There’s no doubt some of the best and most comforting food can be found at local BBQ restaurants. It’s something about southern BBQ served to you by smiling faces that makes you feel right at home no matter where you find yourself. Ruston has no shortage of options when it comes to comfort food, and whether it’s traditional southern BBQ you crave or something with a little more edge, you’re sure to find a meal to hit the spot from this list of our favorite BBQ locations.
Bad Wolf BBQ – BBQ lovers can’t get enough of this craft BBQ truck located at the Heard Freighthouse Food Park (the Heard) in downtown Ruston. These guys offer Texas-style prime brisket that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. A popular menu item is their sweet potatoes topped with green onions, their signature white BBQ sauce, and your choice of meat. Other favorites include BBQ tacos, specialty sandwiches, baked beans, sweet potato casserole, and Mexican-style creamed corn. Be sure to follow Bad Wolf for new menu items and limited-time specials like the stuffed poblanos - pulled pork and creole cream cheese stuffed in a smoked poblano pepper. Head to the Heard for some grub and settle into one of the on-site picnic tables. The Heard is located at 93 East Railroad Avenue. Read more about what Bad Wolf BBQ and the Heard have going on here.
Brister’s Smokehouse – This BBQ has a long history in Ruston. The restaurant started out as Dowling’s Smokehouse in 1972 and serving slow-cooked ribs, pulled pork, chicken, smoked sausage, brisket, and the works to the public. In 2014, the restaurant changed owners and names, but the recipes remained the same! By far one of the most popular items to order is still the World Famous Scatterload Sandwich. This sandwich combines minced ham, turkey, hot link, sausage, and brisket piled high on your choice of bun (we highly recommend the jalapeno cheese sourdough) and covered in BBQ sauce. The atmosphere here also remained the same – friendly and relaxed just like any hometown restaurant should be. Brister’s Smokehouse is located just off I-20 at 1313 Cooktown Road. Look for Scatterload the Pig waiting out front to greet you!
Hot Rod Bar-B-Que – This local favorite is also serving up ribs, brisket, smoked sausage, sandwiches, loaded baked potatoes, and more. There’s plenty on the menu, but Hot Rod’s combination plates are really the stars of the show. Pick your plateful with variety of brisket, chicken, ham, pulled pork, sausage, and turkey with traditional sides like baked beans, potato salad, and cole slaw. Feeding a crew? Check out the Family Pack section of their menu. And do not, repeat do not, leave without trying their peach cobbler! Hot Rod’s is located at 1911 Farmerville Highway.
Log Cabin – We know this isn’t your typical BBQ place, but it deserves an honorable mention. Log Cabin is known for its extensive menu and ability to offer something to please everyone’s tastes. Their selection of BBQ dishes is no exception to this as it includes burgers, butterfly shrimp, quesadillas, sandwiches, loaded fries, nachos, enchiladas, burritos, po-boys, and good old-fashioned BBQ platters. Maybe one of the best BBQ delights can be found in the appetizers section – Log Cabin’s BBQ dip. Whether ordered as a starter or entrée, you can’t go wrong with layers of BBQ beans, chopped beef (or pork), cheese, sour cream, chives, and bacon served alongside warm tortilla chips.
The Rib Shack – This local BBQ place is truly in a roadhouse setting. Pull up to the Rib Shack located just south of historic downtown Ruston and walk right up to the counter for service. Locals call this place a hidden gem and recommend trying the chopped beef sandwiches, ribs and shack potatoes. The menu also includes plated lunches, sausage dogs, deliciously sweet tea, all the “fixins” you require as well as a heaping side of southern charm. Better take it slow to 1314 South Vienna Street, if you’re moving too fast, you’ll miss it!
Looking for something a little different? Check out these restaurants around town and their BBQ additions!
Champs Sports Restaurant & Bar’s BBQ pulled pork sliders made with braised pulled pork and served with sweet BBQ sauce or Buffalo style.
Dawg House Sports Grill’s Southwest Burger, 8 oz. burger served on your choice of bread with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and sautéed onions. You’re also going to want a side of those curly fries!
Raw’s Caterpillar Roll filled with BBQ eel and crabstick and topped with avocado and eel sauce.
Portico’s Original Flatboy, slow roasted pulled pork, roast beef, turkey, black forest ham, bacon, and Swiss cheese served with BBQ sauce and brown gravy on toasted poboy bread & flattened on a press.
Utility Brewing’s Smokey Pig Pizza layered with BBQ sauce, house-made mozzarella, pulled pork, bacon, jalapenos, and green onions. Be sure to ask for the perfect beer pairing!
Have some favorites not listed here? Comment and let us know! You can also find a complete list of dining options in the area online here or by downloading our dining guide!
Amanda is originally from Franklin Parish but has called Ruston home for several years. She has a passion for travel and tourism, event planning, and showcasing Ruston & Lincoln Parish. As the President & CEO, Amanda leads the CVB's sales and marketing efforts to promote the area and oversees all administrative functions of the CVB.