I absolutely love barbecue & always make a point to try any and every barbecue restaurant I come across. Picnic was a welcomed addition to the north Durham area and this place used to be my absolute favorite barbecue restaurant (in the entire country!!) pre-Covid. The barbecue is always very flavorful with minimal gristle & their proprietary Carolina style bbq sauce is some of the best I’ve ever tasted! To finish off the meal, they have some of the absolute best banana pudding I’ve ever had!
So you must be wondering with all the praise, why dock Picnic a star? Sometime around Covid, they started to tinker with the menu a little too much and lots of the amazing sides they offered changed. They completely got rid of fries for the longest time only to finally bring them back as a totally different hard waffle fry. The original style fries had much better flavor & texture. They also changed the original Mac n cheese recipe to a more basic, bland style. Finally, they upped their prices (understandable bc of Covid issues) but their portion sizes also dropped tremendously.
I get they’re doing what they can to stay afloat during these tough economic times but at the same time, you can’t abandon what brought you success imo. I still claim Picnic’s barbecue as some of the best in the country but I can no longer claim them as the overall best barbecue restaurant anymore due to all the changes that have occurred since originally opening. Here’s to hoping they get back to doing what made them so special!
Oct 10, 2022
I’m shocked by the high ratings of this BBQ restaurant. My favorite thing here was the coleslaw, which the veggies in it had a very fine texture.
The brisket & chicken were sooo average. They were not tender & were quite tasteless. I wish they made their own BBQ sauce too; the ‘Pig Whiskey’ BBQ sauce that they had at every table was not good.
Jul 19, 2022
I got fried chicken, collards, and baked beans. Beans were amazing, chicken was pretty good, and collards were okay but needed a little something. My partner got pulled pork, potato salad, and mac and cheese. The potato salad and mac and cheese were great. I didn't get to try the bbq but he said it was good. The hush puppies are amazing. I would go back just for these and the beans. We also had some drinks at the bar that were tasty and they had some frozen drinks available they let us sample. The frozen lemonade was perfect. Bar service was on point. Food and drinks came out fast. I'd go here again anytime.
Jul 11, 2022
Hands down, the BEST BBQ I've had in The Triangle. If you're looking for an elevated Southern spread, this is it! The whole-hog BBQ was some of the leanest, most flavorful I've ever had, and the scratch-made baked beans were delicious! Banana pudding for dessert is the icing on the cake and a MUST. Can't wait to try more of the menu soon.
Jul 10, 2022
A great brisket sandwich...one of the best .great sauces too. The hush puppies are scrumptious. Very good food here.
Jun 17, 2022
I'm honestly not sure what's up with all the negative reviews. People around here don't know good food. Terrible restaurants around here somehow have higher reviews than this awesome spot
This place was nothing short of excellent. Nicely fried chicken sandwich, and great pulled pork and brisket. Awesome BBQ sauce. Collard Greens had amazing flavor and the Mac and cheese was done right, and not gooey. The cukes were nicely pickled. Hush puppies were great
Good stuff. Fast service
May 26, 2022
Super pleased with my 1st time here. If I had one request (in the event that the establishment sees this) offer a non-vinegar or "Memphis style" BBQ sauce.
I personally am not a fan of the eastern Carolina style sauce.
Aside from that, it was a plesent visit. I ordered the brisket plate w/potato salad and baked beans. Also ordered the pickle fries.... NOTHING I ordered was bad!
Friendly staff is a plus.
I did not get photos this time because I was just too hungry 😉
Thanks for a good 1st time, I'll definitely return!
May 21, 2022
Picnic has great customer service. Upon arrival I was greeted, given menus, and less than five minutes later I received my order. The food wasn't distasteful in any way shape or form. However, the food did not stand out and the amount of flies there were oddly copious. Overall, an alright experience but taking your food to go is a good option.
May 14, 2022
Truthfully the smell alone is worth 5 stars. What a great off the beaten path place to grab lunch or dinner and then head to the Eno for a hike. The BBQ and the sides are great. I've never had a bad experience there.
Laura Joy Palma
Apr 6, 2022
Just driving through town and stumbled on this perfect "picnic" spot, as hospitable as it peaceful! If you see something on the menu frequently, it's likely to be worth a little calorie indulgence. Pack me some fried greens tomatoes and hush puppies for my next picnic!
The Robinson Family
Mar 23, 2022
Heard great things about this place so finally took the plunge.
Lots of different options
Quality service (I misread the menu and ordered double hush pups and was able to call and get it switched before I picked up the food)
Ordered a Chicken Plate ($19 variety that came with breast’s, thigh, leg, and wing). Chicken was decent (I wouldn’t order again as I have had better fried chicken in Durham. Collard greens tasted really fresh. Stay away from the sweet potato’s as they were not sweet at all. Hush puppies were ok.
Also ordered the Brisket & BBQ plate. Both the brisket and BBQ tasted incredible, but the serving sizes were small (wondering if you get more for each individual plate instead of the combined one). Baked beans were a bit watery (prefer the thick sauce variety). Mac and cheese tasted ok but definitely was made and not store bought/craft so that was appreciated.
Overall, majority of the food tasted great, but for the price you pay for two adult meals there are better options in the Triangle to pay and get more food.
Mar 20, 2022
Pretty good fried chicken sandwich. Came with a side, hushpuppies and slaw. Sandwich itself was nice, as well as the mac and cheese (my side), but for the price the portions were on the smaller side. Service was very fast as well.
Mar 19, 2022
I'm not a fan of whole hog eastern barbecue but this place does it well. The brisket is awesome as well as the fried chicken. Be sure to get a hush puppy included in the mail, it's a real treat. The beer selection is nice and there is outdoor.seating
Feb 27, 2022
My kind of BBQ joint! Pork done right(pulled, not chopped), sweet/savory slaw, combo friendly sauce, great music, and perfect hush puppies. Seems like they may have stepped up their game recently because hush puppies and mac & cheese were different than the pictures I saw in other reviews. Baked beans need some work and was rather expensive but I’ll definitely be back. Great job guys! 👍🏻👍🏻
Feb 13, 2022
The food was fine. I absolutely would have walked out if I was paying, after being told they are charging a mandatory 18% fee for hard times. The prices here are already middle high and to push such an excessive charge (in my opinion) was outrageous. That being said, I had the very cold Chipotle ranch chicken salad. It would have been very good if they heated the chicken. I did have to ask for the brisket sauce, which makes it even better. My wife had a pulled pork bbq sandwich which she said was good.