A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we close out the year with a tour of longstanding local favorites.
Allen & Son BBQ
6203 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill
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Cooking NC pork barbecue the old-fashioned way – over seasoned hickory and oak – since 1970. Don’t overdo it with the hushpuppies, or you won’t have room for cobbler.
The Chicken Hut
3019 Fayetteville St., Durham
Soul food restaurant justifiably famous for its fried chicken opened in 1957 as the Chicken Box, moved to the current location and changed its name in 1966.
1520 E. 11th St., Siler City
1946 Siler City landmark is a must on any burger fan’s bucket list. It’s only open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closes earlier if they run out of burgers. There’s no phone number, so you’ll have to take your chances. Best advice: get there early.
415 E. Main St., Clayton
Classic small town diner opened in 1958, famous for its hot dogs made with the distinctive red hot dogs made just down the road by Carolina Packers in Smithfield. Order it “all the way” (mustard, chili and onions) plus slaw.
The Roast Grill
7 S. West St., Raleigh
Founded in 1940, this tiny hot dog joint counts governors and plumbers among its loyal clientele. You can choose how dark you’d like your dog grilled (some people even like ’em “burned”), but don’t ask for ketchup.
Shorty’s Famous Hot Dogs
214 S. White St., Wake Forest
Family-owned shop will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, making it prehistoric by Triangle standards. Grab a couple of dogs and a fresh squeezed lemonade, and check out the juke box and pool tables in the back room.
2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham
Local landmark since 1970, serving Calabash-style fried seafood. Flounder is better than trout, and fantail beats popcorn shrimp. Fried chicken trumps them all.
11964 NC Hwy. 50, Willow Spring
Pork shoulders, slow-cooked over hardwood coals and seasoned just right with an Eastern style sauce, have been filling the parking lot in front of this low-slung cinder block building since 1958. Worth a drive to find out why? You bet.
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
1305 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill; 208 S. Bickett Blvd., Louisburg
919-933-1324 (Chapel Hill); 919-496-2609 (Louisburg)
The fried chicken biscuit is deservedly famous, but the BLT and country ham and egg biscuits are worthy understudies. The Chapel Hill location is drive-through only. The Louisburg original, which dates to 1978, also has indoor seating.