Our Five Faves

Best BBQ

Posted October 4, 2011

The Pit

In Texas, it's beef. (Roadkill, Perry?)  

For the majority of the country, it's a noun referring to a gathering or a cooking apparatus.

Here in the good ol' North State barbecue is all about the pork.

North Carolina is famous for its barbecue joints.  Here are our five favorites in the Triangle, in no particular order:

The Pit (Raleigh): Made famous by several television appearances by former pitmaster Ed Mitchell, The Pit serves up several varieties of its whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue with "everything but the squeal."  Pair the eastern-style chopped plate with 2 sides, hushpuppies and freshly-made biscuits.  Looking for a leaner option?  Try the BBQ Turkey.

Clyde Cooper's BBQ (Raleigh): Cooper's is a Raleigh institution, serving its barbecue in downtown for nearly 75 years.  Cooper's cooks only top lean pork shoulders and hams until perfectly tender and finishes it off with a splash of homemade barbecue sauce.  When U2 played in Raleigh, Cooper's was their BBQ of choice.  

Ole Time Barbecue (Raleigh): The recipe at Ole Time has been in Jerry Hart's family for decades.  After banks telling him no for years, Jerry finally fell into the right place at the right time and opened his dream BBQ house nearly 20 years ago.  At $6.75, the BBQ pork sandwich, drink and choice of side is hard to beat.  

Allen & Son Bar-B-Que (Chapel Hill): No fluff here.  Allen & Son has some of the most tender BBQ pork we've ever had. Top it with their vinegar-based sauce and you're in for quite a treat.  Make sure to throw in a side of their crispy, yet wonderfully light hushpuppies.  

Danny's Bar-B-Que (Cary, RTP): Unable to find the BBQ they were accustomed to in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, Danny and his family decided to open their own shop.  Danny's BBQ consists of chicken, ribs, pork, beef, and turkey, all slow cooked on an open pit with Hickory wood.  The traditional vinegar-based sauce is available but we recommend trying one of Danny's original creations such as the "high on the hog" sweet sauce.

The best part about our "Five Faves" is your feedback.  How'd we do?  Let us know what else we absolutely must try. 



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  • brainerosanne Oct 13, 2011

    Suprised 'Hog Heaven' didn't make the list!
    They have a least two locations in Durham,
    Whenever i go up there to visit friends, i stop
    And pick up a meal for 4 to go, great food!!

  • sgpepr Oct 11, 2011

    McCall's BBQ in Clayton is very good, quite addictive in fact. If you're in the Triangle, you don't need to drive to Goldsboro, just go to the Clayton restaurant.

  • joeBob Oct 11, 2011

    "North Carolina in the fall and North Carolina barbecue - it doesn't get much better. . . . I know what I'm having for supper!"

    right on!

  • The one and only Original WILLOW Oct 10, 2011

    bbq lodge is great for eastern vinegar style but the last time i was there a roach crawled across the table so I will pass on them from now on

  • The one and only Original WILLOW Oct 10, 2011

    YUCK to dannys bbq, i kinda think they pay people to say that

    Smokeys BBQ shack off chapel hill road in morrisville is awesome

  • Bogged Down Oct 10, 2011

    I wholeheartedly agree about The Pit. It's fantastic.

  • carolwilson Oct 9, 2011

    The best NC barbecue is apparently "outside" the Triangle. Stephenson's on Hwy. 50 between Garner and Benson is the best!

  • ttreload Oct 7, 2011


  • ncvamd Oct 6, 2011

    the bet B.B.Q is at Meadow baptist church, at homecoming. The farmers there know how to make the best bbq you will ever wrap your lips around. I also like the sliced bbq sandwiches you can get in Granite Falls nc at the city barbque, which has closed.

  • Mtn Man Oct 6, 2011

    Stamey's in GSO