Best Bets for Barbecue in the Triangle
Check out this list of great ‘cue joints to try around the Triangle to see what all the fuss is about.
Triangle barbecue joints like Texas Pit BBQ in Angier get creative with their 'cue.
Photo courtesy of Texas Pit BBQ
The best barbecue restaurants have a lot in common: modest dining areas, homespun decor, long lists of side dishes, smoke-filled parking lots, fantastic sweet tea, creamy banana pudding and flaky, fruity cobbler. Check out this list of great ‘cue joints to try around the Triangle to see what all the fuss is about.
Meats like pork ribs, turkey, chicken and brisket are smoked for hours over a wood fire daily on site at Big Al’s in Northeast Raleigh. With the dizzying array of sauces to choose from - as many as 25 - you can definitely customize the heat and flavor of your meal. Consider ordering their Pork BBQ Nachos appetizer as your entree, but be sure to save room for a dessert of cobbler, pie or banana pudding. Enjoying one of Big Al’s weekday lunch specials like BBQ in a Cup or their smoked meatloaf or prime rib sandwiches might make you need an afternoon nap, but they’re worth it. Closed on Mondays. 2920 Forestville Road, Raleigh, 919-217-0653
photo courtesy of big al's bbq
Locally-sourced meats and homemade sausages smoked over wood are just the beginning here. Combine them with scratch made biscuits and sandwich rolls and finish your meal with desserts like gooey bars, blueberry cobbler, chess pie, bread pudding or one of the other offerings and you’ll start planning your return visit before you walk out the door. Give the BBQ Burnt End Beans a try. Go early as they stay open only until they sell out of what they’ve made for the day. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. 306 West Franklin Street (inside Blue Dogwood Public Market), Chapel Hill, 202-956-9139
photo courtesy of big belly que
Brisket, chicken, turkey, and of course pork are smoked with hickory logs after getting a special Daddy D’s spice rub. Meats are typically served without sauce so you can choose your own flavor profile. Their wings are notable; they’re spice rubbed, smoked then fried. Choose from a long list of sides to round out your meal as well as cobbler, banana pudding and rotating featured desserts. Consider yourself lucky if you visit on cinnamon roll cake night. Closed on Sundays. 1526 Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina, 919-238-1643
photo courtesy of daddy d's bbq
Don’t let the small dining area mislead you into thinking this isn’t a serious barbecue joint. Check their Facebook page for specials like Chicken Pastry (think chicken and dumplings) Day, Ribs Day, Fish Friday and more. On Fish Friday even the tartar sauce is homemade! Closed on Sundays and Mondays. 5021 Wake Forest Highway, Durham, 919-397-5693
photo courtesy of johnson family barbecue
Choose from usual fare like brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, chicken and turkey or menu items like meatloaf, hot links and German sausage at this joint just a half hour south of downtown Raleigh. Pair any of those with some of the 14+ side dish choices and one of the six beers on tap for a great afternoon. Save room for dessert if they haven’t run out of cobblers, cheesecake and banana pudding by the time you stop by. Be sure to grab a bag of their fresh made pork rinds to take home for later. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. 546 W. Church Street, Angier, 919-331-4136
photo courtesy of texas pit bbq