Best Outdoor BBQ Restaurants in Austin

Eat BBQ alfresco at these spots for smoky, saucey 'cue
November 14, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

Sample smoky brisket and gooey mac 'n' cheese at these BBQ spots with patios and outdoor seating.

Franklin Barbecue
East Austin · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

“Believe the hype” that’s built up around this East Austin “experience” , in which “melt-in-your-mouth” brisket, “unbelievable” ribs and pulled pork are doled out in modest digs from 11 AM till the eats run out (usually early) at what many claim is “hands-down” the “best” BBQ joint in town and "possibly the world" ; fans agree the “hours” -long waits are “well worth it."
Ruby's BBQ
Vegetarian · North Campus · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

For a “BBQ joint” with a little “variety” , those in the know head to this North Campus standby for brisket and sausage, plus a few Cajun dishes and even “vegetarian" options like meatless Frito pie; the “gas station” –style looks aren't a big draw, but there's an outdoor patio and the no-frills interior has plenty of “Austin history on the walls.”
Stiles Switch
Barbecue · Brentwood · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.4

Brentwood is home to pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick (of Mueller’s fame), who turns out “amazing” , “moist brisket” , “hot” sausage and other “tasty” BBQ backed by “cold” craft beer on draft; contrary to trend, they cook and stay open all day, and (perhaps the best part) you “don't have to wait in line for five hours” to get in.
Uncle Billy's Brewery
Barbecue · Zilker · $$
Food 3.7 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.7

This rustic brewpub-cum-smokehouse in Zilker is a popular gathering spot for a “twenty/thirtysomething crowd” that digs the “awesome” house-brewed beers and “delish” BBQ; the “sweet” atmosphere owes in part to the big “dog-friendly” patio that’s often host to live bands.
Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ
Mexican · $$

Barbecue meets tacos at this fusion trailer, where smoked brisket comes topped with guacamole and tomato-serrano salsa on a flour tortilla, while sides include smoked corn, red potato salad and queso. A lively setup on Manchaca offers people-watching.
Freedmen's
Brunch · West Campus · $

“Outstanding” barbecue and “amazing” cocktails are the calling cards of this West Campus saloon; the historic setting comprises a rustic-chic interior decked with marble-top tables, an early-1900s South Texas soda-fountain counter and antique lighting, plus an “incredible” patio outside.
Micklethwait Craft Meats
East Austin · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.4

Barbecue fans “highly recommend” this East Austin food trailer doling out specialty sausages, “tender” brisket and “insane” beef ribs; customers eat at picnic tables next to the cheerily painted trailer.