High Cotton - Outer Banks Restaurants
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High Cotton


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5230 N. Virginia Dare Trail
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949


As Tarheel natives, we want to share with you the flavors and aromas that are unique to Eastern North Carolina Barbeque. Consistent temperatures and long hours of smoking with Hickory coals produce the characteristic pink coloring and sweet "outside brown" meat. Combine this with traditional side dishes and a glass of sweet tea and you’re in "High Cotton" - Outer Banks Barbeque at its very best!

Please come and enjoy this North Carolina delicacy, and take note of the photographs around our dining room that document this culinary heritage. Owners Matt Cooper and Will Thorp invite you to join them in continuing this heritage.

High Cotton Reviews - Add A New Review
Rating: One of our favorites 10/26/2017
Reviewer: pens4821

We LOVE High Cotton. We started going probably 10 or more years ago and getting takeout (pulled pork, brisket, pulled chicken, whole chicken was our order and we'd get/make our own sides). Then a couple years ago we decided to eat inside, and we love that too. To be honest, we actually prefer eating inside now. Although miss having the ocean view while eating it. I always get the choose 3 (ribs/pulled pork/brisket is what I choose), and you get two sides with it. I'm a big eater, and I get plenty. We've never had a bad meal here, and it's our favorite BBQ we've ever eaten. This is a must do for us on every trip!!

Rating: on our annual list 8/1/2016
Reviewer: SaunaViking

Though we've never actually eaten there. We get a large takeout order at the beginning of the week and have quick leftovers for lunch for the next few days. It never fails to disappoint. The fried chicken was wonderful.

Rating: Best Fried Chicken 11/13/2015
Reviewer: obxfam

We have a local radio station DJ that raves about the Fried Chicken here, at a BBQ place so we had to try it out and he was right, it was great! Cant wait to try the BBQ with it next season.

Rating: Great BBQ 6/26/2013
Reviewer: marbek_pa

Great food, friendly staff, casual dining. You will not leave hungry as portions are large and well worth the price.

Rating: Great for groups & families 6/18/2013
Reviewer: RAHohio

Our group of 11 chose High Cotton as our dinner out together. Not only was the food great, but the staff was fantastic as well. We were quickly sat & never once did we feel as though the young kids in our group was a bother to anyone. Even the kitchen staff was having fun w/ them.

Tip: the kids dinners are plenty large enough for 2 children to split (chicken nuggets dinner has 9 nuggets! + 2 large sides)

Rating: ...ain't saying much.... 1/20/2013
Reviewer: vanative

...best q on the beach...but that ain't saying much......

Rating: barbecue 11/10/2012
Reviewer: Howie

Never a big bbq fan until eating here. Brunswick stew and the world's best cole slaw. Friendly staff and management. Never disappointed after dozens of meals.

Rating: Excellent BBQ 10/1/2012
Reviewer: strawbearlyjamms

Best BBQ on the outer banks. Fantastic service. Always happy to eat there and enjoy the food. Ordered the $79 special for 11-12 ppl and it easily fed 11 ppl with enough left over for lunch. at $8pp that is a steal!

Rating: ...very good bbq and more... 5/16/2012
Reviewer: vanative

...nice smokey bbq...and the ribs and chicken are to die for...great service and very clean.....

Rating: Great selection of great tasting food 5/4/2010
Reviewer: JPritch

I'd rate High Cotton's "Q" a 4/5....but the atmosphere, friendly staff, and especially the made-to-order FRIED CHICKEN push this place over the top and worthy of a 5-star rating in my book.

If you're after ribs only, I'd recommend Corolla Village BBQ. But High Cotton makes a delicious pulled pork, and beef brisket which I don't think CVB offers. Their Fried Chicken, which is dropped in the fryer after you order it, was absolutely incredible. So crunchy on the outside and so juicy on the inside. The homemade mac-and-cheese (if you want soggy boxed Kraft shells-and-cheese, you won't find it here) was also delicious!

Top the meal off with an RC Cola and Moon Pie, and your belly will be happy! Very clean and new feeling restaurant, and really like the gentleman (manager/owner?) who walks the floor. We'll be returning next vacation.

Rating: Our arrival dinner 9/29/2009
Reviewer: Steve

We enjoy stopping here for carry out whenever we come to the OBX and will often stop for lunch if we're nearby. Good food, nice folks.

Rating: Excellent Eastern NC BBQ 9/28/2009
Reviewer: Matt

Very casual, nothing fancy, just good BBQ. Great pulled pork and pulled chicken - simple, tender and flavorful. Excellent sauces, especially the vinegar based stuff. Good southern style sides too, especially the Brunswick stew. Friendly staff and ownership.

Rating: Great BBQ 11/16/2007
Reviewer: Brian P

My wife and I were looking for something good to eat at a not too expensive price. We found it here. The food was delicious and the price was just right. I had the brisquet sandich and my wife had the pulled BBQ chicken sandich. I love to eat BBQ and usually find some wherever I go and I have to say this was the best brisquet I've found. It had great flavor and not too much fat like I've seen many places. We'll definitely go back

Rating: Outstanding ribs, wonderful smoked chix 5/2/2007
Reviewer: Marguerite

We've been eating at High Cotton since it opened. We've eaten in and done take out. Very pleased and often recommend it to others.

Now when my husband first suggested going there I wasn't too excited, I'm not a big bbque fan and besides I can get it at home. But High Cotton has the most fabulous ribs I've ever eaten. They are St. Louis style, very meaty and with a fabulous slow-cooked taste. Their smoked chicken, either in a pulled chix sandwich or eaten right off the bones dipped in sauce, is also great.

We've eaten there so many times that Will recognizes us and always comes over to chat. And slip us an extra rib or side order! He's a charming host. The place is always spotlessly clean and the collection of old North Carolina photos on the walls is fascinating for anyone with an interest in history. High Cotton is super casual and inexpensive, great place to take the kids or folks who've never had NC style bbque.

Rating: Good food 4/11/2007
Reviewer: Rob

Good food, served simply. BBQ pork sandwiches served plain, add the amount of sauce you want. Good sides as well.

The only negative I experienced was when a waitress refills a drink without being asked, I assume refills are free. They weren't.

Rating: Great BBQ pulled pork and ribs 11/20/2006
Reviewer: Tim-OBX

Not a fancy place just good old lunch and diner with BBQ and sides. Will cooks his BBQ fresh and it's not greasy or over smoked. He can have enough for you to take home or eat in the restaurant. If you like BBQ it is worth a try. Across from the new Hilton.