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4.5
70 votes

Central BBQ (Downtown)

147 E Butler Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38103 USA

$$
$$$$
Reasonable
Open Now
Sun 11a-9p
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • No Wifi
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“The best BBQ in Memphis”

Memphians know great BBQ and won’t settle for anything less. Central BBQ has been ranked in the top 3 BBQ restaurants in Memphis since 2003 and taken top honors ten times.

At Central BBQ we slow smoke all our meats: ribs, pork, chicken, turkey, beef brisket, sausage and bologna. Our premium meats are rubbed with a secret combination of dry spices, marinated for 24 hours, then are smoked low and slow in the pit over a combination of hickory and pecan woods. No sauce is ever introduced into the pit.

You’ll want to try Central’s BBQ Nachos and smoked hot wings too. Save room for dessert — one of our resident hippies makes most of the desserts – so you know it’s good!

Craig Blondis and Roger Sapp met on the BBQ circuit in the mid-80s. After competing in Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and many other local and regional BBQ competitions they made the leap from friends to business partners. The pit at the first Central BBQ on Central Avenue was fired up in 2002 and from day one has been a success thanks to their wonderful customers.

Central BBQ has consistently been ranked #1 BBQ in Memphis since 2005. Craig, Roger and Central BBQ have appeared on several national TV shows including Pitmasters, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Crave and BBQ with Bobby Flay. Additionally Central BBQ has been featured in several national publications such as USA Today, Garden & Gun, Southern Living and Men’s Health.

To keep up with increasing demand, a second location on Summer Avenue was opened in 2006 and a third location in the South Main District of Downtown was opened in October 2012. With a reputation for great BBQ and great times, the Summer location has become a gathering spot for banquets and parties. With three huge Hi-Def TV’s the Tiger Room at Central BBQ is the place to watch University of Memphis Tiger sports. The new Downtown location has plenty of space to hold your party from 20-120!

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Reviewed by
brianne.acklin

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 18, 2014
Rated 5.0

We had a full rack of ribs, half & half (half wet, half dry). They were absolutely delicious! Good food, good people.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
paige.abernathy

  • 8 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
June 29, 2017
Rated 5.0

This place was amazing! Great atmosphere, and even greater food! We stopped here on our cross country road trip to the Grand Canyon. We even ran into Josh Gadd outside of the restaurant! They have really cute T-shirts for sale too. And did I mention how good the food was?!

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Reviewed by
Caroline

  • 8 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
December 12, 2016
Rated 3.0

A good BBQ place, but not a great one. I wouldn't go out of my way to come here but it's conveniently located right next to the National Civil Rights Museum.

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Reviewed by
AnneFarrIruegas

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 17, 2016
Rated 4.0

The pulled pork, brisket, MAC AND CHEESE, and banana pudding are wonderful. The dry ribs were a bit overdone and chewy. The chips on the chips and blue cheese appetizer were really salty. Overall a good place for our first time through Memphis.

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Reviewed by
JoshDotson

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 16, 2016
Rated 4.0

Great barbecue, but probably not the best in Memphis. The mac and cheese was delicious! The area (downtown location) seemed a little sketchy, but the restaurant itself was nice. The place was a little touristy, but overall a good experience.

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Central BBQ (Downtown)

147 E Butler Ave
Memphis, Tennessee
38103 USA

Hours

Open now until 9:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • No Wifi
  • Street Parking
  • Private Parking

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