Best BBQ in San Antonio

From craft BBQ to Texas twists, something juicy awaits you!

Texas takes a lot of pride in its barbecue and for good reason. Texas barbecue is hard to beat, especially in San Antonio! As the culinary scene evolves here, chefs and restaurateurs continue to explore boundaries, elevate cuisine and incorporate local ingredients and South Texas flavors in a way that is both scintillating and unique. 

Black Board Bar-B-Cue is a great example of the kind of chef-prepared, craft barbecue to be found here. Located outside of San Antonio in Boerne, a visit to Black Board is a true culinary adventure that requires you to hop in the car and travel through the stunning Texas Hill Country. Just before you think you've gotten lost, this charming country-style restaurant appears like an oasis in the desert... a desert full of rich, mouth-watering meats. From Wagyu brisket to burnt ends and the most addictive wild boar jalapeno cheddar sausage you'll ever eat, this place is worth the drive ten times over!

Sometimes it takes two best friends to make a beautiful brisket, as is the case with 2M Smokehouse, just a hop, skip and jump from downtown. This glorious hole-in-the-wall is serving up some Texas-style barbecue with Mexican and San Antonio flavors, not to mention a lot of love. From the 18-hour-smoked brisket to the tender pork ribs, you only have to taste to agree. 

Read on to find out more about these and other barbecue bests!


San Antonio
Big Bib BBQ
Photo courtesy of Big Bib BBQ

At Big Bib BBQ, you order your meat by the pound! Well, they do have smaller plates as well as family platters, but we suggest you get it by the pound. The ribs are tender and flavorful, the brisket is lean but also tender and has a good crust on it. In a conversation about barbecue in San Antonio, Big Bib's invariably comes up. They smoke with aged Oak and Mesquite and also serve local favorites such as pulled pork, turkey breast, jalapeno sausage, turkey legs, rib tips, chicken leg quarters and chicken wangs, yes "wangs!" Big Bib's homemade barbecue sauce is a savory blend of sweet and tart, something a little different from other sauces you might have tried. Succulent and smoky... that's Big Bib's!

Recommended for Barbecue because: Big Bib's BBQ is a local favorite and highly popular barbecue joint.

Kimberly's expert tip: Big Bib's Famous Peach Cobbler is heaven on earth!

Read more about Big Bib BBQ →

Dignowity Meats
Photo courtesy of Courtesy Dignowity Meats

Dignowity Meats is a smoked meat sandwich shop located in San Antonio's Eastside historical neighborhood of Dignowity Hill. The name may be hard to pronounce, but by the time you're done with your meal, you won't forget it. They offer elevated deli eats, sandwiches and sides, such as their incredible sharp cheddar mac-n-cheese. Their menu includes KC Brisket Burnt Ends, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Pulled Pork, St. Louis Ribs and specialties such as their Dignowity Pie, which is brisket burnt ends or pulled pork with mac, served over fries and sliced jalapenos. This is not the place to go when you're on a diet, but you probably already figured that out! Owners Andrew Samia and Shane Reed grew up in the Northeast and Midwest and are the visionaries of Dignowity Meats. Having developed a strong appreciation for old school mom and pop deli's that smoked and cooked all of their products on-site, they wanted to bring the same flavors and authenticity to the Alamo city... and they have!

Recommended for Barbecue because: With their KC-style barbecue, Dignowity offers something a little bit different than most local barbecue restaurants.

Kimberly's expert tip: The brisket sandy with mac-n-cheese is to-die-for, as is everything else on the menu.

Read more about Dignowity Meats →

Two Bros. BBQ Market
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

Chef Jason Dady is considered an innovative pioneer of the culinary culture in San Antonio and has developed quite a following because of his dedication to quality, excellence and professionalism. So when Dady opened up Two Bros. BBQ Market, serving classic Texas Pit BBQ in a family atmosphere, locals flocked to it. This little joint is open 7 days a week and you can eat in or get your feast to go. Their succulent meats include brisket, pork butt, chopped beef, pork ribs, baby back ribs, sausage and chicken thighs. When Anthony Bourdain was in town, this is the barbeque restaurant he went to. Enough said!

Recommended for Barbecue because: If you're visiting San Antonio, Chef Jason Dady's barbecue is always worth the trip!

Kimberly's expert tip: This is a great place to take the kids, with a play area on site featuring a "rainbow playground."

Read more about Two Bros. BBQ Market →

San Antonio

Rudy's Country Store and BBQ is a staple in San Antonio and all around Texas, in fact. They offer "Real Texas Barbecue" served in a family-style dining atmosphere. If you go during popular lunch and dinner times, you can expect to see a line that goes around the building, but they move fast and offer samples while you wait, so don't worry! Rudy's menu features Texas smoked sausage, brisket, St. Louis ribs, turkey, and chicken as well some fantastic fixin's including their decadent creamed corn, potato salad, and beans. Tastes just as good as homemade! They also take orders online and offer catering and shipping.

Recommended for Barbecue because: Rudy's has been around for a long time and is a BBQ staple in Texas.

Kimberly's expert tip: Rudy's makes some of the best-creamed corn in town... thick, rich and delicious.

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Who doesn't love a Brazilian steakhouse, but what if you could have all the things you love about it minus the fancy prices? What if there was a place where you could truly relax and savor the Picanha and other deliciously seasoned skewered meats in a family-friendly atmosphere? Thanks to Galpao Gaucho, now you can! While their menu isn't quite as expansive, you miss nothing because this independently-owned restaurant has managed to hone in on what's important, namely taste and authenticity at a price point that most can afford. The Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Jovani Gava, is actually a native of Brazil who worked in the churrascaria industry for 15 years before opening up his own restaurant. Located in the Stone Oak area, they're the perfect place to go for either lunch or dinner. Just remember to bring your appetite!

Recommended for Barbecue because: Galpao Gaucho knows Brazilian barbecue and is the place to visit if you're in the Stone Oak area!

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to try all of the warm side dishes - the rice and black beans are particularly delicious!

Read more about Galpao Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse →

Smoke BBQ + Skybar
Photo courtesy of Smoke

Smoke recently relocated to the downtown area, just on the Eastside, making downtown residents and visitors very happy. Smoke's Texas-style barbecue isn't just delicious, it's diverse. The menu is extensive, offering mouth-watering meats, including traditional brisket, pulled pork, Dr. Pepper pork ribs, beer can chicken, Shiner Bock Beer brined turkey, prawns with chimichurri sauce, bacon, and bratwurst. If you go hungry, don't be too shy to try their Cowboy Chop Ribeye with barrel-aged rye whiskey butter. Besides the more familiar barbecue menu, they offer burgers, sandwiches, entrees and a long list of sides, such as buttermilk mashed potatoes and creamed corn. Yum! Pickle fiends will appreciate their "pickles by the jar," options like sweet and sour carrots, jalapenos, spicy garden vegetables, candied beets and whiskey spiced peaches. It's fair to say, Smoke thinks a little outside the box. There are not many other places in San Antonio (or elsewhere, for that matter) where you can chow down on some crispy pig ears and braised tongue!

Recommended for Barbecue because: Smoke is one of the newest restaurants in the downtown area, and few offer better barbecue for when you can't shake that craving.

Kimberly's expert tip: Smoke is also a sports bar, featuring 12 TVs, wrap-around bar and a Sunday brunch with your favorites, such as pancakes and skillet breakfasts.

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Smoke Shack
Photo courtesy of Joshua Simmons

Get ready for some wonderful Texas barbecue, right in the middle of San Antonio - more specifically in Alamo Heights, right across the street from the Witte Museum and Brackenridge Park. If the weather's nice, there's nothing better than grabbing your meats to go and taking them to the park for a picnic. This location is new, but Smoke Shack has been around and has a food truck at 410 & Nacodoches for quite a while. Their food truck still operates during the week. It's encouraged that you opt for the 3 meat combo. The barbecue is smoked to perfection and utterly tender. There's plenty of choices, from brisket and sausage to smoked turkey, chicken and succulently caramelized pork ribs. The sides are just as good and include potato salad, mac & cheese, fried okra and more. The portions are generous and potentially enough food for two to share, although you may not want to. If you're feeling frisky, give the frito pie a chance. It's one of the best in town!

Recommended for Barbecue because: Smoke Shack is one of the newest and indeed best barbecue joints in town!

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to try the potato salad, complete with bacon!

Read more about Smoke Shack →

San Antonio
Alamo BBQ Co.
Photo courtesy of Alamo BBQ Co.

Jason Dady is one of San Antonio's top chefs and restaurateurs, with a list of accolades a mile long, including national TV appearances. Chef Dady is known for his talent with meat, and that includes barbecue. In fact, Alamo BBQ Co. is his second barbecue restaurant. The restaurant, which also has a play yard for the kiddos, serves up Texas pit barbecue and traditional sides. The array of market-style meats include beef brisket, peach-glazed baby back ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, chicken thigh, smoked sausage and chopped beef. They also feature some incredible sides such as smoked bacon-wrapped jalapenos, green chile chopped beef queso and chopped beef Frito pies. Get ready to dig into some chef eats with a Texas twist!

Recommended for Barbecue because: Alamo BBQ Co. is one of the newest barbecue restaurants to open up and offers classic Texas barbecue from one of San Antonio's celebrity chefs.

Kimberly's expert tip: A great stop for lunch with sandwich options such as The Big Tex BBQ Sammich that comes with brisket, sausage, pulled pork, slaw, pickles and their signature sweet BBQ sauce, not to mention weekday lunch plates during the week from 11 to 3 pm.

Read more about Alamo BBQ Co. →

2M Smokehouse
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta

You don't have to travel far in San Antonio to find some fantastic barbecue, and few illustrate this better than 2M Smokehouse. Located about 15 minutes from downtown on the east side is where you'll find a passion for Texas barbecue that's nearly unparalleled. Two high school friends that shared one passion, one dream, came together to bring 2M to life, and in just a few years have become a local's favorite. It starts with a dry-rubbed Texas-style brisket that's smoked for up to 18 hours. The duo has artfully blended Central Texas-style barbecue with local flavors and ingredients that they grew up eating themselves. The result is a truly original barbecue menu you won't find anywhere else. From the seasonings on the meat to the pork sausage (made in-house) with Oaxaca cheese and serrano peppers, get ready for a succulent treat you won't soon forget. Enjoy your meats San Antonio-style, as a taco, or as a sandwich. Sides, such as the Chicharoni Macaroni (topped with crispy pork rinds), Borracho Beans and Mexican Street Corn solidify 2M's standing as "puro San Anto" fare!

Recommended for Barbecue because: 2M Smokehouse is one of the newer barbecue restaurants in town, wowing people with their Mexican-inspired barbecue and classic San Antonio favorites.

Kimberly's expert tip: Make sure to ask about their scratch-made banana pudding. It's a special treat you will definitely want to save room for!

Read more about 2M Smokehouse →

Black Board Bar-B-Q
Photo courtesy of Kimberly A. Suta

You can drive all over Texas and never find another restaurant that takes barbecue to this level of perfection, although when it comes to barbecue, those might be fightin' words. Still, Blackboard Bar-B-Q, known for its elevated craft barbecue, has some things going for it that few restaurants even strive towards. To begin with, they cut their own wood for the smoker using the Live Oak trees on property. The smoker is a story unto itself, as it's close to half a century old. Chef, co-owner and pitmaster, Jake Gandolfo, compares it to inheriting your great grandmother's exceptionally-seasoned cast iron skillet. Then there's the meat. Blackboard makes a ridiculously succulent Texas dry-rubbed Wagyu brisket that truly melts in your mouth like butter. Add to that the wild boar jalapeno cheddar sausage, housemade Boudin, Luckenbach Lollipops of buttermilk-brined, deep-fried Texas-raised quail and you've got yourself an epic barbecue feast. Make sure to save room for one of chef and co-owner, Jo Irizarry's freshly-made desserts, including giant chocolate chip cookies with ice-cold milk, cobbler or carrot cake.

Recommended for Barbecue because: Barbecue doesn't get any better than this Texas Hill Country gem, which creates unique chef-prepared barbecue and unexpected delights.

Kimberly's expert tip: A visit to Blackboard Bar-B-Q makes for a fun day trip on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to the Texas Hill Country, but on Thursday nights, they feature live music and mouthwatering burgers!

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Meet Kimberly Suta

Kimberly A. Suta is a professional freelance writer, filmmaker and entrepreneur with a background in marketing, advertising and social media. Her first business, Midnight Sun Innovations,...  More About Kimberly