Texas is known for many things that make it truly unique and one-of-a-kind, but BBQ has to be right near the top of the list. Sure, the Lone Star State is famous for its live music, great weather, wide open spaces, ranching and cattle, and the Dallas Cowboys, to name just a few, but anyone visiting Texas is always anxious to get their hands on some of our famous Texas barbecue! Keep reading to learn about the best BBQ in Austin TX.
Best BBQ in Austin TX
Although the state is dotted with great barbecue spots from Amarillo to Laredo and from El Paso to Houston, some of the best barbecue you’ll find in the great state of Texas is right here in Austin. We’re going to discuss some of the best BBQ in Austin TX, from well-known names to joints that are a little more off the beaten path. The next time you get a hankering for some beef brisket ribs or pulled pork, you’ll know just where to go for the best BBQ in North Austin!
For starters, did you know that there are actually four distinct styles of Texas barbecue? Most of the BBQ in North Austin is what’s known as Central Texas barbecue, which involves a simple dry rub and meat smoked at low temperature over oakwood, pecan, or mesquite for many hours.
The results are then presented on a plate or tray, usually with sides such as white bread slices, beans, potato salad, or coleslaw, along with relishes such as pickles, sliced onion, and hot pepper. You’ll almost always get your sauce served on the side in a cup or a bottle so that you can sauce your barbecue as much or as little as you like. In fact, many of the best pit masters believe that the smoked meats have enough flavor to stand on their own without any sauce. Once you’ve tried them, you might just agree! Below is a list of the best BBQ in Austin TX.
Y’all hungry for some BBQ yet? Let’s get to the list!
#10 Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin)
Named for the historic 1800s railroad stop of Stiles Switch, this classic North Austin eatery brings a “nostalgic feel for high quality Texas BBQ” inspired by the owner’s love of the Texas BBQ legends he grew up with. While you’re there, you can pick up a craft beer to enjoy while you eat!
#9 Terry Black’s BBQ (1003 Barton Springs Rd, Austin)
Terry Black perfected his unique take on Texas BBQ in Lockhart, Texas, where he was born and raised. His twin sons have since brought the family recipe to restaurants in Dallas and this unforgettable stop in North Austin, which should be on everybody’s itinerary!
#8 Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ (11500 Menchaca Rd, Austin)
When it comes to food truck-style BBQ in North Austin, you can’t beat Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, a family-run business that operates out of a trailer on Menchaca Road. Chef Miguel Vidal, his wife, Modesty, and their family turn out beautifully blackened BBQ delicacies every day.
#7 Micklethwait Craft Meats (1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin)
There’s nothing better than backyard barbecue, but your own back yard may not be a match for what you’ll find at Micklethwait Craft Meats. It’s nestled in a lush outdoor setting with picnic tables and plenty of space where you can enjoy some amazing Texas BBQ the way it was meant to be eaten—with the big Texas sky overhead!
#6 La Barbecue (2401 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin)
A rare female-owned barbecue joint in the Lone Star State, La Barbecue uses recipes inspired by owner LeAnn’s dad, Bobby Mueller, who was a James Beard Award winner in the years before barbecue got big. Here’s proof that even when it comes to barbecue, the future is female.
#5 Distant Relatives (3901 Promontory Point Dr, Austin)
Everywhere in the United States, the tradition of barbecue owes a lot to the practices, flavors, and heritage of the African diaspora. That’s as true in Texas as anyplace else, and at Distant Relatives, they work to keep that heritage alive, so you can taste it in every delicious bite.
#4 Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th, Austin)
Texas Monthly called the food from Franklin Barbecue “the best barbecue in the known universe.” That’s some pretty high praise, especially considering some of the competition right here in North Austin. We guess there’s nothing to do but to go try it and see for yourself!
#3 LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue (121 Pickle Rd, Austin)
LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue may keep up on the latest trends in barbecue techniques and innovations, but they also believe in old-school service, serving up some of the best smoked meats in the area from a tiny blue food truck located inside the fence at Cosmic Coffee & Beer Garden.
#2 Burnt Bean Co. (108 S. Austin, Seguin)
Big, bold, homemade flavors—that’s what you’ll find at the Burnt Bean Co. in Seguin, just outside Austin. The Pope of BBQ, Ernest Servantes, and Super Dave Kirkland are a couple of veterans of the national BBQ championship circuit who decided to combine their talents to create some of the best BBQ in the state of Texas. Did they succeed? Come taste for yourself and find out!
#1 InterStellar BBQ (12233 RR 620 N., Austin)
When it comes to out-of-this-world BBQ in North Austin, there may be no better spot than InterStellar BBQ, where they believe that the key to great barbecue is to take your time and never rush the process. The results? You can taste ‘em for yourself at this North Austin institution!
Whether you’re new to Texas-style BBQ or an old hand at the pits, we hope we’ve given you at least one new place to check out and maybe even a new favorite to come back to again and again! Of course, BBQ isn’t the only thing that makes life in North Austin unforgettable. At Santa Rita Ranch, we’re lucky to be surrounded by all the wonders of the Texas Hill Country. To keep up with everything that’s going on in Santa Rita Ranch and throughout our community, just fill out the short form above to subscribe to our Ranch newsletter today!