One of the most frequently asked questions when visitors arrive in Austin is ‘Where is the best place to get BBQ?” Austin has certainly become one of the premiere BBQ destinations in the United States, boasting a diverse landscape that would appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. From large brick and mortar restaurants that command hours of waiting before you even get to the meat counter, to small trailers tucked away at coffee shops, these are some of Austin’s finest smoked culinary offerings near or in downtown Austin:
The most talked about BBQ place in Austin from Pitmaster Aaron Franklin that lives up to the hype is Franklin’s Barbecue. This eastside spot is open from Tuesday through Sunday; plates won’t be served until 11am, but the line to get in starts stacking up sometimes before 7am. Only two people have skipped the line: Gordon Ramsay and President Obama. If you have the time, waiting is a relaxed way to get to know the other patrons (and it’s BYOB). Don’t have the time? You can pre-order your meal a few weeks out and take your meal to-go. The brisket is a must-have.
The Mueller family is known as BBQ royalty in Texas. LeAnn Mueller, owner of the eastside’s La Barbecue, is further proof that BBQ still runs strong in the family. Sharing a location with Austin’s favorite convenience store, Quickie Pickie, La Barbecue is home to some of Austin’s most-sought-after brisket, beef ribs, and BBQ sandwiches stacked high. Don’t forget to order their special sides or frito pie. Certain meats do sell out, so try to get there as close to opening as possible to guarantee your pick of the menu.
Salt Lick BBQ
This world- renowned barbecue joint is a must-visit at least once in your life. Located in the Hill Country is Salt Lick BBQ. Visit the original location in Driftwood, TX for an authentic experience. Take a tour bus with Austin Detours to make your trip easier and take advantage of Hill Country BBQ and Wine. With three stops at the world-famous Salt Lick, Duchman Family Winery and Driftwood Estate (subject to change), this 4.5-hour tour is a perfect way to sit back and relax a ride to infamous BBQ and wine.
Speaking of BBQ royalty, the Black family is another name that is highly recognizable in Austin. Mike and Mark Black founded Terry Black’s in South Austin to pay homage to their father. Although you can expect a small line, it moves quickly and is much shorter than some of the other brick and mortar establishments, with a lot of tables both inside and outside to enjoy your meal. Fan favorites include the smoked turkey as well as the brisket.
Micklethwait Craft Meats
Serving house-made sausage from their trailer on the eastside, this casual BBQ establishment boasts delicious meats and wonderful sides. Like other BBQ places, Micklethwait Craft Meats are known to sell out, so be quick to order up some beef ribs or famous sausage.
Leroy & Lewis
Offering the most modern selections on this list of BBQ joints, expect more diverse choices than your conventional BBQ menu. Leroy and Lewis Barbecue is a trailer located in the Cosmic Coffee shop’s yard in South Austin, is serving up beef cheeks, pork belly, burgers, and brisket cookies — a perfect fit for the more adventurous BBQ eater.
Make a trip to Austin and experience mouth-watering cuisines including famous Texas BBQ. Visit Travel.Hilton.com/Austin to book your trip and to view top things to-do in the city.