Charlies Picks For the Best BBQ in Austin Texas (The 10 BBQ Joints You Can’t Miss)

Texas is what I like to call the epicenter of BBQ joints. Over the years, more spots have opened up. There are hundreds, if not thousands of great BBQ joints throughout Texas.

Austin has done a fantastic job of cementing itself as one of the best cities in Texas for BBQ. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to grab a quick meal on the go from a food truck; Austin has you covered very well. 

So, there are lots and lots to choose from, but where do I think you can get the best BBQ in Austin? Let’s find out! 

The Best BBQ in Austin Texas

Charlies Quick Picks For The Best BBQ in Austin, Texas

I can’t wait to read why I think these spots are the best BBQ in Austin. Click straight through to each joint’s website to check out the menu!

  1. la Barbecue
  2. Micklethwait Craft Meats
  3. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
  4. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
  5. Brown’s Bar-B-Que
  6. Franklin Barbecue
  7. Leroy & Lewis
  8. Lambert’s Downtown BBQ
  9. Terry Black’s BBQ
bbq-joint-we-went-to-in-Austin
A BBQ Joint we went to in Austin

The Best BBQ in Austin Texas – BBQ Joint Breakdown

Kerlin BBQ

June 2024 – Currently Shut

Usually, I am all about low and slow brisket. However, Bill and Amaris Kerlin of Kerlin BBQ have managed to change 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. 

They 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

la Barbecue is the first spot on this list, and you can almost always expect a line. They cook their brisket over 14 – 16 hours and come with one of the best smoke rings in the game!  The beef is sourced from local farms that don’t use any nasty hormones and only grass feed. 

I’m not much of a line waiter myself, so having the option to preorder online really makes this place stand out for me! If you don’t mind waiting in line, you’re in luck, though. They share the kitchen at the Quickie Pickie, so you have endless options for beers while you wait! 

It is 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; typically, you will not be waiting for 30 minutes. 

Tom Micklethwait makes everything in-house daily, 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, and grab-and-go snacks. 
Must Eat: Sausages, Jalapeño cheese grits, and 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 restaurant that 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 it’s 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 are not going to be happy about this, but Valentina’s is exactly what it sounds like—a Tex-Mex BBQ joint.

Before you decide this is not your spot, hear me out. Pitmaster Miguel Vidal creates mouth-watering 15-hour smoked brisket and has been included in the Texas Monthly roundup of the ‘best taco in Texas‘ award, and for a good reason, too.

The smoked brisket will change your life, and the range of tacos will make you reconsider your thoughts about fusion food! To make things even better, you can preorder online, too!

Must Eat: The Breakfast taco (or any taco for that matter)

Brown’s Bar-B-Que

Did someone say 20 hours of slow cooking?! Brown’s is somewhere that is a little out of the way but worth the effort every time!

You can expect no line, no overhype, 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 its goal of serving great food at a cheap price. 

Must Eat: Bacon cabbage, sausage, brisket sandwich.

Franklin Barbecue

It can’t be a list of the best BBQ in Austin without Franklin BBQ. This place has become more of an institution than a restaurant. 

Everyone should eat at Franklin’s at least once in their lives. It’s more than just food; it’s 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 changes frequently based on seasonality and availability, so there is always something new and exciting to try! 

Must Eat: Smoked beef cheeks and the Barbacado.

Lambert’s Downtown BBQ

Lamberts is a little bit fancy and the only BBQ joint on this list that takes reservations. It’s somewhere you could take the wife on your anniversary. 

Lamberts offers professional service and a decent range of beers, wines, and cocktails. 

The meats are smoked using Oak wood and have a beautiful flavor. If you want 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-run BBQ joint. Mike and Mark Black pay homage to their father, Terry, by serving up big portions of all the classics. 

It’s an inviting place with big, family-sized tables and a fantastic atmosphere. Classic Lockhart-style BBQ is their speciality, and it’s a must-try when in Austin! 

Must Eat: Get in for the  baked potato salad and brisket! 

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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6 thoughts on “Charlies Picks For the Best BBQ in Austin Texas (The 10 BBQ Joints You Can’t Miss)”

  1. Thanks Charlie we checked out Leroy and Lewis on the weekend, ohhhhh man the Smoked beef cheeks were incredible!! We are already planning out next meal there! I think we might also pick a few more on the list for next weekend as well!
    Brandon & the family!

    1. Thank heaps Brandon!! Those beef cheeks are incredible hey!! I think I might have to visit them again before Christmas! Where to next??

  2. this is getting me excited for the family trip to Austin in a couple weeks time.

    Thanks for the list, I was always under the impression Franklins is where you go for the best bbq in Austin!

  3. Mate we tried the breakfast tacos last weekend at Valentina’s Tex Mex they were incredible, I’ve had a breakky burrito before but never taco! We are gonna head back before Christmas and try the carnitas!

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