Austin is home to some of the best barbecue restaurants in the state, the country, and the world! Over the past few years, Austin has experienced growth and a revolution in barbecue with new restaurants and food trailers popping up every day! This only means that new barbecue joints are rising to the top, giving Austinites and visitors a fresh new look and taste on barbecue. Check out our list of Austin’s best barbecue restaurants for your next barbecue pit stop!
29 Best BBQ Restaurants in Austin:
- Black’s BBQ
- Brown’s Bar-B-Que
- Chief’s BBQ
- City Market
- Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
- County Line
- Donn’s Texas BBQ
- EastSide Tavern
- Franklin Barbecue
- Gordo’s Tortas & BBQ
- Iron Works Barbecue
- Kemuri Tatsu-Ya
- Kerlin BBQ
- La Barbecue
- LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue
- Micklethwait Craft Meats
- Opie’s Barbecue
- Rollin Smoke BBQ
- Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q
- Salt Lick BBQ
- SLAB BBQ & Beer
- Smokey Denmark’s Barbecue
- Stiles Switch
- Stubb’s BBQ
- Terry Black’s Barbecue
- Texas Ranch BBQ
- Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
The Black family has been actively serving the barbecue community for over three generations, originally making a name for themselves at the Black’s BBQ family-owned restaurant in Lockhart, Texas. Black’s brisket is considered one of the best in Texas, and it’s because of their unique way of smoking it. Their briskets are cooked for eight hours in a rotisserie using only wood, and then stored for a couple of days in a cooler, then smoked for four hours in the old brick pits! You’ll see a thick black crust covers the tender beef, and there’s plenty of well-cooked fat with a deep and powerful smokiness. They also have other delicious meats for you to choose from!
When you are driving around Austin and see a BBQ food trailer you have to stop! Browns on Lamar is no exception. Expect acclaimed brisket, pork ribs, chicken and sausage out of this cherry-red trailer, which also plates unusual sides such as braised cabbage with bacon! You can also get meat by the pound, as a sandwich or a wrap. The unassuming locale next to the Corner Bar makes it easy to grab a beer with the boxed meal!
Chief’s BBQ is a hidden little gem of a restaurant in South Austin. The barbecue at Chief’s is smoked in one of two smokers; one that can handle 400 pounds, the other holding 700 pounds! They smoke over half oak and half mesquite and use just their own rub to season the meats. Their pork ribs are spicy, have a smoky crust, and so tender that the meat starts to fall off of the bone. The brisket has a generous smoke ring, and the sausage is well-smoked, with a nice snappy casing, medium texture, and a zippy finish!
Luling City Market was founded by the Craig family in 1981 and has been family owned and operated for over 30 years, bringing the distinct Central Texas Barbeque style to the city! City Market smokes fresh meat seven days a week from brisket, chicken, turkey and pork ribs to their own homemade sausage links. They cook their meat over post oak wood in specially designed pits and make delicious coleslaw, potato salad, and pinto beans along with homemade individual pecan pies and Texas-size brownies. City Market has the perfect side dishes to compliment the best Bar-B-Que you’ll ever experience!
Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que brings excellent food, live music, and local flare to downtown Austin! The first Austin outpost of a well-loved Llano barbecue joint offers a wide range of pit-smoked meats, from beef ribs and brisket to the less common likes of whole chickens, sirloin, and goat, plus traditional sides and desserts. The historic, wood and brick-filled space also features a rooftop garden patio and a full bar that stays open late and serves a special menu.
The County Line has been servin’ up legendary award-winning, slow-smoked bar-b-q since 1975. They’re famous for their big meaty ribs, extra lean brisket, and spicy German sausage. But there’s more than great food to enjoy at The County Line. Each location has spectacular views, and roadhouse decor is as unique and legendary as the food we serve. It’s the perfect bbq restaurant for family time and good food!
Donn’s Barbeque has been serving Austin with the best family-style barbeque and friendliest service in the area since 1983! At Donn’s, their meats are slowly smoked, which give their barbeque a distinctive and delicious taste. They pride themselves in using only the freshest ingredients, and family recipes that make Donn’s one of the best places in Austin for real Texas barbeque. Donn’s has excellent food, friendly service, and a fun and relaxed atmosphere that the whole family will enjoy!
EastSide Tavern is a modern, rustic restaurant serving up craft beer and cocktails as well as some of Austin’s best BBQ. With a rooftop deck, plenty of patio seating and an eye-catching interior, you can enjoy their delicious bbq favorites such as ribs, pulled pork, poultry, and the ever-popular juicy brisket are all sold by the pound! They also manage to steal the show with their BBQ-loaded baked potato and the over-the-top Heartstopper burger. You don’t want to miss out on what they’re cookin’ up!
Franklin Barbecue has grown into the most popular, critically lauded and obsessed-over barbecue joint in the country. Believe the hype that’s built up around this East Austin experience, in which melt-in-your-mouth brisket, ribs and pulled pork will make your day! Franklin’s is the winner of every major barbecue award there is, including Texas Monthly’s coveted Best Barbecue Joint in Texas award and Bon Appétit’s Best Barbecue Joint in America. Six days a week, crowds stand in line for hours for a taste of mouth-watering brisket. Franklin’s barbecue has been celebrated by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama!
Freedmen’s is a laid-back lounge, beer garden, and smokehouse serving barbecue and retro-inspired cocktails in a historic Austin building. Their outdoor area is the perfect spot to grab drinks and catch up with your friends. It’s spacious, has a chill vibe and is a hidden gem in west campus. Their Holy Trinity Plate is one of the most popular dishes on the menu, which includes brisket, pork spare rib, house-made sausage, assorted house-made pickles, barbecue sauce, and focaccia bread! Freedmen’s does not disappoint!
Gordo’s Tortas & BBQ is a food truck off of US 290 that serves up brisket, chicken, pork ribs and more which all have a good smokey flavor and crusted with a salty, spicy, and sweet rub. You can have different types of food in many ways, from tacos to burritos, to tortas, and also BBQ by the pound on the weekend! Although this is a food truck, they have a fabulous outdoor covered patio complete with a big screen TV, lots of seating and an entertainment area for the kiddos with kids tv shows and a foosball table for the older ones!
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 has been serving real Texas barbecue that is consistently good. Their big meaty ribs and juicy brisket are the signatures of Austin, where cold beer is also served amid a rustic Texas atmosphere on tables with 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!
The acclaimed team from Ramen Tatsu-Ya blends Japanese and Texan influences in every aspect of this casual eatery, from the barbecue smoke-stained walls to the sake-heavy bar program! In true izakaya fashion, grilled skewered meats like miso-marinated scallop and chicken tails can be found on every table. Shareable smoked meats, izakaya classics, and ramen are offered, along with brews, spirits, and wine from both cultures. You’ll also find playful cocktails, sake, and sochu, as well as Japanese and Texan whiskey and beer; a perfect combination with their delicious bbq!
Kerlin BBQ is a fantastic barbecue food trailer in East Austin with occasional live music performances that enhance their outdoor patio with picnic tables. Their pork ribs, brisket, sausage are well seasoned and cooked to perfection, and their sides such as blue cheese slaw and smoked corn on the cob with chipotle butter are above and beyond. Make sure to get to Kerlin’s early in the day because when they run out of BBQ, then they close for the day!
La Barbecue’s recipes are unique, and their beef is sourced from a local ranch, giving you delicious bbq that is completely free of hormones. Their brisket is cooked low ‘n’ slow for 14 to 16 hours and then paired with a sweet sauce that leaves an amazing taste in your mouth! La Barbecue’s monster beef ribs, brisket, and housemade sausage can be enjoyed with live music and free beer! You’ll have to go early to get a good spot in line since it’s an extremely popular barbeque joint!
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. Situated in the heart of the bustling and lively 2nd Street, Lamberts has a fun laid back atmosphere and warm, professional service. Their upscale upstairs bar and lounge outfitted with leather banquettes features live music nightly and is available for special events and parties!
Similar to a brick-and-mortar, this LeRoy and Lewis is a food truck in a parking lot in South Austin focusing on smoked meats and game. 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!
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; manipulating primitive elements for different end results! Micklethwait has been serving barbecue plates out of its trailer window of since 2012 and is now ranked as 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 and it’s clearly evident by the long lines and loyal customers!
On the central Texas BBQ circuit for more than a decade, Opie’s Barbecue’s counter-serve joint in Spicewood may get a little less notice these days, but fans swear by its delicious bbq and phenomenal sides such as tater-tot casserole, raisin-almond coleslaw, and all-you-can-eat beans! It’s recommended to get the brisket, a little bit of both the regular and jalapeño sausage, half a rack of sweet-and-spicy baby back ribs, and one of Opie’s enormous pork chops. Their spacious dining hall with minimal, rustic decor is suited to its roadside location and is the perfect atmosphere to have amazing barbeque.
Rollin Smoke creates smokey pecan and mesquite flavors in its sandwiches that make for an excellent stomach padding after a revelrous night at neighboring Hotel Vegas. Their slow-smoked barbecue, plus tacos and sandwiches are delicious, and all offered in their snug and popular window-serve spot! After a long night of dancing or going out with your friends, it can be hard to find some good bbq after 10 pm, but not at Rollin Smoke! They are open until 3 am!
Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q is extremely unique barbeque spot. It’s got the feel of a small general store, complete with a gas station out front and a small convenience store in the front. Their barbeque pits are 100% wood fired with oak, a slower burning wood than the mesquite used by others. Along with time and oak, they cook with a dry spice that ensures each plate of Rudy’s Bar-B-Q is perfectly ready for you. Just apply some of their famous bbq sauce and dinner is served! Rudy’s is so good that Arnold Schwarzenegger paid a visit last year and said it was one of the best bbq he’s ever had!
Salt Lick BBQ is a landmark bastion of beef in Driftwood that provides the best Texas BBQ experience to loyal locals and out-of-towners because of their moist brisket, terrific ribs, sausage and its famous tangy sauce! It’s cash only and usually crowded, so make sure to go in between lunch and dinner hours. Though the restaurant is BYO beer, you can pick up a bottle of wine from their on-site tasting room, and on weekends you can enjoy some music from local bands while you wait!
SLAB, a food truck turned brick-and-mortar success story, brings you new flavors that are a break from your traditional Texas BBQ. They bridge the taste bud gap of the south from Memphis, to the Carolinas, Alabama, and Texas and specialize in pork, with standard barbecue options as well as loaded sandwiches and queso! Along with their delicious smoked meats, SLAB offers four different award-winning BBQ sauces! Founder, Mark Avalos, has been featured on Travel Channel and Food Network for his famous pulled pork sandwiches!
Smokey Denmark’s has been known for making sausage in Austin for decades and is making a huge breakthrough in Austin. Even though it’s been off the radar for 52 years, their barbecue trailer has become a top tier of all the Austin food trailers because of their near-perfect execution of all the bbq classics! Their jalapeño cheese sausage is a world of its own, and they offer a world tour of regional sauces. You can even have their sausages at other local bbq restaurants since they partner with many local businesses!
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 trend, they cook and stay open all day, and you don’t have to wait in line for five hours!
Fifty years ago, after feeding thousands as a staff 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 local and touring country and blues legends who would stop by to play for a plate of their favorite bar-b-q. When Stubb later moved to Austin, he was urged by friends and patrons to sell his signature sauce. Now Stubb’s is an extremely popular spot, serving up bbq (they get their sausages from Smokey Denmark’s) and hosting some of the best live music performances in Austin!
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 to 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’s perfect for bbq cravings!
Texas Ranch BBQ is superb, and the array of great sides it serves alongside its delicious meats is what really makes this food trailer special! Their brisket has a nice smoke ring, is part fatty and part lean and its spice rub has a great combination of salt and pepper; which gives it a subtle taste of the post oak. Their ribs taste amazing and have a sweet taste to the spice rub. The brisket, as well as the spare ribs, are cooked perfectly, and the collard greens are guaranteed to be the best you will ever taste!
Barbecue meets tacos at this fusion trailer, where smoked brisket comes topped with guacamole and tomato-serrano salsa on a fresh hand rolled flour tortilla, while sides include smoked corn, red potato salad, and queso! Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ is family owned and operated, and every family member plays a role in creating the menu and preparing the made from scratch foods! Valentina’s strongly encourages passion and love for family and friends; which makes it the perfect bbq joint to go to with them!
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