August 18, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Florida’s best barbecue restaurants, food trucks

10 min read

Summer and grilling go hand-in-hand, and Memorial Day in the U.S. is the unofficial kickoff of the season.

Grilling is a year-round tradition for many, and it’s those memories of barbecues from summers past that fill our scents: of the smoke drifting ever upward from neighbors’ yards as they were grilling ribs, brisket or chicken.

And even the term “barbecue” — the English word from the Spanish “barbacoa” — has origins from the language of the Taíno people in the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida, who called it “barabicu.”

So it only makes sense that here in the Sunshine State we offer up some of our favorite barbecue to try from a restaurant or food truck. 

A combo dinner from Pearl Country Store & Barbecue, 106 NE Highway 441 A, Micanopy, Florida, featuring two ribs, pulled pork, baked beans, collards and a garlic toast slice. (Emily Mavrakis/The Gainesville Sun)

Pearl Country Store & Barbecue

106 NE Highway 441 A, Micanopy; 352-466-4025; pearlcountrystore.com

If you’re in Gainesville visiting the University of Florida or camping out in nearby Paynes Prairie State Park, consider driving a little ways out of town to Pearl Country Store & Barbecue.

Don’t be fooled by its unassuming looks — Pearl is inside a Marathon gas station convenience store, but locals often say it’s the best barbecue in the area.

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