From wide open plains, piney woods and the barren West, Texas has a lot to offer. It’s home to over 13,000 historical markers and a rich past filled with everything from Spanish missions to the Wild West cowboys. In addition to stunning landscapes and interesting history, the food scene is pretty great, too. More specifically, Texas barbecue.
The Lone Star state is filled with great smokin’ good rib shacks to choose from. Whether you’re a Texas native or just visiting, take your pick from either of these finger-lickin’ good barbecue joints.
Check out our definitive guide to Texas barbecue here.
Best Places For Barbecue In TexasHow do these rankings work?
This Houston favourite is home to all things barbecue. Decide between sliced brisket, Chicago style ribs, sausage 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.
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.
This small town Belton staple is a step above the rest with its perfectly smoky barbecue and savoury southern sides. At Miller’s, you can chow down on brisket by the pound, indulge in St. Louis style ribs or enjoy on of their sandwiches. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying one of Lisa ‘Mama’ Miller’s desserts.
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 brisket of your lie.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s flavour. That’s Pecan Lodge in a nutshell. it’s the unwavering belief that the best things in life are smoked in a pit and steeped in time-honoured traditions of generations gone by.” Well, with a slogan like that, you know they take barbecue seriously. At Pecan Lodge, everything is done with heart.
The pit burns 24-hours a day, sausage is hand made and the make scratch items a priority. Head over to this delicious barbecue joint in Deep Ellum and enjoy a few plates of mouthwatering brisket.
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 brisket and ribs. Get there early as they’re only open until the meat runs out.
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 any one of their delicious menu items when in Austin.
In 2012, Tom Micklethwait set up shop serving basic barbecue in a small vintage trailer. Eight years later he has developed a mass following of Texans looking to enjoy his savoury smoked meats. Like any good barbecue trucks, they run out fast. So get there early and eat your heart out.
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 brisket and rib tips. Even better? It’s incredibly affordable. Grab a friend and head to Fargo’s Pit for a delicious down-home meal.
Mike Anderson’s BBQ House is an all-around pithouse, but their pulled pork is what makes it sing. The shoulder is shredded to perfection and smothered in the most delicious flavours and spices. Load yourself up with some delightful pork barbecue and their famous fried okra.
Schoepf’s Bar-B-Q first got their start over two decades ago and has been wowing Texans and visitors ever since. Take your pick from their large variety of meats such as pork chops, sausage, ribs, sirloin, quail, and so much more. If you want barbecue without the mess, try one of their tacos.
This tiny barbecue shack is a humble Amarillo gem. Spicy Mike’s brings ribs to a whole new level and seals the deal with its delicious spicy sauce. Don’t miss one of the best in the West, Spicy Mike’s BBQ Haven.
Family-owned and operated, smoking seven days a week, nationally acclaimed sauce and located in Texas’ heart of barbecue? We’ll take it. Here you’ll find a wide variety of meats all made with tried and true recipes. For example, their famous sausage is the same 100% beef sausage recipe they’ve used for three decades.
At Luling City, you’ll be taken care of with any of their menu items but don’t leave without tasting their famous Luling City Market Bar-B-Que Sauce.
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 and chipotle sausage. But whatever you do, don’t forget to try their delicious homemade peach cobbler.
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 shoulder clods, beef brisket or pork chops 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.
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 dishes. Order a heaping plate of meats and one of their massive margaritas and prepare to take your taste buds on a journey that’s as rich as Texas culture itself.
When Italian immigrant, Steve Talanco arrived in Texas, he learned from Mexicans how to barbecue with Mesquite wood. After that, his fate for Texas Pride Mesquite Smoked Barbecue was sealed. His love for authentic Texan barbecue is what makes this barbecue shack one of the best in the Lone Star State.
Wherever you are in Texas, it’s worth the drive for their perfectly tender baby back ribs. If you’re really hungry, order a platter and treat yourself to some peach cobbler and a Shiner.
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.
Another Texas favourite in Austin is The Switch. At this charming rustic barbecue shack, you’ll find barbecue classics with a cajun and tex-mex twist. Take your pick from their specialities such as smoked brisket gumbo or brisket enchiladas. Afterwards, enjoy their tasty campfire banana split. You’ll soon see why it’s known for serving some of the best Texas barbecue.
This family-run barbecue food truck is a must if you find yourself of FM 1660. Pitmaster Sustin Pustka whips up a knock-your-socks-off-brisket and uses an old Polish family recipe for his famous sausage. Whether you’re looking for classic ribs, smoked brisket or a half chicken, go see Dustin at Pustka Family Barbecue.
Texas’ stunning Big Bend region is generally lacking on the barbecue scene, but Brick Vault Brewery & Barbecue is here to change that. Housemade sausages, tangy barbecues and smooth cream ales make this eatery one of the best in Texas. Enjoy one of their smokey briskets alongside their local brews.
Juicy chicken, pork al pastor and incredible sausage make Convenience West one of the best in the business. Here you’ll find expertly burnt ends, mouthwatering pork shoulder and sliders that are out of this world. Don’t miss a chance to indulge in one of Texas best barbecue joint at Convenience West.
Sugary-sweet tea, intense aromas of mesquite and smiling faces make Black’s Barbecue a classic. Opened in the 1930s, they’ve been feeding Lockart and more for over three generations. Be sure to order their lean Angus Beef and a few cold ones. Best Texas barbecue joint? Come see for yourself…
This Beaumont staple is famous for its sausage. Here you’ll find the links are made using beef casing rather than the usual pork casings found elsewhere. In addition to this, they have an unmissable spice of red pepper and crushed chile that hits the spot every time. Don’t forget to save room for dessert.
This local no-frills barbecue shack gets everything right with equally delicious sides and barbecue. Enjoy a delicious feast of smoked meat sampler with any one of their famous sides. Their perfectly smoked brisket with mac N cheese and pinto beans will have you dreaming about it for days.