The 10 Best BBQ in North Carolina

Sam Jones Bbq Ribs

Although North Carolina is known for its serene beaches and luscious strawberry farms, many people forget that this state serves some of the best BBQ in the entire country. Half of the state has a different BBQ style with a thin vinegar sauce, while the other half prefers a ketchup-based sauce giving it a sweet and sour kick.

If you’re in the state for some good BBQ, here is our list of the top 10 best BBQ in North Carolina that you should visit.

Best BBQ in North Carolina

The Skylight Inn

The Skylight Inn

The Skylight Inn is one of the oldest BBQ joints in North Carolina. It was established in 1947. The no-frills setup seats hundreds of people and sells authentic Carolina-style BBQ and classics on Lee St, in Ayden.

The East-cackalacky style BBQ meat is marinated in vinegar pepper sauce. The whole hog BBQ and burnt ends that have bits of crispy skin taste great. The place is popular among locals and is also bustling with tourists.

  • 4618 Lee St, Ayden, NC 28513, United States
  • Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM
  • +1 252 746 4113

Red Bridges Barbecue Lodges

Red Bridges Barbecue Lodges

Red Bridges Barbecue Lodges is a venerable restaurant that serves pit smokes BBQ meats with excellent sides, such as its iconic hush puppies. The history of this BBQ joint dates back to 1960. For so many years, this place has earned a reputation for serving Carolina-style BBQ that is served with a smile.

The wait staff is friendly and keeps a check on you. They keep the sweet tea flowing and give the best service you can ask for, even when the establishment is exceptionally busy. The meals come in huge portions, and they ask you to pack your food for a takeaway before you even ask.

The atmosphere is old, and people are very humble. The interior feels like it hasn’t changed much since the ’60s. The perfect place to have lunch or dinner if you want some good old BBQ and spend some quality time with family or friends.

  • 2000 E Dixon Blvd, Shelby, NC 28150, United States
  • Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM –7 PM. Sunday, 11 AM –3 PM
  • +1 704 482 8567

Parker’s Barbeque

Parker’s Barbeque

Parker’s Barbeque is a no-frills hub to find North Carolina-style BBQ meats, seafood, and smoked chicken in family-style large portions. The customers say that Parker’s BBQ also serves the best-fried chicken they have ever eaten.

The vinegar-based sauce marinated brisket and ribs are cooked in wooden smokers for long hours, giving it its authentic NC flavor and smell. The buffalo wings also taste delicious with Bleu cheese dressing.

The prices are very reasonable, and the food tastes like home cooking. The food is carried out almost instantly. They ask you if you want to take away the cold leftovers to freeze them when you go home.

  • 2514 US-301, Wilson, NC 27893, United States
  • Monday – Sunday, 9 AM –7 PM
  • +1 252 237 0972

Haywood Smokehouse

Haywood Smokehouse

Haywood Smokehouse has been selling St. Louis style BBQ ribs, succulent pulled pork, and moist brisket the same way for years. The taste is delicious and exceptional every time. Haywood Smokehouse makes you feel like you are in Texas.

A smoked turkey is also a delicious option. Unfortunately, they run out of BBQ meats quickly, so calling before going for a meal is recommended. The strawberry chipotle sauce tastes great with food and is a must-try with BBQ meat.

  • 403 Haywood Rd, Dillsboro, NC 28725, United States
  • Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM –8 PM
  • +1 8286319797

The Pit Authentic Barbeque

The Pit Authentic Barbeque

The Pit Authentic Barbeque serves pit-smoked free-range pork and Texas-style brisket with classic staples on a butcher paper in a laid-back setting. For a casual day out, this place has everything a BBQ fan needs.

The local farms support their magical food. They have local spirits options and gourmet desserts on their menu as well. The service is very fast, and the wait staff is friendly.The traffic outside gets busy, so they offer free valet parking right out front.

  • 328 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States
  • Friday and Saturday, 11 AM –10 PM. Sunday – Thursday, 11 AM –9 PM
  • +1 919 890 4500

Smokey’s BBQ Shack

Smokey’s BBQ Shack is a no-nonsense spot that serves BBQ platters & sandwiches with Southern sides. It is one of the best BBQ places located in the Triangle. The staff is friendly, has a good sense of humor, and they make your day.

The food comes out quickly even when the restaurant is busy. The taste is consistently delicious, which is the reason why the locals love this place so much. The place has an iconic ‘hole in the wall’ atmosphere that is casual and fun. Ask to be seated on picnic tables in the back if the weather is nice. Try to get there early for lunch because the place gets filled up quite quickly.

  • 10800 Chapel Hill Rd, Morrisville, NC 27560, United States
  • Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM –3 PM
  • +1 9194691724

Backyard BBQ Pit

Backyard Bbq Pit

Backyard BBQ Pit is a roadhouse serving old-school BBQ smoked in an oak and hickory wooden smoker. If you live in Durham or are visiting Durham, this place is a must-visit. The North Carolina BBQ is fall-off the bone delicious and served with excellent sides.

The staff may take a few minutes to seat you because it is usually very crowded. The wait is worth it, though. The rib plate with Mac and cheese is delicious, the ribs and brisket are slathered in rich BBQ sauce that gives off a delicious flavor. Sweet yams are like a dessert and a must-try after eating spicy BBQ.

  • 5122 NC-55, Durham, NC 27713, United States
  • Monday – Friday, 12 PM –7:30 PM
  • +1 919 544 9911

Ole Time Barbecue

Ole Time Barbecue

Ole Time Barbecue is a down-home BBQ joint that serves delicious BBQ meats and offers tailgate-party platters to go. It is Raleigh’s hidden gem. The place looks very unamusing from the outside, but the vibe is different as soon as you come inside.

The place is full of great people and delicious food, It’s a small place that serves no-nonsense BBQ casually on butcher paper. They also have one of the best fried chicken, and Carolina-style BBQ is no wonder the best.

  • 6309 Hillsborough St #1148, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States
  • Monday – Saturday, 6 AM –8 PM
  • +1 919 859 2544

Grady’s Barbecue

Grady's Barbecue

Grady’s Barbecue is an unassuming roadside restaurant serving BBQ classics in an old-fashioned setting. At Grady’s, you can find great whole hog BBQ. It is cooked and chopped the old-fashioned way so you can get a mix of some tender and crispy bits.

Hospitality is the country’s hidden treasure, and you will notice it a lot while eating at Grady’s. The couple that runs the place has been doing it for decades. The restaurant is an old-style building with paneled wood on walls, and the smokehouse is in a separate building.

  • 3096 Arrington Bridge Rd, Dudley, NC 28333, United States
  • Saturday, 10 AM –4 PM. Wednesday – Friday, 10 AM –3 PM
  • +1 919 735 7243

Sam Jones BBQ

Sam Jones Bbq Ribs

Sam Jones BBQ is a time-tested, family-owned BBQ joint that serves wood-fired BBQ plates with delicious sides that are also cooked in-house and craft beers. The design of the building is very cool, and as soon as you come inside, you can smell the smoke from sizzling BBQ.

The food comes out quickly, and the Great Sam Jones stops by to ask you about food. They have top-5 eastern style BBQ. They are also willing to give you a tour of the smokehouse if you would like to take a peak.

  • 715 W Fire Tower Rd, Winterville, NC 28590, United States
  • Monday – Saturday, 11 AM –9 PM. Sunday, 11 AM –8:30 PM
  • +1 2526896449

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