Rowan County is in no short supply of original restaurants, but you can't go wrong with good ‘ole, mouthwatering, southern barbeque. We’ve comprised a list of our favorite go-to barbeque restaurants so no matter where in the county you are, you can always #EatOriginal.


Salisbury, NC


Checkered Flag BBQ

Located right outside of Historic Downtown is Checkered Flag BBQ. Check them out for Southern barbecue, burgers, sandwiches, and more! Also, try their full country breakfast each morning!


College Barbeque

If you didn’t catch it by the name, College Barbeque can be found near Salisbury’s Catawba College. Specializing in old fashioned smoked barbecue, College BBQ also offers chicken ribs, burgers, and a multitude of sides to choose from. After being open for 50 years, they have their recipe down!


Hendrix Barbeque (Innes St. & Statesville Blvd.)

Two of the three Hendrix Barbeque locations are found in Salisbury, NC. If the three locations aren’t trustworthy enough, come on in and try the family style barbecue, seafood, or their full breakfast, served all day for yourself!


Marlow’s Bar-B-Q & Seafood

Looking for a great down-home breakfast? Marlowe's Bar-B-Q & Seafood is the place! Country cooking all day long, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 


The Smoke Pit

Recognized as the best mouth-watering brisket east of the Mississippi by the Barbecue Bros, the Smoke Pit offers chopped brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends, smoked Cajun turkey and so much more in Salisbury.


Rockwell, NC


Darrell’s Bar-B-Que

When visiting Rockwell, enjoy delicious North Carolina barbecue and seafood from Darrell's Bar-B-Que & Seafood. They are located right on E. Main St.


Johnny’s BBQ, Seafood and Steaks

If you’re taking Highway 52 at any point during your trip to Rowan County, be sure to stop by Johnny’s at some point during your journey. Barbeque by the sandwich, plate or pound, hamburgers and hot dogs, fish and shrimp, chicken and steak, and home-style cooking specials are just some examples of Johnny's menu. Don't forget the delicious desserts!


China Grove, NC


Gary’s BBQ

Gary's BBQ is here to give you top quality food with fast friendly service all in a warm nostalgic setting. Gary's BBQ is known across the state of North Carolina and beyond. They're also known for being decorated with antique advertising memorabilia. (Travel Tip: When visiting Gary’s – be sure to bring cash! Gary’s is traditional through and through, right down to their form of payment!)


Porky’s Bar-B-Q

Porky's offers great barbecue and southern down-home cooking anyone would enjoy. When visiting Rowan County, be sure to consider Porky’s as a place to stop and grab a bite!


Spencer, NC


Hendrix Barbeque

When visiting Spencer, NC, stop into the hustling and bustling, Hendrix Barbecue of Spencer. Their original hot dogs, burgers, chicken and barbecue plates are ones you won’t want to miss!


Cleveland, NC


Keaton’s Barbeque, Inc.

Founder, Mr. Burette Walker Keaton came up with a barbecue sauce that captures the "taste" of all walks of life. Whether you’re in the mood for savory barbecue chicken or barbecue pork, Keaton’s has a sauce to satisfy anyone’s taste buds!


For more ways to #EatOriginal during your trip to Rowan County, visit our restaurants page.