I have been eating a lot of barbecue Frito pies lately. I remember loving Frito pie when I was a child. There is nothing fancy to them (chili, cheese, and Fritos), but they are very comforting to eat. I like my chili without beans by the way. Frito pies are also a good change of pace from the typical brisket, ribs, and sausage you find at BBQ joints. Here are five good options in Austin:
Micklethwait Craft Meats - $8
1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-till sold out Tue-Sun
This Frito pie was the reason why I thought about doing this guide. I got a lot of attention on social media for my picture of it. It is super tasty and comes with brisket, chili, cheddar, cilantro, escabeche, red onion, & crema. Great combination of flavors and textures. I like that they use a slice of brisket instead of chopping it up. Of course I had to add sausage and a pork rib to make my own Texas Trinity of Frito pie.
La Barbecue - $9
1906 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-till sold out Wed-Sun
The wait is always 30+ minutes here. When you get to the front, you feel like you need to order more. It took a lot of willpower for me on this day just to get the Frito pie. It comes with chopped beef, Southwest black bean salad, cheese, jalapeños, and pickled red onions. Yum. I wanted to add my own twist to it, but they were sold out of most of the meats that day.
Lambert's Downtown Barbecue - $16, $8 during happy hour
401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701 | 11 AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10 PM daily
Fancy Frito pie. That is what it is. It is not cheap but is packed with a ton of flavor. The chopped beef, fresh pico, goat cheese, and Lambert's queso play well together. It is obvious that there was a lot of thought put into this dish. It is a bargain at happy hour. I could eat one every day at that price point.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew - $9
6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757 | 11 AM-9 PM SuTWTh, 11 AM-10 PM FSa
In my opinion, this is the closet one to being a traditional Frito pie. It has chopped beef, cheese, jalapeños, and onions. I added some of the Switch sausage for an extra kick. The portion is huge so you get more bang for the buck. I could not finish it all. Shocker.
Bert's BBQ - $6.95 regular, $8.95 large
907 W 24th St, Austin, TX 78705 | 7 AM-3 PM M-S & 3563 Far West Blvd #109, Austin, TX 78731 | 11 AM-8 PM M-F, 11 AM-7 PM Sat
I ate at the MLK location back in college before the building burned down. The one by campus now is within eyesight of Freedmen's Bar. I ordered the large size, and it was a good portion. It was loaded with chopped beef, beans, and BBQ sauce. It cost 60 cents extra for cheese though. You can buy frozen ones for later as well.
Until next time, happy smoking...