The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

I am a self proclaimed BBQ snob.  I grew up in eastern North Carolina eating chopped BBQ from little no-name places every weekend.  I went on a mission to find the best BBQ places in the Triangle that would satisfy my chopped BBQ obsession (You know, the vinegar based one), and my husband’s western NC bbq taste. 

Picnic, Durham

The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

Picnic is such a cool BBQ joint in Durham.   They specialize in whole-hog barbecue and their sides are seriously delicious.  I love the outdoor picnic tables and the signage on the restaurant, too!  It definitely has a cool, swanky vibe to be a BBQ place.

Order: The barbeque sandwich, pimento mac & cheese, & bacon braised collards

Clyde Cooper’s BBQ, Raleigh

The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

Clyde Cooper’s in downtown Raleigh has such a fun atmosphere in its new location.  I think what attracts me to the location the most is that it has an updated feel, but still kept its traditional touches.  It’s definitely a favorite.   I really love that they include pork rinds in their orders.  Just don’t forget your cash!

Order: BBQ sandwich with slaw, fries & a sweet tea

Johnson Family BBQ, Durham


Our friends from Buffalo introduced us to Johnson Family BBQ, and I was a little skeptical given my expert BBQ opinion.  But man, did they find a real gem!  They have catering which is super convenient for parties.  It’s a total hole in the wall, which in my experience, generally makes BBQ taste even better!

Order: Chopped bbq, hush puppies

Allen & Son BBQ, Pittsboro & Chapel Hill

The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

Allen & Son offers both eastern & western style BBQ, and has two locations in the area.  This is your quintessential Southern BBQ joint with the red, checkered table cloths.  Bonus is that they bring you a pitcher of tea to your table when they bring you your hushpuppies (P.S. Don’t forget to check out my day trip guide for Pittsboro).

Order: BBQ sandwich with slaw and  fried okra

The Original Q Shack, Durham

Image result for the q shack durhamvia

The Durham location of Q Shack is my favorite.  I’m not sure if it’s the quaint interior or what.  The Q Shack also has both eastern & western style BBQ and is a great location, right near DBAP.

Order: chopped BBQ plate with his sauce + hushpuppies, fries, fried okra, & a jalapeno deviled egg

Danny’s BBQ, Morrisville, Cary, & RTP


There are three locations of Danny’s in Morrisville, Cary, & RTP.  They are always packed during lunch, so try to get there early so you don’t have to wait!

Order: chopped BBQ sandwich, onion rings

The Blistered Pig, Apex

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This restaurant is a little bit different than some of the other restaurants I’ve listed that specialize in mainly traditional BBQ.  This restaurant has an all around menu, but their pulled pork is delicious!

Order: pulled pork with fried okra and sweet potato fries

Aviator Smokehouse, Fuquay-Varina

The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

Aviator Smokehouse does a great job with their BBQ (and beer).  In recent years, they’ve started letting you decide how much sauce you want, but the flavors haven’t changed.  They also have both eastern and western style BBQ.

Order: Chopped BBQ plate (or sandwich), macaroni & cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy

Fiction Kitchen, Raleigh

The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

My first experience at Fiction Kitchen involved me trying eastern NC style chopped “pork” and despite it being faux pork, it was delicious!  So, if you don’t eat meat, or just want to try something new, I definitely recommend this dish at Fiction Kitchen!

Order: Eastern NC Style BBQ Pulled “Pork” and the black beans

Do you have a favorite BBQ place?  Locals, do you see your favorites on this list?  Are there any places I should try?


Linking up with Jenn & Jessi


3 thoughts on “The Best BBQ Places in the Triangle

  1. Chesson @ Magnolia & Main

    SO many good BBQ places near you! I love a good pulled pork plate and any place that serves hushpuppies with the BBQ is a favorite of mine.

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