In its entirety, Auburn boasts upwards of 10 barbecue spots within its city limits. While there are a few chain restaurants thrown into the mix, Auburn’s barbecue scene is primarily made up of locally owned businesses.
Byron’s Smokehouse is widely considered to be a local institution. Opened by Glen and Stephanie Gulledge in 1989, Byron’s started by serving up a traditional southern barbecue.
After nearly a decade of success, Glen Gulledge decided to expand into another facet of homestyle cooking: breakfast. The restaurant now serves a hearty breakfast menu that draws in the morning crowd daily.
Customers can chow down on handmade eggs, bacon, biscuits and grits for under $5, making Byron’s a go-to choice for college students and locals alike.
Despite the name, Rob’s Ribs serves much more than just ribs. Opened in 2020, Rob’s Ribs is the most recent barbecue spot to join the Auburn family.
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The restaurant was developed by the owner of Opelika’s Butcher Paper BBQ and is managed by Auburn resident Rob Goodwin.
According to the company’s mission statement, Rob’s Ribs hopes to provide “all the favorites from Butcher Paper along with several new and exclusive menu items.”
The restaurant focuses on a traditional brick-pit-smoked barbecue, featuring brisket, pork and chicken, as well as a host of sides to match. They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night menu, ensuring that Auburn residents can get a barbecue fix at virtually any hour.
Bow & Arrow:
Did someone say barbecue with a twist? “That’s what we’re known for,” said Bow and Arrow butcher, Jake Fehrenbach.
Fehrenbach works in preparing and serving all of Bow and Arrow’s meats.
Owned by Alabama-born and Texas-raised David Bancroft, Bow and Arrow strives to combine Tex-Mex and barbecue cuisines into one dining experience.
Fehrenbach described the restaurant as old-school Texas meets new-school Texican cuisine.
“It makes for a really unique dining experience,” Fehrenbach said.
Bancroft is a three-year semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: South” award, as well as the winner of Food Network’s “Iron Chef Showdown”.
After relocating his family to Auburn, Bancroft opened Acre restaurant in 2013 and Bow and Arrow in 2017. He has been serving the Auburn community ever since.
Auburn’s only stand-alone barbecue spot on campus, many students find AU Smokehouse to be a must-have for lunch hours or study breaks.
Auburn junior, John-Gage Collier, has spent many afternoons eating at AU Smokehouse during his time at Auburn. Collier is a supply chain management major and involved in Auburn's Army ROTC program.
“It was an extremely convenient location to grab lunch with friends between classes,” Collier said.
AU Smokehouse is the sister restaurant of Firetruck BBQ, located in Alexander City, Ala. They partner with the school to serve up pork that is raised, processed and cooked on Auburn’s campus.
Currently, AU Smokehouse is temporarily closed, but Collier said that many Auburn students are anxiously waiting for its reopening.
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