8 North Carolina Restaurants Among The South's 50 Best BBQ Joints In 2023

By Sarah Tate

September 19, 2023

Photo: Kevin Trimmer/Moment/Getty Images

The South is known for its culinary impact, including serving up some of the most delectable, flavorful barbecue you could ask for. While many states are famous for their own regional style of bbq, North Carolina manages to hold its own. Southern Living recently released its picks for the 50 best barbecue joints in the South, and several restaurants in North Carolina made the cut:

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 really saying something. Skylight Inn BBQ in Ayden snagged the highest spot on the list, which states:

"Why is this small restaurant in tiny Ayden, North Carolina, such a Southern legend? Just take one bite of barbecue and you'll know. The pork is chopped into fine, tender shreds, and each chew unleashes a juicy, smoky burst that's accented by the crunch of little bits of pig skin, which are chopped right into the meat. [...] The secret to the barbecue's splendid flavor isn't hard to uncover: just peek around the back of the building at the massive mounds of split oak logs beside the pit house. It all goes to fire the open brick pits, where they cook whole hogs overnight before pulling the meat, seasoning it with salt, cider vinegar, and Texas Pete, and chopping it to shreds with cleavers. It's as fundamental as North Carolina barbecue gets."

These are the Top 10 BBQ joints in the South:

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

Check out the full list at Southern Living to read up on more of the best barbecue joints around the South.

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