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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 dishes, burgers, drinks, 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.
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Din Ho Chinese BBQ

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Din Ho is Austin's consistent favorite for juicy roasted duck.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

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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.

Dart Bowl

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Truly classic, greasy, magnificent enchiladas manifest in this old-school cafe inside of a bowling alley.

Noble Sandwich Company

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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.

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.

Contigo

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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.

Hoover's Cooking

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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.

Olamaie

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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.

ALC Steaks

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ALC Steaks, formerly known as Austin Land and Cattle, is still a great bet for a classic steak.

Texas Chili Parlor

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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.

Franklin Barbecue

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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

Micklethwait Craft Meats

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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.

Austinites craving hot dogs traditional and wild hit up this laid-back oasis downtown. All of the franks are good and made-in house.

Salt & Time

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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.

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Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop

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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.

P. Terry's

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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.

Kerlin BBQ

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The barbecue trailer stuffs the already-classic Czech pastries with brisket and sausage.

La Barbecue

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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.

Justine's Brasserie

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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.

Matt's Famous El Rancho

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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.

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Rosita's Al Pastor

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Stellar al pastor tacos, handmade tortillas, dirt-cheap prices. What more could a person want?

Lucy's Fried Chicken

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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

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.

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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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.

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Din Ho Chinese BBQ

Din Ho is Austin's consistent favorite for juicy roasted duck.

Ramen Tatsu-ya

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.

Dart Bowl

Truly classic, greasy, magnificent enchiladas manifest in this old-school cafe inside of a bowling alley.

Noble Sandwich Company

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.

Uchiko

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.