Best Carolina Barbecue: Lexington Barbecue

See why this barbecue restaurant was our top readers' pick for North Carolina.
Jennifer V. Cole

The Meat:
Shoulders smoked over hickory for nine hours (7,000 pounds per week!), chopped, and served without a drop of sauce. The only condiment this meat sees before it hits your plate is a little salt.

The Sauce:
Vinegar-based and tinged red with tomato ketchup―a bona fide example of the Western
North Carolina style.

The Sides:
Red “barbecue slaw” that gets its color by mixing ketchup with the vinegar, instead of mayonnaise―a Lexington tradition that’s rare to find across the county lines.

Special Order:
Ask for “the brown.” Also known as “the bark.” This part of the shoulder sits closest to the coals, giving it a deeply smoky flavor and a slightly crisp texture.

Sound Bite:
“Everyone has a different style of barbecue―it all depends on what you’re used to. But I think we make the best Western North Carolina style there is.” ―Keith Wright, manager (and part of the family) at Lexington Barbecue

10 U.S. 29/70 South, Lexington, NC 27295; 336-249-9814