1119 N. Boulevard, 355-6055; 8205 W. Broad St., 346-4227
Second Place: Alamo BBQ
Third Place: Q Barbeque
Barbecue is fiercely personal and can cause irreparable rifts between friends and families. Virginia historically hasn't had a signature style, but Richmond adopted Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue as its own. Pork is smoked for hours over hickory and gently pulled, with the charred, crispy edges emphasizing the smoke within and enrobed in a sweet sauce with a subtle pepper finish. Diners extol the best potato salad in town, although that designation can be hotly contested too. The late Ned of Buz and Ned's was a legendary pit master who he found, says owner Buz Grossberg, where the crossroads of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia meet. And his protégé keeps the flame alive on the Boulevard and in the West End. Alamo started in a bare-bones spot in Church Hill and gave Texas brisket a Virginia home, while Q Barbeque serves three-time barbecue world champion Tuffy Stone's delectably smoky offerings.