Best BBQ Joints in Austin, TX

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If you can’t think of anything better than a juicy, smoke-kissed brisket piled high on a tray with all the fixings, you’ve come to the right place. While there’s constant debate over which city or area has the most delicious, best barbecue, Austin has rapidly become a contender in the delicious, saucy world of barbecue. It’s a city so sizzling with BBQ goodness it's practically smoking itself, and not just because the summer temperatures can be boiling.

From smoky ribs to spicy sausages, Austin’s BBQ scene is as rich as its sauce and as spicy as its rub. So put on those stretchy pants, hun, 'cause we're about to feast.

Everything’s Bigger (and Better) in Texas, Especially the BBQ

Before we sink our teeth into Austin’s BBQ goodness, let's take a moment to appreciate the saucy, smoky history of Texas BBQ. Texas is a state that doesn’t play around when it comes to BBQ. 

With a rich history that spans hundreds of years, Texas BBQ is a hearty blend of diverse influences and has continued to evolve as different populations thrive in and around the area, adding their own gastronomical flair to this distinctly American art. Barbecue joints likely got their start from Black and Mexican-American workers popularizing pit-style cooking, combined with the sausage, ribs, and other meats made available by German butcher shops that proliferated in Texas back in the day.

So it’s safe to say that barbecue has been a fusion food from the very beginning, making it a truly American tradition you shouldn’t miss out on. Sitting pretty in the Central Texas region, Austin has become a veritable mecca for BBQ lovers, championing a style that puts beef — especially brisket — front and center. 

To help you taste-test this amazing style of food, let’s talk about some of the best stops for your Austin BBQ tour.

1. Interstellar BBQ

Now, let's start our BBQ tour with a bang, shall we? First up is Interstellar BBQ, where traditional Texas BBQ meets the cosmic charm. The BBQ here is so out-of-this-world that you'll think you've been transported to another galaxy.

Located in northwest Austin, Interstellar BBQ is the creation of John Bates and Brandon Gross. What makes this spot extra special? It’s their passion for quality and craftsmanship. They go the extra mile with their meats, sourcing only the best quality, locally-raised animals. 

You’ve got to try their peach tea glazed pork belly and pork spare ribs — they’re simply celestial. Smoky, tender, and cooked to perfection, the meat practically melts in your mouth. So buckle up, BBQ lovers, because this is one delicious space ride you don't want to miss. Plus, they have tacos!

Love barbecue restaurants to the moon and back? LeRoy & Lewis in South Austin is the new school of BBQ. The food truck trailer is hosted by Cosmic Coffee (win/win for foodies!). You simply must sample the cauliflower burnt ends, succulentbeef cheeks, and cheddar cheesecake. 

2. Stiles Switch BBQ

Time to switch gears and head over to the renowned Stiles Switch BBQ, nestled in the historic Violet Crown Shopping Center on Lamar Blvd. You feel the vibrant Austin spirit in every smoky bite here.

Stiles Switch BBQ takes Texas traditions and cranks them up a notch. Their pitmaster, Lance Kirkpatrick, tends to his meats with an almost poetic attention to detail. Yes, the brisket is fantastic, but you've got to try their signature Beef Rib, a behemoth of flavor that’s seasoned just right and smoked to perfection.

It’s a Texas BBQ tradition, elevated. And let’s not forget their sides. The corn casserole? It's cornbread's sexier cousin. After you have the peach cobbler, none of the other best restaurants’ desserts can compare.


Ready for another pit stop? Say hello to KG BBQ. This food truck-turned brick-and-mortar restaurant has been winning the hearts of Austin locals with its outstanding offerings.

Pitmaster Kareem El-Ghayesh learned the art of the smokehouse from industry leaders Bill Kerlin, Aaron Franklin, and Miguel Vidal. (PS: If the last name sounds familiar, you’ve probably been to the beloved Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ.

They're not only about smoking meats to perfection; they're about creating a community around good food. 

Their signature dish? The Texas Trinity — brisket, pork ribs, and sausage that come together in a tantalizing, mouthwatering trifecta. You can practically taste the love and care they put into each bite. You might swear that this is the first time you’ve ever had BBQ — it’s that life-changing. 

4. Franklin BBQ

And now, drumroll, please, for the royalty of Austin’s BBQ scene — Franklin BBQ. You know you’re somewhere special when people willingly queue for hours, come rain or shine, for a taste of their legendary BBQ. Their long lines mean they usually sell out of everything from pork ribs to bourbon-banana pie by 2 or 3 PM (pre-orders can help you out here).

Aaron Franklin (winner of the James Beard Award), the pitmaster extraordinaire, has elevated BBQ to an art form here. The tender brisket, oh the brisket! It's like a sonnet, a symphony, a masterpiece. It's moist, tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that can make a grown man weep. 

Now, the lines can be long, but the wait is worth every juicy, smoky bite. Get ready to have your BBQ standards skyrocket because Franklin BBQ is the real deal.

5. Terry Black’s Barbecue

Strap in, folks, because our next stop is a name that resonates with BBQ greatness — Terry Black's BBQ. A place that’s steeped in BBQ heritage and serves up heaping plates of delectable, smoky meats.

As soon as you step into Terry Black's, you're greeted by a tantalizing smoky aroma that will immediately make you feel like you’ve gone to barbecue heaven — and there’s no doubt the founding brothers are God in this equation. 

This must-tryBBQ spot is run by Texan twin brothers Mike and Mark Black, descendants of the legendary Black's BBQ dynasty. Barbecue sauce is in their blood. 

Pro tip: their colossal beef ribs are the stuff of dreams. Tender, juicy, and smoky, these bad boys will take you back to heaven once again and make your heart sing with the heavenly chorus of BBQ angels.

6. la Barbecue

Next up on our BBQ train is E Cesar Chavez St, aka the fabulous la Barbecue. Here the brisket glistens, the sausages snap, and every bite is a dream. If the pulled pork doesn’t pull you in, the housemade sausage sandwich might — or any of the other delicious offerings. 

Opened by LeAnn Mueller, the daughter of Texas barbecue royalty, La Barbecue is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. And their brisket is the star of the show. It’s tender, smoky, and full of soul. If you like a bit of smokiness to go with your smokiness, don’t forget to try their chipotle sausage, too — it’s a treat for any spice-lover.

7. Rollin Smoke

Who's up for more meaty delights? Of course, you are! Rollin Smoke is our next stop, a BBQ truck that’s making waves in Austin’s BBQ scene with its knockout meats.

At Rollin Smoke, they're all about low and slow. Meats are cooked to tender, fall-off-the-bone perfection and served with a smile. 

Take a seat by Rollin Smoke’s picnic tables and order up these:

  • Bacon potato salad
  • Brisket tacos
  • “Mamas” Banana Pudding

Of sources, their ultimate showstopper —is the smoked turkey. Moist, flavorful, and just the right amount of smoky, it's the turkey you wish you had at Thanksgiving.

8. Micklethwait Barbecue

Our next pit stop is East Austin. Drive down to 1309 Rosewood Ave. for the fantastic Micklethwait Barbecue, where the old school meets the new, and your BBQ dreams come true.

Located in an unassuming trailer, Micklethwait is serving up some of the finest BBQ in town. But smoked brisket isn’t the only thing we’re making heart eyes at. 

The lemon-poppy-seed coleslaw is an instant classic. The brisketFrito pie with chili? You’ll dream about it. Jalapeno cheese grits? I wish I thought of it!

Tom Micklethwait, the man behind the magic of Micklethwait Craft Meats and Catering, is a genius when it comes to fusing classic techniques with innovative ideas. When all of that incredible meat is piled high on a tray with sauce-mopping white bread, sharp and sassy pickles, and a roasted jalapeno to kick things up a notch, you can’t go wrong.

9. Brown’s Bar-B-Que

Hold on to your cowboy hats, folks, because our last stop is none other than the fantastic Brown's Bar-B-Que. Now, this might be a food truck, but don't be fooled: It's a full-on flavor explosion on wheels.

Brown's Bar-B-Que is where BBQ traditions meet modern flavors in a mouthwatering dance. The man behind the pit, Daniel Brown, has a knack for smoking meats to perfection and creating side dishes that are equally tantalizing. 

Their beef brisket is the tenderest love song to BBQ, played in the key of smoky goodness. And their chicken is a symphony of flavor that you’ll want to play on top volume again and again.


From the legendary Franklin Barbecue to the food truck gem that is Brown's Bar-B-Que, Austin is truly a paradise for any BBQ aficionado, with a unique flare and taste profile that makes it truly special. 

Next time you find yourself in the Lone Star State's capital, remember to pack an empty stomach and a BBQ-loving heart because Austin is ready to treat you to some of the finest, smokiest, most lip-smacking BBQ you've ever had. 

Whether you're a brisket believer, a rib enthusiast, or a sausage savant, this BBQ journey through Austin is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a satisfied palate. So, what are you waiting for? Get those napkins ready; it's time to dive into the smoky wonderland that is Austin's BBQ scene!


Bringing Texas Barbecue History to the Table | Texas Historical Commission

Interstellar BBQ

Stiles Switch BBQ


Terry Black's BBQ

la Barbecue

Rollin Smoke

Micklethwait Barbecue

Brown's Bar-B-Que

Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue

Cosmic Coffee Company

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