9. SAWS BBQ, Birmingham, AL
SAWS was founded by North Carolina resident, Mike Wilson, who learned early on that smoking meat was basically in his blood. When Wilson finally opened up his own shop in 2009, he named it SAWS after his old high-school nickname, Sorry Ass Wilson, which is unfortunate as far as epithets go but clearly hasn’t affected the food any.
A decade later, SAWS’ barbecue has earned some high-profile fans, including Southern food Queen Paula Deen, who counted SAWS among her top 10 places to eat in Birmingham, Alabama. Men’s Journal took it a step further by calling this unassuming shack, which has since expanded into multiple outlets around town, the Best BBQ in America.