Texas Monthly and its barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn put together an updated list of the best new barbecue joints in the state since 2015. The list of 25 places features six Austin-area establishments: LeRoy & Lewis, Loro, John Mueller Black Box Barbecue, the Switch from Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue, and Pustka Family Barbeque.
Though technically not a barbecue restaurant, it’s interesting that Kemuri Tatsu-ya, the Texas-Japanese izakaya with plenty of smoked meats from the Ramen Tatsu-ya, which Vaughn did love, isn’t on the list, while the Asian-inspired smokehouse Loro is. It might be a matter of the owners since the latter is run by famed brisket whisperer Aaron Franklin and chef Tyson Cole of Uchi/Uchiko, along with the restaurant’s pitmaster Bram Tripp. (Though, there is a brisket ramen place on the list with Waco’s Guess Family Barbecue.)
The four other restaurants make sense on Vaughn’s list. He raved about LeRoy & Lewis pitmaster Evan LeRoy when he was at now-closed campus restaurant Freedmen’s. Stiles Switch’s second restaurant is just different enough to Vaughn for it to be included on the list, because of its Cajun leanings and all-around all-star pit team. It’s nice to see notorious pitmaster John Mueller (formerly of John Mueller Meat Co.) back in action with his brisket and cheesy squash at Georgetown venture Black Box Barbecue. The inclusion of underrated barbecue sandwich shop Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville is a nice and deserved shout-out too, as well as Pustka Family Barbeque, which is en-route to the famed Louie Mueller Barbecue.
This best new barbecue restaurants list is considered Vaughn’s midterm report ahead of the magazine’s highly anticipated round-up of the absolute best barbecue joints in the state, which was last published in 2017, topped by Lexington spot Snow’s BBQ.
This article has been update to correctly reflect that Loro pitmaster Bram Tripp is still on the staff.
- The Top 25 New Barbecue Joints in Texas [Texas Monthly]