If there is one thing you can say about North Carolinians it’s that we LOVE our BBQ. There are different styles, different meats of choice, and different sauces. But we do it all well. And no the term barbecue should never refer to the outdoor cooking of hamburgers and hotdogs- that’s a cookout for your northerners. There are so many incredible barbeque restaurants in North Carolina, it’s hard to say what the best is. And that’s honestly a personal preference. Your choice may be different than mine which may be different from your coworker’s. But while we can’t objectively tell you the best barbecue restaurants in North Carolina, we can tell you the most popular.

Did you know that May is National BBQ Month? It is and in celebration, our friends at BetCarolina used Google Trends to determine the most popular barbecue restaurants in North Carolina. The data used in this analysis is from May 1, 2022-September 6, 2022. And there is a dominant winner that’s right here in the Queen City. It’s one that many celebrities choose to dine at when visiting Charlotte. And funny enough, when we told you about the best Charlotte BBQ Restaurants (per TripAdvisor) last year, it was also the winner. So even with different methods, it’s still coming out on top.

Keep reading to see which that is, you’ll also find the best Charlotte BBQ Restaurants list at the end of this one. You can read BetCarolina’s full study and analysis here.

  • 5. Buxton Hall BBQ (Asheville)

    Location: 32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

    Search Volume: 2%


  • 4. Skylight Inn BBQ (Ayden)

    Location: 4618 Lee St, Ayden, NC 28513

    Search Volume: 3%


  • 3. Switzerland Cafe (Little Switzerland)

    Location: 9440 NC-226A, Marion, NC 28752

    Search Volume: 4%


  • 2. Red Bridges BBQ (Shelby)

    Location: 2000 E Dixon Blvd, Shelby, NC 28150

    Search Volume: 8%


  • 1. Midwood Smokehouse (Charlotte & Raleigh)

    Location: View all Carolina locations here

    Search Volume: 83%


  • The 15 Best Charlotte North Carolina BBQ Restaurants

    Here in North Carolina, we love our barbeque. And we do it well if I may so so myself. There is no shortage of fantastic restaurants across the state and the Queen City is no exception to that. But if you only can eat at one which should you choose? While I have my favorite (and it didn’t make this list near the top), I decided to turn to the public for their thoughts on the matter. A quick search on TripAdvisor led me to a list of 30 Charlotte BBQ restaurants. It included chains, multiple locations of some, the heavy hitters, and some I hadn’t heard of before. For this list, I took the top 15 restaurants (combining anywhere that had multiple locations).

    Trip Advisor compiles these rankings based on average rating and number of reviews. Therefore you will see a couple of places that are ranked higher with a slightly lower rating. This means they probably had a higher number of higher-rated reviews. I have to say for the most part I do agree with this list the top 3 didn’t surprise me at all and I feel could have been ranked in any order. What’s your favorite of the many Charlotte BBQ restaurants?

  • 15. Let's Meat Kbbq

    Address: 1400 S Church St, Charlotte, NC 28203-4114

    Rating: 4.5 Stars

    Reviews: 31



  • 14. Sweet Lew's BBQ

    Address: 923 Belmont Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205-2712

    Rating: 4

    Reviews: 17



  • 13. Bubba's Barbecue

    Address: 4400 Sunset Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216-2354

    Rating: 3.5

    Reviews: 76



  • 12. Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q

    Address: 5121 Trojan Drive, Charlotte

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 20



  • 11. Bill Spoon's Barbecue

    Address: 5524 South Blvd, Charlotte

    Rating: 3.5

    Reviews: 88



  • 10. Bobbee O's BBQ

    Address: 9401 Statesville Rd, Charlotte

    Rating: 4

    Reviews: 8.2



  • 9. The Q Shack

    Address: 10822 Providence Rd

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 46



  • 8. City Barbeque

    Address: 8948 J.M. Keynes Dr., Charlotte; 1514 Galleria Blvd., Charlotte; 11212 Providence Rd W, Charlotte

    Rating: 4

    Reviews: 70



  • 7. Noble Smoke

    Address: 2216 Freedom Dr, Charlotte and Optimist Hall

    Rating: 4

    Reviews: 89



  • 6. Bar-b-q King

    Address: 2900 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 114



  • 5. Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q

    Address: 13840 Steele Creek Rd, Charlotte

    Rating: 4

    Reviews: 240



  • 4. Sauceman's

    Address: Relocating To Sugar Creek Brewing

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 229



  • 3. Mac's Speed Shop

    Address: 2511 South Blvd, Charlotte; 2414 Sandy Porter Road, Charlotte

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 1,464



  • 2. McKoy's Smokehouse and Saloon

    Address: 4630 Old Pineville Rd

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 588



  • 1. Midwood Smokehouse

    Address: 1401 Central Ave, Charlotte; 12410 Johnston Rd, Charlotte; 540-C Brandywine Rd, Charlotte

    Rating: 4.5

    Reviews: 2,028



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