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Skylight Inn

4618 Lee St., Ayden, NC - (252) 746-4113
This restaurant continues the family tradition of whole hog barbecue that began in the early 19th century and hasn't changed much at all. There is nothing else on the menu, but that's fine, because the perfection of this pork demands full attention. Its union with smoke creates a soft elegance that is abetted but not the least bit overwhelmed by the vinegar and hot sauce.
75% Approval Rating (16 votes)

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Tray
Cake
Sandwich

Highlighted Reviews

rating
Michael Stern - Photos (5)
Roadfood.com Editor
"Eastern North Carolina barbecue is sauceless. "Granddaddy always said, 'Sauce has absolutely nothing to do with making good barbecue,'" Samuel Jones is happy to tell you, referring to Pete Jones, who started the Skylight Inn back in 1947. This restaurant continues the ..."   [Read More]

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Map & Web Site

4618 Lee St., Ayden, NC
(252) 746-4113

Hours & Policies

Seasons:Open Year Round
Meals Served:Lunch, Dinner
Operational Hours:Always Call Ahead!
Credit Cards Accepted:No
Alcohol Served:No
Outdoor Seating:No
Reservations Accepted:No
Delivery Available:No
Takeout Counters:Yes
Pig perfect: cleaver-hacked whole-hog pork, including meltingly tender inside meat, chewy outside meat, and crunchy skin heaped into a bun with bright cole slaw. No condiments, no side dishes need be considered.
"Pig perfect: cleaver-hacked whole-hog pork, including meltingly tender inside meat, chewy outside meat, and crunchy skin heaped into a bun with bright cole slaw. No condiments, no side dishes need be considered."
Michael Stern





A large tray is not dimensionally huge, but its flavor and satisfaction are immeasurable. The cornbread, like Skylight Inn's pork, is basic. Unleavened and about a half-inch thick, it is rugged and leather-edged, a substantial chew that is a stunning complement to the juicy meat.
"A large tray is not dimensionally huge, but its flavor and satisfaction are immeasurable. The cornbread, like Skylight Inn's pork, is basic. Unleavened and about a half-inch thick, it is rugged and leather-edged, a substantial chew that is a stunning complement to the juicy meat. "
Michael Stern


There is no backround music in the dining room of the Skylight Inn. What you hear is the sound of James Howell's cleavers turning whole hog into definitive North Carolina Q.
"There is no backround music in the dining room of the Skylight Inn. What you hear is the sound of James Howell's cleavers turning whole hog into definitive North Carolina Q."
Michael Stern


We don't ever recall seeing Skylight Inn have dessert before.  We really liked this pineapple cake, with small pieces of the fruit in the icing.
"We don't ever recall seeing Skylight Inn have dessert before. We really liked this pineapple cake, with small pieces of the fruit in the icing."
Cliff Strutz


No cash registers here!  Change is made on the back counter.
"No cash registers here! Change is made on the back counter."
Cliff Strutz


Pete Jones, who opened the Skylight just after World War II, is an American barbecue legend. For decades he was omnipresent, at the counter from 8:30 in the morning through dinner hour. 'This wasn't just how he made a living,' grandson Samuel recalled, 'This was his life.'
"Pete Jones, who opened the Skylight just after World War II, is an American barbecue legend. For decades he was omnipresent, at the counter from 8:30 in the morning through dinner hour. 'This wasn't just how he made a living,' grandson Samuel recalled, 'This was his life.'"
Michael Stern


Pete Jones added a replica of the Capitol to the top of the Skylight Inn in 1988 when a journalist declared his place to be the Barbecue Capital of America.
"Pete Jones added a replica of the Capitol to the top of the Skylight Inn in 1988 when a journalist declared his place to be the Barbecue Capital of America."
Michael Stern



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