Barbecue is a way of life in Texas, there’s just no way around it. The nationally recognized smoked meat scene found in the Austin area is so important that pitmaster Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue even won a James Beard Award; Distant Relatives pitmaster Damien Brockway is a two-time semifinalist; and KG BBQ pitmaster Kareem El-Ghayesh is a first-time semifinalist this year.
Here is Eater’s updated definitive guide to the finest barbecue in Austin, including places with and without lines, outdoor picnic table seating and indoor table service, restaurants and food trucks, and all the briskets, ribs, and sausages a person could ever want. This means Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue, the Austin outpost of Black's Barbecue, African American-pegged Distant Relatives, and many others. Brisket is naturally recommended at all of the restaurants and trucks below.
For other smoked meats needs, Eater Austin has it covered: there are Hill Country picks, excellent ribs, best sandwiches, stellar sides, desserts, and more. Then there's the Austin barbecue primer and a guide to the barbecue capital of the world, Lockhart.