Bunn’s Bar-B-Q

Review by: Michael Stern

Bunn’s is yet more proof that great restaurants are found in former filling stations. That’s what the building was before 1938, when it became a barbecue parlor. There’s still an old Texaco pump outside; and the place is decorated inside and out with vintage signs, ads, and ephemera. The atmosphere is vaguely like what Cracker Barrel aims to create; but in this case, it is real.

When you enter, you have a choice of sitting on a bench at a counter in a room to the left or at a table in a room to the right, in back. Whichever place you sit, service is lightning-fast. That’s because there is hardly any choice on the menu. What you eat is pork, with or without Brunswick stew, on a plate or sandwich, accompanied by tart, tangy cole slaw. The pork is chopped ultra fine, a mix of soft white meat from the inside of the roast laced with chewy brown shreds from its surface. It comes ever-so-lightly sauced with what the locals like: vinegar and spice; but if you want it moister or hotter, other sauces are provided on the counter and tables. Plates are topped with a square of thin, extremely luscious cornbread that has a serious chew and is the ideal medium for pushing around Brunswick stew on the plate.

If you don’t fill up on barbecue – you should, you should! – Bunn’s has a huge selection of silly packaged cakes, cookies, and honey buns near the cash register.

What To Eat

BBQ Plate



Bunn’s Bar-B-Q Recipes


What do you think of Bunn’s Bar-B-Q?

One Response to “Bunn’s Bar-B-Q”

William Miller

December 14th, 2007

We enjoyed a wonderful “combo” meal at Bunn’s Barbecue. “Combo” means a healthy portion of the famous pork barbecue, cabbage slaw, a very good Brunswick stew and a piece of crispy-on-the-outside, flaky inside cornbread. Nothing fancy here, but the pork is consistently the best of the eastern Carolina-style barbecue that you can find around here. Juicy chopped pork, no gristle or other indigestible parts in the mix, and flavored just right with the vinegar and pepper that’s a trademark of this style.

Fortunately, we got to Bunn’s early, because it’s the kind of place that draws loyal locals every day of the week. I have developed my appreciation of this kind of barbecue to the point where my mouth waters when somebody says the word “Bunn’s”; there is no finer example of a Pavlovian response to be found anywhere.

Everyone understands the routine when they walk through the door: grab a soda, take a seat at the counter or in the adjoining dining room, and the servers will be there before you unscrew the top or pop the lid on your soda can. Delivery of your meal takes place about the time you’ve taken that second gulp of soda, since everything is prepared (fresh) and waiting for the customer. It’s a quick in-and-out at Bunn’s, but the experience while you’re there is unbeatable! Friendly people who know how to prepare food and get it to eager customers.


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