At Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que, enjoy true Carolina-style Southern barbeque carefully prepared with the highest-quality ingredients and a personal touch.
In fact, the Bessingers are the first family of barbeque in South Carolina, known for their legendary mustard-based barbeque sauce, a Carolina classic since the 1930s. By keeping the business in the family and taking a hands-on approach to managing the restaurant, Thomas Bessinger and his sons, Tommy and Michael, have maintained a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere that welcomes customers and makes them feel like they’re part of the family.
That attention to customer service and the best barbeque in the South have made Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que a true legend. As a family, they’ve preserved the authentic flavor and vision of family patriarch, “Big Joe” Bessinger, and that’s what keeps customers coming back time and again.
On the other hand, the menu itself brings in those who haven’t yet learned of the reputation. Among other things, Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que serves:
- Chopped Pork (shoulders and hams smoked using wood and coals)
- St. Louis Style Ribs
- Smoked Wings
- CAB Brisket
- Smoked Half Chicken
- Smoked Pulled Chicken
- Hash, a SC BBQ original
Get to Know Bessinger’s
What are Folks Saying about Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que?
First, Local Guide Carrie Eggleston shared a reverence for the place in her Google Review:
Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que is an institution among Charleston BBQ. The food is great, quick and friendly service. Neat feature is the drive-thru at this location, making it an option for quick lunch right off of Savannah Highway/HWY 7. The ‘Joe’ (little or big) sandwich: a classic – pulled pork with their signature yellow BBQ sauce. The basket comes with an onion ring, unlike anything you’ve ever had! Yes, ring as in singular – but it gets the job done with its enormous size. I’m a huge fan of their tea, to me, it’s the best around.
We got Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que most recently for a customer in from Texas, and I am pleased to report that upon his first bite of his brisket sandwich he stopped and said ‘This is some good BBQ!” Quite the compliment coming from a Texan : )
Be sure to check out their sister restaurant, Melvin’s, which has multiple locations in Charleston county.
NOTE: Melvin’s is yet another of several Bessinger-family BBQ joints, but none of them share a business relationship.
Next, over on Yelp, Gary G from nearby Summerville writes of Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que’s perfection:
Absolutely the best BBQ in Charleston.
I had the little Joe sandwich and an order of onion rings. The pork was cooked to perfection and the sauce, South Carolina mustard-based, was perfect. The onion rings are some of my favorite foods on their own. Sweet batter perfectly fried.
There is a reason Famous chefs like Emeril Lagasse eat here when they are in town: the food is delicious.
Beyond the Review Sites
So, that’s what a couple of regular folks think about Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que, but what do the experts say? Well, the folks who train the judges for the SC Barbeque Association competitions gave Bessinger’s their highest distinction. As a result, Bessinger’s stands among the elite SC BBQ joints.
Meanwhile, we had to have a say in this as well.
Charleston, SC 29407