TRUE 'CUE SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolinians have good reason to believe that their state is the birthplace of Southern barbecue (a tradition with more than one mother), and the Palmetto State's dedicated pit masters keep the fires burning today. This page is your gateway to finding restaurants independently certified as serving real, old-school South Carolina barbecue.
To learn more about what defines South Carolina barbecue, visit the website of the South Carolina Barbeque Assocation. The SCBA is a "varied and colorful group of people who have come together to have fun and promote South Carolina barbeque" by training BBQ judges, sanctioning cooking competitions, educating the public, and maintaining a list of the Top 100 Barbecue Houses in South Carolina.
To qualify for True ‘Cue SC certification, a restaurant must meet the following criteria:
Be located in South Carolina.
Cook the barbecue using wood coals or charcoal as the sole heat source.
Avoid electricity, gas or any other non-wood heat source for the barbecue other than to ignite the wood, to keep the finished barbecue warm, or to re-heat the finished barbecue.
Serve the barbecue on site at the location where it is cooked (exceptions may exist for food trucks and other mobile purveyors, but a restaurant that serves barbecue cooked by another business does not qualify).
Offer regular business hours, with barbecue available on the menu regularly (at least monthly).
Serve chopped or pulled pork shoulder, Boston butt, hams, or whole hog on the regular menu. Offering additional meats is acceptable--and irrelevant.
Provide a sauce that is regionally appropriate, which in SC means anything from mustard-based to vinegar/pepper to light tomato to thick tomato. Variety is the spice of life--and, it seems, of SC BBQ.
Sadly, we believe there are no more than forty or so restaurants (some with multiple locations) in South Carolina that serve True ‘Cue, out of hundreds of barbecue restaurants across the state. We need your help to change this. Please take THE PLEDGE, steer clear of faux ‘cue when possible, and patronize True ‘Cue SC-certified restaurants.
To the best of our knowledge, these restaurants serve barbecue that meets the True ‘Cue SC criteria (some serve barbecued meats or sauces in addition to those specified above but their menus include traditional SC-style barbecue):
Belly’s Southern Pride Bar-B-Q, 2508 Augusta Highway, Lexington, SC 29072. 803.356.8284
Big Bill’s Low Country Bar-B-Que, 2041 N. Fraser Street, Georgetown, SC 29440. 843.527.2697
Black’s Smokehouse, 1528 Blue Ridge Road, Seneca, SC 29672. 864.280.2577
Brown Derby II, 1397 Belleville Road, Orangeburg, SC 29115. 803.539.2722
Buckwheat's BBQ & Catering, 651 Silver Bluff Road, Aiken, SC 29803. 803.226.0941
Bucky’s Bar-B-Q, which has four locations:
1700 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville, SC 29615. 864.329.0054
2010 Perimeter Road, Greenville, SC 29605. 864.277.3005
103 N. Main Street, Fountain Inn, SC 29644. 864.409.3333
1326 N. Pleasantburg Road, Greenville, SC 29607. 864.244.5114
Cannon’s BBQ & More, 1903 Nursery Road, Little Mountain, SC 29075. 803.945.1080
Carolina BBQ, 109 Main Street South, New Ellenton, SC 29809. 803.652.2919
Circle M BBQ, 345 Martin Sausage Road, Liberty, SC 29657. 864.375.9133
Cock Pit Barbecue, 905 Bluff Road, Columbia, SC 29201. 803.764.0236
CountrySide BBQ, 706 St. Matthews Road, Swansea, SC 29160. 803.568.3385
Country Smokehouse, 8505 Garners Ferry Road, Hopkins, SC 29061. 803.776.4886
Creekside Bar-be-que, 1115 Salem Church Road, Anderson, SC 29625. 864.260.9093
Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ, which has two locations:
2209 Middle Street, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482. 843.883.3131
1205 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29407. 843.225.7427
GrandDaddy's BBQ, 139 Lemmons Lane, Gaffney, SC 29341. 864.649.1790
Henry’s Smokehouse, 240 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greenville, SC 29607. 864.232.7774
Hite’s Bar-B-Que, 240 Dreher Road, West Columbia, SC 29169. 803.794.4120
Jackie Hite’s Bar-b-que, 460 E. Railroad Avenue, Leesville, SC 29070. 803.532.3354
Jo Jo's Backyard BBQ, 1648 N Rocky River Road, Lancaster, SC 29720. 803.283.4844
Lewis Barbecue, 464 North Nassau Street, Charleston, SC 29403. 843.805.9500
Maple’s BBQ, 4060 Patriot's Parkway, Sumter, SC 29154. N/A
McCabe’s Bar-B-Q, 480 N. Brooks Street, Manning, SC 29102. 803.435.2833
Melvin's Barbecue, with two locations in the Charleston area:
925 Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. 843.881.0549
538 Folly Road, James Island, SC 29412. 843.762.0511
Midway BBQ, 811 Main Street, Buffalo, SC 29321. 864.427.4047
Monkey Bottom Boys BBQ, 134 E Main Street, Kingstree, SC 29556. 843-687-5808
Moe’s Original Bar B Que, 12827 Ocean Highway, Pawley’s Island, SC 29585. 843.235.8008
Pig-N-Vittles, with two locations in SC (and one in that other Carolina):
126 Main Street, Chesterfield, SC 29709. 843.623.5225
203 W. McGregor Street, Pageland, SC 29728. 843.672.3434
Pop Pop's Pit BBQ, 8724 SC-707, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588. 843.650.9227
Q2U BBQ Pit, 4052 Charlotte Highway, Lake Wylie, SC 29710. 803.831.8883
RightOnQue, 329 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403. 843.813.3643
Riverside Bar-B-Que, 1590 Oatland Road, Georgetown, SC 28440. 843.527.3442
Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ, 1011 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403. 843.990.9534
Ronnie’s Ribs, 2435 Main Street, Elgin, SC 29045. 803.438.8522
Russell's Smokin' Good BBQ, 3251 Kershaw Highway, Westville, SC 29067. 803.438.8522
Sandy Ocean BBQ, 1951 15-401 West, Bennettsville, SC 29512. 843.479.2278
Scott’s Bar-B-Que, 2734 Hemingway Highway, Hemingway, SC 29554. 843.558.0134
Shuler’s BBQ, 419 SC-38, Latta, SC 29565. 843.752.4700
Sweatman's BBQ, 1427 Eutaw Road, Holly Hill, SC 29059. 803.496.1227
Swig & Swine, which has two locations:
1217 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407. 843.225.3805
1990 Old Trolley Road, Summerville, SC 29485. 843.771.9688
True BBQ, which has two locations:
1237 D Avenue, West Columbia, SC 29169. 803.791.9950
4002 Socastee Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588. 843.267.1787
Winnsboro House of BBQ, 141 N Congress Street, Winnsboro, SC 29180. 803.635.6550
Certifications are performed by our volunteer team of True ‘Cue Inspectors. Restaurants may choose to display the True ‘Cue SC Real Barbecue certification on their premises, but it is not required. If you think you know a restaurant that meets the True 'Cue SC criteria, let us know. If you think a place on the list now cooks with gas or electricity, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll check it out (we don’t want to start a flame war, so to speak).
We believe that these restaurants also serve barbecue that satisfies the True ‘Cue SC criteria, and are working to verify it with a site visit:
Creekside, Greenwood, SC
Lewis Barbecue, Charleston, SC
Midwood Smokehouse, Columbia, SC
Nick’s, North Charleston, SC
Sgt. White’s, Beaufort, SC
Westwood, Hartsville, SC
Woodstone, Florence, SC
Mr. T’s BBQ, Columbia, SC
Melvin’s Legendary Bar-B-Que, Mt. Pleasant, SC
We conduct inspections and re-inspections as time, money and cholesterol levels allow.