8. B’s Cracklin’

75 Best Restaurants in Atlanta: B's Cracklin' BBQ
Pitmaster/proprietor Bryan Furman

Photograph by Andrew Thomas Lee

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Every cloud has a silver lining, even the cloud of smoke that began billowing from the roof of B’s Cracklin’ on the morning of March 6, 2019, when a fire consumed Atlanta’s best barbecue restaurant. For better or worse, smoke and fire are integral to pitmaster/proprietor Bryan Furman’s success story. His first location in Savannah also burned down in 2015, and the amount of support he received back then allowed him to reopen in four months. Of course, both smoke and fire are critical to preparing his masterful, pecan wood–smoked ribs (cut from heritage-breed hogs raised in Georgia and South Carolina) and brisket. That barbecue is so persuasive that one bank offered to help fund the resurrection of the Atlanta B’s as soon as possible, the Atlanta Hawks volunteered to temporarily hire Furman’s staff members until he rebuilds, and a Riverside resident raised nearly $19,000 for B’s through a GoFundMe campaign. Furman and his wife/co-owner, Nikki, say B’s will reopen in a new, larger Riverside location, and they’ll make their barbecue available at pop-ups around the city until their new space is ready. Furman certainly isn’t letting the setbacks sour his mood—he’s still got plenty to be thankful for, including recent acknowledgments from the James Beard Foundation and Food & Wine, a personal visit from Martha Stewart weeks before the blaze, and other developments he says will make 2020 “a big year for us.” gofundme.com/bs-cracklin-bbq