Top 15 Durham BBQ Spots to Visit in 2023


The Best BBQ in Durham, NC: A Taste of Southern Heaven

Durham, North Carolina is renowned for its vibrant food scene, and one cuisine that truly stands out is barbecue. With its rich history and deep-rooted barbecue traditions, Durham is a haven for barbecue enthusiasts. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, there’s something for everyone when it comes to barbecue in this lively city.

After spending three months housesitting in North Carolina, I had the opportunity to explore Durham’s barbecue scene extensively. I had the pleasure of getting to know the local food scene and meeting residents who shared their insights on the best barbecue spots in town. Durham takes its barbecue seriously, and there is no shortage of amazing places to eat.

North Carolina barbecue has its own distinct style, particularly in the Durham region. It is traditionally pork-based and slow-cooked over low heat in a vinegary tomato sauce. This unique cooking method gives the meat a slightly sweeter taste and sets it apart from barbecue styles in other states. While the local traditional style dominates, you’ll also find a variety of barbecue styles in Durham, catering to all preferences.

After indulging in numerous barbecue joints during my time in Durham and with the help of my friend Holly-Anne, a former BBQ reviewer, I compiled a list of the top 15 BBQ restaurants in Durham. I considered various factors such as price, location, quality, atmosphere, and service to select the best options.

Let’s dive into the list and explore some of the best BBQ restaurants in Durham!

1. The Blue Note Grill: Best BBQ Restaurant in Durham
Renowned for its live music and food, The Blue Note Grill is not only one of my favorite places to visit overall but also a top spot for BBQ. Their menu boasts a wide range of BBQ delights, making it difficult to choose just one. However, their ribs truly stand out, rivaling those I had at the historic Rendezvous in Memphis. The addition of live music five nights a week and a great selection of rotating beer taps makes The Blue Note Grill a popular spot among locals and tourists alike.

2. Maverick’s Smokehouse & Taproom: Best Lunchtime Deal
Maverick’s Smokehouse is my go-to local spot, located just a few minutes’ walk from where I stayed in Trinity Park. With affordable prices, their lunchtime “Hard Workin’ Special” is unbeatable. For $11.99, you can enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, two sides, and a fountain drink. The quality of their BBQ is exceptional, and their

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