Special Alert

Durham Barbecue Trail

Barbecue. In the South, it's often at the center of family gatherings, cherished memories, and arguments about which region has the best cuisine. Whether you're a fan of the hand-chopped eastern North Carolina style, Texas-style beef brisket, an equal opportunity eater, or trying this Southern staple for the first time, Durham's acclaimed barbecue restaurants are ready to serve you the best of barbecue tradition.

The following barbecue restaurants are among Durham's Celebrated Cuisine – restaurants that have received national recognition:

  • Backyard BBQ Pit, which was praised by Man v. Food for its "succulent pulled-pork barbecue;"
  • Bullock's Bar-B-Que, which has been open since 1952, and has made fans from across the country, including Southern Living;
  • Hog Heaven Bar-B-Q, where you can find hand-chopped pork that Our State loved;
  • The Original Q-Shack, which is recommended by Southern Living and offers pork butt, beef brisket, and ribs;
  • and The Pit Authentic Barbecue, which The New York Times complimented for its version of eastern and western North Carolina styles of barbecue;


BBQ Infographic

Durham Barbecue Trail Infographic

Convinced? Use this interactive map to get a lay of the barbecue land and plan your next indulgent trip to Durham. Read More


View All Durham Barbecue Restaurants:

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Backyard BBQ Pit

  • 5122 NC Hwy 55, I-40 Exit 278
  • Durham, NC 27713
  • (919) 544-9911
  • SE Durham, including RTP & NCCU

The Travel Channel's Man v. Food hails the open pit-smoked chicken and other Southern classics, but "it’s the succulent pulled-pork barbecue that really makes this family-run restaurant a hungry …

The Blue Note Grill

  • 709 Washington St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 401-1979
  • Downtown Area

Located in Downtown Durham near the Historic Durham Athletic Park, the Blue Note Grill is known for both the blues music you can hear there on Fridays and Saturday and their North Carolina smoked …

Bullock's Bar-B-Que

  • 3330 Quebec Dr
  • I-85 exit 173
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • (919) 383-6202
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

"At Bullock's, the lines form early for chopped or sliced pork... great hushpuppies too." That's how Southern Living describes Bullock's, a barbecue joint that's been operating in Durham since 1952. …

Hog Heaven Bar-B-Q

  • 2419 Guess Rd
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • (919) 286-7447
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Working from traditional recipes in the North Carolina, hand-chopped style, Hog Heaven creates authentic barbecue that they cover with their signature Lexington-style sauce. They also offer ribs, …

King's Sandwich Shop

  • 701 Foster St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 682-0071
  • Downtown Area

King's Sandwich shop is "a 'Happy Days' flashback with modern touches," according to the Boston Globe. It's been open since 1942, serving staples like hot dogs, burgers, fries, and shakes from its …


  • Mobile truck see website for location
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 699-4667
  • Durham-Roaming

Kokyu BBQ is an acclaimed member of Durham's well-known food truck scene. The graffiti-painted truck has been a frequent sight around Downtown Durham since it opened in 2010, selling slow-cooked …

The Original Q-Shack

  • 2510 University Dr
  • Durham, NC 27707
  • (919) 402-4227
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

The Original Q-Shack is a barbecue joint that smokes pork butt, chicken, and turkey, and also offers chili-rubbed beef brisket and pork ribs. All of it is smoked in-house over a blend of hickory and …

The Pit Authentic Barbecue

  • 321 W Geer St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 282-3748
  • Downtown Area

The Pit is a celebration of all of the great culinary offerings of the Old North State. Authentic North Carolina barbecue is their signature dish. Whole hog, pit cooked over charcoal and wood. …

The Refectory Café

  • 2726 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd
  • Durham, NC 27707
  • (919) 908-6798
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

The Refectory Café originally opened at Duke University, but has now moved to Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., where it serves hot, healthy, homemade fare from fresh, local ingredients. They focus on …

Tyler's Restaurant and Taproom & The SpeakEasy

  • 324 Blackwell St, American Tobacco, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 433-0345
  • Downtown Area

Located in the historic American Tobacco Campus, just across from the Lucky Strike water tower, "Tyler's Taproom is a must," according to Metro News Canada. Tyler's serves traditional pub fare …



Durham Spotlight
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
212 W Main St #101
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604