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7. Fox Bros. BBQ

Pow! The brazenly seasoned meats served by the Brothers Fox, Jonathan and Justin, throw punches right to the kisser—and the crowds roar for more. Its central location near Little Five Points and its over-the-top approach to barbecue add up to an always-packed hot spot where the parking lot is one continuous standoff. (The tree that fell on the restaurant during a storm last August barely slowed the place down. The Foxes were up and running a day later; they covered their patio, and construction to replace the dining room is under way.) The bros hail from Texas, and though their menu weaves in porkier Southern influences, beef is king here; go for the brisket, or show up early on Saturday (and often Tuesday) for the city’s finest Flintstonian beef rib. Purists may scoff, but let loose and give in to wacky creations like the Lopez: tater tots and brisket chili clumped into a gooey mass with a blanket of cheddar. Rumors are swirling that Fox Bros. BBQ will soon open a location in Smyrna not far from Heirloom Market; that would make for an enticing double-barbecue lunch crawl. 1238 DeKalb Avenue, 404-577-4030, foxbrosbbq.com

This article originally appeared in our May 2013 issue.