11 Best Barbecue Joints in Austin, Texas (2024)

Are you ready to embark on a mouthwatering journey through the heart of Texas barbecue heaven?

Austin, Texas, often hailed as the barbecue capital of the Lone Star State, boasts a plethora of pitmasters serving up smoky, savory delights that will leave you craving more.

From brisket to ribs to sausages, Austin’s barbecue scene offers something for every meat lover.

So, if you’re wondering where to find the best barbecue restaurants in Austin, look no further.

Here’s a rundown of the top 11 spots to satisfy your barbecue cravings in this vibrant city.

1. Franklin Barbecue

Topping the list is the legendary Franklin Barbecue, known far and wide for its succulent brisket and melt-in-your-mouth ribs.

Aaron Franklin, the pitmaster extraordinaire, has garnered a cult following with his commitment to quality and tradition.

Be prepared to wait in line, but trust us, the wait is worth every savory bite.

Pro tip: Arrive early to secure your spot in line and maximize your chances of savoring their award-winning meats.

2. Micklethwait Craft Meats

Nestled in the eclectic neighborhood of East Austin, Micklethwait Craft Meats offers a diverse menu featuring everything from tender beef ribs to house-made sausages.

Pitmaster Tom Micklethwait’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients shines through in every dish.

Don’t miss their inventive sides and desserts, including smoked sweet potatoes and buttermilk pie, which perfectly complement their expertly smoked meats.

3. La Barbecue

A favorite among locals and visitors alike, La Barbecue embodies the essence of Central Texas-style barbecue with a side of laid-back charm.

Helmed by pitmaster Dylan Taylor, this food truck turned brick-and-mortar establishment continues to impress with its mouthwatering brisket, smoked low and slow over post oak.

Pair it with their homemade pickles and tangy barbecue sauce for a flavor explosion that will leave you coming back for more.

4. Terry Black’s Barbecue

With roots tracing back to the iconic Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, Terry Black’s brings the tradition of exceptional barbecue to Austin’s bustling Barton Springs Road.

Brothers Mark and Michael Black honor their family’s legacy with a menu that showcases Texas barbecue at its finest.

Feast on their mouthwatering brisket, sausage links bursting with flavor, and indulgent sides like creamy mac and cheese and savory pinto beans.

5. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Craving barbecue with a Tex-Mex twist? Look no further than Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, where traditional Central Texas-style barbecue meets bold Tex-Mex flavors.

Pitmaster Miguel Vidal and his wife Modesty combine their culinary backgrounds to create an unforgettable dining experience.

Indulge in their signature smoked brisket tacos, served on house-made flour tortillas and topped with tangy salsa and creamy avocado.

For a true taste sensation, don’t miss their smoked carnitas breakfast tacos, a perfect blend of smoky, savory goodness.

6. Kerlin BBQ

This cozy food truck nestled in the heart of East Austin packs a punch with its flavorful meats and inventive specials.

Owners Bill and Amelis Kerlin draw inspiration from both traditional Texas barbecue and global flavors to create dishes that are as unique as they are delicious.

Be sure to try their famous smoked turkey, rubbed with a secret blend of spices, and served alongside creamy jalapeño cheese grits.

And don’t forget to save room for their indulgent banana pudding, a sweet finish to your barbecue feast.

7. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

With a laid-back atmosphere and a menu bursting with Texas barbecue classics, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew is a must-visit for barbecue aficionados.

Pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick and his team pay homage to the rich barbecue traditions of Central Texas while adding their own creative flair.

Sink your teeth into their tender beef brisket, smoked to perfection over post oak wood, or sample their juicy pork ribs, rubbed with a signature blend of spices.

Pair your meal with one of their local craft beers for the ultimate barbecue experience.

8. Black’s Barbecue

A Texas institution since 1932, Black’s Barbecue brings decades of tradition and expertise to their Austin location.

With roots tracing back to the original Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, this family-owned establishment continues to uphold the legacy of exceptional barbecue.

From savory brisket to juicy pork ribs to house-made sausage links, every bite is a testament to the time-honored art of smoking meats.

Don’t forget to save room for their legendary homemade sides, including tangy coleslaw and smoky baked beans.

9. Leroy and Lewis Barbecue

For barbecue with a creative twist, look no further than Leroy and Lewis Barbecue.

Helmed by pitmaster Evan LeRoy, this innovative food truck is a hotspot for culinary adventurers seeking bold flavors and inventive dishes.

LeRoy’s passion for experimentation shines through in every bite, from his smoked beef cheeks served with salsa verde to his indulgent beef rib sandwiches topped with kimchi and crispy onions.

Be sure to check their rotating menu for seasonal specialties and limited-edition creations that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

10. Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

Step into Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que and experience the timeless tradition of Texas barbecue.

Founded in 1953 in the small town of Llano, Texas, Cooper’s has become a beloved institution known for its commitment to quality and flavor.

Choose your cuts straight from the pit and savor the smoky goodness of their legendary brisket, pork chops, and sausage links.

Don’t forget to sample their homemade sides, including tangy potato salad and crispy fried okra, for a true taste of Texas hospitality.

11. The Salt Lick BBQ

While technically located just outside Austin in the picturesque town of Driftwood, The Salt Lick BBQ is well worth the short drive.

Nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, this iconic barbecue joint has been serving up mouthwatering meats since 1967.

Feast on their legendary barbecue platters, piled high with tender brisket, sausage links, and ribs, all slow-smoked to perfection over live oak wood.

And be sure to save room for their famous peach cobbler, a sweet finish to your barbecue feast that is not to be missed.

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