best ribs Texas

The 25 Best Places For Ribs In Texas

If there’s one type of food that they do seriously well in this state it is BBQ, so we’ve sussed out the very best ribs that Texas has to offer. With so many different varieties, from dry-rubbed pork ribs to fall-off-the-bone beef short ribs, there is something for everybody on this list.

Most of the venues on this list serve up massive portions, so you will need to bring some friends and work up an appetite. But hey, that’s half the fun, right?

25 Best Ribs In Texas 2020How do these rankings work?

1. Franklin Barbecue – Austin

This Austin, Texas barbecue eatery is known for serving some of the best in the state. Franklin Barbecue is run by pitmaster extraordinaire – Aaron Franklin. Author of NYT bestseller, Franklin Barbecue, A Meat Smoking Manifesto and soon to be the host of his own PBS show, BBQ With Franklin.

It’s clear that Aaron knows a thing or two about good barbecue. We figure if Franklin Barbecue is good enough for Obama and Anthony Bourdain, it must be pretty great. Don’t miss the chance to try their delicious ribs when in Austin.

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2. Ray’s BBQ Shack – Houston

This Houston favourite is home to all things barbecue. Decide between Chicago style ribs and baby-back ribs all served with hushpuppies. Ray’s BBQ Shack’s meats are hickory smoked to the high heavens, and the barbecue sauce is homemade. In addition to delicious varieties of barbecue, Ray’s BBQ Shack is family owned and operated, which means you’ll always feel right at home.

3. Smoke Shack BBQ – San Antonio

Ask any local where to get the best ribs in Texas and they’ll undoubtedly list off Smoke Shack BBQ as one of their top spots. This Southern kitchen specialises in serving retro, rustic vibes alongside their incredible BBQ plates. You can order individual ribs or a whole rack. Go ahead and order the full rack. Trust us, after one bite you’ll be unable to resist devouring rib after tasty rib, regardless of how messy your face is after.

Best Ribs In San Antonio

4. Railhead Smokehouse – Fort Worth

From brisket to ribs and all of the tasty fixin’s, Railhead Smokehouse serves up some serious flavour. Loyal customers will know that, here, it’s all about Fort Worth (none of that Dallas stuff). So, it’s a great spot to indulge in truly local BBQ and rib dishes. Order a heaping plate of ribs and one of their massive margaritas and prepare to take your taste buds on a journey that’s as rich as Texas culture itself.

5. The Salt Lick – Driftwood

Set in the rolling hills of Texas Hill Country, The Salt Lick is the perfect place for an afternoon feast. Their BYOB policy, hearty history, generous helpings and wonderful staff make it a no-brainer as one of the state’s best. The Salt Lick is cash only so be sure to bring a few bills and be ready for the best ribs of your life.

best Texas barbecue

6. 2M Smokehouse – Austin

2M Smokehouse is a casual, cool spot where locals and visitors alike head to enjoy some of the city’s best BBQ plates. The pitmaster has worked hard to develop a smokehouse that’s become a true local staple, offering up a family-style dining atmosphere that’s both welcoming and warm. Stop by during the week to sample their tantalising pork ribs. On Saturdays, they serve mouthwatering beef ribs too.

Best Ribs In San Antonio

7. Corkscrew BBQ – Spring

Corkscrew BBQ in Spring is a super popular local venue, where they cook a huge amount daily and only serve until they are sold out. Be warned: the food does go pretty quick and once it’s gone, it really is gone.

The ribs are utterly succulent, and although you could eat them just on their own, they are best enjoyed on one of the large sharing meat platters. Bring back up to get through all the food!

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8. Kreuz Market – Lockhart

Lockhart’s Kreuz Market has been in operation since 1900 and is a favourite among tourists and locals and alike. Sink your teeth into their delicious pork spare ribs or tender beef ribs for an insanely good meal. Their massive picnic area and open-pit area provides a rustic and oh-so-Texas atmosphere. Be sure to try their original jalapeno cheese.

9. Mike Anderson’s BBQ House – Dallas

Mike Anderson’s BBQ House is an all-around pithouse. They serve 300-500 guests per day over the counters, so the lines frequently start outside the building. The sheer volume of people coming to eat here tells you something about how good the food is.

The everyday menu includes 10 hickory smoked meats, 13 homemade side orders, seven sweets and a variety of potatoes, salads and bacon wrapped goodies. With so much to choose from, we suggest you focus in on their tender ribs. Simply superb.

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10. Killen’s BBQ – Pearland

At Killen’s, you will find some of the most drool-worthy ribs in the state. Perfectly tender, moist, and spiced, the meat falls right off the bone at Killen’s. In true barbecue shack fashion, they sell out quickly and have lines out the door. However, the ribs are well worth the wait, and every customer is offered a Lone Star in the meantime.

best Texas barbecue

11. Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse – Dallas

Sonny Byran’s are so popular that they now have four locations, which go along with their multiple awards. The fact that they have also been around since 1958 tells you a lot about their dedication to perfection. Our readers are constantly raving about this Dallas BBQ joint.

The smoked pork ribs, finished on the grill with Sonny Bryan’s BBQ sauce are where you need to focus your attention. You’ll need a napkin, but they are truly superb.

12. Alamo BBQ Co. – Austin

At Alamo BBQ Co. you’ll absolutely “remember the barbecue.” With such fine flavours and tender meat, it’s hard not to. Classic Texas pit BBQ is the style here, which means that the ribs are smoked to perfection. But, they do things a bit differently here. Their peach-glazed baby back ribs are cooked low ‘n slow, just like you like ’em. They peach glaze adds a delectably sweet touch that makes it hard to resist ordering seconds.

Best Ribs In San Antonio

13. Snow’s BBQ – Lexington

Snow’s BBQ gets everything about Texas barbecue right. Friendly staff, lines out the door, variety of meats and speciality sauces. With a population of only 1,200, Snow’s BBQ is in the perfect small-town setting to chow down on traditional ribs. Get there early, as they’re only open until the meat runs out.

best Texas barbecue

14. Hard Eight BBQ – Dallas

The first location opened in 2003 in Stephenville, Texas. Since then, Hard Eight BBQ has gone from strength to strength. The restaurant shares what they love; a fun atmosphere, delicious food, and some good ‘ole southern hospitality.

The portions are great and all the smokey meats are fantastic, but it is their large selection of sides and sauces that really bring things to life. The ribs are classic in style, with the meat falling off the bone.

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15. Louie Mueller Barbecue – Taylor

Opened in 1949, Louie Mueller is a time-tested barbecue joint and a Texas favourite. It’s no wonder that Louie Mueller continues to win state and national awards for being the best barbecue around – they’ve even been featured on The Food Network. We recommend you order their baby back ribs. But whatever you do, don’t forget to try their delicious homemade peach cobbler.

16. South BBQ & Kitchen – Austin

The BBQ here is cooked in a 100% post oak and mesquite wood in an offset brick smoker. It adds a unique flavour that personifies South Texas BBQ, making it the perfect pit spot for travellers interested in sampling true local fare. The St. Louis-style spare ribs are easily one of the most flavourful options on the menu, too. They’re incredibly meaty and tender, yet browned to perfection on the outside.

17. The BBQ Barn – Beasley

The BBQ Barn are known far and wide for their ribs, with people driving from miles around to get a taste. We don’t blame them – food this good is worth the trip. They also do great whole chicken, which they also cook low and slow to get that brilliant smoked flavour.

The ribs are ideal to grab as a takeaway meal with a couple of sides to have in front of the TV or out in your back yard.

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18. Baker’s Ribs – Mesquite

They serve up St. Louis-style ribs as well as a whole range of Texas BBQ. Look out for their loaded fries which come with the meat of your choice and which are a huge treat.  But as the name suggests, Baker’s Ribs is all about the ribs.

The rib portion sizes are absolutely massive and the meat is juicy and tender beyond belief. You’ll be doing well to finish an entire portion here in one sitting!

19. Cattleack Barbeque – Dallas

After dreaming about it for 30 years, Todd David decided to turn his life-long BBQ hobby into a profession and founded Cattleack Barbeque, a North Dallas BBQ joint. They opened in 2010 and there has been no looking back ever since.

They serve up a menu packed full of classics, which they cook to an exceptionally high level. Everything is so good here that we suggest you try a meat platter to get a little taste of many different items. As you will see though, the ribs shine brightest.

20. Fargo’s Pit BBQ – Bryan

In the heart of Brazos County, you’ll find some of the best barbecue at Fargo’s. Fargo’s Pit BBQ in Bryan is known for their world-class rib tips. Even better? It’s incredibly affordable. Grab a friend and head to Fargo’s Pit for a delicious down-home meal.

21. The Original Rib Tickler – Tomball

A proper family restaurant that has been churning out amazing BBQ since way back in 1984. Today, you can always find someone from the family in the kitchen, taking orders, helping customers or just catching up with friends in the dining area.

The portions are huge with lots of tasty side dishes and a great drinks menu. The sort of place you visit and are already quickly planning your next visit. When it comes to the best ribs Texas has to offer, these are right up there.

22. Rib Hut East – El Paso

This venue first opened in 1984 and since then they have been cooking up some amazing meats. Their turkey and brisket are among the best in the business, but we’d urge you to try the ribs. Bite after bite, it’s like you’re chowing down on a slice of heaven.

Add in a couple of sauces and their soft bread rolls and you are in for the feast of a lifetime. You certainly will not be leaving hungry.

23. Bone Daddy’s – Lubbock

A full-tilt Texas Barbeque Joint specializing in slow “Pit Smoked” meats, scratch sides, ice cold beer and handcrafted cocktails. Basically, all the good things in life!

With huge platters of meat and a drinks menu to die for, this is an ideal place to hang with a group of friends. The meats are all superb, but the ribs really take things to another level. Oh, and prepare to be craving seconds. Everybody does.

24. Hickory Stick Barbeque – Everman

You’ll know you’re arriving at Hickory Stick by the incredibly delectable smell that leads you right to the locale.  A family owned and operated counter serve BBQ joint since way back in since 1976. With nearly a half century of experience and so many customers, you know they are doing great things here.

The entire menu is packed full of delicious meat treats, but once you sink your teeth into those ribs you will be hooked for life.

best ribs Texas

25. 1775 Texas Pit BBQ – College Station

There are loads of great barbecue joints in the Texas Triangle region, but 1775 Texas Pit BBQ takes the cake. They take pride in only smoking their meats with Central Texas Oak and sourcing the freshest most high-quality ingredients. At 1775 Texas Pit BBQ, you don’t just get flavour, you get top-notch meats with fresh ingredients every time.

Easily some of the best ribs Texas has to offer.

best ribs Texas

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Sarah Clayton-Lea
Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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