and there are also “surf-and-turf” dinners for those who have trouble deciding on just one. And for after dinner, there are numerous, delicious desserts such as carrot cake, three toppings for cheesecake, and a rich three-layer chocolate cake. Blazin Bills’ hours are more convenient for weekend diners and Blazin Bills offers catering options.
Most Family-Friendly – Famous Dave’s
What makes Famous Dave’s family friendly is their hours, dining options, and atmosphere. Famous Dave’s is open for lunch and dinner every day and have longer hours than Blazin Bills. In addition to typical dine-in and catering options, Famous Dave’s also has a takeout option if you want Famous Dave’s great food, but are short on time. Famous Dave’s is a national business and has numerous locations in Ohio.
Best Chain Restaurant – On Tap Grille and Bar
Chain restaurants are not typically known for having good barbecue, but On Tap is an exception. Most known for its variety of chicken wing sauces, On Tap offers a welcoming atmosphere along with tasty food at affordable prices. Many on tap locations offer party rooms that guests can reserve for special events and On Tap’s frequently hold events such as Karaoke and Trivia Nights in their bars. On Tap locations include Cuyahoga Falls, Akron, Stow, and Montrose.