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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.

1. Johnny T's

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1318 Round Rock Ave
Round Rock, TX
(512) 255-7447
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This small barbecue spot gets a vote from one reader, and a Yelper recently wrote them an entire sonnet.

[Photo: Gary K/Yelp]

2. Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q

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8624 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 459-5077
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Commenter thrint says, "I've always been a big fan of Mann's Smokehouse in North Austin. Great meats and some tasty sides including fried green tomatoes!"

[Photo: Bacon E./Yelp]

3. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

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6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 380-9199
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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.

4. Ruby's BBQ

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512 W 29th St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 323-0206
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This unassuming campus-area barbecue spot has been smoking meat for 25 years and is still going strong.

5. Freedmen's

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2402 San Gabriel St
Austin, TX 78705
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.

6. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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600 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 363-8520
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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.

7. Micklethwait Craft Meats

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1309 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702
This Rosewood trailer has been generating lots of buzz for its beef ribs and brisket. Commenter Jason also likes their sides: "Try the home made moonpie. Also, the slaw is not mayo-based, and much better than normal stuff. Only a few blocks from Franklin, and hardly ever much of a line."

[Photo: richard c./Yelp]

8. Kerlin BBQ

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1700 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
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."

9. Live Oak Beer & Barbecue

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2713 E 2nd St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 524-1930
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Live Oak is another east side contender for great and underrated 'que. Their weekend specials push the envelope of creative meat smoking as well.

[Photo: Brooklyn V./Yelp]

10. Blue Ox BBQ Truck

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1505 Town Creek Dr
Austin, TX 78741
(512) 537-2047
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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.

11. Goldis Sausage Co

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3116 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
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!"

12. Brown's Bar-B-que

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1311 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
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 is excellent side. Fast and friendly too."

13. Nutter Buster BBQ & Comfort

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1705 FM 1626
Manchaca, TX 78652
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."

1. Johnny T's

1318 Round Rock Ave, Round Rock, TX
This small barbecue spot gets a vote from one reader, and a Yelper recently wrote them an entire sonnet.

[Photo: Gary K/Yelp]

1318 Round Rock Ave
Round Rock, TX

2. Mann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q

8624 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
Commenter thrint says, "I've always been a big fan of Mann's Smokehouse in North Austin. Great meats and some tasty sides including fried green tomatoes!"

[Photo: Bacon E./Yelp]

8624 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758

3. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757, Austin, TX 78757
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.
6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757
Austin, TX 78757

4. Ruby's BBQ

512 W 29th St, Austin, TX 78705
This unassuming campus-area barbecue spot has been smoking meat for 25 years and is still going strong.
512 W 29th St
Austin, TX 78705

5. Freedmen's

2402 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX 78705
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.
2402 San Gabriel St
Austin, TX 78705

6. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

600 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
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.
600 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

7. Micklethwait Craft Meats

1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702
This Rosewood trailer has been generating lots of buzz for its beef ribs and brisket. Commenter Jason also likes their sides: "Try the home made moonpie. Also, the slaw is not mayo-based, and much better than normal stuff. Only a few blocks from Franklin, and hardly ever much of a line."

[Photo: richard c./Yelp]

1309 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

8. Kerlin BBQ

1700 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
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."
1700 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702

9. Live Oak Beer & Barbecue

2713 E 2nd St, Austin, TX 78702
Live Oak is another east side contender for great and underrated 'que. Their weekend specials push the envelope of creative meat smoking as well.

[Photo: Brooklyn V./Yelp]

2713 E 2nd St
Austin, TX 78702

10. Blue Ox BBQ Truck

1505 Town Creek Dr, Austin, TX 78741
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.
1505 Town Creek Dr
Austin, TX 78741

11. Goldis Sausage Co

3116 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704
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!"
3116 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704

12. Brown's Bar-B-que

1311 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704
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 is excellent side. Fast and friendly too."
1311 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704

13. Nutter Buster BBQ & Comfort

1705 FM 1626, Manchaca, TX 78652
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."
1705 FM 1626
Manchaca, TX 78652

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