Top Barbecue Joints in and around Austin

Trying to find the best barbecue in Austin? It is a major food group and pretty much an art form in Texas, and 10Best has you covered. Our editors search the city and surrounding towns (many of which have a barbecue legacy), and ask for locals' recommendations, to find the top BBQ spots around Austin and Central Texas. Keep in mind that these are not rated in any particular order; and we readily admit that in selecting only 10, there are other equally terrific barbecue restaurants not on this list. Here we've showcased restaurants with a national reputation such as Franklin, and we highlight eateries with great user reviews, like Freedmen's and Stiles Switch. We've covered a large geographic territory, from East Austin and the University of Texas area to nearby towns famous for their barbecue, such as Driftwood and Lockhart, so that you not only get terrific dining recommendations, but you also have choices to boot. Some of these spots have been around for generations, and some are newer; and we've highlighted both restaurants and food trailers. After all, if you're going to eat, you may as well do it right and take advantage of Austin's best.



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. The Roberts family recipes have roots back to the wagon trains in the mid-1800's. A worldwide...  Read More

University Area


Freedmen's is situated in a very cool, historic building and is a sort of upscale saloon, offering not only fantastic smokehouse barbecue, but also a beer garden in a picturesque patio and top-notch handcrafted, retro-inspired cocktails. They...  Read More



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...  Read More



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...  Read More



Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, set in the historic art deco 1950s Violet Crown Shopping Center on N. Lamar, is designed to host a nostalgic atmosphere that transcends back to the old Austin neighborhood style eatery which combines exceptional...  Read More

University Area


Black's BBQ is one of the original favorites of Texas barbecue, with a longtime location in Lockhart (about 45 minutes east of Austin) where the Black family has been making barbecue for three generations. Now, an Austin location in the UT area...  Read More



Located in a food trailer at the Aztec Food Park in East Austin, La Barbecue's head pitmaster Esaul Ramos smokes briskets, ribs, and sausages that people line up for. Former pitmaster John Lewis (now concentrating on a barbecue place in...  Read More

Franklin Barbecue
Photo courtesy of 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. After a showing in the movie "Chef," mentions in the New York Times and a nomination for the James Beard award, Aaron...  Read More


Meet Shelley Seale

Shelley Seale is a freelance journalist and author in Austin who has written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian and Texas Monthly, among others. She loves yoga, indie movies,...  More About Shelley