Barbecue in Texas is a religion.
The people are the believers; the pitmasters are the preachers and brisket, ribs, and sausages are the Holy Word.
For decades, barbecue lovers still flock to the Lone Star State to taste the meaty goodness from its grills.
It’s criminal to stay in Dallas without savoring brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, sausages, and pork. It is usually delivered in a cafeteria-style setting with a musician in the background.
The people of Dallas have built festivals around their iconic meat, with thousands attending.
The Smoked Dallas Festival upholds the tradition of eating smoked meat and sides with some good drinks good music.
If you’re a barbecue lover and you’ve visited Dallas in search of some proper ‘cue, but we’ve racked up fifteen of the best BBQ places favorites to try.
Don’t want to venture out at the moment? How about taking a look at the best place to order meat online!
Table of contents
The Best BBQ in Dallas – My 10 Picks
Don’t get me wrong, every joint on this list is fantastic – however, if you don’t want to read through my list of the best BBQ in Dallas Texas here are the 10 must hit stops and a link through to their site.
You will find that some of these joints have a delivery service or online ordering system to beat the lines! If you are not much of a line dweller
I suggest you have a look into this as some of these joints can really, really busy.
- Hutchins Barbeque
- Pecan Lodge
- Lockheart Smokehouse
- The Slow Bone
- 18th & Vine BBQ
- Baby Back Shack
- Peggy Sue BBQ
- Cattleack Barbeque
- Macs Bar-B-Que
- Off The Bone BBQ
The Best BBQ in Dallas Texas (This List Will You Drooling)
1. Hutchins Barbeque
Hutchins Barbeque is run by the patriarch, Roy Hutchkin, and his three sons, Tim, Wes, and Trey Hutchins. Hutchins has two locations. One at 1301 N Tennessee St, McKinney, TX. The other at 9225 Preston Road, Frisco, TX, which serves as the headquarters for the Hutchins Barbeque brand. But since we’re talking about the Dallas – Fort Worth area, we’ll focus our attention on the Frisco branch.
Hutchins has been in operation since 1978 and has been churning out a beautiful barbecue consistently since then. The meat is slow-cooked with a mix of pecan, oak, and mesquite woods until it’s ready to fall apart. Hutchins serves all the classics — brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausages, turkey, and chicken. All are priced per half-pound. The sides have some lesser-known additions such as Broccoli salad, green beans, and jalapeño pinto beans.
The staff is friendly and warm, especially towards new customers who they take under their wing. They recommend all the good stuff (is there any bad?). Sometimes, there is a bit of queue, but it usually doesn’t take longer than half an hour to be seated.
Must Eat: Texas Twinkies & Chopped Brisket
2, Pecan Lodge
Barbecue in Texas is a religion. The people are the believers; the pitmasters are the preachers and brisket, ribs, and sausages are the Holy Word. For decades, barbecue lovers still flock to the Lone Star State to taste the meaty goodness from its grills. The Dallas Fort Worth area is known for its variety in flavorful meat. Its famous BBQ restaurants pick up fantastic reviews and repeat customers from different states. It’s criminal to stay in Dallas without savoring brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, sausages, and pork. It is usually delivered in a cafeteria-style setting with a musician in the background.
The people of Dallas have built festivals around their iconic meat, with thousands attending. The Smoked Dallas Festival upholds the tradition of eating smoked meat and sides with some good drinks good music. The Bedford Blues & BBQ is an annual festival is held for three days at Bedford City Hall.
BBQ restaurants traditionally open around 11 am for the lunch and dinner crowd. They close when the food runs out. That delicious smoky aroma pulls customers in and refuses to let them go till they’ve taken their last bite. The people of Dallas, Texas, can stand in queues long enough to go around the block for some price cuts of need. Waiting one, two, three hours is nothing for the heaven experienced with that first bite of juicy beef.
If you’re a barbecue lover and you’ve visited Dallas in search of some proper ‘cue, you’ll know that there are endless arguments on which BBQ joint serves up the best beef. We can’t choose ourselves, but we’ve racked up fifteen of our favorites to try.
Must Eat: Brisket and Sausages
3. Lockheart Smokehouse
If you’re ever looking for a barbecue cooked and served Central Texas-style, then Lockhart is for you. The buffet-style and control over your meat portions make Lockhart Smokehouse heaven for the hungry meat lover. The meat is cooked low and slow over Texas post oaks, and it is abundant. At Lockhart, you have a wide selection of meat like brisket, shoulder clod, chicken, turkey, and pork. There are also Kreuz sausages cooked with an original, century-old recipe. Or the sausages can be prepared with real cheese and fresh jalapeño.
Lockhart is a genuine, no-frills, for-the-meat establishment. It’s located at 400 W Davis street in the Bishop Arts District. Because it’s located in a busy area, parking can sometimes be frustrating. But there’s no waiting line. The building is rustic, a little dingy, but clean and gives off a relaxed vibe.
You order your food at the back of the bar. The counter for ordering is next to the smoker so you can see what your food looks like before it. The meat is cut by the pound or by the half-pound. You can tell them how you like it; less fat, more fat, extra bark, etc. You get a tray and get some sides, then sit back and enjoy the live music.
The brisket at this joint melted in my mouth — instant foodgasm. The Mac n’ cheese was creamy, delicious with a tang of jalapeño to bring it together. The shoulder clod had a very distinct flavor, and the chicken was so delicious. The blue cheese slaw left us hungry for more. Your food is wrapped in brown butcher’s paper for an authentic Central Texas experience.
Must Eat: Brisket and Mac n’ cheese
4. The Slow Bone
The Slow Bone’s hickory meat is flavorful with huge cuts of beef made by the Pit Boss. The Slow Bone is located at 2234 Irving Boulevard. Parking in the is area can be a little limited at times. The place is decorated, but the bright colors and the owner’s sense of humor is on display in the furniture.
The food is served cafeteria-style, and we picked up our trays and headed to the line of servers. The meat is served by the quarter pound with fatty cuts, lean cuts, whatever you want. Then, you pick up sides and drinks, pay, and take a seat. Everything about the ribs and brisket was fantastic. The ribs were so succulent and juicy and just fell apart at one bite. The fried chicken was perfect, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The pork and sausages looked tempting too, but we couldn’t eat everything. We tried, though.
The sides are a vegetarian’s dream — everything fresh and obviously prepared lovingly. There aren’t too many sides with meat either, which we thought was considerate for non-meat eaters. We enjoyed the brisket beans and horseradish potato salad we tried. Very sweet and spicy. Good, wholesome, Texan food.
Must Eat: Ribs
5. 18th & Vine BBQ
You mustn’t go to the 18th&Vine Barbeque with misconceptions about their food. This barbecue is cooked differently than the traditional Texas. The chef, Scott Gottlich, created it to be an upscale Kansas City Style barbecue. The difference between a Texas City barbecue and a Kansas City barbecue is the sauce. The KC-style sauce is creamy and thick with molasses, tomatoes, and other spices. This sauce is then smeared on the meat, which is slow-cooked over low temperatures until it’s ready to fall apart. This thick, sweet sauce makes all the difference in the barbecue.
The ribs and burnt ends out of 18th& Vine are amazing. With an emphasis on the burnt ends. The pulled pork and sausages were delicious, spicy, but not too spicy and full of moisture. The pit boss salad is made with fresh goat cheese, and the taste was sublime.
18th& Vine is located at 4100 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX. The restaurant is in a quaint, renovated old house with full table service. The staff is friendly, helpful with recommendations, and attentive. The restaurant is open on Sundays to Saturdays for lunch and dinner. It has a separate place for music lovers to stay after their meals and enjoy the atmosphere. If you’re looking for Kansas City right here in Dallas, then check out 18th&Vine.
Must Eat: Burnt Ends and Ribs
6. Baby Back Shack
The Baby Back Shak specializes in Memphis style of barbecue. A rub is used on all the meat, and then it’s cooked like that. A thick, sweet sauce is put on the side of your meat so you can decide how much or how little you want. The rub is created from a blend of herbs and spices that have been passed down the owner’s family for generations. This rub is then allowed to seep into the meat as it’s being slow-cooked over a mix of woods — hickory, pecan, fruitwoods (sometimes), oak, and mesquite.
This gives the meat a unique flavor that’s not too spicy and not too bland. The sauce on the side is there if you want to add a little moisture to your meat. But for us, the meat was so moist and tender that we hardly touched it. Some Louisiana BBQ experts would know about boudin. If you don’t know, boudin or boudain is a kind of bloodless sausage made in Louisiana. The Shak’s Cajun Boudain was well done. Best we’ve seen outside Louisiana.
The Baby Back Shak is located at 1800 S Akard Street. It has a lovely atmosphere with excellent, friendly staff, a clean eating area, and huge portions. You won’t leave hungry.
Must Eat: Ribs and Cajun Boudain
7. Cattleack Barbecue
Cattleack Barbeque has acquired a legendary status within Dallas. This restaurant is fashioned out of two warehouses. It has a reputation for drawing in the crowds with its excellent assortment of meats and sides. The reason it’s legendary is because of the winding group that builds up an hour before the opening time.
And this restaurant is only open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30 am to 2 pm. It’s recently begun opening on the first Saturday of every month, too. Parking fills up fast, so you have to get there early or park far away. Some patrons come to wait outside as soon as 9 am. And some have developed the strategy of coming fashionably late around 1 pm to outwit the crowds.
When you taste the meat, you can’t help but empathize with the crowd’s devotion to Cattleack meat. Brisket that melts like butter and has just the right amount of bark. Ribs that fall off the bone almost as soon as you pick them up. Their signature sandwich, the “Toddfather,” a towering beef sandwich, named after owner Todd David. The sides were great. Beans with burnt ends, cheesy grits, Mac n’ cheese, there were no disappointments. If you can’t finish, there’s a wrapping table with butcher paper and twine.
So, if you’re in Dallas on a Thursday or Friday morning, set your cap for Cattleack barbeque.
Must Eat: Brisket and the Toddfather
8. Mac’s Bar-B-Que
Mac’s Bar-B-Que is well-known to anyone who’s lived in Dallas for years and loves some good ‘cue. Mac’s has been in operation since the 1950s and has remained a staple for the Dallas barbecue scene for decades. Mac ran the place for a long time until his son Billy took it over for him. The iconic joint is known for it’s homey, no-frills décor, and the friendliness of the owner’s son, Billy. Some old pictures give the place even more character.
The place is run almost exactly as it was run when it first opened. The meat has that faint hickory flavor to it, and the brisket is to die for. The sausage was moist and juicy, and the ribs were tender and cooked just right. You get some light sauce for dipping with your meat, and it was a perfect companion. The sides were on-par with grandma’s home cooking. But we’re particularly partial to the potato salad and baked beans. Fantastic.
Mac’s Bar-B-Que is at 3933 Main Street, and it’s a small place but with a parking space. Mac’s is only open for the lunch crowd from Mondays to Fridays, from 11 am to 2:30 pm.
Must Eat: Chopped brisket sandwiches and ribs
9. Off The Bone BBQ
Are you looking for a family-style barbecue joint? Off the Bone Barbeque is your restaurant. This place is super family-friendly with great food, a great atmosphere, and a great location. Off the Bone Barbeque is located at 1734 South Lamar Street, Dallas. It’s building used to be an old gas station, which is a dream for parking. Now, the air is filled with the smell of meal slow smoking over pecan wood instead of petrol.
The baby back ribs, Pit Boss, Dwight Harvey cooks draw in the crowds. The brisket is nothing to turn your nose up at either, sweetly spiced and slow-cooked. The sides aren’t left out with honey spiced baked beans, con Questo Mac n’ cheese, baked potatoes, etc. Delicious cakes, cookies, and pies are all offered for dessert. The triple chocolate pecan cake is particularly decadent.
The staff is friendly and patient, and the food is very affordable. You can gorge yourself on three kinds of meat and two sides for less than $20. They are open Mondays to Saturdays from 11 am. There are absolutely no lines, and you are seated, and your order is taken as soon as you arrive. But, you might not feel like coming all the way to Lamar Street. In that case, you can order, and Off the Bone Barbeque will deliver anywhere in Texas.
Must Eat: 3 meats & 2 sides combo.
10. Peggy Sue BBQ
Peggy Sue BBQ is located at 6600 Snider Plaza, Dallas. This restaurant’s been selling barbecue since 1958, and the interior reflects it. With diner-style décor and cute, old pictures, they’re definitely representing the 1950’s. Peggy Sue is a staple around Dallas, having been around for so long. Peggy Sue has just recently changed management, and many are not sure whether it’s for the good or bad. We went to test it.
We ordered the meat sampler because that’s what we came for — the meat. The servers were courteous and friendly. After reading mixed reviews, we had come prepared for the worst. We were disappointed. The baby back ribs were so succulent and the sliced brisket so tender. It wasn’t too moist, just right. The smoked turkey was terrific, as was the pulled pork. To put it together, we had no problem with the meat. The sauce was creamy and tangy with vinegar, delicious on the brisket and pork.
The sides (there are a fair amount of them) were okay. Except for the sweet potato tater tots because those tasted great. We had a good collection of drinks to choose from, from the Cadillac Lounge.
All in all, we left stuffed. And, when we checked our wallets, we didn’t break the bank to do it. If you’re looking to eat good, Texan barbecue on a budget, then Peggy Sue is for you.
Must Eat: Baby back ribs
Sammy’s Bar-B-Que is a simple country-looking set up at 2126 Leonard Street, Dallas. It’s rustic on the inside, and reminiscent of America’s diners in the 1950s, 60s, 70s. The walls are decorated with old pictures and badges. When you walk in, you can smell the mouthwatering scent of meat cooking on the hickory wood.
Sammy’s barbecue is delicious. It’s important to say that. The brisket was correctly cooked and very tender, as were the ribs. The pulled pork and sausage were very juicy and spicy, and the sides were exceptional. We ordered the fried okra, coleslaw, BBQ beans, and onion rings. They were flavorful, and everything was cooked to perfection.
Sammys is a cafeteria set up, much like many Texan barbecue restaurants. You go pick up your food at the counter, then take a seat. The staff at Sammy’s were all amicable and cordial. They all helped with a quick smile. Not easy when the lunch rush is swarming the place, and ten people are calling you at the same time.
Altogether, Sammys Bar-B-Que is an excellent place for lunch. You can also do a takeaway if you want to keep some for later. They’re open from Mondays to Saturdays, 11 am – 3 pm.
Must Eat: Brisket and sausages.
12. Lakewood Smokehouse
The Lakewood Smokehouse is located at 1901, Abrams Rd, Dallas. It’s open seven days a week from 11 am and serves lunch and dinner. It has a spacious parking lot. And unlike many barbecue places on this list, it is not decorated like a cafeteria. The Lakewood Smokehouse is more reminiscent of a modern, classy restaurant and bar. It has booths, tables and chairs, and seats at the bar, and televisions.
But this lack of traditional décor doesn’t stop Lakewood Smokehouse from serving delicious meats. Its ribs are superb, smoked to perfection even without the addition of the sauce. The brisket was tender and juicy. The pulled pork was so good, pulled finely but not too finely. We decided to take a chance and order the smokehouse original. It’s their signature sandwich, and yes, it was so worth it. The cheddar was lovely. And the lettuce, red onion, and tomato were all fresh.
They have a part of the menu labeled gluten-free for easy identification. There’s a fantastic selection of drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. It seems they think of everything at Lakewood Smokehouse. Top all that with some stellar service, and you’ve got yourself a great BBQ joint.
Must Try: Three meat plate, burnt ends and baby back ribs
13. Hard Eight BBQ
From the moment you walk into the Hard Eight BBQ, you can smell everything. All that meat cooking on mesquite wood. The smell of the fries and onion rings fresh from the oil.
The staff is amiable, and there are lots of seats, so unless it’s the rush hour, you’ll be seated almost immediately. If it is rush hour, there can be a bit of a wait. But while waiting, the staff serves you with these large samples of meat. Awesome, right? It’s a Western cafeteria-style restaurant, so you pick up your tray and pick your meats. Any barbecue fan knows that lots of smoke come with a good ‘cue. The smoke is a part of the ambiance at the Hard Eight.
Once you get your meat, you get your sides and desserts. Then, pay and have a seat. If we’re to recommend something here, we have to start with the brisket. It was amazing, moist, and so soft, only a fork was necessary. The ribs were delicious too. They were glazed in a sauce, so they were juicy and came cleanly off the bone. The sausages were spiced to perfection, as well. For sides favored the coleslaw.
Have I mentioned that the staff is fantastic? Because, they were. Super attentive.
The Hard Eight BBQ deserves a visit if you’re ever in the area.
Must Eat: Ribs.
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