Meat Week

What is this?

Meat Week starts the last Sunday in January. For 8 nights straight, we go to a different BBQ restaurant and feast. In every participating city, there is a devoted Captain who creates the schedule of restaurants to be visited throughout the week. Each city develops their own traditions, but Meat Week typically focuses on good ol' American BBQ: Pork, ribs, brisket, barbecued chicken, and anything else you can smoke and smother in sauce. It was started in 2005 in Tallahassee, Florida by Chris Cantey and Erni Walker.


People eat BBQ together, take pictures of each other doing so, and share them on the internet. Some cities’ captains also give out awards at the end of the week for people who showed exceptional meating prowess, or to honor the best restaurants.

What is HYPE WEEK?

Hype Week is the week before Meat Week, when those excited about the coming holiday create graphical and video meat-hype that is plastered about the internet to warn others that Meat Week cometh.


Unless otherwise specified, just show up! Some cities hold special events with limited seating, which will be announced on that city’s page. But for the most part, it’s an event open to all.

Do I have to go all 8 nights to properly celebrate meat week?

Nope! The captain and first mate are the only ones expected to attend all 8 nights. The idea is that whenever you are able to go, you won't have to fear meating alone. (That being said, you’d be surprised how many devotees soldier through all 8 nights!)

How do i get a meat week chapter in my city?

Become a Captain! Once you’ve created a login for this site, you can click this link to submit the information we require to start a chapter. Primary obligations are: creating a schedule for all 8 nights, showing up all 8 nights, and posting photos from all 8 nights. Once you’ve been approved as a new chapter, we’ll send you a Captain’s Packet that explains how to use this website and some other tips for hosting a successful Meat Week.

How do I share my meatweek photos?

Find your city, click on the night you attended, and click "upload photos." Then just drag and drop! If you've not had the pleasure of attending an official Meat Week chapter, share your celebratory photos on our Facebook page with the hashtag "flyinsolo."

WHY DON’t you include mongolian BBQ, Thai BBQ or steak houses?

Some cities do! Meat Week was created as a celebration of traditional southern BBQ because that’s what made us meat lovers to begin with, so most cities still focus on that. But everyone is free to celebrate as they see fit!

I’m a vegetarian, i feel left out.

More than half the crew who sailed the maiden voyage of meat were herbivores. We’ve even had a few veggie captains! Many come for the camaraderie and stay for the sides. Just make sure the baked beans don’t have pork in them (they probably will) or use fries as a sauce vehicle.

How do I become an official stop on the meat week train?

Each individual Captain makes their own schedule. If you would like to let your city’s captain know that you’d enjoy a visit, just find your city's page then click "contact." No captain is obligated to add any restaurant to their schedule, but they’re always looking for new BBQ joints!

Can I advertise with you?

Yes! We have adspace reserved on our website for any restaurant looking to advertise. Please contact us for further information.

I was told that Meat Week would be coming to my restaurant, but no one showed.

This has only happened once to date, but we heavily discourage this behavior in our captains. Unfortunately, we at headquarters cannot help you, as any communication happens directly between your restaurant and your city’s captain.

I am angry/unhappy/upset about something related to meat week.

Please contact the captain of your city by navigating to your city's page then clicking "contact." Each individual captain makes the schedule and plans for their city’s chapter, so we at Meat Week headquarters are not responsible for any issues. We do, however, encourage our captains to maintain great relationships with their city’s restaurants, so we hope that you will find a resolution easily.

I’m just going to calL myself a “Meat week” restaurant, even though no one has confirmed meat week is coming here.

Please don’t do this. Not because we are exclusive, but because it can cause confusion among people who are looking to gather with the other Meat Weekers. If you’re just proclaiming your love and support for Meat Week, that’s great! But calling yourself a “Meat Week restaurant” could make for some lonely Meat Weekers. If you’d like to become a stop on the Meat Week train, find your city and click "contact" to speak with your Captain. No captain is obligated to add any restaurant to their schedule, but they'd probably love to hear from you.

I want to do an article about meat week.

Awesome, we’re flattered! Most of the info you need about the basics is located on this page. Please read that first, and if you have further questions, please contact us to set up an email or phone interview. If you have questions about a specific city’s Meat Week chapter, please find that city's page then click "contact" to speak directly with that city's captain.


Meat Week is the only national week-long holiday devoted to the celebration of barbecued meats. Started in 2005 in Tallahassee, Florida by co-workers Chris Cantey and Erni Walker, Meat Week has now spread across the country. Some years there have been as many as 15-20 cities celebrating Meat Week with their own chapters. The longest-consecutively-running chapters are: Tallahassee, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Washington DC, and Baltimore.

Meat Week always starts the last Sunday in January. For 8 nights straight, friends and strangers alike gather to eat BBQ. The “Captain” of each city creates a schedule including 7 different BBQ restaurants to visit for the week. Originally, the first night and last night were both celebrated at Sonny’s, a regional south-eastern chain. Now, most cities celebrate the 8th night at someone’s home with a BYOBBQ and cookout, as it usually falls on Superbowl Sunday (a happy accident).

There are no “rules” to Meat Week, but there are plenty of traditions that have evolved over the years. One of our original traditions is that of “meatography.” Everyone who attends Meat Week gets a photo with their meat each night. We also get a big group photo underneath the restaurant’s sign. And then there’s Hype Week, which originated in Atlanta. For the week leading up to the actual holiday, people excited about Meat Week make various graphical and video meat-hype to plaster about the internet. Some people have even gone analog and created t-shirts and posters with their own city’s name and unique logo.

Many people attend all 8 nights of Meat Week, but no one other than the captain and/or first mate are expected to. There are also plenty of vegetarians in attendance, including a few vegetarian captains. Most of them come for the camaraderie but stay for the sides.

At its core, this holiday is about togetherness. Gathering over BBQ harkens back to our family’s traditions. It’s not a prim and proper meal, it’s a down-home hang-out. Everyone can let their hair down and be themselves at a BBQ restaurant. We revel in the fact that so many people have latched on to this holiday and made it their own. Meat Week started with a couple of friends creating a new tradition, and it’s grown to an event that makes us feel close to people we’ve never even met. For one week out of the year, we get to see our friends every single night, look at pictures of our brethren in different cities, and bask in the greasy glow of delicious smoked meats. We get to see peoples’ creative sides and their senses of humor, which really come through in their hype. More than anything, this holiday is about an American tradition that is alive and well, and deserves to be celebrated all year long. But, you know, we also value our colons, so we squeeze this celebration into an event that keeps us from experiencing those post-Christmas blues. Soon as New Year’s is behind us, we’re ready to eat meat, repeat.

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