The Pit

The PitThe Pit
The PitThe Pit
Bar, Eatery

328 W Davie St
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27601-1746
United States

(919) 890-4500 | map

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Ratings by bostonbeans:
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Rated by bostonbeans from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

Aug 15, 2015
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.18 by Budlum from Maryland

Sep 24, 2019
Rated: 4.41 by robebo44 from Virginia

Jan 06, 2019
Rated: 3.2 by Higdon from Maryland

Oct 01, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by RTaylor5 from North Carolina

Jul 15, 2017
Rated: 4.13 by SDRedDevil from California

Aug 08, 2016
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Reviewed by SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4
I enjoyed my visit here. It was certainly atypical of most BBQ restaurants because it was modern and clean. It is not necessary to have good BBQ in a shed in the middle of nowhere with toothless workers and Carolina slang so deep that I feel as though I am in another country. The food was good, not spectacular. I wouldn't send someone here as a "must have" BBQ joint, but if in the downtown area, this is quite serviceable. I had the BBQ and turkey platter. Sadly, the turkey was better than the BBQ. The BBQ was a little dry and lacked flavor, so I had to use copious quantities of sauce to ingest. The turkey was delicious and the sides, although small, were also quite tasty. The beer selection looked pretty nice. They had all kinds of imports and craft beers to suit the beer connoisseur's fancy. Large selection of local stuff as well as goodies from around the country. Of particular interest were Delirium and Rochefort 10. The Rochefort was priced about the same as retail ($6 retail vs $8 here), which is a bargain! I can't say I would come back here but I had no problems with the place.
Feb 03, 2016
Rated: 4.08 by SFNC from North Carolina

Oct 31, 2015
Rated: 4.4 by SmellsofMahagony from Texas

Sep 21, 2015
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Reviewed by lastmango from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.75
Daughter at Campbell Law brought me here for lunch this past July 3rd. I am going to say something that on this site would be sacrilegious. The food is sooooo good that you will not have room for the beer. The best fried chicken I've had in 20 years and the Carolina cue did not need any sauce added because it was so good. Biscuits are also very good. Ok . . . make room for the beer and take home a doggie bag.
Jul 07, 2015
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Reviewed by jjboesen from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.75
The Pit is about BBQ and nothing else. While they offer a very decent selection of crafts, including a pleasant Stone Saisson among several locals, this is the one place where the food reigns supreme. They offer regular plates with 2 sides. I opted for a succulent brisket that could literally be cut with a fork - the green beans and mac-cheese sides were 2 die 4. Delicious!

Located in the trending Warehouse District - and a few short steps from the wonderful Crank Arm Brewing, the Pit is a popular place: there is a small outdoor "patio" for alfresco dining. Inside is a busy place with crowded tables and hightops in the front alongside an open bar area. The service was attentive.

Needless to say, any visit to Raleigh MUST include a Pit stop. (Sorry)
Apr 06, 2015
Rated: 5 by BGsWo22 from Texas

Mar 31, 2015
Rated: 4.16 by jshusc from South Carolina

Mar 09, 2015
Rated: 4.63 by BradShook from North Carolina

Feb 22, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by Macsimus from North Carolina

Feb 02, 2015
Rated: 5 by MANix73 from Ohio

Nov 30, 2014
Rated: 3.82 by RyanAU from North Carolina

Oct 31, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by Bilco from Pennsylvania

Oct 24, 2014
Rated: 4 by muskiesman from New Jersey

Oct 12, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by jak from North Carolina

Aug 01, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by woodchip from North Carolina

Jun 25, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by DaveRinn from Washington

May 31, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by alexm1309 from Illinois

Apr 19, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania

Apr 02, 2014
Rated: 4 by dbrauneis from North Carolina

Dec 09, 2013
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Reviewed by CBlack85 from South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5
stopped by this place while in Raleigh on business.

The place is quite large with a nice bar area with ample seating, and a separate seating area with lots of tables. Very nice and moderately upscale, but still comfortable. There is a small outdoor seating area directly outside of the bar.

The waitstaff was friendly and attentive, and seemed well versed on the menu and beer list.

The menu is about what you would expect from a southern/BBQ place. Pulled pork, brisket, fried chicken, ribs, etc... The fried chicken was very good, as was the pulled pork. They have a wide variety of sides; so many in fact that I had a hard time choosing. And the beer menu was fairly impressive as well, they had a small, but well thought out tap list featuring some local and regional favorites, plus some more broadly distributed brands from across the country. They also have a nice bottle list as well.

All in all, this place was quite good. This will be a definite regular spot when I visit Raleigh...
Apr 26, 2013
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Reviewed by cwoods from North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Finally got around to eating at the pit this afternoon. I went with my wife and two young kids. I was somewhat concerned it might be a little more classy than it was considering we had our kids with us but, the atmosphere was perfect. Loud and lively (not too loud).

The staff was very polite, kind, and accomendating.

The food and beer selection were nicely paired. A few sought after brews and local NC brew flavors filled the menu. The childrens menu was also nice considering it had more than just chicken tenders and grilled chesse sandwhichs to offer.

The food itself was as advertised. Think of pit smoked que at one of the highest levels and thats what you get. I had the brisket and it was the best Ive had. The KBS went perfect with the meal.

IMO the price was worth the food and atmosphere of a great NC eatery.
Apr 15, 2012
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Reviewed by ferrari29 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
I'm glad I decided to stop by "The Pit" last night. The staff was kind enough to let us in even though we arrived with 5 minutes to spare before the kitchen closed. Brownie points! I stopped by with a couple of my co-workers after a hard day of work, client recommended. Food was fantastic, their authentic BBQ was hands-down one of the best I've had. Meat is very tender and falls right off the bone. Be sure to try the fantastic selection of sauces to add a delicious BBQ flavored punch to your meal.

Beer menu is appropriately matched for all the food they offer. A reasonably sized "Beer-to-share" menu accompanies their specially tailored BBQ themed food options with a combination of IPA's, Farmhouse Ales, and to my surprise, Stouts. I'm one for having a nice stout for dessert, with a thick and creamy body and deep roasted malt and chocolate flavor. It's like having a cake! I was provided a round of stout samples at the end of the evening, Founder's Porter, Oatmeal Stout and Big Boss Coffee Stout. All very enjoyable. I must say, I was not let down with their options. The service was very accommodating and they provided very good recommendations.

Atmosphere was hip and trendy, with really nice stone cut tabletops. Big and spacious, I can see this place get very rowdy and load during football games.

The go-to spot in Raleigh for craft beers and great food! Definitely stop by, you wont be disappointed.
Jan 27, 2012
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Reviewed by Smakawhat from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Stopped by as recommend when I found out Cooper's closes at 7PM.

A very large venue that seems to have no problem accommodating anyone. Staff are actually quite nice, prompt, and courteous.

For beer selection the bottle list is ok there were maybe one or two locals, but I wasn't aware there were a bunch on tap, the menu wasn't given to me until I ordered a second beer much later. Too bad cause the list on there was quite interesting and solid.

As for food well... if you want BBQ this is a great place. Both the baby back and the Carolina ribs are great, they'll provide also a vinegar and a tomato base sauce that's on the table. Great hush puppies and biscuits. Really enjoyed the cheese grits, the collards could have been a bit better.

Colleagues felt the cream corn was great, as was the squash, and the banana pudding is a real treat. I am not much of a sweet tooth but I'll admit it is the real deal. I don't know how one person could eat the whole thing though.

As for prices, for me coming from DC this place is really not that expensive it's actually quite cheap, but many of the locals here do feel it's overpriced so take that in mind.

Great place though for some BBQ and have a few local craft brews on tap, what can I say.
Jul 02, 2011
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Reviewed by 5thOhio from South Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Stopped for lunch Sunday with my wife, son & his wife.

Despite the place being near-full around 1-ish, we were seated quickly. Others have described the interior, so I won't go into detail, only to note that despite the usual industrial warehouse look and a large crowd, the noise was dampened enough for the 4 of us to hear each other easily.

The server took our orders quickly. Her knowledge of the beers was obviously slight, but she had a printed tap list, and she & the bartenders were friendly and helpful. She brought me a sample, and the bartenders were glad to give me samples at the bar.

The list had something for almost any taste. Seven of the 12 taps were local NC beers, but unfortunately all a little maltier than I care for. I chose a pint of the Stone/ Ballast Point/Kelsey McNair collaboration. It was delicious, and fresh-tasting with a wonderful mixture of hop flavors.

The food was outstanding, with generous portions for a moderate price. I had the East NC barbeque platter which came with 2 sides, a couple of hush puppies and a biscuit, all cooked to near-perfection and none greasy. The ladies both had the fried chicken, with various sides. The chicken was supremely crispy and hot inside, but not greasy either. My son had the beef brisket platter. The brisket was fall-apart tender. We shared the carrot cake with house-made bourbon ice cream for dessert. The ice cream was very rich and sweet, without being overwhelmed by the bourbon. My wife, a carrot-cake fiend, pronounced the cake wonderfully good.

Enough can't be said about the food. If you want to taste real NC barbecue & sides, not something soaked with some sticky-sweet generic red sauce, you've got to hit this place. (If you don't like ENC, they have plain pulled pork and sauces on the side.) Too many upscale eateries think they have to fix what ain't broke and end up with things like "collard greens with a balsamic reduction sauce." The chef here knows what's good about barbecue and serves it simply and well-cooked.

Unfortunately, I was the only one drinking beer, the ladies not caring for it and my son being the designated driver, so I could only sample the collaboration and a Mission IPA, which was also fresh and quite tasty. Although not a huge tap list, I doubt a beer geek couldn't find something to enjoy. The local emphasis is especially nice because NC beers are fairly limited in availability, most being small productions.

Some restaurants have good beer and average food. Others have good food and average beer selections. This place has both good beer and good food. I'm sure there are other quality eateries in Raleigh, but I could be quite satisfied with only taking meals at The Pit when I'm in the area.
Oct 04, 2010
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Reviewed by gixxerman from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Nice combo of craft offerings and some great barbeque too. I stopped in on the way to the airport for a few Triangle IPAs and a chopped Eastern NC style BBQ sandwih with a side of their delicious sweet potato fries.

Parking was a bit of a hassle, but you can opt for valet. I stopped at lunchtime, and the were busy, but there was seating available at the bar.

The outdoor patio seating is the place to be but seating is limited to 5 or 6 tables. The space inside is very nice, but not over the top. Jeans and a t-shirt, or a coat and tie fit in equally.

Great food and beer selection, I will be back for more!
Apr 07, 2010
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Reviewed by silver0rlead from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
This is an excellent addition to the Raleigh dining scene, with good food and a well chosen tap list that will always have something interesting on it. The food is really good in general, but the eastern style bbq and ribs are the standouts. This place gets pretty packed most nights, so you are probably better off getting a reservation or sitting at the bar. They have maybe a dozen taps, all of them being craft beer and a nice bottled selection (though I'm never in the mood to plunk down a wad of cash on a 750ml at a restaurant). There are about a dozen taps, all craft beer, focusing on local stuff (big boss, aviator, foothills, french broad, mother earth, and highland are all regularly featured), but there is also some regional/national stuff on as well as some pretty rare offerings that you probably won't see too many other places (I've seen Hopslam, Sexual Chocolate, Allagash Odyssey, Stone RIS at different times). This is really more of a restaurant with a really good beer selection than a beer bar, but either way it's worth a visit for the food and the beer.
Mar 29, 2010
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Reviewed by frazbri from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
The Pit is an upscale barbecue joint a short walk from the Raleigh convention center. The brick commercial exterior opens to a warm wood and glass accented interior. A big u-shaped bar stands left of the entrance. The main dining areas sit behind glass with illustrations of our friend, the noble pig.

I ordered the chopped pork plate. It consisted of whole hog bbq, two sides, a biscuit, and hush puppies for about $8.00. The pork was very good, and the portion was more than enough.

The Pit had twelve taps. Five were from NC, plus a couple from Victory and couple nice German biers. There were also some very nice bottles like Brooklyn 1, 2 and I believe Black Ops.

Service was good. Food came very swiftly, and my glass was never dry.

Good beer and good food. I like it.
Feb 20, 2010
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Reviewed by PhillyStyle from Georgia

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Visited 8/20/09:

Went on a Thursday night, about 6:30-7pm and the place was slammed. There were people waiting outside, so I was anticipating the BBQ a little more than the beer as I was walking in. But I walked right in and sat down at the bar, no problems. Nice big space, not a great location, a little out of the way, but in an older building that has some character.

The service at the bar was good, a little slow at first, but due more to the volume than disinterest by the bar staff. Once noticed, the bar tender was quick as well as chatty. The BBQ was really good.

Nice selection of beers, several different brewers and styles on-tap, seemed to have several taps devoted to NC breweries. Had the Lonerider Shotgun Betty Hefe, a local NC brew, drawn from the tap to perfection in an Imperial Pint glass. They also offered 10oz glasses as well, for half the price. Prices were very reasonable; I think that my beer was $6.

Overall, this is a really good spot, especially if you are downtown. If I lived in Raleigh, I could see being at The Pit on a regular basis.
Aug 26, 2009
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Reviewed by blackie from Oregon

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
visited the weekend of the World Beer Festival...always in search of good BBQ when I make my way back down to NC - the stuff I've had up in VA just doesn't compare

this place was slammed on the night of my first visit and has been every return since - reservations are highly recommended, was able to elbow our way into a seat at the bar and eat there to avoid the hour-long wait, not exactly casual but far from "fancy" - a t shirt was fine but left me in the minority, The Pit is a spacey but comfortable joint with a large bar and very small patio with maybe 5 tables

service at the bar was fine if nothing special, beers were filled as needed and food was served within a reasonable amount of time

great selection of both locals and nationally distributed micros, including a beer from the relatively young Aviator Brewing, what I really appreciate is that all the drafts are available in different serving sizes - allowing the opportunity to sample more than would typically be possible

the BBQ was top-notch, among the best of the Eastern NC category, went with collards and fried okra for sides, which were good but pretty standard
Jul 20, 2009
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Reviewed by GJ40 from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4
I decided to visit The Pit after seeing it on Man vs Food. It's primarily a barbeque restaurant but stands alone as a beer bar as well.

It's in a quiet area on the outskirts of downtown. There are several sections to the interior but in general the front is a more casual bar area and the back is a more formal dining area. The kitchen is way in the back and can be seen to some degree from the dining area. The place definitely has a nice atmosphere.

They have 12 on tap with mostly locals (Foothills, Big Boss, Lone Rider and Aviator) as well as some great US beers (Bells, Victory ad DFH). Most beers run $3 for 10oz, $6 for a 20oz and $18 for a pitcher. I went with a Foothills Hoppium and it was nice and fresh.

The food menu is very enticing. They have all sorts of meats including ribs, pulled pork, meatloaf, fried chicken, brisket and others. They offer two-choice combos (two meats with two sides) for lunch and I think three for dinner. The portions aren't huge but they're very good. I was hoping for outstanding but I think it fell a bit short of that (it looked better and fresher on Man vs Food).

The service started out good but our waiter got busy and it was tough getting out. I thought the beer was reasonably priced but the food was a bit on the expensive side for what you got.

I enjoyed my visit and plan to give it another try some time.
May 12, 2009
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Reviewed by atsprings from North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5
Like the last reviewer said, I am also making it a habit to stop by here at least every week or two because of their changing tap selection. The place is rather swank with a nice bar area in the front. The service is excellent and the staff is very knowledgeable. While they only have 12 taps, they keep quality beers on them and they rotate them constantly. They also have a decent selection of bottled beers and bombers, but the can be pricey. While I'm not a big fan of BBQ, my sister said it was really good, and I noticed today they have a burger on the lunch menu, and it was quite tasty. I must say, I can't believe I waited as long as I did to try this place, but I'm certainly glad I did.

Update: Like I said, I wasn't a big fan of BBQ, but I broke down and tried the pulled pork and it's delectable! They also have an Oreo cream pie that is delicious and would likely pair nicely with any dark beer.
Mar 17, 2009
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Reviewed by hebruiser from North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
i make it a point to drop by the pit every week or so just to see what the draught lines are pouring.

seems that they like to amass a formidable line-up of similar styles and offer very affordable flights...sometimes as many as four or five at a time. the last flight i had was of marzen beers back in november and they had such standouts as paulaner and the under-rated carolina oktoberfest.

i'm always surprised with the choices on draught and the bomber list!

food is...amazing. pit-cooked barbecue, ribs and homemade treats like fried chicken and the most incredible meatloaf i've ever had. if you can catch them on a day when they offer brussel sprouts as a side, get as many as you can!
Mar 03, 2009
The Pit in Raleigh, NC
Place rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 38 ratings