The Pit - Durham

4.0
789 reviews
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$30 and under
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Barbecue
North Carolina is known for its legendary barbecue joints. We proudly continue this tradition by serving authentic whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue at The Pit in Durham.
What 789 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.1
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Pit is a great restaurant if you are looking for GOOD LOCAL BBQ... I recommend you try the Double/Triple Combo or even the Big Boy Plate to get a chance to taste all the wonderful meats they have and you also get two side, hushpuppies and biscuits with butter.

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JG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

When we arrived there were to parties in front of us, the host and hostess were nowhere to be found. When the hostess showed up, she had a very bad demeanor, never greeted us -or the people in front of us. She sat the first party, the host showed up, much better attitude, seated the next party. The hostess came back, just looked at us. I mentioned we had a reservation at 7 (it was exactly 7 at this point), she found the reservation, asked if she could seat us at the high-top tables; when making the reservation this question is asked, I had purposely selected the regular tables in the restaurant, so I said no, that we would prefer a regular table as per our reservation, she looked over to the restaurant, where there were 10+ open tables and said it would be a minute. She went over and cleaned a table (the booth with the shortest "cut-out" seat, there were four of us... this would be fine if there hadn't been 10 other tables she could have seated us at). We sat down, the server came, took our drink order. Throughout the night she tried to refill our water several times, but never thought to bring us utensils or napkins. She brought the drinks, still no utensils; biscuits and butter; still no utensils; she took our food order. Someone else brought our food -still no utensils- so we asked, they brought utensils, two of us had a half-rack of baby back ribs, we only had butter knives... had to ask for serrated knives. The Brunswick stew was cold, had to ask for it to be taken back and reheated. The fried chicken was dry, the ribs were rubbery, the mac and cheese was a bland congealed ball. the stew was ok once I got a warm serving. The best thing was probably the biscuits. Considering each dish is 14+and we weren't able to eat more than 1/4 of what we ordered, I would say the value was very low. We will not be visiting the Pit in Durham again. Service was bad, the food was worse.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fast service and the food is just the best!

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2
Greensboro
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 2service 4ambience 4

This is our 3rd visit to this location. Each time we dine it’s noticeably becoming inconsistent with what The Pit’s food tasted like before. The first visit was amazing. Second was horrible, but we like the cornbread and ambience so we said we will give them another try. Sunday’s visit, was about the same. Maybe the recipes need re-evaluating for better consistency. I hate to see this place become a has-been or worse case scenario, an afterthought.

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My waiter was great. The only issue I had was that it took almost an hour for out food. The restaurant wasn’t even that busy. The waiter explained there was a mix up and miscommunication. There was no manager to come to the table to address the issue or even apologize.

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J
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food is very good. The server seemed new so was maybe not up to speed yet. Beers came out very slow.

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a
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

I would have scored The Pit - Durham higher, however our experience with deserts and some of the other food wasn’t great. The appitizer sampler was delicious, especially the smoked wings. As for entrees, the ribs were a bit hit for everyone. But the chopped turkey was overwhelmingly spicy, almost inedible. We ordered deserts to go, one of them being the banana pudding. The carrot and chocolate cake were great, however, when we opened the banana pudding there was no pudding just meringue. The rest of the food was fantastic, as was the service and atmosphere. We also really appreciated the free valet. While The Pit won’t become a go-to restaurant, we will probably go back to give it another chance.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Food was much better on previous visits, but the meat seemed dry this time. Maybe we came too early and not during peak hours? Not really sure. Hopefully this was a one time fluke.

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S
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food. We love coming to the Pit for a date night. However, the service is consistently average. Seems like they may be under staffed.

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G
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 2

Food is pretty decent and staff is nice, but it’s so loud! It was a struggle talking over the background music at times.

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SB
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great fried chicken and the deviled eggs are to die for.

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B
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic!

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BA
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the dining experience. Zeno was a wonderful server and made the experience great

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JG
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

I am not a big fan of Carolina BBQ but they have some interesting dishes here. Fred was absolutely by far the best server that we've had and my family and I have been here on a few different occasions! Definitely request him the next time you go:)

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j
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Meats were great, sides need work. They seem to take “Mac and cheese” very literally. It’s macaroni with melted cheese on top. It was a let down, but the meats made up for it 100%.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They accommodated our large group exceptionally well!

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l
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The kitchen is clearly having issues here and I wish I had read the reviews prior to going. It took 45 minutes for our meal to come out and we didn’t order anything special. Part of the order was incorrect but it would have taken too long to remedy. One meal was so over cooked the plate looked like bits of doggy doo and was basically un-eatable. Brisket was dry. Ribs were great. We had to get up and get our own knives and forks as the wait staff were simply overwhelmed. Not their fault, but complete mismanagement. We won’t be back to this location.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Really good BBQ

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J
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

This was my first time and I had heard great things prior to coming. The food was horrible. Had to send back several sides due to them being cold. The candied yams were mashed yams. The barbecue baked beans were cold and very stiff. I left 90% of my food on the plate.

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m
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

This is the first time I have ever been disappointed with the food at the Pit. However, the hushpuppies were cold, the jowel bacon blue cheese spinach salads came out without the jowel bacon, and the meatloaf tasted like it was made out of card board. It all took a long time to come out as well.

The smoked chicken wings were excellent as usual as was the barbeque. Needless to say, not our best experience at this restaurant.

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H
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

A group of us had dinner at the Pit before attending a performance at DPAC. We started the meal with an outstanding sampler which included traditional foods ( chicken drumetts, deviled eggs) and creative contemporary foods ( fried pimento cheese, collard-pork- shredded carrots wraps). Sampler was excellent and the meals matched it! Kudos to Reggie, the best server ever! ( we call him Reggie-with-a-flair).😁

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f
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

Over many visits to the The Pit my opinion has ranged from 3 to 5 stars -- this was my first 2-star visit. Lexington BBQ was dry as was the mac and cheese. Brisket was tough to the point of being inedible. It's never been like this before. Side portions were skimpy, greens and black-eyed peas overcooked and soggy.

Service was friendly but uneven, ending with us reminding the server to bring a dessert that was ordered. The check actually came before the dessert did.

I will give The Pit another try because when it's good, it's fantastic. But probably only one more.

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FD
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Worst meal I have had in years, was very surprised how south this joint had gone since the last time i ate there.

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RB
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the food here, but had multiple issues. Our chicken wings appetizer never showed up, so we asked for it to be removed from our check. For some reason they were out of hush-puppies and biscuits. We were given an apology and some cornbread on the house. Half way though our meal biscuits show up at our table with the reason that they decided to make some. Our server was very polite, but was frustrated with the kitchen issues.

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SS
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

Very disappointed in the food quality and temperature during this visit. There were four of us and we had a 9:15 reservation. The food tasted as if it had been prepared hours earlier and left on a very low warming tray. One guest had the ribs, they were so salty he couldn't eat them. We mentioned to the server who made no attempt to fix. Service was fine, but slow on the drink refills. The restaurant wasn't busy at all, so this was not a staffing issue. I was disappointed as I brought a guest from out of state who I had shared how great the Pit was.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Laid back and delicious

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

Overall it was a fine experience, but nothing like the original in Raleigh. Food, wait staff and valet all excellent, but the hostess did not know what she was doing, didn't greet us and then sat us at a dirty table.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. our server, Ike, was fantastic!

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B
Wilmington
5 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I went for his birthday. Our hostess was warm, and friendly as she greeted us, and lead us to our table. Our server Ike was very friendly, and attentive. The food is absolutely delicious! Great experience over all!

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was good, service was ok. Took long time to bring drinks and food.

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KM
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

We went there because the Pit is one of the few local restaurants to give a taste of the South that also accommodates vegetarians! I don't know if it was an off night due to being right after the holidays, but there were too many mistakes to count (a waiter came by with desert before we even had drinks, and about 3 more came out with food for the wrong table after that, it became comical!). It ended up a decent meal, but not exactly how we wanted to showcase a local favorite! I would try again, hoping this experience was a fluke.

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ML
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

We have eaten here before with open table and the food and service was great. This was christmas eve so maybe there were internal issues. I tip pretty well but did not enjoy dinner this praticular evening. (Only gave 15%) We will try again in the future see how it goes.

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ES
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 1

Our waitress was very nice, however, we ordered drinks and did not get them until all of our appetizers were already served and eaten! The food came out in a timely manner, and so we assume that there is some disconnect between the bartender and food servers? In any event, the food service was good, but not the drink service. We had hoped to have a cocktail with our appetizers and wine with dinner and this did not happen. We sat at the low tables and it was a bit noisy with lots of children crying. If you want a more adult atmosphere, probably best to select the high tops in the bar area for seating.
Fried green tomatoes were yummy. Fried pimento cheese was great! Collared greens and catfish were delicious. This is southern comfort food, not health food :-) I would recommend, and hope for better drink service next time.

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B
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 2

Reserved on Open Table at a regular table, but when we arrived, the hostess said we had a bar table.
Waitress apologized for being short staffed and forgot part of our order. Later hostess came by the table to get our last name again for some reason. Later that evening I was emailed by Open Table that our party had not shown up for our reservation. Apparently, the restaurant could not seem to figure out Open Table??
The food was very good as usual though, but our table was terrible, right by the front door where people were coming in and cold air too.

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MD
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

My family usually enjoys our dining experiences at The Pit. Unfortunately our Christmas Eve dinner was not enjoyable. Anticipating that restaurants would be crowded on Christmas Eve, I made a reservation on December 18th. When I made the reservation I specifically requested a traditional table in the dining room rather than a high table in the bar area. When I arrived for the 6pm reservation with my husband and 2 adult children, the restaurant was only about half full. The hostess wanted to seat us at a high table by the bar so I reminded her that I had requested not to be seated at a high table. She confirmed my request but said there were no other tables available - but the restaurant had PLENTY of open tables. Our table in the bar area next to the windows was dark and drafty. Despite our disappointment in the way the hostess handled our seating, I was still looking forward to a delicious dinner. Unfortunately the pork on my seasonal salad was unusually salty and I had to send it back. The second serving of pulled pork was equally salty. We also heard a couple at the bar commenting about the pork being too salty. There must have been an error in preparation with that batch. Overall, our Christmas Eve dinner experience was not what we had hoped.

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SB
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We have enjoyed eating at The Pit, Durham location several times and have always been pleased. Last year, we had Christmas Eve dinner here and loved it so much that we decided to make it a "tradition" and returned this year. Unfortunately we were very disappointed. We arrived 1/2 hour early, to an empty restaurant and were seated at a high top in the bar area; I asked for a table and was refused. I understand they have bookings, but we were early and the restaurant was empty. So we sat in the bar area directly under a vent, which was either very cold or very warm, depending on how the air was blowing. Our server was also the bartender, so service was very slow (not her fault, she should have either been bartender or server on a night like this). Our drinks took at least 10 minutes to arrive and table snacks were not provided until we asked for it. Our food arrived fairly quickly only to find the sides were all cold, the brisket was not very tender (overcooked) and the food just wasn't up to it's usual scale. Not sure we will return anytime soon. If the restaurant had been extremely busy, some of this would have been forgivable, but as I said, we were early and the place was virtually empty.

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B
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Good: Service was very good and worked with kids. Hush puppies were excellent but how can you mess up fried bread :)

Bad: BBQ was dry and very salty.. when there are plenty of options in the Triangle for BBQ, I'd go elsewhere.

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M
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We arrived w/ reservations. Waited approx. 15-20 at our table and no one came over. I approached the front desk and a few minutes later our waiter came. She was not aware we had been seated. She was very nice, I must admit.
I ordered the Southern Fried Chicken and was very disappointed. My guest ordered the ribs, he found them tasty but they were cold.
They are out of Bud Light and I don't recall the other beer. My glass of sweet tea was empty for a little bit before anyone noticed. Overall, I was very, very disappointed with the service. I have been to the one in Raleigh and found it amazing.

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CB
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 3

Sadly The Pit is not what it used to be. This makes a third try for us at The Pit, Durham this year. Each time we have had issues. This most recent time it took 65 minutes for our food to arrive. Some of the food was also cold. While we have had server issue in the past, this time our server was great. He kept us up to date on the food delay. But he really didn't need to update us because we could see into the kitchen where several folks were standing around talking on phones instead of preparing food. The BBQ chopper in particular was off and on the phone the whole night. Just sad to see a great restaurant brought low by poor staff.
Food is still pretty good if you can get it hot and on time.

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OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Overall okay

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