Lexington Rankings

Monk: Lexington, NC is the barbecue capital of North Carolina (don’t @ me, eastern North Carolinians) with a legit claim as barbecue capital of the world. In a town of just under 19,000 resident, there have at times been upwards of 19 or 20 barbecue restaurants, giving it an impressive ratio of 1 barbecue restaurant per 1,000 residents (though a few have since closed since those heights).

But outside of Lexington Barbecue and Bar-B-Q Center and a select few, how good are the others? That’s what I set out to find so I could definitively answer that question for myself. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Lexington Big Board.

Charlotte Rankings here
Austin Rankings here
Western NC Rankings here

Updated 5/17/22; removed Smiley’s and Rick’s due to closure

Tier 1

  1. Lexington Barbecue
  2. Bar-B-Q Center
  3. Speedy’s Barbecue
  4. Backcountry Barbeque

    Tier 2
  5. Speedy Lohr’s Barbecue
  6. Smokey Joe’s Barbecue
  7. Tarheel Q
  8. Cook’s Barbecue
  9. Arcadia Q

    Tier 3
  10. Stamey’s Barbecue of Tyro
  11. Kerley’s Barbecue
  12. Lexington Style Trimmings
  13. Randy’s Restaurant

Tier 2

Closed: Smiley’s Lexington Barbecue 2020 | 2012 (February 2022), Rick’s Smokehouse (April 2022)

Closed Without Trying: Blazin’ BBQ and Kickin’ Chicken closed in October 2020 after only 4 months open

Any restaurants I’m missing? Let me know at barbecuebros@gmail.com