Barbecue

Trying to find the best Barbecue in Austin? 10Best has you covered. Our editors and locals search the city and suburbs for the top places. Then, we showcase popular restaurants like Kreuz Market, and we highlight eateries with great user reviews, like Sam's Bar-B-Cue. We also help you find areas where Barbecue are prominent - the Downtown area, for example - so that you not only get terrific dining recommendations, but you also have choices to boot. After all, if you're going to eat, you may as well do it right and take advantage of Austin's best.

10 Sam's Bar-B-Cue
A mainstay on the local barbecue scene, Sam's is an institution, thanks to its late hours and its perfectly smoked meats. For years, musicians have frequented the place after gigs, and Stevie Ray Vaughan was a longtime patron. Choose from beef brisket, chicken, sausage, and ribs, or go for the gold with a mixed plate. Old-school barbecue fans also appreciate the fact that Sam's still serves mutton, whose distinct flavor is something of an acquired taste. Rated best barbecue in Austin proper by locals in the Austin Chronicle. (512-478-0378)

9 Iron Works BBQ
Long-lived barbecue joints are the norm in Texas, and Iron Works is no exception. The restaurant opened in 1978 and has been a favorite ever since. Occupying a red tin building that once housed Weigl Iron Works (thus the name), the big lively place has a fantastic patio and is perfect for meeting friends over brews and brisket. Meats are reliably good, sides are tasty and a salad bar takes care of patrons who crave a dose of rabbit food. (512-478-4855, 800-669-3602)

8 Stubb's Bar-B-Q
Stubb's is a carnivorous music lover's dream. Having hosted greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Robert Cray, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, its reputation as a music venue is well-established. Happily, the food is just as good. Smoked brisket, sausage, ribs, and chicken are at the heart of the menu, and a nice variety of Southern-style side dishes round out the offerings. Don't miss this one! (512-480-8341)

7 County Line Barbecue
Since County Line is a local mini-chain with about ten locations, finding good, down-home food is easy, no matter what part of town you're in. You can opt for a sandwich, but don't expect a light meal -- these babies are huge. Actually, everything is Texas-sized here, so bring your appetite. For the best variety, order a combo plate loaded down with juicy chicken, perfect brisket and tasty sausage, all imbued with a depth of flavor that only comes from lengthy smoking. Don't forget the homemade bread and honey butter! (512-327-1742)

6 Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
At Cooper's, you order meat by the pound at the counter, choosing from BBQ ribs, chicken, beef brisket, pork chops, sausage or even cabrito (goat). Serve yourself some sides (potato salad, cole slaw, beans, corn on the cob), pick up your utensils and make your way to a communal table. If you want the best seats, head outside, where you can watch the activity at the barbecue pits. Then, hunker down over smoky, delectable meat, and it will be clear why this super-casual place is so definitively Texas! (325-247-5713, 877-533-5553)

5 Louie Mueller Barbecue
If you've got time to be leisurely, this place is well worth the 40-mile drive from Austin. Since 1946, Louie Mueller and his family have been smoking briskets, jalapeno sausages, ribs and other meats over a giant pit in the middle of the building, typically selling out before closing time. Like true barbecue joints, the place is a bit dingy from years of smoke, and standard dining accoutrements (like plates) are absent, but when you're sinking your teeth into a chunk of meat so elementally delicious, who cares? Ranked one of the top 25 barbecue places in the world. (512-352-6206)

4 Kreuz Market
The beauty of Texas barbecue is that it's so intrinsically delectable, you don't need sauce to bring out the flavor. Kreuz Market, in fact, doesn't even offer any, and you won't find much in the way of side dishes, utensils, plates or condiments either. What you will discover is what many consider to be the finest barbecue this side of the Mississippi, all ordered up right at the pit, placed on butcher paper with soda crackers or white bread and lovingly devoured by legions of fans. If you want to jazz up said meat, simple adornments like jalapenos, pickles, onions and tomatoes suffice. A favorite for over a hundred years. (512-398-2361)

3 Ruby's
Ruby's is somewhat unusual as barbecue joints go. Along with the hearty main draw, the restaurant offers numerous side dishes (mac 'n cheese, several varieties of potato salad, fries, mashers, collards, cole slaw, vegetarian black beans, BBQ beans, and even tossed salads). You'll also find a few vegetarian options, along with tacos and a handful of Cajun offerings. However, most folks take advantage of top-notch barbecue, which is not only a savory delight but hormone-free, to boot. (512-477-1651, 512-477-2529)

2 Salt Lick
It may be a little out of your way (about 30 minutes outside of Austin), but you won't want to miss one of Texas' most famous barbecue restaurants. A worldwide reputation and delightful down-home ambiance make the appeal that much greater, and a fireplace makes chilly days more tolerable while picnic tables accommodate diners both inside and out. House specialties include brisket, chicken, sausage, ribs and homemade cobblers. No credit cards. Bring your own beer. (512-858-4959)

1 Franklin Barbecue
Every day since Franklin Barbecue opened for business as a modest food trailer in 2009, it has sold out of its famous brisket. The barbecue here has been heralded as some of the best in the country, and even with the larger brick and mortar location, you'll still find a line out the door more often than not. (512-653-1187)


From Our Partners

Maps and Directions

1
Sam's Bar-B-Cue 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: East Side
COST: $
2
Iron Works BBQ 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $
3
Stubb's Bar-B-Q 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Catering, Live Music, Take Out
Neighborhood: RED RIVER DISTRICT
COST: $
4
County Line Barbecue 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: West Austin
COST: $$
5
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: LLANO
COST: $
6
Louie Mueller Barbecue 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: TAYLOR
COST: $
7
Kreuz Market 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: LOCKHART
COST: $
8
Ruby's 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Regional, Vegetarian
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: North Austin
COST: $
9
Salt Lick 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: Driftwood
COST: $
10
Franklin Barbecue 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Neighborhood: East Side