Our Midwestern standards for BBQ are so much higher than the rest of the country, it's not even funny. That's why a declaration that one is superior to all the rest gets my attention. That being said, food experts (really) say for the best BBQ in Illinois, you need to not go to Chicago, but a completely different destination instead.

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When "food" is in your name, that's a pretty good indication that you just might know what you're talking about. Food Network recently shared their "Best BBQ Joint in Every State" and for Illinois, the #1 isn't located in Chicago. Nope. It's 17th Street BBQ in Marion, Illinois.

What's so great about 17th Street BBQ?

It's Mike Mills who they said holds "four world championships and three grand world championships" in BBQ. He is the man who understands his BBQ craft like a master. I was looking at their official website and it looks like 17th Street BBQ now has a Murphysboro, Illinois location, too.

Oh, and it looks like they offer bulk delivery now also so maybe having some BBQ goodies shipped to you is an option? I don't think I'd ever be so happy to see a Fed Ex or UPS delivery truck in my life.

If you're interested in what other BBQ places in other states got a shout out, check out the full Food Network ranking. It's BBQ to the max.

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