8 North Carolina Eateries Named Among The 50 Best BBQ Joints In The South

By Sarah Tate

October 7, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Aside from the typical southern cuisine, the South is known for its varied and distinct regional styles of barbecue, from smoked morsels in Texas and dry-rubbed ribs in Memphis to vinegar-based sauces in the Carolinas. Southern Living searched around the South to find the 50 best BBQ joints around, and several in North Carolina managed to find a spot on the list.

These eight North Carolina barbecue joints are among the best in the South:

According to Southern Living, all eight restaurants serve up some of the best barbecue around, and in a state known for its barbecue, that's saying something. Skylight Inn in Ayden snagged the highest spot on the list, which states:

"In recent years, pitmasters as far away as Texas have begun emulating Skylight Inn's distinctive style of whole hog barbecue, but no one has quite managed to equal it. Perhaps it's the sheer amount of wood they use to fire the open brick pits... or perhaps it's how they dress the hogs once they're cooked, pulling the meat and seasoning it with salt, cider vinegar, and Texas Pete while chopping it with cleavers on a giant wooden block. And then there's Skylight's signature finishing touch: bits of skin, crisp from the pit, that are chopped right into the meat, adding a delightful extra crunch to each tender, smoky bite."

These are the South's Top 10 barbecue restaurants:

  1. Scott's Bar-B-Que (Hemingway, South Carolina)
  2. Snow's BBQ (Lexington, Texas)
  3. Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor, Texas)
  4. Skylight Inn (Ayden, North Carolina)
  5. Goldee's Bar-B-Q (Fort Worth, Texas)
  6. Franklin Barbecue (Austin, Texas)
  7. Archibald's Bar-B-Q (Northport, Alabama)
  8. Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, North Carolina)
  9. Fresh Air Barbecue (Jackson, Georgia)
  10. Lewis Barbecue (Charleston, South Carolina)

Check out Southern Living to see its full list of the 50 best barbecue joints in the South.

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