Robert Moss
Kibb’s Bar-B-Q in Stuttgart.

On Tuesday, Southern Living released its annual list of “The South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints of 2023,” and it should come as no surprise to any Arkansawyer that Kibb’s Bar-B-Q, the venerable Stuttgart institution, has taken the No. 44 spot.

Robert F. Moss, Southern Living’s barbecue editor and the writer of the list, had this to say about Kibb’s:


“Central Arkansas has a distinctive if not widely-known barbecue style, and there’s no better place to sample it than at Kibb’s. Walter Kibble founded his first Stuttgart restaurant around 1980, and his family members now operate outposts in Pine Bluff and North Little Rock. All serve ribs and rib tips, burgers, and smoked bologna, but the barbecue sandwiches are the real standouts. Sliced pork is tucked inside a warm toasted bun and dressed in the thick, sweet brown sauce that is a hallmark of the local style. The beef version is even better, with meat sliced thin then chopped into shards that brim with rich hickory smoke. That sticky brown sauce comes in mild, medium, or hot varieties, and even the medium version will leave your tongue tingling long after the last bite.”

It’s not the first time Kibb’s Bar-B-Q has taken a spot on Southern Living’s Top 50 list; last year the restaurant came in at No. 42. No other Arkansas barbecue joint made the list. Of the states represented, Texas had the most entries, with 15, followed by South Carolina, which garnered nine, and North Carolina, which took eight. Three barbecue joints from our neighbors in Memphis snagged a mention as well: Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous (No. 47), Cozy Corner (No. 25) and A&R Bar-B-Que (No. 11).

Kibb’s Bar-B-Q is again included on this year’s Arkansas Times Barbecue Trail and Passport as one of five barbecue joints representing the Lower Delta.