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Jun 9, 2010 12:25 PM

Barbecue near Topsail Island, NC?

Does anyone know where to find good barbecue near Topsail Island, NC? (northeast of Wilmington, NC.) And specifically, does anyone have experience with, or even hearsay about, a restaurant called Holly Ridge Smokehouse, on US 17 in Holly Ridge, NC, about five miles inland from the bridge to Topsail Island?

We have a family reunion coming up in Topsail Beach in a week or so, and we're thinking of buying a big bunch o' barbecue to serve to everyone as they arrive, so no one has to cook all night the first night. So we need to find someplace that can make a lot of good barbecue (enough to feed 70 people, which I'd figure at about 30 pounds) and isn't too far a drive. (Going all the way into Wilmington, for example, would take about 80 minutes round trip and my wife thinks that's too far.)

All suggestions welcome! Thanks! (And if you think my math is off regarding how much Q i need, please let me know!)


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  1. Top Sail is half way between Holly Ridge and Wilmington. There are a dozen BBQ places in Wilmington. Find the best one and pick it up. Don't take a chance on HR unless you want to go up and try it. Call Casey's and Jackson's and pick out one. Casey's would be easier to get to. My son spent 8 years at Camp Lejeune. I have been in that neighborhood many times. It's 30 minutes to Casey's from Top Sail. Call Casey's and ask them about the quantity. BBQ freezes well.

    Casey's Buffet Barbeque @ 5559 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC. 910 - 798 - 2913.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Topsail is not halfway between Holly Ridge and Wilmington by the highway. As the OP stated, Holly Ridge is 5 miles from the bridge to Topsail and Wilmington is 40 miles.

      1. re: CharlotteChowhound

        You are correct SIR. Looking at a map and drawing a straight line it is about half way. I went there once quite some time ago and I did not remember you had to go back NE to the bridge and then SW to Wilmington. When I left I went back NE to the bridge and then drove my son's new PU truck N to Jacksonville through the front gate at Camp Lejeune. I'm a river rat from Mississippi and everything here goes in straight lines. Then the OP needs to call the place in HR and check em out. Thanks for pointing this out. Good luck.

      2. Holly Ridge Smokehouse has about the worst bbq I've ever had in North Carolina.

        Less travel time than Wilmington, but in the opposite direction is Oakwood BBQ just off Catherine Lake Road north of Jacksonville. It's a very good example of Eastern NC bbq. I HIGHLY suggest it...and it takes alot for me to recommend a good bbq place.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JayL

          Since there are as many opinions as to what makes good barbecue as there are N.C. natives, could you be specific about what you didn't like about the HRS's Q? Thanks!

            1. re: sverner

              I ate at HRS a couple years back when my family was staying in Surf City. I don't recall BBQ on the menu and I don't recall what I had but I do remember thinking I didn't need to ever go back there to eat.

              If you think the Crab Pot in Surf City looks like a good place to eat keep driving.

              Crab Pot
              508 Roland Ave, Surf City, NC 28445

          1. Holly Ridge Smokehouse used to be called Betty's..... as such, I thought the food was inedible, especially the BBQ....I was hoping that it improved under new management, but guess not.....

            1. my choice fo BBQ in Wilmington is Smithfields!!!! yea, know it is not Parkers or one of the stars, but reliably pretty good BBQ....and we always buy our Tea there.... there is one on 17 business just north of Gordon Road.

              I like the White Meat Fried Chicken combo plate - they have the BEST Fried Chicken and French Fries!! and the bbq is good too, we think. the kids always take some back to the North, usually frozen so it travels well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmhewitt

                What about Jackson's Big Oak BBQ Is it worth trying. Thanks.

                Big Oak Restaurant
                5943 Old Rural Hall Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27105

              2. Surf City Barbeque & Chicken opened on 5/11/13. When you walk in, you smell smoke. Eastern NC barbeque and chicken is cooked on premises. My wife and I got the barbeque sandwich with a side of slaw and french fries with beverage, all for $7 flat. I heard others commenting on the brunswick stew. We will be back. At Treasure Coast Square (ABC store) between Topsail Trading and New York Corner at Greensboro Street.