Are These Austin Area’s Best Barbecue Restaurants? Vote in Our Survey

With so many good places in Central Austin, is there still a reason to travel?
March 26, 2014
by Megan Giller

Texans don’t mess around with their barbecue. Earlier this week we highlighted six more under-the-radar barbecue joints in Austin, which got us thinking about the big boys, the highest-rated barbecue restaurants around. In the past, we have included the area outside of town in our lists of the best. But with so many good places in Central Austin, is there still a reason to travel? Check out our current top places below, and if you disagree, tell us so by voting in our survey

5. City Market

Food: 27

Decor: 15
Service: 19

Cost: $17

This “classic, old-time BBQ” spot in Luling is a “must-try” for its brisket, ribs and sausage served up by the pound on butcher paper and wolfed down at communal picnic tables; don’t expect much in the way of decor or service, but do “expect a line.”

633 E. Davis St., Luling; 830-875-9019

4. Smitty’s Market  

Food: 27

Decor: 14

Service: 15

Cost: $18

A “mecca” for “BBQ aficionados,” this Lockhart butcher shop set in the original site of the Kreuz Market is cherished for its “superb” brisket, “thick pork chops” that “rock your socks” and links “to die for” (a good thing since “your arteries may never recover”); all comes served straight from the pit in an “old-time, fire-seared” setting abetted by a friendly staff and cold beer.

208 S. Commerce St., Lockhart; 512-398-9344

3. Franklin Barbecue

Food: 28

Decor: 11

Service: 19

Cost: $17

Originally a trailer, this brick-and-mortar BBQ upstart in East Austin is “giving the big names a run for their money” with some of the “finest brisket in the entire state of Texas” plus pulled pork and other “exceptional,” “simple smoked meats”; the modest space opens at 11 AM and closes whenever the eats run out, which is usually early.

900 E. 11th St.; 512-653-1187

2. Snow’s Barbecue 

Food: 28

Decor: 15

Service: 22

Cost: $18

It’s “only open on Saturday mornings” so diehards “show up at dawn and stand in line” for “melt-in-your-mouth” brisket and “tender, meaty” ribs at this Lexington smokehouse called “as close to heaven as meat eaters can get”; its “no-pretensions,” “far-off-the-path” locale “down a back alley in a forgotten town” is definitely “part of the charm,” and so is the “friendly” hospitality.

516 Main St., Lexington; 979-773-4640

1. Louie Mueller BBQ

Food: 29

Decor: 16

Service: 21
Cost: $21

The dining room itself is “charred with years of accumulating smoke” at this “real-deal” circa-1949 Taylor BBQer declared “one of the best in Texas” thanks to its “simply divine,” “thickly crusted,” “flavorful” brisket that “passes the doesn’t-need-sauce test”; service is “cafeteria-style” and “neon beer signs” are the only decor, but it’s “well worth the drive”; P.S. it “closes when they run out of food,” so “get there early.”

206 W. Second St., Taylor; 512-352-6206

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