Where to Get the Best Barbecue in Austin
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Where to Get the Best Barbecue in Austin

No matter which way you spell it, BBQ, Barbecue, or Bar-B-Que, Austin has them all! From trucks to restaurants, here are some of the best barbecue eateries in town.

B Cooper Barbecue

This food trailer in East Austin offers craft smoked meats and scratch-made sides. They concentrate on simple, time-tested methods to produce their barbecue: low smoking temperatures, live post-oak fire, and long hours tending the pit. This smoked meat journey began as a farmer’s market stand in 2013, eventually growing into a food trailer in the capital of Texas.

Black’s BBQ

For more than three generations, the Black family has served delicious barbecue to their community. They began making a name for themselves at the Black’s BBQ family-owned restaurant in Lockhart, Texas. They’ve since expanded to have locations in Austin, New Braunfels, and San Marcos. They have perfected the art of smoked brisket, making it one of their most popular menu items.

Brown’s Bar-B-Que

When you spot this cherry-red food truck, you better stop for some great barbecue! While it can be overwhelming to decide just which barbecue truck to try in town, Brown’s is a great destination for brisket, pork ribs, chicken, and sausage. You can also find unexpected sides, like braised cabbage with bacon. On top of that, you can enjoy meat by the pound or get it in a wrap or sandwich. It’s right next to the Corner Bar, so you can grab a beer to pair your ‘cue with.

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is honored to be the ‘Best Of The Best’ in the barbecue business and home of the original World Famous “Big Chop.” The Wootan & Cooper Family has provided its World Famous Pit Barbecue to hundreds of thousands of hungry diners over the years at its family-owned and operated restaurant. Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que brings great food, live music, and local flare to downtown Austin.

CM Smokehouse

Located at Bouldin Acres in Austin, TX, CM Smokehouse is a Texas BBQ-style food truck specializing in creative smoked dishes. In addition to some traditional barbecue items like pulled pork and chopped beef sandwiches, CM Smokehouse offers untraditional and inventive eats, including the Brisket Crunchwrap, smoked-and-fried Baby Back Rib Wings, and Pork Crispito Tacos. Other notable items include the CM Classic, Mushroom Swiss Burger, Taco Party, Brisket Patty Melt, and more.

Distant Relatives

Distant Relatives is inspired by the textures, flavors, heritage, and narrative of the African diaspora within the United States and, as such, employs strong elements of Pecan and mixed hardwood smoke, heightened spice profiles, traditional preservation methods, and a nose-to-tail, root to stem approach utilizing products from the local food system. They strive to curate an inclusive culinary-driven environment that fosters creativity, equity, collaboration, and education within the community via the curation of food, beverage, collaboration, and hospitality.

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue is synonymous with greatness, and it’s possibly the most popular barbecue spot in town.  While some places don’t live up to all the hype, Franklin’s definitely does. They win pretty much every barbecue award that exists, including Texas Monthly’s coveted Best Barbecue Joint in Texas award and Bon Appétit’s Best Barbecue Joint in America. Though you may have to wait in line for a bit (sometimes hours) to get a bite of the best ‘cue around, the place draws people from all over the world. You can even find people that will stand in line for you if you pay. Franklin Barbecue has been celebrated by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama.

Gebby’s BBQ

Gebby’s BBQ & Catering serves the Austin and San Antonio areas. With a delicious menu of barbequed delights and a great staff, Gebby’s BBQ & Catering can cater to events of any size. From office luncheons to large weddings and events, they pride themselves in their ability to provide classy customer service and delicious down-home Texas BBQ! All of their meats are slow-smoked in our wood-fired pits using only Post Oak wood.

InterStellar BBQ

InterStellar is built upon a few simple ideas: only use the highest quality ingredients, always source the best wood for our BBQ, take the time to cook one batch at a time — never rushing or taking shortcuts to create a delicious experience — and lastly, cook great food for you and always place quality over quantity. Great Texas BBQ is built on quality ingredients, clean smoke from Post Oak, and a commitment to keeping it low and slow.

Iron Works Barbecue

Originally an ornamental iron workshop owned and operated by the Weigl family, this little tin building was converted into The Iron Works BBQ in 1978. The Iron Works BBQ is a family-owned and -operated business that’s been serving iconic Texas barbecue since its opening. Their big meaty ribs and juicy brisket are their signatures. Iron Works Barbecue is where cold beer is also served amid a rustic Texas atmosphere on tables with classic diner red-checkered cloths. Iron Works’ BBQ is so good that celebrities such as Kevin Costner, Leonardo Dicaprio, Bob Dylan, and Jay Leno have eaten here.

JNL Barbecue

In 2019, 8th-generation Texan Ben Lambert, and his wife Sarah made the decision to open up their very own barbecue trailer. Naming it JNL Barbecue after Ben’s late father, and armed with a 1,000-gallon smoker, named Mary Ann after Ben’s late mother, they started doing weekly pop-ups at the Buzz Mill on Shady Lane. In December 2019 they got their service trailer and have been going at it ever since. At the beginning of April 2020, they moved over to The Buzz Mill Riverside location and have been chugging right along, serving up smoked meats and sides, with a smile and Texas pride. Their motto: Salt, Pepper, Patience.

la Barbecue

Owner LeAnn Mueller is the daughter of famous pitmaster Bobby Mueller, and you can taste the legacy. la Barbecue’s recipes are unique, and their beef is sourced from a local ranch, giving you delicious barbecue that is completely free of hormones. Here you’ll find special blends of salty and savory rubs, absolutely no sugar added to our coleslaw, and throwback dishes honoring LeAnn’s German relatives.

Lamberts

Located in the carefully restored and historic Schneider Brothers Building, Lamberts serves up slow-smoked BBQ and modern Texas cooking with local beers, classic cocktails, and new-world wines. Lambert’s has a fun laid-back atmosphere and warm, professional service located in the heart of the bustling and lively 2nd Street. Their upscale upstairs bar and lounge outfitted with leather banquettes features live music nightly and are available for special events and parties.

LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue

This LeRoy and Lewis is a food truck in a parking lot in South Austin focusing on new-school-style smoked meats and games. They’re serving up alternative cuts of meat and creative sides using seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches. They expand the boundaries of traditional barbecue with a market-style service of meats sliced to order and served by the pound, renewed versions of classic barbecue sides, and playful desserts. Duck confit, oxtail, and beef belly bacon are on offer during the week while more traditional items like turkey, sausage, and brisket are served on weekends.

Micklethwait Craft Meats

Tom Micklethwait, the owner of Micklethwait Craft Meats, turned to barbecue after a career in baking and found that the two had a common thread of manipulating elements for different end results. Micklethwait has been serving barbecue plates out of its trailer window since 2012 and is now ranked in Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas and Austin Monthly’s Best of ATX. Micklethwait Craft Meats is fiercely independent and dedicated to integrity, good humor, and top-quality meats. It works, which is clearly evident by their long lines and loyal customers.

Moreno Barbecue

Included in Texas Monthly’s Favorite Bites of 2020, Moreno’s brisket has been called “tender and juicy beyond belief,” but it’s not the only tasty thing on the menu! You can find other barbecue classics like pulled pork, pork belly, ribs, sausage, and more. Try one of their tacos or sandwiches with your choice of meat, breakfast items, or their burgers with their all-natural patties. And of course, they offer the classic side options like beans and mac and cheese.

Rollin Smoke BBQ

Rollin Smoke creates smoky pecan and mesquite flavors in its sandwiches that make for excellent stomach padding after a night at neighboring Hotel Vegas. Their slow-smoked barbecue, tasty tacos, and sandwiches are delicious, and they’re all offered at this snug and popular window-serve spot.

Salt Lick BBQ

This landmark barbecue spot started in Driftwood to make some of the best barbecue in Austin, though you can now grab it at their Round Rock location, too! The Roberts family started the business in 1967 when Thurman Roberts made a fire pit and started cooking barbecue for the people around them. It grew more popular by the minute until it became the iconic destination it is today. They provide a great barbecue experience for locals and travelers alike when they serve up their moist brisket, terrific ribs, savory sausage, and tasty tangy sauce.

SLAB BBQ & Beer

SLAB was originally a food truck, but it became so successful that they converted into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. When you want to try something outside the norm of traditional Texas BBQ, you’ll find a fusion of flavors here. You’ll be able to taste the influences from Memphis, the Carolinas, Alabama, and Texas. While they make delicious pork and barbecue, they also have loaded sandwiches and queso. They are best known for their multiple award-winning BBQ sauces, and they’ve been featured on Food Network and the Travel Channel for their pulled pork sandwiches.

Stiles Switch BBQ

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, set in the historic art deco 1950s Violet Crown Shopping Center on N. Lamar, is designed to host a nostalgic atmosphere that transcends back to the old Austin neighborhood-style eatery which combines exceptional Texas BBQ, great atmosphere, and cold Texas craft brews. Stiles Switch is home to pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick turns out fantastic, moist brisket, hot sausage, and other tasty BBQ. Contrary to the trend, they cook and stay open all day, and you don’t have to wait in line for five hours! You can also head to their new Cedar Park location for your favorites.

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q

Fifty years ago, after feeding thousands as a mess sergeant during the Korean War, C.B. Stubblefield, known as “Stubb,” opened his own bar-b-q joint. The ramshackle building soon turned into a hangout for the locals and touring country and blues legends who would stop by to play for a plate of their favorite barbecue. When Stubb later moved to Austin, he was urged by friends and patrons to sell his signature sauce. Stubb’s is now an extremely popular spot. They get their sausages from Smokey Denmark and host some of Austin’s best live music performances.

Terry Black’s Barbecue

Born and raised in Lockhart, Terry Black passed down generations of barbecue knowledge learned from his experience in the Lockhart BBQ scene. His twin sons Michael and Mark Black bring their very own style of central Texas BBQ from Lockhart to Terry Black’s Barbecue in Austin for you and your family to enjoy! The siblings seek a return to old-school styles of pit-smoked meats and scratch-made potato salads. Terry Black’s expansive interior offers family-style tables and wooden booths plus a pinch of kitsch including cowboy boots and food murals that are perfect for bbq cravings!

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Barbecue meets tacos at this fusion trailer, where smoked brisket comes topped with guacamole and tomato-serrano salsa on fresh hand-rolled flour tortillas. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of their most popular specials! People are known to watch their social media accounts to see when they’ll be serving up their well-loved brisket mac and cheese.

Realty Austin
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