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'Low and slow': Best BBQ restaurants in the Daytona, Flagler area

The best spots for slow-smoked meats and homemade sides in Daytona, Ormond and NSB.

Portrait of Helena Perray Helena Perray
Daytona Beach 女优app-Journal

While Florida might not always come to mind as quickly as Texas or the Carolinas for exceptional barbecue, we女优app檝e certainly got our fair share of outstanding local spots for sizzling, smoked meats and top-quality 女优app榪ue in the Daytona Beach area.

After weeks of sampling everything from pulled-pork sandwiches to 女优app渓ow and slow女优app smoked St. Louis ribs, brisket plates and homemade sides, I女优app檝e rounded up a handful of the most memorable lunch and dinner spots 女优app with the added help of locals女优app recommendations 女优app from New Smyrna Beach up to Palm Coast.

Whether grabbing a bite for the Fourth of July or simply enjoying a good ole女优app barbecue feast with friends and family this summer, here are my favorite spots for delicious BBQ in the Volusia-Flagler area.

Captain女优app檚 BBQ

Waterfront dining at Captain's BBQ in Palm Coast.

5862 N. Ocean Shore Blvd., Palm Coast; 386-597-2888, captainsbbq.com

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It wouldn女优app檛 be a best barbecue story without mentioning Captain女优app檚 BBQ 女优app the Hammock女优app檚 女优app渢rue southern BBQ女优app staple whose revolving door of loyal customers, myself included, serve as a testament to the restaurant女优app檚 unparalleled flavors. The waterfront favorite, located along the Matanzas River, was recently named among the best BBQ spots in the U.S. according to Yelp, and has been producing award-winning meats and sides for over a decade now, slow-cooked in Captain女优app檚 famous wood-burning smoker.

Burnt ends platter and brisket and pulled pork sampler plate, alongside smoked baked beans and mac and cheese from Captain's BBQ in Palm Coast.

The Palm Coast eatery seems to outdo itself with every visit, serving everything from smoked sausage, brisket burgers and smoked St. Louis ribs to, my recent favorites, the perfectly charred, burnt ends "meat candy" plate and the combo sampler, layering a hefty helping of classic pulled pork and tender, sliced beef brisket whose deep, smoky notes make it a consistently recommended favorite among regulars. Captain BBQ also offers a plethora of homemade desserts, most notably its addicting cheesecake.

Palm Coast BBQ restaurantnamed one of the best in the U.S., according to Yelp

Best waterfront restaurantsin Flagler County? Here are 10 of my favorites

Pumphouse BBQ

The peppered pig sandwich from Pumphouse BBQ in Ormond Beach.

124 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach; 386-492-7559, thepumphousebbq.com

Pumphouse BBQ and Smokehouse is a longtime favorite among Ormond Beach residents, and for good reason. The retro BBQ restaurant is neighbor to several Granada Boulevard favorites, like Hull女优app檚 Seafood, Neighborhood Scoop and 63 Sovereign. It recently expanded with a full-service dining room and bar, featuring 24 beers on tap, according to its , live music, and a plethora of slow-smoked options to indulge in. Pumphouse女优app檚 menu features handhelds and bowls, like the 女优app淩uebenator女优app with house-made smoked pastrami and the beefymac bowl, as well as by-the-pound meats and savory sides.

Burnt ends dinner from Pumphouse BBQ in Ormond Beach.

The restaurant女优app檚 main plates, available as a sandwich or entre虂e with 2 sides or as a dinner with three sides, range from Texas brisket and Tennessee pulled pork to St. Louis spareribs and pumphouse pulled chicken. I recently enjoyed the ultra-tender burnt ends dinner 女优app a rich, smoky selection with a sweeter, caramelized outer crust and good char 女优app alongside a helping of mac and cheese and sweet potato casserole, as well as The Peppered Pig 女优app a Pumphouse signature handheld, layering slow-smoked pulled pork, crispy fried jalapenos and onion strings, house-made blackberry habanero BBQ sauce and pepper jack on a brioche bun.

Lottie Bell女优app檚 BBQ

Lottie Bell's BBQ in Ormond-by-the-Sea.

1452 Ocean Shore Blvd., Ormond-by-the-Sea; 386-301-5333, facebook.com/BrandBBQ

Lottie Bell女优app檚 BBQ, a popular food truck-turned-sit-down-restaurant, sits within the Ocean Shore Plaza in Ormond-by-the-Sea, and since its December opening has become a local staple for Texas-style barbecue. Decked out in vibrant reds, whites, and blues, the rustic spot offers a scratch-made selection of classic comfort foods, serving everything from a third-, half-, and full-rack of baby back ribs, to favorites 女优app like the tender smoked chicken plate or brisket sandwich; collard green and coleslaw sides; and pecan or peach cobbler for dessert.

Pulled pork baked potato with sour cream, butter and cheese from Lottie Bell's BBQ in Ormond-by-the-Sea.

My recent favorites include the mesquite-smoked brisket plate whose robust but slightly sweet, smoky flavor paired perfectly with a side of homemade baked beans and mac and cheese 女优app of which I could女优app檝e ordered two more bowls to-go; and the pulled pork baked potato 女优app a hefty helping to say the least, generously coated with melted cheese, sour cream, butter and tender, mesquite-smoked pulled pork. Lottie Bell女优app檚 also offers draft and bottled beer, seltzers and wine.

Restaurant 女优app:Food-truck-turned-restaurant serving flavor-packed BBQ in Ormond Beach

4 Rivers Smokehouse

4 Rivers Smokehouse in Daytona Beach.

1866 Victory Circle, Daytona Beach; 844-474-8377, 4rsmokehouse.com

This beloved BBQ chain opened its first location in Winter Park in 2009 and, for the last four years, has been keeping Daytona area residents happy with its sole Volusia restaurant, located within the One Daytona complex, across from the speedway. 4 Rivers Smokehouse has been previously featured in Southern Living女优app檚 nationwide best BBQ roundups, USA Today writeups and Food & Beverage magazine, among other publications, according to its website, and is known for its 12-hour smoked pulled pork, signature burnt ends and 女优app30-day wet-aged,女优app 18-hour smoked brisket 女优app a true melt-in-your-mouth selection with a crispy, flavorful bark, cut right in front of guests at the restaurant and served with (my choice of) bread pudding and mac and cheese.

Brisket, bread pudding and mac and cheese from 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Daytona Beach.

The restaurant女优app檚 menu features everything from classic sandwiches 女优app like the Angus brisket or pulled chicken; to BBQ platters; baby back ribs, 女优app渉omestyle女优app sides, and 4 Rivers bakery selections. The family-owned chain also offers nationwide shipping through its e-commerce platform, "4 Rivers Smokehouse on the Road," which launched earlier this year and allows BBQ lovers across the country to purchase the smokehouse女优app檚 meats, house rubs, sauces and gift bundles.

Uncle Chicken's

Smoked BBQ pulled pork and chicken plate with hand-cut fries from Uncle Chicken's in New Smyrna Beach.

440 Mary Ave., New Smyrna Beach; 386-402-7439, unclechickens.com

Uncle Chicken女优app檚, an underrated favorite on this list, is a true testament to the saying 女优app榞ood things take time,女优app boasting a 女优app渓ow and slow女优app approach to its smoked menu staples. Whether indulging in a rack of five-hour smoked St. Louis pork ribs 女优app or a hefty plate of 12- to 14-hour-smoked pulled pork, the roadside restaurant consistently delivers on tender, flavor-packed meats with a robust smokiness that permeates each bite.

A barbecue competition at the Old Capitol Blues & BBQ once drew about 30 pitmasters. The downtown Springfield summer festival is now on hiatus, according to its organizer, Barry Friedman.

While Uncle Chicken女优app檚 smoked mac 女优app榥女优app cheese 女优app easily elevated with the addition of barbacoa beef, brisket, pulled pork or chicken 女优app is a community-wide favorite that recently won first place at the eatery's menu is layered with a plethora of other homemade standouts, like the boneless pork rib sandwich, smoked BBQ pulled pork and chicken plate, served with hand-cut fries, or cheesy smoked chicken bacon ranch melt.

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