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Oct 25, 2007 07:58 PM

Best Eastern NC BBQ

I know this is a dangerous topic as everyone has their own favorite but what do you think is the best Eastern NC example of BBQ?

I'll be traveling from Los Angeles to the Triangle in a few days and spending some time in Wilmington, NC.


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  1. Skylight Inn in Ayden. Hands down the best eastern style commercially available. Bum's, also in Ayden is very good and Wilbur's in Goldsboro is excellent if it's fresh.

    1. I'm partial to Bill's Barbecue over in Wilson. It's a bit of a drive from Wilmington but less than an hour from the Triangle (Raleigh/ Durham). The service isn't fancy; it's cafeteria style but the barbecue is succulent and the hush puppies are divine. I also like Wilbur's in Goldsboro, but I don't think that their quality is as consistent as Bill's. There is also Parker's Barbecue in Wilson. It's been around for years and my parents swear that it is the best barbecue around. Happy eating!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Aimer

        Parker's in Wilson is better than Bill's to me since they started the buffet. Cooper's in Raleigh is also good.

        1. re: Aimer

          I have been to both Parkers & Bill's BBQ both in Wilson. I had family in virgina and every chance we got to stop in one of those places we would. I would even carry an ice chest just to bring the BBQ back to home. It is very home style and I am sorry to say I haven't been in many years. But hoping to get back real soon.

        2. All of the above recommendations are worth checking out. There is thread after thread on NC bbq on this board -- if you do a search you'll read more than you want. Since you specifically asked after Eastern NC BBQ, I will simply point out that you are unlikely to encounter it anywhere west of pittsboro.

          Actually, the historical border tends to follow the NE/SW line where NC changes from sand flats to the piedmont, but I don't expect someone not from here to drag out an atlas, and with the spread of roads and highways there have come to be a few exceptions as far northwest as Danville, VA.

          I am now going to speak a minor heresy: if you have never eaten NC Eastern BBQ before, you can always go to a grocery store and pick up some Murphy House BBQ, so you have a basic idea of what it is. It's kind of the McDonalds of BBQ, in that you know what you are getting and it is reasonably consistent.

          Good luck.

          8 Replies
          1. re: fussycouple

            Eastern Style BBQ doesn't exist west of I-95

            1. re: wb247

              Not true...Allen and Son serves eastern style in the Chapel Hill/Hillsborough area.

              1. re: carolinadawg

                sort of. Eastern sauce but shoulders instead of whole hogs.

                1. re: brokegradstudent

                  you can get whole hog at the pit in raleigh

              2. re: wb247

                This is NOT true....In Lexington, NC there are choices between both eastern and Lexington style...People come from all over the world to eat at Lexington BBQ....I prefer eastern and get eastern BBQ in Kernersville, NC at Prissy Polly's...not far off of I-40, about 4 hrs from Wilmington...(I used to live in Wilmington also) and the BBQ in that area does not compare to that in Lexington area and in Winston-Salem, Kernersville, etc

                1. re: CheriBthatsme

                  Where in Lexington can one get eastern style 'q?

                  1. re: NCHound

                    There was an eastern style place in Lexington a few years ago. I read about it in the N&O. Supposedly, people in town quit talking to the guy who opened it, and it only lasted a few months.

                  2. re: CheriBthatsme

                    Somehow I doubt they are cooking both whole-hog and shoulders, and keeping it all separate, in addition to other differences. I have a collection of sauces in my cabinet as well. That's not to say it isn't good, though!

              3. My favorite is Allen & Son, located in the Triangle area. (Highway 86, just north of I-40 between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill)

                1 Reply
                1. re: carolinadawg

                  Good call on Allen & Son! Excellent BBQ!

                  This would be about 30 minute drive from RDU airport going I-40 West.

                2. The original comment has been removed