Have you ever wondered what Charlotte is famous for? You probably would never guess, so I am about to help you. You will find the best BBQ places in Charlotte.
Barbeque in the Carolina’s was discovered in the 16th century by Sir Walter Raleigh while watching John White sketching some natives roasting their fish over a flame.
At present, the Carolina-style barbeque dishes primarily consist of pork, served pulled, shredded, or chopped but sometimes sliced.
Without further ado, let’s look at which places offer the best BBQ in Charlotte.
I tried and tested all of them, and any one of them will definitely satisfy your meat craving.
Visiting Charlotte in the near future? You might also want to read about the 7 Best Charlotte Restaurants.
Not in the mood to go out to eat tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver directly from the best restaurants in town to your doorstep.
While in Charlotte Area, don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):
- Charlotte: 90-Minute Electric Cart City Sightseeing Tour
- SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium General Admission
- Charlotte: Historic Uptown 90-Minute Segway Tour
The Best BBQ in Charlotte
2900 Wilkinson Blvd // +1 704-399-8344
This place is a treasure trove of the best BBQ in Charlotte. What is most interesting about this place is that you need to be prepared to eat your good food in your car, because there is no indoor seating.
One recommendation is to pick up your order and head to the airport and have yourself a nice picnic while you watch the airplanes take off.
The fried onion rings and mouthwatering meat will make you fall in love with the place, and the great BBQ chicken will make your stomach dance.
Before going to Bar-B-Q King, I had read many good comments about this place, and I must say they were all true, making this one of the best bbq restaurants in Charlotte.
4630 Old Pineville Rd, Charlotte // +17045236330
If you’re looking for a great barbecue in Charlotte, then McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon is the place to go. Your taste buds will be happy with their brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and chicken..
You can choose from delicious sides such as macaroni and cheese and cornbread muffins. The hosts will help you choose your meal.
The food was delicious and the staff was very friendly and helpful. This was my first time eating there and I really enjoyed it.
Besides the sample platter, I ordered the pulled chicken platter with mac & cheese and fried squash. All the food was hot and well cooked, and there was just the right amount of crunch to the fried food. I’d definitely go back again.
8948 J M Keynes Dr. Suite 420 // +1 704-278-8015
In 2018, City Barbeque was voted as the place with the best barbecue spot in Charlotte, so this place must be on your list of best barbecue joints.
They prepare their food slowly from scratch, with a lot of attention to detail.
What I love about this restaurant is that they are all about supporting their neighbors and giving back to charities and nonprofits.
When it comes to their food, the ribs were prepared with great class. The bourbon sauce had a unique flavor.
They had great service and the people working there were very polite.
I personally suggest that after eating all that food, if you still have a little space in your tummy, order the banana pudding. It will blow your mind.
Make sure City Barbecue is on your list of restaurants to try in Charlotte.
13840 Steele Creek Rd, Charlotte, NC 28278-7547 // +1 704-930-2290
Smokin’ since 85’ is their motto. This place was founded by father and son Jim and Nick and now has more than 40 restaurants in seven states across the US.
From the moment that you step in, you can see that the employees are all about hard work, and they are very committed to quality and southern goodness.
What is interesting is that their first restaurant was not opened in Charlotte but in Birmingham, Alabama.
The most popular dishes are pulled pork and chicken, beef brisket, turkey breast, pork hot links, and baby back ribs. Additionally, I tried the Greek smoked chicken salad, and it was very delicious.
So if you want to try the best BBQ in Charlotte combined with a wonderful environment, this is the place to go.
4630 Old Pineville Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217-1847 // +1 704-523-6330
This place has a wonderful story behind it. Two brothers and their dad were collecting recipes for many years, hoping one day to open a restaurant.
That day came, and I must say this place is not for a one-time dinner only. For my first dinner there, I tried the ribs. They were amazing by themselves, but I also suggest mixing that with mushrooms and fried squash. Holy hell, was it delicious!
McKoy’s has a great ambiance, and the staff was very polite.
The second time I went to McKoy’s, I ordered LTD, a dish with pulled pork, BBQ chicken, pot roast, and ribs, which I must recommend. This is the dish that will make you come back again and again to taste the best BBQ in Charlotte.
540 Brandywine Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209 // +1 980-237-7929
As a barbecue fan, I have eaten BBQ in a lot of places, but the food at Midwood was like no other. That’s why this restaurant is on my list for the best BBQ in Charlotte.
I visited this place a few months ago, and from what I had discussed with other people, they were all suggesting trying the burnt ends. And they were right; the burnt ends were very tasty.
But since I am a foodie, I also tried their famous combo of four proteins. Of course, pork BBQ with no ribs is not barbeque, and I have to say the ribs were like heaven.
Interestingly, this place is that they have started their own line of BBQ sauces. You can choose from Matt’s Original to the Eastern North Carolina Vinegar, the South Carolina Mustard, and Paco’s Chipotle hot Sauce.
I would have to turn in my foodie card if I didn’t buy all of them, which is exactly what I did. I liked them all, but of course, you must have a favorite. My favorite sauce was Paco’s Chipotle, which is spicy but not too much for me, but just enough to make my BBQ the tastiest one.
923 Belmont Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205-2712 // +1 980-224-7584
Sweet Lew’s is one of the top local favorites when it comes to the definition of the best BBQ in Charlotte.
My suggestion would be to order as much as possible and get a few bites from everything that you have on the table, because, oh my, the food is amazing here.
Whether it’s a pork sandwich, house-made spicy sausage, ribs, even briskets, you will not regret it. While you are reading this, just open their website and watch the opening video.
You will need only a few seconds to jump into your car and go over there to have lunch. Make sure you try Lew’s in your quest to find the best barbecue sandwiches in Charlotte.
2511 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203-5011 // +1 704-522-6227
I am not a bike owner, and you don’t have to be to visit Mac’s Speed Shop, but most of the people there are bikers. But as long as you love barbeque and beer, you are most welcome at this Charlotte BBQ restaurant.
I would suggest going when the weather is nice, so you can enjoy the live music on their outdoor patio, and, of course, the best BBQ in Charlotte.
I tried a lot of different kinds of meat, and I really liked the beer can chicken. It was something new for me, but it was delicious.
Feel free to bring the man’s best friend, your dog, because they are most welcome.
2216 Freedom Dr, Charlotte // +17047035252
Aside from great food and drinks, you can also view hundreds of different kinds of art at Noble Smoke.
Its Caribbean décor makes it the perfect place to get together with friends and family, and it’s within walking distance from South Park Mall.
You’ll find delicious food, first-class service, and a fantastic environment (in a comfortable, home-like setting) at this tasteful barbecue place.
You can’t go wrong with the zesty mouthfuls of ultimate dining. Choose from handcrafted smoking ribs, beef briskets, smoked chickens and many other great dishes. An extensive selection of draft beer, wine, and spirits enriches your dining experience.
9401 Statesville Rd, Charlotte, NC 28269 // +1 704-509-6902
Maybe this last place doesn’t have a long history, but the story of this place started cooking itself in 1947, the day that the owner, Bob, was born.
For many years he was not satisfied with the taste of the sauces that he tasted, so he took the matter into his own hands and started experimenting to find the ultimate taste of a great barbeque homemade sauce.
He waited until 2008 until he finally opened his own restaurant, and after a few years of perfecting his pulled pork, his restaurant became very famous and is often referred to as the best BBQ in Charlotte.
Of course, I was one of those who went and tried his pulled pork, and OMG, I must go back again. To keep pace with the others, I also tried pork shoulder.
The best BBQ in Charlotte is by far the tastiest food in the world; I personally would say it connects people on many different levels. While individual choices and tastes may vary, any of these Charlotte barbecue restaurants will give you a great meal.
I’d say it’s the one and only way to truly get to know the cuisine of the place that you are at or visit in the future. If you’re in the mood for BBQ, follow that inner voice, and don’t go against it. Please trust me and enjoy the best barbecue in Charlotte.
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.