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 even won a James Beard Award and pitmaster Damien Brockway is a semifinalist in this year’s awards.
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, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, the Austin outpost of Black's Barbecue, newcomer 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.
As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant/truck is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Wear a mask, tip well, and if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurants/trucks themselves.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.Read More