Parker's Barbecue Restaurant is a family tradition

By Jane Hudson

Eastern North Carolina pork barbecue is a Pitt County specialty, and the Parker family has been serving it up at Parker's Barbecue Restaurant in Greenville for nearly 50 years.

You can get a great barbecue sandwich here -- smoky chopped pork piled on a soft bun and topped with slaw that adds a perfect tang.

But locals know Parker's is about more than barbecue.

It's about the iced tea -- cold and dark and oh so sweet. It's the South in a glass.

And it's about the fried chicken. Perfectly battered and cooked, the crispy coating and moist meat is what home cooks aspire to duplicate. And the fried chicken wings are worth fighting over.

And the sides. They are more than just vegetables your mama makes you eat. Brunswick stew, thick and tomatoey and studded with corn and lima beans and green beans and strands of chicken and ... you just have to taste it to understand. Green beans, boiled potatoes, slaw, mac and cheese, fried okra.

Order it all for a family-style feast.

And don't forget the corn sticks. They're long, crunchy pieces of cornbread. Pro tip: Pour some Texas Pete hot sauce down the channel on one side of the corn stick for a one-of-a-kind taste.

Billy Parker and his family are continuing the family tradition of feeding Greenville residents fare that consistently satisfies even the hungriest among us, seven days a week.

Parker's Barbecue Restaurant locations:

3109 S. Memorial Drive 252-756-2388 Open from 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sundays

2020 S.E. Greenville Blvd. 252-758-2826 Open 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays-Sundays

1801 Arlington Blvd. 252-364-2826 Open 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays-Sundays

Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, wrote The Daily Reflector's Hot Dish restaurant column for 12 years and the Greensboro News & Record's Short Orders restaurant column for 8 years.

Email her at