Nothing represents barbecue quite like a high-quality pork butt that has been rubbed with a sweet flavor profile and smoked over a real wood fire for half a day or longer. Meats like brisket, ribs, and sausage might get more media attention, but pulled pork is the true workhorse of any great barbecue restaurant.
That's why we are kicking off our Florida BBQ Tour with some of the best pulled pork joints you will find across the Sunshine State. If pulled pork is what you are searching for, these are some of the best places to find it.
Harry & Larry's Bar-B-Que
Located in Downtown Winter Garden, Harry & Larry's was not actually started by Harry or Larry, but rather two of their granddaughters, Ashlee and Katie Grimes.
Opened in 2009, Harry & Larry's has won the hearts and mouths of locals and food critics over the course of it's first decade in existence.
Of their BBQ-ing process, Harry & Larry's says:
You can’t fake the real thing. If you want that drippin’ with flavor, smokey, fall off the bone, classic Bar-B-Que flavor you have to do one thing…smoke it. This is where the magic happens. In those big red lockers your favorite meat slow cooks for hours and doesn’t leave until it has reached smoked perfection.
While Harry & Larry's offers all of the usual BBQ joint suspects like ribs and beef brisket, their pulled pork seems to be far and away the most popular judging by their hundreds of reviews on sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor.
Bubbalous Bodacious BBQ
With five locations in the Orlando area, Bubbalous Bodacious BBQ is one of the biggest barbecue operations in Central Florida, but that doesn't stop them from also being one of the best places for pulled pork, no matter which location you prefer.
The Bubbalous empire was built on the idea that using good quality meat that is cooked low and slow over a real wood fire, which is exactly why their pulled pork is so special.
On your first trip, you almost have to try the Porkasaurus Sandwich. It features a monster scoop of their smoked pork topped with coleslaw, pickles, and jalapeños. And don't forget to top it off with their Signature Porkasaurus Sauce.
There is also an Extreme Porkasaurus option that adds their sausage into the mix. And if you can ever get past the Porkasaurus, you might want to try their pork “sub-style” in the Que Rico Sub or the Bubba Philly.
Sparky's Roadside Barbecue
What do you get when two trained chefs open a laid-back BBQ joint? At Sparky's Roadside Barbecue in Miami, the result was a perfect combination of elevated food in a relaxed environment.
All of the BBQ Meats are outstanding at Sparky's, but the pulled pork is one that really shines. Where many BBQ spots like to soak their pulled pork in sauce, the guys at Sparky's believe that the meat should be able to stand on its own, and their pulled pork does exactly that.
You can see the chef influences in menu items like Tyler's Pressed Sandwich, which features that amazing pulled pork along with sautéed onions, American cheese, and just a touch of BBQ sauce.
Smokin D's BBQ
Built on the idea that you have to “get up real early” if you want to make authentic barbecue, Smokin D's BBQ has become one of the most famous spots in Northeast Florida with two locations in St. Augustine.
This is a classic roadside BBQ joint that is perfect for grabbing a few Pulled Pork Sandwiches on your way to or from the beach. Sauce isn't necessary, but their House Sauce is a Georgia-style mustard sauce that goes great with the pork!
Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa
Some BBQ joints are known for their simplicity, and others are known for the creative elements that they add to their BBQ. Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa in Orlando is the type of place that is oozing with creativity.
Their standard pulled pork sandwich comes topped with an Apple Fennel Slaw and is served on a Coconut Pineapple Roll. But the sandwich you really want to try here is the Barbakoa Bahn Mi, which will blow your mind with a totally new type of pork flavor.
Pig Floyd's also serves up their delicious oakwood smoked pork as Tacos Al Pastor, which come topped with roasted pineapple, onion, cilantro, and ancho pepper sauce.
Dixie Pig BBQ
If you are looking for some classic Carolina-style pulled pork in South Florida, then head over to the window at Dixie Pig BBQ in Oakland Park. This old-school BBQ stand isn't going to impress you with looks, so you know they must be doing something right with their meats.
You don't have to work your way through the whole menu here either. Just order up the North Carolina BBQ Sandwich with pork and enjoy! The meat comes topped with their special sauce, and after tasting it you will probably want to buy a bottle to take home with you.
Georgia Pig BBQ
Another South Florida spot that gets fave reviews for their pulled pork is Georgia Pig BBQ in Fort Lauderdale. They have been feeding the pits here with oak wood for more than 60 years, which is one of the many reasons that they earned a place on this list.
The menu here is classic barbecue, so you are either going to be ordering a BBQ Chopped Pork Sandwich or a Sliced BBQ Pork Platter along with the standard barbecue sides.
Pork butts are known as one of the most forgiving meats that you can smoke, which means that it's hard to ruin pulled pork. It's also hard to get it perfect though, and that is what each of these BBQ joints has mastered. Pulled pork perfection.