The Ultimate Fort Benning Area BBQ Guide
Look, I'm not saying that you're a bad person if you don't like BBQ, but what I am saying is there are two kinds of people in this world: people who like BBQ...and bad people. Now, you can get away with being the latter in a lot of places, but Fort Benning isn't one of them. If you're stationed here, then grab a fistful of moist towelettes, throw on your favorite pair of pants with an elastic waistband, and prepare to have your mind blown. I got into the habit of eating BBQ for lunch about once per week, which is easy considering how close many of these places are to Fort Benning. Those that require a bit of a drive can be easily patronized on the weekends. So, in no particular order, I present to you this ultimate list of BBQ near Fort Benning.
Outside the back gate of Fort Benning sits a true hidden gem in Fort Mitchell. Not only is BBQ House a quick and easy spot to grab some lunch, but the meat speaks for itself. The owner, Sam, insists on doing BBQ the right way: low and slow over wood that he chops himself. It is truly delicious!
Right and Up Tip: If you want to kick your order up a notch, be sure to get there early on Wednesdays for a serving of their mac n' cheese. You can thank me later.
One of my favorite things about Pepper's is its sauces! With five flavors to choose from, you just can't go wrong. They bring a unique, herby flavor that you can't find anywhere else.
Right and Up Tip: Pepper's also makes some of the best Brunswick stew in town, according to the locals. They even make a killer BBQ sandwich with stew inside that is separated by a middle bun to prevent the sandwich from falling apart. Both delicious and considerate.
A fun and spunky BBQ place, Zombie Pig is located in Northern Columbus and is relatively new compared to many of the others, having opened in 2016. Their ribs are fantastic and their sweet, sticky sauce has me licking my fingers all day like some weirdo. You may recognize this place from one of my other foodie articles.
Right and Up Tip: Always, ALWAYS opt for their house-made pickles.
Located near Midtown, Neicy's is a neighborhood BBQ joint that packs some serious flavor. Though everything from their BBQ chicken to their chopped sandwiches are great, I'd have to say their ribs are my favorite! The tangy, mustard-based sauce is true to Southern tradition.
Right and Up Tip: Many people order to-go as the dining room is small, but it's still totally possible to grab a spot. Also, this is one of the few establishments open on Sundays!
Located in Smiths Station, AL, Crossroads is definitely one of my favorite BBQ places in the Fort Benning area. They are known best for their brisket and their impressive selection of homemade sauces. Choose from flavors like red apple bourbon, spicy mustard, vinegar and several more.
Right and Up Tip: All of their sides are great, but their slaw really stood out to me! It's the perfect crunch and balance of flavor between tart, sweet and savory.
With three locations to choose from, including one across the river in Phenix City, Chester's is a well-known BBQ joint. Its main location at the Southern end of Veterans Pkwy is close enough to grab a quick bite during lunch if you're coming from Fort Benning. Their signature sauce is mustard-based and super TANGY; best enjoyed on their ribs or pork sandwiches.
Right and Up Tip: Dining room is small, so I highly recommend ordering to-go!
Located off the main drag in Midtown, Smokey Pig is a local favorite that's been around for a loooong time. You can smell the BBQ cooking from down the street, so by the time you walk in, all you can say is "Shut up and take my money!" With large portions, you can be sure to leave with a full stomach!
Country's has become somewhat of a household name for BBQ in the Fort Benning area. They've got three locations, with a different vibe at each one, but you can always expect a good meal!
Right and Up Tip: Tuesday is their all-you-can-eat BBQ chicken night!
Right in the heart of Uptown on Broadway is a fairly new and insatiably trendy BBQ restaurant. Brought to you by the same people who own the Black Cow, Plucked Up Chicken and Flip Side Burgers & Tacos, Smoke Bourbon & BBQ continues the trend of great food and great service. Expect to find modern twists on BBQ to include brisket and gnocchi, pulled pork sandwiches with mac n' cheese (and bacon!), and brisket over waffles with bacon syrup. You can also find traditional BBQ items on the menu as well.
Right and Up Tip: Pimento cheese wontons. I repeat. Pimento cheese wontons.
Home of the famous pork chop sandwich, pictured above, 13th Street has multiple locations to include Phenix City and Columbus. It's hard to imagine how a pork chop an inch thick can be cooked to juicy perfection each time, but believe me when I tell you this place has their system down pat!
This place is seriously good! I'm not sure how to describe it, but the BBQ flavor is unique to others in the area. Having ordered the sampler platter, I can say that I was impressed by all of their options, but their smoked sausage was to die for!
Right and Up Tip: Don't forget to grab yourself a mason jar of their homemade strawberry lemonade!
One of the most talked-about BBQ joints in Columbus, Clearview has a cult-like following. The dark pink ring lacing on their BBQ is an obvious sign they know what they're doing! I'll also mention that their customer service is great and they treat you like family.
Right and Up Tip: This place is cash only, so come prepared!
Definitely a big name in Columbus BBQ, Macon Road BBQ lives up to its reputation. Not only is the BBQ amazing, but one of my favorite things about this establishment is that they give you your own pitcher of sweet tea at your table. No having to get up to ask for refills. How awesome is that?! Pictured above is the sliced BBQ sandwich and the sliced BBQ plate.
Located in Phenix City, but close enough to visit during your lunch hour from Fort Benning, Ed's is a true Southern gem. You order buffet style from the counter and can choose from several of their daily specials. You cannot go wrong here, but I highly recommend the ribs with collard greens and mac n' cheese!
Right and Up Tip: Don't forget to save room for a housemade dessert like their pecan pie!
This BBQ joint has several locations, with the closest locations to Fort Benning being in Phenix City and Smiths Station, and the third in Auburn. By far some of the best BBQ I've ever had and their sauces are on point! I can't help stuffing myself beyond recognition when I come here, so I typically don't plan follow-on activities that prevent me from rubbing my belly and groaning with satisfaction.
Having gone through a renovation in 2017, Chicken Comers has actually been open since 1929 in Phenix City, AL. Their newly renovated restaurant now boasts a drive thru window to make getting your BBQ fix super easy!
Many, many farm animals were eaten in the making of this article and I truly appreciate their sacrifices. Did I list your favorite spot? If I missed one, let me know in the comments! While my hips might hate me, my heart yearns for more BBQ.
about the author
Riley is an active duty US Army Captain and the Founder of Right and Up. She’s currently stationed in Washington, DC, with previous assignments at Fort Huachuca, Fort Bliss, Fort Riley and Fort Benning. You can typically find her eating embarrassingly large amounts of food in local restaurants, or exploring her military town with her husband, Sean and her dog, Gus. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!