Everybody’s a critic – and on Yelp that’s a good thing. The company, which publishes community reviews of businesses around the world, recently published a list of the top 100 barbecue spots of 2024, naming Wright’s Barbecue of Johnson, Arkansas number one in the country. The rankings were based on each restaurant’s Yelp rating and the volume of reviews.


The only listing from The Natural State, Yelpers (people who review businesses on the site or app) continue to give the restaurant overwhelmingly positive reviews. One five-star review posted recently from a user out of Springdale named Kelli H. wrote “Oh my goodness. Great BBQ and we seriously will not buy another brand of sauce! We have had this delivered many times but have yet to go, it’s on the list!”


According to the Yelp list, the most popular/most photographed dishes at Wright’s are the Texas Trinity, sliced brisket, ribs and jalapeño cheddar sausage with two sides, the Rocket Man mashed potato bowl served with chopped brisket and bacon burnt ends and the Two-Meat Plate which is one-third pounds of any two meats plus two sides.



The Rocket Man at Wright’s Barbecue


Jordan Wright, owner and pitmaster, started the business serving barbecue at the Fayetteville Farmers Market in 2016. A year later he opened the brick-and-mortar location at 2212 Main Dr., and has since skyrocketed in popularity. By 2020, his establishment had started garnering attention nationally, landing on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in America, and then their Top Brisket Spots list.


To compile their top barbecue spots list, the Yelp team limited its rankings to restaurants in the “barbecue” category on the platform and concentrated on reviews that mention the word “barbecue” frequently. Analysts at Yelp also limited the number of list entries per state to 12 in an effort to keep “geographic diversity.” The only state to reach that limit was Texas.



Ribs at Wright’s Barbecue


The top 25 barbecue restaurants on the list are as follows:

  1. Wright’s Barbecue – Johnson, Arkansas
  2. Eric’s Family Barbecue – Avondale, Arizona
  3. CorkScrew BBQ – Spring, Texas
  4. Tyler’s Barbecue – Amarillo, Texas
  5. Fox Smokehouse BBQ – Boulder City, Nevada
  6. Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que – Kansas City, Kansas
  7. Haywood Smokehouse – Waynesville, North Carolina
  8. Firehole Bar-B-Que – West Yellowstone, Montana
  9. Hot Spot Barbecue – Pensacola, Florida
  10. Delauders BBQ – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  11. 888 Japanese BBQ – Las Vegas, Nevada
  12. City Butcher and Barbecue – Springfield, Missouri
  13. Bogart’s Smokehouse – St. Louis, Missouri
  14. Miller’s Smokehouse – Belton, Texas
  15. Q39 Midtown – Kansas City, Missouri
  16. Tender Smokehouse – Celina, Texas
  17. Calhoun’s Texas Barbecue – Murrieta, California
  18. Badlands BBQ – Norco, California
  19. Buckboard’s Barbecue & Brew – El Cajon, California
  20. Little Miss BBQ-Sunnyslope – Phoenix, Arizona
  21. Heritage Barbecue – San Juan Capistrano, California
  22. Mad Jack’s Mountaintop Barbecue – Cloudcroft, New Mexico
  23. Federal Hill Smokehouse – Erie, Pennsylvania
  24. Watson’s BBQ – Tucumcari, New Mexico
  25. PorkChop & Bubba’s BBQ – Bakersfield, California


Click here to view a map of all 100 restaurants on the list.



Wright’s Barbecue sauces are available at various locations, including the restaurant’s website.


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