The term "barbecue" in North Carolina is nearly synonymous with pork, and it's a big part of the state's history. There are two distinct types of barbecue that have developed over hundreds of years in North Carolina: Eastern and Western. The styles differ in the cut of pork, how that pork is prepared and the type of sauce poured on top. The Lexington or Piedmont style uses only the pork shoulder, slow-cooked and pulled, and a barbecue sauce that includes ketchup, vinegar, pepper and a variety of spices. The Eastern style uses a whole hog cooked low and slow, chopped and topped with a vinegar and pepper based sauce with no ketchup to be found. Both are typically served with slaw on a soft bun. If you're from North Carolina you might have to pick your favorite but visitors are free to enjoy both styles.
For the past four weeks, 10Best, Sandwich America and USA TODAY readers have been voting daily for their favorites. The results are in!
The top 10 winners in the category Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in North Carolina are as follows:
- Stamey's Barbecue - Greensboro
- B’s Barbecue - Greenville
- Skylight Inn BBQ - Ayden
- Hursey's Bar-B-Q - Burlington
- Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge - Shelby
- Southern Smoke BBQ - Garland
- Lexington Barbecue - Lexington
- Grady's Barbeque - Dudley
- Richard’s Bar-B-Q - Salisbury
- Kings Restaurant - Kinston
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Mackensy Lunsford (Asheville Citizen-Times), The Barbecue Bros and John Shelton Reed (TrueCue.org) were chosen based on their familiarity with North Carolina-style barbecue.
Additional nominees for Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in North Carolina included 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, Allen & Son BBQ in Chapel Hill, Backyard BBQ Pit in Durham, Barbecue Center in Lexington, Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, Cook's Barbecue in Lexington, Smiley’s Lexington BBQ in Lexington, Stephenson’s Barbecue in Willow Springs, Troutman's Barbecue in Concord and Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro.
Congratulations to all our Carolina 'cue winners!