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Franklin Barbecue's brisket
Franklin Barbecue's brisket
Nick Solares/E

24 Iconic Meat Dishes in Austin

Perfect plates of protein

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Franklin Barbecue's brisket
| Nick Solares/E

From brisket to barbacoa, steak, to sausages, Austin is a great town for meat. The following iconic meat dishes serve to define the city with plates and bowls of perfect protein.

From the brisket at Franklin Barbecue to a bowl of Texas red at the Texas Chili Parlor to good ol' steak from ALC Steaks to pastrami at Pieous, here is an unranked look at iconic new and old school Austin meat. This update adds chicken from Olamaie, fried chicken from Lucy's, and Kerlin BBQ’s barbecue kolache to the mix, and sadly says farewell to El Azteca’s cabrito since it closed last fall.

For Austin’s other emblematic foods, scope out the city’s iconic dishesburgersdrinks, as well as its defining restaurants and classic ones.

Everything below is listed in geographical order from north to south. See a favorite iconic meat dish missing? Leave suggestions in the comments, hit the tipline or the forum.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ramen Tatsu-ya

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8557 Research Blvd, #126
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 834-8810
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The broth of Ramen Tatsu-Ya's tonkatsu original is one of the most time-intensive and tastiest meat preparations in town, found at both locations of the restaurant.

2. Din Ho Chinese BBQ

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8557 Research Blvd, Ste 116
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 832-8788
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Din Ho is Austin's consistent favorite for juicy roasted duck.

3. Dart Bowl

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5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 452-2518
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Truly classic, greasy, magnificent enchiladas manifest in this old-school cafe inside of a bowling alley.

4. Noble Sandwich Company

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4805 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 382-6248
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Noble Sandwich Co.'s two Austin locations serve up some of the tastiest sandwiches in town. The signature Noble Pig sandwich is porky greatness between two slices of bread, filled with spicy ham, pulled pork, and bacon.

5. Uchiko

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4200 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 916-4808
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Uchi and Uchiko are Austin's best bets for sushi, but the meat dishes are not to be missed, either. Uchiko's hot rock allows diners to sear their own wagyu at the table, with delicious results.

6. Contigo

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2027 Anchor Ln.
Austin, TX 78723
(512) 614-2260
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Contigo is one of Austin's best restaurants for meat: everything from its charcuterie to the stellar ox tongue sliders. The rabbit and dumplings is its most talked-about dish, a perfect new-school Austin update of tradition.

7. Micklethwait Craft Meats

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1309 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 791-5961
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Of all the great barbecue establishments in town, Micklethwait has the most fun with the tradition of Texas hot guts. The house-made inventive sausages are not to be missed — get there before it sells out.

8. Franklin Barbecue

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900 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 653-1187
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There's Austin's iconic meat dishes, and then there's the Franklin Barbecue brisket. This slice of smokey meat perfection inspires carnivores to wait up to five hours in line. And, yeah, it's worth it.
Nick Solares/E

9. Texas Chili Parlor

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1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 472-2828
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Chili is the state dish of Texas, and there's no better place in town to enjoy a bowl than at campus classic and politico hangout Texas Chili Parlor.

10. ALC Steaks

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1205 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-1813
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ALC Steaks, formerly known as Austin Land and Cattle, is still a great bet for a classic steak.

11. Salt & Time

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1912 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 524-1383
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A restaurant inside of a butcher shop will do meat right, and Salt & Time does not disappoint. The locally-sourced, house-butchered steaks offer one of the best values in town — try the bavette cut.
Jessie Pages/E

12. Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop

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2305 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 472-0017
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Joe's is one of Austin's best old-school Tex-Mex breakfasts in town, and the bacon is the stuff of legend. The shop batters it in flour for extra-crispiness.

13. Justine's Brasserie

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4710 E 5th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 385-2900
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The steak frites at Justine's are consistently great; order a plate, a bottle of the very reasonably priced wine, and feel like it's East Austin, France.

14. Frank

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407 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 494-6894
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Austinites craving hot dogs traditional and wild hit up this laid-back oasis downtown. All of the franks are good and made-in house.

15. Rosita's Al Pastor

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1911 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741
Stellar al pastor tacos, handmade tortillas, dirt-cheap prices. What more could a person want?

16. P. Terry's

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404 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 473-2217
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Beloved local chain P. Terry's brings thoughtful drive-thru to nine and growing locations around town. There are many, many great burgers in town, but P. Terry's might be the most iconically Austin.

17. Hoover's Cooking

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2002 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 479-5006
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A classic chicken fried steak may have been eclipsed by Austin's barbecue mania, but it doesn't get more Texas than Hoover's take.

18. Matt's Famous El Rancho

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2613 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 462-9333
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The famous Bob Armstrong dip at Matt's Famous El Rancho ushered in a new era of queso perfection: queso + taco meat. It's still a classic.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

19. La Barbecue

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2027 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin
TX, 78702
La Barbecue is turning out some of the best barbecue in Austin, and nothing says "Texas barbecue" like the El Sancho Loco, featuring pulled pork, brisket, and sausage.

20. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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11500 Manchaca Rd, Austin
TX, 78748
The genius idea of marrying breakfast tacos and barbecue is best represented with Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ’s wonderful Real Deal Holyfield, where eggs, potatoes, beans, and bacon go to the next level with either brisket or pulled pork.

21. Pieous

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12005 W Highway 290
Austin, TX 78737
(512) 394-7041
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While Pieous does have pizza, don’t skip the pastrami. It comes by the pound, in sandwich form, or dressed in a plate with all sorts of fixings like pickles, onions, and that famous sourdough bread.

22. Olamaie

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1610 San Antonio St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-2796
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While the accompaniments of the Southern restaurant’s chicken (sourced from Dewberry Hills Farms) changes seasonally, the meat is flavorful and juicy.

23. Kerlin BBQ

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1700 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 412-5588
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The barbecue trailer stuffs the already-classic Czech pastries with brisket and sausage.

24. Lucy's Fried Chicken

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2218 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 297-2423
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Fried chicken is a hot weather staple, and all locations of Lucy’s serves up cold or warm pieces of the fried poultry.
Lucy's Fried Chicken/Official

Loading comments...

1. Ramen Tatsu-ya

8557 Research Blvd, #126, Austin, TX 78758
The broth of Ramen Tatsu-Ya's tonkatsu original is one of the most time-intensive and tastiest meat preparations in town, found at both locations of the restaurant.
8557 Research Blvd, #126
Austin, TX 78758

2. Din Ho Chinese BBQ

8557 Research Blvd, Ste 116, Austin, TX 78758
Din Ho is Austin's consistent favorite for juicy roasted duck.
8557 Research Blvd, Ste 116
Austin, TX 78758

3. Dart Bowl

5700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756
Truly classic, greasy, magnificent enchiladas manifest in this old-school cafe inside of a bowling alley.
5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756

4. Noble Sandwich Company

4805 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756
Noble Sandwich Co.'s two Austin locations serve up some of the tastiest sandwiches in town. The signature Noble Pig sandwich is porky greatness between two slices of bread, filled with spicy ham, pulled pork, and bacon.
4805 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756

5. Uchiko

4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
Uchi and Uchiko are Austin's best bets for sushi, but the meat dishes are not to be missed, either. Uchiko's hot rock allows diners to sear their own wagyu at the table, with delicious results.
4200 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756

6. Contigo

2027 Anchor Ln., Austin, TX 78723
Contigo is one of Austin's best restaurants for meat: everything from its charcuterie to the stellar ox tongue sliders. The rabbit and dumplings is its most talked-about dish, a perfect new-school Austin update of tradition.
2027 Anchor Ln.
Austin, TX 78723

7. Micklethwait Craft Meats

1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702
Of all the great barbecue establishments in town, Micklethwait has the most fun with the tradition of Texas hot guts. The house-made inventive sausages are not to be missed — get there before it sells out.
1309 Rosewood Ave
Austin, TX 78702

8. Franklin Barbecue

900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Nick Solares/E
There's Austin's iconic meat dishes, and then there's the Franklin Barbecue brisket. This slice of smokey meat perfection inspires carnivores to wait up to five hours in line. And, yeah, it's worth it.
900 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702

9. Texas Chili Parlor

1409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701
Chili is the state dish of Texas, and there's no better place in town to enjoy a bowl than at campus classic and politico hangout Texas Chili Parlor.
1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

10. ALC Steaks

1205 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
ALC Steaks, formerly known as Austin Land and Cattle, is still a great bet for a classic steak.
1205 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

11. Salt & Time

1912 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
Jessie Pages/E
A restaurant inside of a butcher shop will do meat right, and Salt & Time does not disappoint. The locally-sourced, house-butchered steaks offer one of the best values in town — try the bavette cut.
1912 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702

12. Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop

2305 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
Joe's is one of Austin's best old-school Tex-Mex breakfasts in town, and the bacon is the stuff of legend. The shop batters it in flour for extra-crispiness.
2305 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702

13. Justine's Brasserie

4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
The steak frites at Justine's are consistently great; order a plate, a bottle of the very reasonably priced wine, and feel like it's East Austin, France.
4710 E 5th St
Austin, TX 78702

14. Frank

407 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701
Austinites craving hot dogs traditional and wild hit up this laid-back oasis downtown. All of the franks are good and made-in house.
407 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701

15. Rosita's Al Pastor

1911 East Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741
Stellar al pastor tacos, handmade tortillas, dirt-cheap prices. What more could a person want?
1911 East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741

Related Maps

16. P. Terry's

404 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Beloved local chain P. Terry's brings thoughtful drive-thru to nine and growing locations around town. There are many, many great burgers in town, but P. Terry's might be the most iconically Austin.
404 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

17. Hoover's Cooking

2002 Manor Rd., Austin, TX 78722
A classic chicken fried steak may have been eclipsed by Austin's barbecue mania, but it doesn't get more Texas than Hoover's take.
2002 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722

18. Matt's Famous El Rancho

2613 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704