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2023 BBQ

Editors’ Choice 

Rusty Can , Byfield

The Rusty Can brings traditional barbecue to Byfield at this casual spot that’s so inconspicuous that you might miss it at first glance. Pulled pork, St. Louis-style ribs, and chopped or sliced beef brisket all demonstrate a steadfast dedication to slow-cooked ’cue. But it would be criminal to overlook the stellar sides: mac and cheese, cornbread with honey butter, collard greens, and BBQ black beans, all part of what makes Rusty Can a can’t-miss experience. 6 Fruit St., Byfield, 978-462-1204,

Readers’ Choice 

Flip the Bird, Beverly 

Come for the fried chicken, stay for the buttery biscuits, baby back ribs, and orange Fanta floats. At Flip the Bird, in Beverly, launched in 2019 by Torie Farnsworth and Anthony Marino, fried chicken devotees can choose between multiple sandwiches, all of which are served on buttered, grilled potato rolls. Heat-seekers should head directly to The Cry Bird, a ghost pepper–dipped version offered up with a red pepper jelly. To cool off, try the Southern-inspired sweet tea, made in house. 407 Cabot St., Beverly, 
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