Southern Soul Barbeque is scarcely a decade old, and its founders—Harrison Sapp and Griffin Bufkin—learned their secrets cooking in the backyard with their families and friends, not from a long line of restaurateurs.

Housed in a converted 1940s gas station just a mile off the beach, Southern Soul has earned a loyal following among vacationers. The broad menu nods at the local Georgia style with smoky pulled pork and tangy Brunswick stew, but they offer plenty of ribs, brisket, and smoked chicken wings too. The sauces span regional boundaries: two versions of zesty red Georgia Soul (hot or sweet) plus two inspired by flavors of the Carolinas.

Andrew Thomas Lee

But don’t let the goodtime atmosphere fool you. When it comes to cooking, the guys at Southern Soul are as serious as they come. Sapp and Bufkin barbecue over all wood and load the meat with seasoning while it cooks. They get creative, serving house-smoked sausage dogs and a “Philly Soul” cheesesteak stuffed with sliced brisket.

Wynn Myers

Daily specials highlight local seafood and Caribbean-inspired fusions such as jerk baby back ribs and massive burgers that are topped with chutney and fried plantains. Traditional? No. Delicious? Absolutely. Southern Soul Barbeque might be the best smokehouse in the South.