BBQ Guide (Austin)

Updated 03/02/2020

The Austin barbecue scene has been hot for a while. There are so many great choices to pick from. People flock from all over the world to chow down on some of the best smoked meats. When I want some 'cue for lunch, I have a tough time deciding and that is a good thing. This guide focuses on BBQ joints within the Austin city limits. There are a lot of them to weed through so hopefully this guide helps. I will create a separate one for restaurants within an hour drive (someday). The guide in alphabetical order:

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden
79 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 | 11 AM-11 PM M-W, 11 AM-12 AM Thurs-Sat, 10 AM-11 PM Sun
Texas is not known for whole hog. Not yet at least. Banger's has expanded their menu from sausage to include whole hog and sweet tea brined turkey. Order the Eastern North Carolina style hog by the pound or on a sandwich.

Black's Barbecue (Austin)
3110 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78705 | 11 AM-9PM Sun-Thurs, 11 AM-10 PM Fri-Sat
Do not have time to go to Lockhart? That is a bummer. Lucky for you, you can now get a taste of Lockhart without driving there. The full menu is not available at this location but that is fine. Get the brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, and sausage. Heck just order it all.


Brown's Bar-B-Que
1901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 | 11 AM-7 PM Thurs-Sat, 11 AM-5 PM Sun
You will find them next to Corner Bar. Get the brisket. Get the chicken. Get the cabbage. Yes. Get the smoked peach cobbler as well. Simple? Now go. If you go on Sundays after 3 PM and spend 10 bucks at Corner Bar, you get a free BBQ plate. Now that is a deal.

Franklin Barbecue
900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-sell out Tues-Sun
Yes, there will be a line. A very long line. It is worth the wait to get some of the best barbecue in the world. The brisket is the star. It might one of the best things that you will ever put in your mouth. The pork ribs are delicious and are almost falling off the bone. Get the Tipsy Texan while you are it. It is sandwich that has chopped beef and sausage with some coleslaw. A fantastic combination that is messy but tasty. Also a great value.

Tipsy Texan

Iron Works Barbecue
100 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701 | 11 AM-9 PM Mon-Sat
An Austin institution. Opened in 1978, easily the oldest restaurant on this list. The brisket is tender and good, but you will find something missing. Black pepper. They are known for their beef back ribs which are delicious but not as meaty if you compare them to the Instagram ready plate/dino beef ribs. If you have a busy schedule, they are open on Mondays and for dinner so you can always get your BBQ fix.

Brisket, beef back ribs, and sausage
JNL Barbecue
5012 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-6 PM
Franklin Alum Ben Lambert is serving some solid 'cue from this coffee spot. All the meats were tender and flavorful. You know that they know what they are doing especially from the housemade sausage. Do not sleep on the pulled pork.

Kerlin BBQ
1700 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-sell out Wed-Sun
This is the most underrated BBQ joint in town. There is never a line, and I have never understood that. Order everything off the menu, and you will thank me. The pecan smoke works well with the meats. The brisket is perfectly rendered, and the pork ribs are so tender and smoky. Get the brisket and cheese kolache as well. They are to die for.

La Barbecue
2027 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, Texas 78702 |11 AM-6ish Wed-Sun
Phenomenal brisket? Check. Great pork ribs? Check. Superb sausage? Check. You cannot go wrong here. Will there be a line? Of course, there will be because you are talking about an outstanding place. Do not forget to get a beef rib. You will also find a great BBQ sandwich here. El Sancho. Get it loco style. You are looking at a three-meat plate between two buns. Brisket, pulled pork, hot guts. A sandwich bordering on being magical and crazy. You will not regret it.

Brisket, ribs, and slaw

Lambert's Downtown Barbecue
401 W 2nd St, Austin, Texas 78701 | 11 AM-3 PM , 5 PM-10 PM daily
Fancy barbecue? Sure it is, but does it matter? Their brisket is excellent. Slap your mother good (I do not condone violence). Their menu comprises more than just barbecue. Their baked mac and cheese is stellar. Try their appetizers. They also have happy hour specials. Order a few drinks. Do not miss out on their brunch. I would recommend making a reservation just in case.

Whole black Angus short rib

LeRoy & Lewis Barbecue
121 Pickle Rd, Austin, TX 78704 | 7 AM-9 PM Wed-Sun
Is there anything Evan LeRoy cannot cook? The man is a genius around the pit. You will not find your typical Texas BBQ, but it does not mean it is not any less delicious. I hate following their social media accounts. The menu changes every week, and because of that, I want to go every week. You will find smoked wings, beef cheeks, pork belly/shoulder, brisket fried rice, mac and cheese stuffed quail, brisket chocolate chip cookie, and so much more. My perfect day might be getting a bagel for breakfast, a lovely meat spread for lunch, and a burger for dinner. I would not even have to leave the parking lot.

L&L Burger

2115 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 | 11 AM-10 PM Sun-Thurs, 11 AM-11 PM Fri-Sat
Aaron Franklin. Tyson Cole. These culinary giants collaborated for this fun project. Marrying Asian flavors with smoked meats is genius. It is my kind of restaurant. Bring a crew and share a bunch of plates. So many great options to choose from including drinks. There are happy hour specials as well. Brisket is only available after 5 PM. You might have to come back a few times to clear out that menu.

Moreno Barbecue
5700 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745 | 11 AM-sell out Wed-Sat, 12 PM-sell out Sun
I love that there are more quality Q options in South Austin now. Located in an unassuming strip mall, Moreno is dishing out some great BBQ. The brisket and pork ribs are worth the trip alone. Pay attention to the specials of the day. Do not just get meat only because the sides and desserts deserve a double take.

Micklethwait Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-sell out, Tues-Sun
I had trouble pronouncing the name at first. That is probably the only thing wrong with this BBQ joint. The 'th" is silent in case you were wondering. I am a fan of all their smoked meats. Put on your running shoes and run here so you can beat the line. Tom has turned sausage making into an art/craft. The types of sausage smoked vary day to day. Lamb chorizo, kielbasa, and pork belly andouille to name a few. The smoked barbacoa is fantastic. The homemade bread is also fabulous. I do not like grits, but their cheesy grits have converted me. Do not forget the buttermilk pie. You have been warned.

Brisket Frito pie

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757 | 11 AM-9 PM Tues-Thurs, Sun, 11 AM-10 PM Fri-Sat
We are talking about a no fuss barbecue joint. The BBQ is solid all the way around. They are open for dinner and serve local draft beers. The beef here is good. They have my favorite pork rib. It is glazed with a serrano pepper jelly. Sweet and spicy. Up my alley. The turkey is nice and juicy. Do not forget to grab a couple of the tasty sides. You never know, you might run into Matthew McConaughey here.

Pork ribs

Terry Black's Barbecue
1003 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704 | 11 AM-9 PM daily
Do not get intimidated by the line. They are built for efficiency with a lot of meat cutters available. Everything I have eaten has been cooked well. They are open 7 days a week pumping out great barbecue. Props to them for that. Do not ignore the sides or desserts when you are waiting in line. Take a tour of pits while you are here.


Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ
11500 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745 | 7:30 AM-9 PM daily (closed on first Mon of each month)
Smoked meats in a tortilla? The best idea ever. You can walk and eat at the same time. You might want to sit-down here though because the pure awesomeness might make you knees buckle. The brisket is great in a taco with guacamole, sandwich or by itself. The in-house made tortillas are not meant to be thrown at a football game. These are meant for good eating. The breakfast tacos are wonderful, and I always get the queso. Always get the queso. We are in Texas you know.

8901 Brodie Ln, Austin, TX 78748 | 11 AM-8 PM Thurs-Sun
Owned by UT football great Kasey Studdard, Whitfield's is slinging some quality 'cue in South Austin. The meats are fatty and tender. Pickled strawberries and spicy pineapple highlight the side options.

Until next time, happy smoking...


  1. Great list! I need to try the L&L burger ASAP.

  2. Valentina's is actually 11500 Manchaca. Not 1500. Great blog.

  3. Your chicken and gravy looks so good that I can almost smell it here in Pennsylvania.
    Definitely your photos are better than in the cookbook. It sounds like your favorite butcher
    A true treasure; such a lovely, plump chicken.

    By the way, I said a few weeks ago that I didn't receive your blog posts. Well, the problem seems to have been solved, and I'm so happy about it, even if it makes me gain weight by trying all your wonderful recipes.

  4. your article are amazing. you can also add best charcoal smoker grill combo in your collection


Post a Comment

Popular Posts