The Pit Authentic BBQ

4.5
5266 reviews
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$30 and under
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Southern
Empire Eats is proud to present The Pit Authentic BBQ: whole hog pit cooked BBQ featuring all natural, free range pigs raised right here in North Carolina. The Pit is located in Downtown Raleigh’s Historic Depot District and is helping establish North Carolina’s Capital City as a destination for the state’s signature cuisine in an elegant and lively atmosphere. Our Menu… Our team has crafted a menu that features our signature North Carolina BBQ, slow cooked over hickory and coal and inspired seasonal appetizers, entrees, sides and artful desserts. Our commitment to utilize the freshest, locally grown produce and seasonal ingredients allows the menu to continually evolve throughout the year. Private Dining… The Pit has private dining accommodations for parties of almost any size. Contact private events at catering@thepit-raleigh.com
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Southern, Barbecue
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday - Saturday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
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Phone number
(919) 890-4500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Melanie Dunia
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Catering
For Private Dining and Catering inquiries contact TaNele Walker at (919)829-0833 or tanele@thepit-raleigh.com.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Dawson Street
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Parking details
Complimentary valet parking all day, every day. Street parking anywhere after 5pm
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Public transit
The R-line stops right in front of the restaurant!
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

We offer private dining areas to accommodate up to 85 guests. We will customize a Family Style Menu suited for your event.

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What 5266 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing food - awesome ambiance!

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OT
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal, great service! We always love a visit to the Pit.

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KK
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

We are a family of 5, 3 children included and took the earliest available reservation on Saturday 10th November, which was at 9:15 pm. We arrived exactly at 9:15 and was seated at a round table near the bar. The noise level was ridiculously loud, the floors were dirty and the table leaf was hanging like it was about to fall off. We politely asked to be moved and the next table was not much better.

The first waiter said that he'd be out with bread and hushpuppies and that took 30 minutes to arrive just as our appertizers were brought out. One of the waiters was a bit unattentive and offer my children refills on their beverages towards the end of the meal! The chicken that came with the Family Style plan was dried out and the fried ochroes was brought out later than the rest of the meal items. For $179.00 this whole experience was terrible. Some of the food items were sub-par, warmed over and dried out. The Pit was recommended to us by collegues at Pfizer where my husband is a senior engineer, but I would NOT recommend this place to anyone.

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h
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Went downhill. First server was rude and just dropped straws at us when it took awhile to get drink menus. Food was ok at best when used to be fantastic

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SS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 4

I would return again, but I will say it was very noisy. For some reason we had 3 wait staff, the first one explained why, but it was so loud, I couldn’t hear what he said and he didn’t seem thrilled about being there. The 2nd person (who brought the food) was very nice, but my husband thought she was a manager, the 3rd had the same attitude as the 1st and he was slow about everything, Dessert menu, boxes, and check.

Most of the food was great. Unfortunately our ribs were very dry, We all agreed that the ribs were the worse item we tried. The Fried Green Tomato’s and Chopped Pork and biscuits were the best! Overall it was yummy, would I drive from Florida again to go, probably not.

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RD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Not very pleasing. Enough said; will not return. You need 50 words or more...Terrible, Terrible, Terrible...

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JT
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic service. Fantastic food. Would recommend to anyone. Complementary Valet also makes it care free in downtown Raleigh.

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JT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

November 4 2018 was the first time to The Pit, and for me and my family we enjoyed the experience.
The service, food, is great, the location setting in downtown Raleigh NC, it’s very peaceful, we will be back soon.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First timer and the food was awesome. Definitely try the Carolina Baby Back Ribs - they’re ridiculous!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was incredible and fairly priced. Definitely get a reservation because a group of 3 in front of us were told they had an hour and 15 minute wait.

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E
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

I was very excited to try the Pit. But, I should have known we were in trouble when we were seated in a room with a very large group spread out amongst three separate tables. We were, essentially ignored. We were supposed to have a team of three servers waiting on us but we never met two of them. The one server who did help us was fine but a little overwhelmed. For example, we were never offered the complimentary basket of biscuits and hush puppies that we were supposed to get at the beginning of the meal. Once I learned about what we had missed out on, I was quite sad (I love biscuits and hush puppies). My husband had to ask three different people for a refill of ice tea. One of the managers finally responded. Don't get me wrong. The food was great. But the ambiance and lack of attention really put a damper on the whole experience. Would I recommend the Pit or would I go back? Doubtful.

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GT
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

The ribs and the bbq chicken were dry. Green beans were good and also the cole slaw

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RO
Detroit
15 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I love BBQ and ran for the opportunity to experience Carolina BBQ. I was not disappointed, The Pit was everything I'd hoped it to be. I started with Fried Green Tomatoes; excellent. I chose the Double Combination - Triple Combination was available, which included: 1/2 Rack of Baby Back Ribs and Brisket accompanied by Collard greens, Baked Beans, Yams and Potato salad; excellent! My friend opted for the Dbl Combo- Baby Back & Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes&Gravy, Mac and Cheese. The Chicken was wonderful. The portions were so large we couldn't do Dessert,however, the table next to us had the Banana Pudding, Apple Pie a la mode and Carrot Cake which they described as Awesome. Whenever I'm in town The Pit will see my face in the place. Good Service too!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic. We were sat around the same time as another party. While it took a little bit of time to order our food came out in a hurry. It was absolutely delicious!

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SJ
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We were most disappointed in this highly touted Raleigh barbecue restaurant. The pork and chicken barbecue were very bitter, spicy and mushy while the brisket was tough and tasteless. Add to that the green beans were too salty to eat. Did we just hit it on an off night? We have had various types of barbecue all over the United States and many times in the Carolinas so have ample experience for comparison. For barbecue aficionados, suggest you try Roots 657 in Leesburg/Lucketts, VA. It's farm to table and amazing fare!

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MC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service with authentic northern Carolina bbq. Very generous and tastey options.

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KA
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is enjoyable and the quantity is filling.

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NY
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Staffs were friendly(Valet Parking was great especially we were a group of 7) and complementary biscuits and hushpuppies were great. I wasn't particularly impressed with deviled eggs, N. Carolina ribs or beef brisket but I heard pulled pork was excellent and pulled pork eggroll from my group.

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BC
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I love the BBQ fries, and I usually order it as my meal and have leafy overs to take home. This time the potion of BBQ and pimento cheese was about 1-2 of what it normally is. It was not consistent with the usual portion which was a little disappointing.

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OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 3

My in laws came to visit from PA, wanted to take them to a nice southern place. Service was non existent, when I had to stop a server to ask for help, he had an attitude. No one gave or offered a refill. No one asked how our food was. The boy who dropped the food didn’t say a word. When I talked to the manager she acted confused and after some awkward silence she handed me 3 coupons, wasn’t really apologetic or professional. I really love the food here but I don’t think I can come back.

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j
Raleigh
11 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Service great. Pulled pork very tough, almost inedible. Everything else tasty and prepared well.

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GG
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service were great. It was a bit noisy but we were able to converse without shouting. LOVE that there was only one TV over the bar. So nice to not have a TV in my face everywhere I turned.

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CA
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We shared with our waiter that it was our first time coming and that we needed a moment to see the menu. They returned about 60 seconds later, but we weren’t quite yet prepared. Our waiter left and then it was about 5 minutes before anyone returned again, and then it was a different server. We gave our bar order and our food order at the same time. Immediately after ordering, two members of our party left to wash their hands and seconds later our meals showed up. Our drinks hadn’t even arrived yet and we were several bites in before they came. Three of us ordered the fries as one of our sides and they were lukewarm at best.
Having said that, the meat portion of our meals was good. That was the reason for our choice of restaurants to dine at. Based on that, we would be willing to give The Pit a second try sometime in the future.

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JR
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Chopped bbq and sides were great. Ribs were dry and disappointing.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

LOVED IT. The service was amazing. As soon as we arrived, everyone was very friendly. I got super excited when I was brought biscuits and the HUSH puppies are so buttery and yummy

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E
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic BBQ pulled pork. Service a little hit and miss and I’d recommend the valet as there isn’t much parking.

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N
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Loved the food. But that’s all.
The valee guy was NOT nice. Wish I got his name.
We sat at the bar first to wait for our table, even though we had reservations, and there were not enough bartenders to appropriately help the small size of the bar. This atmosphere makes me insane when there are not enough employees to appropriately handle this size crowd.
Amazing barbecue and sides. Not sure I’ll go back soon.

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MR
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Everything was great and delicious. The only thing was that the food was a lot cooler than expected. The taste however was very good.

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MM
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I understand why The Pit has such an outstanding reputation. Our group, which was celebrating a birthday lunch, ordered the BBQ sandwich, fried chicken, Brunswick stew, and pulled pork platter. Every single dish was executed to perfection: superb taste, meal size, and temperature. The hush-puppies and biscuits the servers brought out prior to lunch were so flavorful; we all agreed that it was hard to stop eating them! The service was also outstanding; we never had to wonder what happened to our server(s) and had everything we needed. Finally, without asking, the server presented a delicious, generous slice of chocolate cake for us to share-complete with birthday candle. What a wonderful surprise! We love The Pit!

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B
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was just good, not great. Table was very close to others, difficult to converse with my dinner partner.

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DL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The tag team approach to service does not work. We ordered an appetizer which should have been brought to the table before our meals. Our meals were brought and we never got the appetizer and when I mentioned it they said let me check on that. I at no point want an appetizer after my meal arrives so we told them to cancel it. Our drinks were left empty for long periods of time. The pork was dry to the point my husband didn't want his leftovers. My burger was not cooked well done as I requested. With a party of 7 you would think at least one person would have had a good food but all of us left saying that we would not be going back.

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CK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the food is great, nice size servings and excellent service. My husband and I split the sampler trio which included, 6 slices of brisket, a large chicken breast and easily a cup worth of pulled pork. That came with two large sides and of course, the hush puppies and biscuits. We enjoyed a nice glass of wine and left to go to the play. Lovely time with friends and good food.

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RF
Seattle
39 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Visited Raleigh from Seattle...love great local food. Several locals said we had to eat at two BBQ places during our visit. The Pit was one of them. Service was good during the lunch hour. As a group of four, we were able to get our meals quickly. Service met all of our needs. The BBQ was good. I had the chopped BBQ with heirloom collard greens and mac n' cheese. The mac n' cheese was warm and chunky. I would have enjoyed it more if it were hot with melted cheese. Overall...we were happy. I'd visit again for dinner to see if things were a little different.

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a
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

I'm been at this place a ton of times, but the food was not as good as typical... The yams tasted like they came from a can. The ribs were tough, and the Mac and Cheese was dry.

I will come back, but if the food is still not good I will limit my future visits. I hope is was just a bad night.

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PH
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Should have realized the noise level was not conducive to a conversation with old friends. Food came out too fast after appetizer, felt rushed.

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DG
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was very tasty, but I felt the presentation could have been better. The amount of food compared to the size of the plate was off. Too much plate. The quantity of food was fine.

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WT
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food with super service!
The Pit is a very cute barbecue place with southern roots. Our two waitresses were very nice and the food was delicious! A really nice touch was the hush puppies and biscuits they gave us before the meal. We had ribs that were fall of the bone delicious, however one of the orders was dry and chewy. It didn't matter since we had more than enough to share. I would suggest getting the sliders which they have different toppings for most days. Mine were with prime rib and carmelized onions and they were incredible ! The Pit has many yummy sides like Brussels sprouts, collards and beans but my personal favorite was the fried okra. It had a nice breading and good texture. For dessert I had the homemade seasonal hand pie with homemade ice cream! If we lived in North Carolina, my family would come here all the time! Overall a very cute place with great service and even better food.

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n
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The BBQ was excellent. I ate some of the tenderest brisket I’ve ever had. My companions enjoyed some excellent ribs and fried chicken. The service was great.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service!

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K
Greensboro
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

First the not so good and then the great. I feel the service has gone down a bit and the layout in the restaurant is just awful, so hard to get through anywhere since all the pathways are like bottlenecks. The brisket is not good in my opinion. It was very dry and tasted like they added way too much liquid smoke, not an authentic subtle smokey flavor. However, everything else I've ever had there is outstanding. The chopped barbecue and carrot cake are both the best I've ever had. Ask for ice cream with the cake! I did and they brought a gingerbread cookie out with it which was so delicious. I didn't have room for it but took it home and stuck it in the fridge and ate it cold later. Highly recommend! The cornbread is SO good if you're into yours being a bit sweet. This time of year it is pumpkin cornbread and just perfect. Mac and cheese, biscuits, BBQ baked beans, BBQ egg rolls, yams, fried okra, etc. are all really good. Make sure to make reservation in advance. Forgot to mention we always do the family style. It is a bit expensive at $25 a person but with all the food you get plus the free refills or leftovers (which you can take home if it's your first round), it's a great deal.

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