Barbecue is serious business in North Carolina. The merits of the eastern versus western styles can provoke passionate debate among barbecue lovers. A sauce that's vinegary, or has a touch of tomato? Whole hog or pork shoulder? Chopped or pulled meat? There's a Historic Barbecue Trail running across the state to help barbecue lovers decide their favorite preparation.
But serious business doesn't have to mean a serious impact on your wallet. Inexpensive, delicious options (regardless of where you stand in the Eastern-Western debate) abound across the state, and Charlotte is no exception. Some of the cheapest barbecue in Charlotte is also some of the best, according to reviewers on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Here are some off-the-beaten path options for all barbecue fans to try.
Art's BBQ and Deli
900 E. Morehead St.
This second-generation family business is focused on delivering a high value at a low cost to its customers, and it shows in the generous portion sizes. Barbecue sandwich options include pork, beef, and chicken, for around $5 each. Art's also sells barbecue by the pound for diners who want dinner, too (it's only open for breakfast and lunch). Other menu options include deli sandwiches, burgers, soups and Brunswick stew.
2900 Wilkinson Blvd.
Bar-B-Q King has been serving hungry Charlotteans at its west Charlotte location for decades, and has a loyal following to show for it. Reviewers love the value, the old school drive-in vibe and the BBQ fried chicken (the coleslaw gets lots of shout-outs, too). The menu also includes seafood plates, burgers and hot dogs. Fun fact: The restaurant was featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Bill Spoon's Barbecue
5524 South Blvd.
Eastern North Carolina style barbecue is the specialty at Bill Spoon's Barbecue. The south Charlotte favorite was founded in 1963, and the hush puppies and hospitality have been earning praise ever since. Diners also enjoy the long list of sides, like barbecue potatoes, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese, along with sweet tea. The daily special includes BBQ, coleslaw, a side, hush puppies, and a drink, all for $11.
Bobbee O's BBQ
9401 Statesville Road
The owner of this north Charlotte restaurant spent years perfecting his pulled pork and barbecue sauce before opening Bobbee O's BBQ in 2008, according to the business's website. The effort has paid off, with the sauce earning high marks from reviewers. The restaurant recently moved to a larger location, and continues to serve up everything from barbecue pulled pork and chicken to beef brisket and ribs. The menu also includes chicken wings, salads, and sides like fried pickles and potato salad.
4400 Sunset Road
Bubba's Barbecue offers Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue, slow cooking its pork for hours before dishing it up for diners. In addition to barbecue, the north Charlotte restaurant's menu includes burgers, chicken tenders, and ribs, along with dessert options like pecan pie.
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