Best BBQ Restaurants In Owensboro

by | Last updated Jun 26, 2023

Known as the “Barbecue Capital of the world”, Owensboro has a large selection of very well known BBQ restaurants. If you come to the Owensboro area, you’ll be sure to find BBQ, Blues and fun.

There are three big well known BBQ restaurants in town that are worth visiting. The largest and most visited, and my favorite, is Moonlite Inn BBQ.

Living in Owensboro has given us the opportunity to try multiple restaurants in town. Let’s take a look at the best BBQ restaurants in Owensboro.

Moonlite BBQ Inn

If you’re looking for the largest buffet in town with the best selection of meats, sides and desserts, then Moonlite BBQ has you covered. It’s also one of my personal favorites.

The two sided buffet has different meats including pork bbq, bbq ribs, brisket, chopped mutton along with all the sides you can choose from including green beans, corn, mac n cheese, mashed potatoes and more.

Once you’re done with the main course, head to the other side for the wide variety of desserts. My favorite is the blackberry cobbler with a scoop of ice cream. There’s all kinds of pies and other desserts to try.

moonlite bbq inn owensboro

The large BBQ focused buffet that has been visited by many famous figures such as Kevin Costner, Bill Clinton and Dierks Bentley. Originally founded in 1949, it has been a staple restaurant in the Western Kentucky and Owensboro area.

moonlite bbq chef statue

One other thing to add is kids eat free on Mondays.

Restaurant Information


2840 W Parrish Ave

Owensboro, KY 42301


Monday 9 AM–8:30 PM

Tuesday 9 AM–8:30 PM

Wednesday 9 AM–8:30 PM

Thursday 9 AM–8:30 PM

Friday 9 AM–9:30 PM

Saturday 9 AM–9:30 PM

Sunday 9 AM–3 PM



Old Hickory BBQ

Known as the oldest BBQ restaurant in Owensboro, Old Hickory was started in 1918 and has won multiple Pitmaster awards over the years. The restaurant has also been featured in many national TV shows and magazines. It has been in the city for over 100 years and has served thousands of plates of BBQ.

With a 4.5 star review, everyone seems to have a positive view and no wonder it’s voted one of the longest and best BBQ restaurants in Owensboro.

old hickory review owensboro ky
Old Hickory BBQ in Owensboro, Kentucky. Photo sourced from their official website

Old Hickory is not a buffet, you must sit down and order. They offer all kinds of meat plates, including pork BBQ plates, mutton and more. The menu is filled with sides and sandwiches.

After you’re done with the tasty BBQ plate, don’t forget to try a delicious blackberry, apple or cherry cobbler with a side of vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Restaurant Information


338 Washington Ave

Owensboro , KY 42301


Monday 9 AM–9  PM

Tuesday 9 AM–9  PM

Wednesday 9 AM–9  PM

Thursday 9 AM–9  PM

Friday 9 AM–10 PM

Saturday 9 AM–10 PM

Sunday 9 AM–9 PM



Ole South BBQ

Another great BBQ restaurant with a buffet is Ole South. They offer breakfast, lunch and supper on the buffet. It’s located on the west side of town right off Hwy 54.

The Ole South buffet is smaller than Moonlite and doesn’t offer as many selections. They typically have some pork bbq, fried chicken and a few other meats.

The seating is limited and very crowded inside. They do have a drive thru if you are just wanting to get a plate to go.

It’s typically crowded seven days a week and you can make reservations for large parties.

Restaurant Information


3523 Hwy 54

Owensboro , KY 42303


Monday 6 AM – 8 PM

Tuesday 6 AM – 8 PM

Wednesday 6 AM – 8 PM

Thursday 6 AM – 8 PM

Friday 6 AM – 9 PM

Saturday 6 AM – 9 PM

Sunday 6 AM – 8 PM




We live, eat, work and play in Owensboro. If you are wanting to try a sample of the BBQ that Owensboro has to offer, then these are the three BBQ restaurants you should visit.

Out of the above, my favorite is Moonlite. It’s hard to beat all the selections of meats, sides and desserts.

If you have kids, I recommend going on Monday for kids eat free and during lunch time, to get the discounted lunch buffet price. I believe it’s $15 lunch vs $18 for supper time.

Hope this helps you navigate your BBQ journey in Owensboro. Enjoy!

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Trey Copeland

Trey Copeland

Founder & Editor

Hello folks! I’m Trey Copeland, founder and editor of Stay Bluegrass, along with my wife Kaci. We’ve been fortunate to travel to many countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica, but our true roots remain here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State.

Our goal is to help you live like a local while traveling and exploring the great state of Kentucky. We want to help you find the best places to eat, the must see and do attractions and more.

Hey! I'm Trey

Hey! I'm Trey

I live in Owensboro, Kentucky and have traveled around the Bluegrass state with my wife Kaci.

Read more about us

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