Jul 18, 2022 - Food and Drink

5 great places to get North Carolina barbecue in the Triangle

A barbecue sandwich with fries and a Cheerwine.
Photo: Zachery Eanes/Axios

There are plenty of places to get barbecue in the Triangle but who stands out above the rest? Here are five terrific places to get Eastern NC-style barbecue.

1. Sam Jones BBQ

Why it stands out: Sam Jones is owned by the family of the late Pete Jones, founder of the legendary Skylight Inn restaurant.

Address: 502 W Lenoir St., Raleigh

Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-8:30pm.

Photo: Denny Culbert, courtesy of Sam Jones BBQ
2. Picnic

Why it stands out: Picnic serves barbecue with classic southern appetizers like deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes, pickle fries, and pimento cheese with saltines.

Address: 1647 Cole Mill Rd., Durham

Hours: 11am-8pm Monday and Wednesday-Sunday (closed Tuesday).

3. Clyde Cooper's

Why it stands out: With just a $50 loan from his brother-in-law, Clyde Cooper opened this Eastern-style barbecue restaurant in Downtown Raleigh in 1938.

Address: 327 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3:30pm.

4. Ole Time Barbecue

Why it stands out: Another old-school joint that's been a favorite of Raleigh for decades. It also has a great breakfast.

Address: 6309 Hillsborough St., Raleigh

Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 6am-8pm, closed on Sunday.

5. Backyard BBQ Pit

Why it stands out: It's a south Durham classic that has gotten plaudits in Southern Living. The signature dish is its chopped pork shoulder.

Address: 5122 NC Highway 55, Durham

Hours: Monday-Friday 12pm-730pm, Saturday-Sunday closed.

Photo: Arianna Kalkandis/@foodasweare
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