Best Barbecue Restaurants near Smithfield, NC

By Barbara Biehler on December 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm EST

PHOTO CREDIT: Martin B. Cherry

Fans of great barbecue are in luck. Some of North Carolina’s finest barbecue can be found in Johnston County restaurants.


Charlie’s BBQ & Grille serves a variety of hickory-smoked barbecue favorites. Choose from hand-pulled pork, Angus beef brisket or smoked half chicken slathered with Charlie’s special sauce that incorporates all of North Carolina’s three distinctive regional styles of barbecue, vinegar-pepper, tomato and molasses-based. Fried catfish, burgers and delicious homemade side items are also on the menu.

Specializing in barbecued chicken and pork, fried chicken and seafood, McCall’s Bar-B-Que & Seafood features many old-fashioned, home-style specialties. Have the pit-cooked barbecued pork, beef, or chicken, savory Brunswick stew or combination seafood plate. Don’t forget to save room for one of their delicious homemade desserts.


Holt Lake Bar-B-Que and Seafood is the place to enjoy mouthwatering eats, family style. Order a family-style meal with barbecue and fried chicken along with all the fixin's, or add your favorite seafood, for one low, all-you-can-eat price.

After 40 years in business, Smithfield Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q knows the key to tasty Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue and crispy fried chicken, the house specialties. This restaurant, which also has locations in Clayton and Garner, has an extensive in-house menu, take-out menu, and drive-through service. Party packs are available for special events and occasions.

Voted one of the top barbecues in the Southeast, the flavor of White Swan Bar-B-Q & Chicken's award-winning barbecue comes from its 50-year-old secret recipe. Their Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue is slowly smoked in a covered cooker, then served with their special vinegar and spice sauce. Stop by convenient White Swan Bar-B-Q Express locations in Benson, Wilson’s Mills and McGee’s Crossroads.

McGee’s Crossroads

Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q is legendary in these parts for its smoked barbecue. Open since 1958, Stephenson’s slow-cooked, hand-chopped barbecue is so good it’s earned a spot on North Carolina Barbecue Society’s Historic Barbecue Trail. Crispy fried chicken, hushpuppies, Brunswick stew and fresh vegetables are all popular house favorites.


Brightly colored red-and-yellow signs and pictures of pigs on the roof draw customers into Stormin’ Norman’s Barbecue, but it’s the hand-chopped Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue that keeps them coming back. Barbecue plates, fried chicken, ribs, Brunswick stew and fresh vegetables are just a few of the scrumptious items you’ll find on the menu. Be sure to wash it all down with a big glass of Mary Alice’s famous sweet tea.

Check out more great restaurants in the Smithfield, NC area.

From Around the Web
Reader Comments Use a Facebook account to comment. Subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.