Texas is what I like to call the epicentre of BBQ joints. Over the years more and more spots have opened up and there are now hundreds, if not thousands of decent BBQ joints throughout Texas.
Austin has done a fantastic job of cementing itself in as one of the best cities on Texas for BBQ.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking to grab a quick meal on the go from a food truck, to sit in like for hours on end or put on a shirt and celebrate with your better half, Austin has you very well covered.
So, there are lots and lots to choose from, but where do I think you can get the best BBQ in Austin? Lets find out!
Charles Picks For The Best BBQ in Austin Texas – Quick Links
Can’t wait to read why I think these spots are the best BBQ in Austin? Click straight through to each joints website to check out the menu!
- Kerlin BBQ
- la Barbecue
- Micklethwait Craft Meats
- Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
- Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
- Brown’s Bar-B-Que
- Franklin Barbecue
- Leroy & Lewis
- Lambert’s Downtown BBQ
- Terry Black’s BBQ
The Best BBQ in Austin Texas – BBQ Joint Breakdown
Usually I am all about low and slow brisket. However Bill and Amaris Kerlin of Kerlin BBQ have managed to changed my mind. This husband and wife team use Pecan wood and slightly higher temperatures to create mouth watering barbecue
Kerlin BBQ doesn’t have the same hype as some of the more popular joints on this list so there is hardly ever a line here! If you are looking for a more low key BBQ spot that rivals the big boys Kerlin is for you.
Note that they have recently moved to The East Side Food Park at 2207 Cesar Chavez! Get in there before word gets out!
Must Eat: Pork Ribs and the Brisket of course!
la Barbecue is the first spot on this list where you can almost always expect a line. They cook their brisket over 14 – 16 hours and comes with one of the best smoke rings in the game! The beef is sourced form local farms who don’t use any nasty hormones and only grass feed.
Im not much of a line waiter myself so. having the option to pre order online really makes this place stand out for me! If you don’t mind waiting in line you ain luck though, they share the kitchen at theQuickie Pickie so you have endless options for beers while you wait!
Its also an all female owned spot, which is very rare in the barbecue industry!
Must Eat: Brisket
Micklethwait Craft Meats
Most well known for the best ‘quality to line length’ Micklethwait Craft Meats is a great little food truck. The atmosphere is hard to beat and typically you are not going to be waiting for longer than 30 minutes.
Tom Micklethwait makes everything in house each day and the food quality is out of this world!
They also have another market and grocery store in Smithville which is a market style bbq restaurant offering in-house smoked meats, fresh baked goods, grab-and-go snacks.
Must Eat: Sausages, Jalapeño cheese grits and the pulled lamb are my top picks!
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew is the best bbq joint in North Austin.
If you are looking for a walk down memory lane to what bbq used to be like this is the perfect spot for you. The eatery is a classic old style Austin eatery which will fill you with nostalgia.
Pit master Lance Kirkpatrick serves up beautiful briskets, ribs, turkey and daily specials which are the perfect excuse to go back again and again! You can expect a line but its nothing a cold craft beer won’t fix!
Must Eat: Brisket burger (Thursdays only) , Smoked fried wings (Sundays).
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
I know some of you out there are not going to be happy about this. But Valentina’s is exactly what it sounds like. It is a Tex Mex BBQ joint.
Before you decide that this is not the spot for you, hear me out. Pit master Miguel Vidal creates mouth watering 15 hour smoked brisket and has been include in the Texas Monthly round up of the ‘best taco in Texas‘ award and for good reason too.
The smoked brisket will change your life and the range tacos will make you re consider your thoughts about fusion food! To make things even better you can pre order online too!
Must Eat: The Breakfast taco (or any taco for that matter)
Did someone say 20 hours slow cook?! Brown’s is somewhere that is a little out of the way but worth the effort every time!
You can expect no line, no over hype, just genuine good food. Pit Master Daniel Brown serves up big servings of what he likes to call ‘Old School BBQ’. The no frills red food truck cooks up beautiful plates and achieves his goal of serving up great food at a cheap price.
Must Eat: Bacon cabbage, sausage, brisket sandwich.
It can’t be a best BBQ in Austin list without Franklin BBQ. This place has become more of an institution than a restaurant.
Franklins is somewhere that everyone should eat at least once in their lives. Its more than just food, its an experience. I am not much for waiting in lines but getting in line at Franklin is something I even recommend.
The food at Franklin is beautiful and lives up to the hype.
Must Eat: Everything! You can’t go wrong at Franklins.
Leroy & Lewis
“New School BBQ, Old School Service”
With a slogan like that you know you are in for a treat. The Leroy & Lewis food truck is the new kid on the block, but don’t let that deter you.
Together Evan LeRoy and Sawyer Lewiss are ‘serving up alternative cuts of meat and creative sides using seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches’
The menu is always changing depending on seasonality and availability so there is usually something new and exciting to try!
Must Eat: Smoked beef cheeks and the Barbacado.
Lambert’s Downtown BBQ
Lamberts is somewhere you could take the wife on your anniversary. Its a little bit fancy, and the only BBQ joint on this list that takes reservations.
Lamberts offers professional service and a decent range of beers, wines and cocktails if you are that way inclined!
The meats are smoked using Oak wood and have a beautiful flavor. If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate a special event but want to stay true to your BBQ roots, Lamberts is the place for you!
Must Eat: Crispy wild bore ribs, cold smoked rainbow trout.
Terry Black’s BBQ
Terry Blacks is a classic family ran BBQ joint. Mike and Mark Black pay homage to their father Terry serving up big portions of all the classics.
Its an inviting place with big family sized tables and a fantastic atmosphere. Classic Lockhart style BBQ is their speciality and its a must try when in Austin!
Must Eat: Get in for the baked potato salad and brisket!