Charlotte Rankings

Also known as “The Charlotte Big Board.” This is the reason we initially started the blog, to find the best barbecue joint in Charlotte as well as the surrounding area. For the purposes of this list, we have kept it to joints located in Charlotte and its surrounding “ring cities” (i.e. Huntersville, Mooresville, Mint Hill, Matthews, Monroe, Waxhaw, Pineville, Gastonia, Belmont, etc) as well as the SC cities right across the border such as Ft. Mill, Rock Hill, and Lake Wylie. Click on each restaurant to read the review.

Lexington Rankings here
Austin Rankings here
Western NC Rankings here

Last updated 5/10/21: added Roddey’s BBQ and Smoke Show BBQ

Tier 1

  1. Jon G’s Barbecue: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017
  2. Noble Smoke: 2022 new! | 2019
  3. Sweet Lew’s BBQ
  4. Midwood Smokehouse: 2020 (Park Road) | 2015 (Ballantyne) | 2014 | 2012
  5. The Smoke Pit: 2020 (Gastonia) | 2016 | 2015
  6. Farmhouse BBQ
  7. Roddey’s BBQ (Rock Hill)
  8. Big Tiny’s BBQ (Mooresville)
  9. Smoke Show BBQ
  10. City Barbeque
  11. Seoul Food Meat Co
  12. Kyle Fletcher’s Barbecue & Catering
  13. The Improper Pig: 2017| 2014
  14. Killer Q
  15. Bar-B-Q King
  16. 521 BBQ and Grill: Tega Cay | Indian Land
  17. Gibson’s Family BBQ (formerly Boone’s Bar-B-Que Kitchen)
  18. Mac’s Speed Shop: Steele Creek | South Blvd
  19. Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q (Concord)
  20. The Q Shack
  21. Smoke & Go Bar-B-Que (food truck)
  22. South Main Street BBQ (Waxhaw)
  23. OooWee BBQ: 2018| 2013
  24. Kid Cashew
  25. R&R Bar-B-Que (Concord) 2019 | 2014
  26. Lancaster’s BBQ: Huntersville | Mooresville
  27. Rock Store Bar-B-Q: Stallings | Mint Hill
  28. Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que: food truck | 2015 | 2013
  29. McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon
  30. Brooks’ Sandwich House
  31. Cook Out
  32. Bubba’s Barbecue
  33. Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ
  34. Rocky Top BBQ Co
  35. The Dixie Pig (Rock Hill)
  36. Dan Good Que (food truck)
  37. Bobbee-O’s BBQ: 2016 | 2012
  38. R.O.’s Bar-B-Que

Closed: Midwood Smokeshack (December 2017), Smoke Modern Barbeque (Huntersville) (May 2017), Elwood’s Barbecue & Burger Bar (September 2015), Old Hickory House (April 2015), Carolina Ribs on the Run (Mooresville) (July 2014), Farmer’s BBQ (unknown), JJR’s BBQ Shack (August 2018), City Smoke (March 2019), Treehouse Whiskey and Fork (March 2019), Q2U (Lake Wylie) (2018), Peace -N- Hominy Q Shack (Belmont) (February 2020), Art’s BBQ & Deli (December 2019), Queen City Q Concord | 2016 | 2012 (June 2020), Bill Spoon’s Barbecue: 2017 | 2015 | 2012 (September 2020), Fort Mill BBQ Company (Fort Mill) (August 2018), Sauceman’s: 2015 | 2013, Buddy’s Bar-B-Que (Belmont) (February 2022)

Still to review: Bodrick’s BBQ, Glenn’s Again (Kannapolis), Slow Smokin’ BBQ (food truck), Smokey J’s BBQ (food truck), Randy’s BBQ (Troutman), RayNathan’s BBQ (Gastonia), Wicker BBQ

Previous Big Boards: September 2019, March 2017, December 2015, January 2015, May 2014, December 2013, July 2013

23 thoughts on “Charlotte Rankings

  1. I wanted to let you know that I tried Q-2-U last night for dinner and loved it. I had the baby back ribs which I thought were excellent. The sauces were really good, and I especially liked the mustard sauce and vinegar sauce, which the mustard sauce is based on. I loved the hush puppies. The beans, mac and cheese and green beans and potatoes were all good.

  2. Oh, I also went to 521 BBQ and Grill a couple of nights ago. My GPS couldn’t find it so I had to call from the road. I had a wonderful pork sandwich with red slaw, which I enjoyed more than the one I had the next day at BBQ Center in Lexington. The hush puppies were fantastic, and I loved the beans. I also had onion rings which were quite good.

  3. I noticed that you have a review of M&K Bar-B-Que in Granite Quarry, NC, but it’s not in your Charlotte rankings. Any reason why? I’m trying to decide between it and the Smoke Pit in Concord when I’m in Charlotte in August.

    • Granite Quarry is a good 50 minutes outside of Charlotte and closer to Salisbury. We haven’t included Salisbury joints in the past on our Charlotte rankings.

      As for your choice between The Smoke Pit and M&K, I would highly recommend The Smoke Pit of the two.

    • We actually have an updated Queen City Q review posting on Monday, and I recommend Sauceman’s for sure. Sauceman’s isn’t the most consistent but they cook over wood.

  4. Great website. Any other recommendations for eastern NC style (preferably whole hog) in the Gaston/Belmont/western Charlotte area? Love Spoon’s, but would like something closer. Eastern style is hard to find around here…

  5. Boone’s is not closed……… Just rebranded as Gibson Family BBQ. Their truck is still in the usual spots during the week. Drive by the NASCAR HoF on Thursday. Whoever said it was closed on Yelp is a liar.

    • Thanks for the info. Seems like it could have been announced better. Nothing on their FB page or social media from what I could gather. I had reached out to Boones via their Facebook page but never got a response. Glad to hear Boone is still smoking but I’m sure Yelp was just going off of what information was available.

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