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Shemwell's Barbecue Downtown

1102 Washington Ave, Cairo, IL 62914-2048
+1 618-734-0165
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  • Excellent54%
  • Very good21%
  • Average9%
  • Poor7%
  • Terrible9%
Travellers talk about
“sandwich” (10 reviews)
“ribs” (4 reviews)
“catfish” (2 reviews)
Closed Now
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American, Barbecue
1102 Washington Ave, Cairo, IL 62914-2048
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Reviews (41)
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1 - 10 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We used to visit this place everytime we were close to Cairo. Special trips would be made to go there. When the Shemwell's had it, it was a great place. We're told it is now under new ownership and you can tell. The staff are...More

Thank IllinoisCardinalFan
Reviewed 5 March 2017

My husband love's shemwell's, i haven't ever really liked their barbecue, would usually get a hamburger. Recently when we went, I decided to try the shrimp and it was tasty. Went back last week and they were out of shrimp, so needless to say, I...More

Thank proimageteamil
Reviewed 18 January 2017

My husband likes the BBQ, I love the Catfish. It is always a win win for good food and service. Thank you !!

Thank 4wheaties
Reviewed 7 December 2016

A must stop for Pork BBQ, served hot and delish on a bun or toast. The smoke cooking is still done with Hickory, as it has been done for over 50 years.

1  Thank jimblakemore2
Reviewed 27 November 2016 via mobile

Good local food. They have beef pork chicken, and fish. Call ahead if you want brisket they usually run out pretty early. It's a small place it's been around for a long time and for good reason

1  Thank bluto359
Reviewed 17 November 2016

We have been there many times and Love the BBQ and Catfish We have never had a bad meal there, and service. A must try if your in the area.

1  Thank 4wheaties
Reviewed 29 October 2016 via mobile

Has a great variety of food the barbecue pork/ beef/ and turkey is really good they have the best onion rings I've tasted also the staff of young ladies are nice

1  Thank grandma212
Reviewed 14 October 2016

At the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers lies the almost deserted town of Cairo, Illinois of Huckleberry Finn fame. Although the town is almost gone, the food at Shemwell's is still mighty good.

1  Thank Fezlo
Reviewed 4 October 2016

I live 30 miles away, eat bbq all over the south, even lived in MS for awhile. Hands down, Shemwell's is my favorite. My brother comes home and never, ever misses going to get at least one bbq. They've been there for years, and will...More

1  Thank Jess M
Reviewed 27 August 2016

The epitome of a small town restaurant! Kitsch without having to work at it. The food was fabulous with large portions, friendly service, and surrounded by locals. Cairo might as well be the South when it comes to BBQ excellence and Shemwell's doesn't disappoint. Can't...More

Thank Jay M
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14.16 km away
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Las Brisas
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Nearby Attractions
Fort Defiance Park
64 reviews
3.27 km away
Wickliffe Mounds Historic Site
15 reviews
7.65 km away
Mound City National Cemetery
6 reviews
9.54 km away
Columbus-Belmont State Park
34 reviews
26.75 km away
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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating
Good for
Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Open Hours
07:00 - 19:00
07:00 - 19:00
07:00 - 19:00
07:00 - 19:00
07:00 - 19:00
07:00 - 19:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1102 Washington Ave, Cairo, IL 62914-2048
  • Location: United States  >  Illinois (IL)  >  Cairo
  • Phone Number: +1 618-734-0165
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