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Austin's Most Underrated Barbecue, Mapped

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Last week, Eater asked readers to weigh in on their picks for Austin's most underrated barbecue. In a town where residents and tourists alike regularly wait in line for smokey meats from popular spots like Franklin, La Barbecue, and John Mueller Meat Co., there are also plenty of options for a quality quick brisket fix. Check out Eater readers' picks below, and add in your own in the comments or via the tipline.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Johnny T's

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[Photo: Gary K/Yelp]

Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q

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[Photo: Bacon E./Yelp]

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

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Stiles Switch is consistently mentioned as the best alternative to waiting in line at more well-known spots, so its status as "underrated" is shaky. But in a city where people regular wait hours for brisket, they still count as under the radar.

Ruby's BBQ

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This unassuming campus-area barbecue spot has been smoking meat for 25 years and is still going strong.

Freedmen's

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This campus-area barbecue restaurant and bar is another consistent pick for great meat with no wait. Even better, they're open for dinner, and have a serious cocktail menu.

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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This Tex Mex/Barbecue fusion truck offers brisket tacos, and they're one of the few places in town smoking chicken. They're located behind Star Bar and as a result open late.

Micklethwait Craft Meats

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[Photo: richard c./Yelp]

Kerlin BBQ

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This East Austin trailer was one of readers' most consistent suggestions for great barbecue without the wait. According to commenter jbob, Kerlin is "putting out some mind melting brisket and ribs. Definitely underrated."

Live Oak Beer & Barbecue

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[Photo: Brooklyn V./Yelp]

Blue Ox BBQ Truck

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This trailer parked outside of popular coffee shop The Buzz Mill is a consistent favorite of Austin barbecue hounds. On Sundays they also serve pancakes. And the Buzz Mill has bloody Mary's. Basically this is the best brunch ever.

Goldis Sausage Co

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Like many a successful food truck, Goldis is hyper-specific, specializing in sausage. Commenter Krumpnik says they "consistently blows my mind with their crazy sausage flavors!"

Brown's Bar-B-que

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This unassuming South Lamar trailer is a favorite amongst barbecue nerds. Many cite Mike Sutter's Fed Man Walking review as what originally turned them on to Brown's. Reader Bill adds, "Incredible and incredibly consistent brisket and ribs. The cabbage isexcellent side. Fast and friendly too."

Nutter Buster BBQ & Comfort

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This trailer in way south Austin has a decidedly Southern take on barbecue. They serve up brisket and pulled pork, as well as grilled cheese and waffles featuring said smokey meats. One reader says, "Their pulled pork sandwich with select your own toppings are incredible (and huge!). I always get the sauteed onions and coleslaw toppings on my sandwich with the Carolina sauce."

Johnny T's

[Photo: Gary K/Yelp]

Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q

[Photo: Bacon E./Yelp]

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Stiles Switch is consistently mentioned as the best alternative to waiting in line at more well-known spots, so its status as "underrated" is shaky. But in a city where people regular wait hours for brisket, they still count as under the radar.

Ruby's BBQ

This unassuming campus-area barbecue spot has been smoking meat for 25 years and is still going strong.

Freedmen's

This campus-area barbecue restaurant and bar is another consistent pick for great meat with no wait. Even better, they're open for dinner, and have a serious cocktail menu.

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

This Tex Mex/Barbecue fusion truck offers brisket tacos, and they're one of the few places in town smoking chicken. They're located behind Star Bar and as a result open late.

Micklethwait Craft Meats

[Photo: richard c./Yelp]

Kerlin BBQ

This East Austin trailer was one of readers' most consistent suggestions for great barbecue without the wait. According to commenter jbob, Kerlin is "putting out some mind melting brisket and ribs. Definitely underrated."

Live Oak Beer & Barbecue

[Photo: Brooklyn V./Yelp]

Blue Ox BBQ Truck

This trailer parked outside of popular coffee shop The Buzz Mill is a consistent favorite of Austin barbecue hounds. On Sundays they also serve pancakes. And the Buzz Mill has bloody Mary's. Basically this is the best brunch ever.

Goldis Sausage Co

Like many a successful food truck, Goldis is hyper-specific, specializing in sausage. Commenter Krumpnik says they "consistently blows my mind with their crazy sausage flavors!"

Brown's Bar-B-que

This unassuming South Lamar trailer is a favorite amongst barbecue nerds. Many cite Mike Sutter's Fed Man Walking review as what originally turned them on to Brown's. Reader Bill adds, "Incredible and incredibly consistent brisket and ribs. The cabbage isexcellent side. Fast and friendly too."

Nutter Buster BBQ & Comfort

This trailer in way south Austin has a decidedly Southern take on barbecue. They serve up brisket and pulled pork, as well as grilled cheese and waffles featuring said smokey meats. One reader says, "Their pulled pork sandwich with select your own toppings are incredible (and huge!). I always get the sauteed onions and coleslaw toppings on my sandwich with the Carolina sauce."

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