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Keaton's

17365 Cool Springs Rd, Cleveland, NC - (704) 278-1619
Keaton’s is home to some of the best chicken anywhere. The menu calls it barbecued, which it is, sort of, but it is also fried. The hot sauce penetrates the crust and meat of the chicken and caramelizes all around its outside edges, resulting in pieces of chicken that are hot, sweet, and savory all at once: a culinary sensation.
94% Approval Rating (35 votes)

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Macaroni & Cheese
BBQ chicken

Highlighted Reviews

rating
Michael Stern - Photos (7)
Roadfood.com Editor
"It is unlikely you will never accidentally drive by Keaton’s, located as it is on Woodleaf Road far from the town of Statesville. That’s why we are forever grateful to Harrell Powell, the Roadfood tipster who wrote us to say that Keaton’s was so good that it was well ..."   [Read More]
rating
Eddie Huffman
January 19, 2010
"A friend and I ate at Keaton's for lunch en (a circuitous) route from Winston-Salem to Charlotte. The restaurant sits near the top of a hill on a windy road in the middle of nowhere. It looks abandoned from the outside -- like it went out of business ca. 1972 and has ..."   [Read More]
rating
Peter Roaman - Photos (5)
October 27, 2005
"What can I say? True, you would never find this place without the help of a book like Roadfood, or without knowing a local. That would be an incredible loss. I would hardly call this a BBQ joint. It's more like a place for the best chicken I have ever eaten (is ..."   [Read More]
rating
Keith Smith
July 27, 2005
"Thirty years ago, I lived and worked in close proximity to Keaton's, and ate there regularly. After moving to New England, I found I really missed that unique BBQ burn. We made sure that we ate at Keaton's on every return trip to the Carolinas. The elder Mr. Keaton ..."   [Read More]

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Map & Web Site

17365 Cool Springs Rd, Cleveland, NC
(704) 278-1619

http://www.keatonsoriginalbbq.com/

Hours & Policies

Seasons:Open Year Round
Meals Served:Lunch, Dinner
Operational Hours:Always Call Ahead!
Credit Cards Accepted:No
Alcohol Served:Yes
Outdoor Seating:No
Reservations Accepted:No
Delivery Available:No
Takeout Counters:Yes
Keaton's chicken is unlike any other:  slightly crisp, slightly caramelized, and shot through with the flavor of the house barbecue sauce.  It is so good it made our tipster weep with joy.
"Keaton's chicken is unlike any other: slightly crisp, slightly caramelized, and shot through with the flavor of the house barbecue sauce. It is so good it made our tipster weep with joy."
Michael Stern





Keaton's excellent macaroni & cheese comes in smallish squares, with a slightly burnt top crust.
"Keaton's excellent macaroni & cheese comes in smallish squares, with a slightly burnt top crust."
Cliff Strutz


Keaten's was selling red velvet cake long before it enjoyed its current vogue.
"Keaten's was selling red velvet cake long before it enjoyed its current vogue."
Michael Stern


Meals arrive under wax paper.  When the paper is removed, the aroma of the chicken envelops the table and will make you dizzy with hunger.
"Meals arrive under wax paper. When the paper is removed, the aroma of the chicken envelops the table and will make you dizzy with hunger."
Michael Stern


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm good.
"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm good."
Peter Roaman


This is where you order your food.  Then sit down where you are told and it will be brought to you.
"This is where you order your food. Then sit down where you are told and it will be brought to you."
Michael Stern


From the outside, Keaton's doesn't look like one of America's best restaurants ... but in our book, it is!
"From the outside, Keaton's doesn't look like one of America's best restaurants ... but in our book, it is!"
Michael Stern


You'll need plenty of napkins when you eat Keaton's chicken.  Every table is well-equipped.
"You'll need plenty of napkins when you eat Keaton's chicken. Every table is well-equipped."
Michael Stern


Down to the last finger lick.
"Down to the last finger lick."
Peter Roaman


The main room.
"The main room."
Peter Roaman


Love a good sign.
"Love a good sign."
Peter Roaman


Road sign.
"Road sign."
Peter Roaman


We don't know what 'taste test' this sign refers to, but it must be a good one.  The results are impeccable.
"We don't know what 'taste test' this sign refers to, but it must be a good one. The results are impeccable."
Michael Stern



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