Topping the Arlington representatives on the Post's list is Clarendon's Texas Jack's Barbecue. Texas Jack's is a friendly yet sophisticated restaurant that serves up top-notch 'cue with all the favorites, from beef short ribs and brisket to pork belly, sausage, chicken, and more. Sloppy Mama's, which started as a food truck and now has Arlington locations along Langston Boulevard and in Ballston Quarter's food hall, offers the traditional variety of smoked meats and sides along with several different sauces – this BBQ uses wood for heat and flavor, so everything has that special smoky flavor. Honorable-mention Smoking Kow BBQ also started out as a food truck and now has locations in Arlington's East Falls Church area and in nearby Alexandria – don't miss the burnt ends or pork belly bites here (don't forget extra napkins, either!)
Local favorites Texas Jack's and Sloppy Mama's are joined on the Post's best list by two 2020 Arlington newcomers to the BBQ scene. Smokecraft Modern Barbecue in Clarendon brings a modern twist to barbecue. Here you'll find the classic barbecue staples alongside dishes like applewood-smoked crab cakes, cedar plank salmon, and even smoked spaghetti squash. Who says barbecue is for meat lovers only?
The other newcomer making a splash on the barbecue scene is Ruthie's All Day. With Chef Matt Hill at the helm (formerly of The Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall), Ruthie's is a family restaurant with dishes for everyone but a fond spot for the 'cue. Dishes range from smoked Rohan duck to ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more.