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Best Barbecue Restaurants near Smithfield, NC

Fans of great barbecue are in luck. Some of North Carolina’s best places for barbecue can be found in Smithfield, NC area restaurants.

By Barbara Biehler on January 26, 2015

Smithfield / Martin B. Cherry

Fans of great barbecue are in luck. Some of North Carolina’s finest barbecue can be found in Johnston County restaurants. We’ve rounded up the best bbq restaurants in Johnston County’s largest cities. Go ahead, give ’em a taste.

Clayton, NC

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. Located in Willow Spring, NC and 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.

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