Best BBQ Brisket Sandwich in Texas (2016)


The practice of smoking brisket dates back over a hundred years to when Jewish immigrants in El Paso and Greensville served smoked brisket along with their pastrami. Some forty years later, Texas barbecue joints caught on to the beauty of taking this tough fatty piece of meat and transforming it into a delicious staple to feed hungry crowds; it has become one of Texas’ claims to fame.

  • Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

    Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

    Located in the town of Llano outside of Austin, Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is famous for their Lone Star brisket – peppery on the outside and juicy on the inside. This joint's brisket sandwich is of the chopped variety. The restaurant offers a condiment table where you can fill a Styrofoam cup with the thin house BBQ sauce, only on the side and never used in cooking.
    Photo courtesy of Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

  • Joseph's Riverport Bar-B-Que

    Joseph's Riverport Bar-B-Que

    Take a look at a slice of brisket from Joseph's Riverport Bar-B-Que in East Texas, and you'll almost surely notice a peppery bar, rosey smoke ring and juicy meat within. The brisket sandwich comes with chopped or sliced beef, and for diners in the know, with a side of Joseph's famous Swamp Fries – a Texas take on classic cheese fries.
    Photo courtesy of Joseph's Riverport Bar-B-Que

  • Hutchins BBQ

    Hutchins BBQ

    Hutchins BBQ opened its doors in 1978 and has been using pecan wood to slow-smoke its meats ever since. The brisket – sliced or chopped – comes by the pound or between slices of bread, and fans of this McKinney eatery rave about the smokey flavor and peppery barbecue sauce.
    Photo courtesy of Hutchins BBQ

  • Heim Barbecue

    Heim Barbecue
    Fort Worth

    Everything at Heim Barbecue is made from scratch, including their traditional pit-smoked brisket. There's almost always a line of hungry customers outside this Fort Worth food truck, some waiting to sample a no-sauce-needed brisket sandwich, others to tackle the BBQsnob – a sandwich stuffed with brisket, jalapeno cheese sausage and bacon burnt ends.
    Photo courtesy of Heim Barbecue

  • Hays County Barbeque Restaurant

    Hays County Barbeque Restaurant
    San Marcos

    Hays County Barbeque Restaurant serves up traditional Texas brisket smoked with 100-percent wood burning pits. The beef is smoked for 18 hours using a combination of mesquite and post oak and comes sliced or chopped, slathered in a sweet, thick, peppery sauce and piled between two buns.
    Photo courtesy of Hays County Barbeque Restaurant

  • Salt Lick BBQ

    Salt Lick BBQ

    The Salt Lick has been serving Texas barbecue to masses of hungry Austinites since 1967, and this restaurant's giant barbecue pit in Driftwood is a sight to behold! Brisket plates come with bread for do-it-yourselfers, but the menu also includes chopped or sliced beef sandwiches "as big as Texas," which can be topped with onions, pickles and Salt Lick's perfectly sweet sauce.
    Photo courtesy of The Salt Lick / Facebook

  • Luling City Market

    Luling City Market

    Simple but classic, with a walk-in smoker/butcher counter in back, City Market has a very limited meat menu, offering just the Texan big three: beef brisket, ribs and sausage. City Market's smokey and tender brisket sandwich is only made better with a drizzle of the shop's thin, mustard-y barbecue sauce – a rarity in the Texas pit barbecue scene.
    Photo courtesy of Mike Merrill / Flickr

  • Kreuz Market

    Kreuz Market
    Lockhart & Bryan

    Kreuz Market, a much-lauded Lockhart institution, got its start in 1900 when Charles Kreuz Sr. opened a small grocery store where he sold pit barbecue to his customers on butcher paper. Times have changed but the meat hasn't. Sandwiches come filled with chopped or sliced beef in a sourdough bun. You won't find forks or sauce in this place!
    Photo courtesy of Kreuz Market

  • Killen's Barbecue

    Killen's Barbecue

    The folks at Killen's Barbecue in Pearland warn that diners might just eat themselves to ruin once they try the mesquite, pecan and oak-smoked brisket, which comes by the pound or piled high in a sandwich (chopped or sliced). The meat doesn't need it, but sauce fanatics have three to choose from at Killen's.
    Photo courtesy of Kimberly Park

  • Cousin's Bar-B-Q

    Cousin's Bar-B-Q
    Fort Worth

    Cousin's has been serving the barbecue cravings of the Fort Worth area since their first shop opened in 1983. Brisket at the six Cousin's locations is cooked low and slow, using hand-selected hardwoods to impart a perfect smokey flavor. Sliced or chopped, the meat is then piled on Texas toast and topped with a choice of pickles, onions and sauce.
    Photo courtesy of Cousin's Bar-B-Q / Facebook

Honors for the best barbecue in the state are hotly contested, but there is no dispute that turning this Texas favorite into a sandwich was genius! Unlike many of our iconic state sandwiches, there are really no rules to follow with a brisket sandwich except for one – delicious slow-smoked brisket. Meat typically comes chopped or sliced, and while there's no standard bread, do-it-yourself garnish options typically include pickles, onions and fiery jalapenos.

The top 10 winners in the category Best BBQ Brisket Sandwich in Texas are as follows:

  1. Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que - Llano
  2. Joseph's Riverport Bar-B-Que - Jefferson
  3. Hutchins BBQ - McKinney
  4. Heim Barbecue - Fort Worth
  5. Hays County Barbeque Restaurant - San Marcos
  6. Salt Lick BBQ - Driftwood
  7. Luling City Market - Luling
  8. Kreuz Market - Lockhart & Bryan
  9. Killen's Barbecue - Pearland
  10. Cousin's Bar-B-Q - Fort Worth

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Ilene Jacobs (10Best Local Expert) and Lydia Schrandt (10Best Editor) were chosen based on their familiarity with the Texas BBQ scene.

Other BBQ joints nominated in this category included 18th & Vine in Dallas, Black's Barbecue in Austin & Lockhart, Fargo's Pit BBQ in Bryan, Franklin Barbecue in Austin, The Granary 'Cue & Brew in San Antonio, Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Snow's BBQ in Lexington, Stanley's Famous Pit Barbecue in Tyler and Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew in Austin.

Congratulations to all our winning BBQ brisket sandwiches.

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Ilene Jacobs

Ilene Jacobs

Ilene Jacobs

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt