BBQ food is one of the most popular styles of food in the United States. The state of Texas is known for having some of the best BBQ restaurants in the world, and ‘Texas Style BBQ Sauce’ is sold in grocery stores all over the United States and in many other countries.
If you are lucky enough to live in Texas or you are just passing through, you should definitely make the most of the amazing BBQ food on offer. But which BBQ restaurants are the best? We have put together this list to help you decide where to eat.
Ray’s BBQ Shack – Houston
Ray’s BBQ Shack has been serving delicious BBQ meals since 1984. You can find it on the Old Spanish Trail in Houston. This family owned restaurant makes their own BBQ sauce in house and pride themselves on their hickory smoked meats.
You can enjoy sliced brisket, baby back ribs, Chicago style ribs, or even a spicy sausage Po’boy. They combine spicy cajun flavours with sweet BBQ for a mind blowing taste experience. They also do a range of sandwiches and burgers with tasty side dishes (find the best burgers in the Texas woodlands here).
If you fancy some seafood then you can order catfish, shrimp, fish burgers, po’boys and Louisiana style hush puppies. Once you have had your fill of meat and fish you can finish off your meal with a homemade dessert.
Pecan Lodge – Dallas
Pecan Lodge in East Dallas is considered to be one of the best BBQ restaurants in the world, not just in Texas! The BBQ pits are burning all day and throughout the night to keep the place stocked with freshly smoked meat.
Most of the items on the menu are made from scratch, including the sausages which the restaurant have created themselves. The recipes are inspired by the grandparents of the founders so you can expect to find traditional favourites and a few modern twists.
Included on the menu is classic brisket, ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey and the handmade sausages, along with delicious southern fried chicken. If you like tucking into some tasty sides then you will love the fried okra, the pinto beans and the mac n cheese.
Make sure you leave room for one of their classic desserts like banana pudding or peach cobbler.
Snow’s BBQ – Lexington
This small town BBQ joint has made a big name for itself, getting into Texas Monthly’s top 10 BBQ restaurants and being featured on a Netflix television show. It has a laid back atmosphere and offers that friendly, Texas hospitality that you can expect from a local diner.
Initially it was a fairly quiet restaurant little known to anyone outside of the local area, but these days people come from all over to get a taste of their smoked meat. You should arrive early to avoid a long wait for a table!
But if you do end up in line then don’t worry, the food is certainly worth the wait. BBq chicken, brisket, spare ribs, pork steaks, sausages, and turkey- there is so much choice on the menu!
They also offer three different signature sauces – original BBQ sauce, pepper sauce and spicy BBQ sauce with a fiery kick. With traditional puddings to round off the meal you will be left feeling totally satisfied.
Franklin BBQ – Austin
This BBQ restaurant first opened in 2009 and has steadily grown in popularity, also making its way into Texas Monthly’s Top 50 on several occasions and into the Top 10. It is no surprise as their smoked meat is out of this world.
From the perfectly caramelised fat on the peppery beef brisket to the sweet, juicy pulled pork your taste buds will be in heaven. The pork ribs are also particularly good- succulent and glossy. The meat is served with traditional homemade side dishes like pinto beans and potato salad.
The desserts are all sourced from local business so you can treat yourself to a slice of freshly made key lime pie after your main meal. The decor of the restaurant is vintage and rustic with a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
Miller’s Smokehouse – Belton
This small town restaurant has been open since 2008 and has truly earned its place on this list with an exciting menu full of delicious treats. Tuck in a BBQ wrap with pulled pork, beans and crunchy coleslaw, or try the El Gallo Picanta, a spicy sausage bun with chicken jalapenos, BBQ sauce and slaw.
If you want something with a strong kick then order Fire In The Bowl – chopped beef, hot links and fritos served with potatoes, beans, onions, pickles and jalapenos all wrapped up in a tortilla. All of this smoky meat can be enjoyed alongside your favourite traditional Southern sides.
And if you’re still hungry, some chocolate brownies or a slice of homemade pie should fill the gap!
Goldee’s BBQ – Fort Worth
At Goldee’s BBQ you can expect to find all of the usual favourites – perfectly smoked brisket and sausages packed with flavour- but there are also some interesting surprises on the menu which are from the Laotian influence.
Sticky rice and sweet and sour sauce might not be things you would expect to be paired with BBQ meat, but it really works! The meat is not over seasoned – it is excellent quality so it doesn’t need to be messed with too much.
Don’t worry, all the classic sides are still on offer like pork hash with plenty of mustard and cheesy grits with a peppery kick. If you want something lighter then go for the turkey sandwich which is succulent and full of flavour.
Interstellar – Austin
If you are looking for something a bit different then you should definitely try Interstellar. The experimental menu will open your eyes to new possibilities and refresh your opinions of BBQ food.
Try the Tipsy Turkey Breast which is marinated overnight in German Beer, pork belly glazed with peach tea, or a whole onion stuffed with beef brisket. The pork ribs have a little brown sugar in the glaze for a deliciously sweet edge, and brisket is flavoured simply but perfectly with salt, pepper and garlic.
You can stick to the usual sides or try something new, like parmesan crusted scalloped potatoes or a tomato and zucchini salad. Even the desserts are exciting, like the Mexican hot chocolate rice pudding with warm spices.
Burnt Bean Co. – Seguin
If you want to sample the mouthwatering meats on offer here then you need to arrive early- the queues are long and once it’s gone, it’s gone! But it is worth making the effort as you will not be disappointed in the quality of the food.
Thick crusted brisket, sweet pork ribs, smoked turkey breast and sausages cooked to perfection- what more could you want? All of this with sides like soupy seasoned cowboy beans and street corn pudding. You also get daily specials which change depending on what has been cooked up.
The desserts are out of this world and displayed beautifully at the end of the counter, the crowd favourite definitely being the fudgy chocolate cake.
Leroy And Lewis – Austin
Great customer service is at the heart of this restaurant, making every experience special. But how could it not be with such fantastic food on offer?
You can tuck in to beef brisket, sliced beef cheeks, pulled pork, salty sausages, pork hash and even more unusual dishes like kimchi (fermented cabbage). If you have room for dessert then grab yourself a slice of cheddar cheesecake with apple butter.
Luling City Market – Houston
If you want a traditional Texas BBQ experience then it doesn’t get much better than Luling City Market. It has been serving classic BBQ dishes since 1981 with authentic flavours, good quality meat and all of the favourite side dishes to go with it.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Check it out to see why it has remained so popular for all of these years.
Cattleack – Dallas
This large restaurant has a bustling, friendly atmosphere and is the perfect place to sit back and tuck into some truly great BBQ food. They have perfected all of the classic BBQ dishes from brisket to ribs, and from turkey to pulled pork, but they have also jazzed up the menu with some special items.
Try the beef bologna, the wagyu pastrami ribs, the beef boudin, or the wagyu brisket which is perfectly balanced in flavour. There is also a great range of house made sausages that are handcrafted and incredibly delicious.
Louie Mueller – Taylor
This popular establishment has been open since 1949 and is known as one of the best BBQ restaurants in the state, winning many awards and appearing on television.
Choose from chipotle beef sausage or jalapeno sausage, pork spare ribs, baby back ribs or Texas style ribs, pork tenderloin, succulent turkey or classic beef brisket- the extensive menu will leave you spoilt for choice. They also have an excellent selection of sandwiches for a ‘lighter’ option, but you will still be full to the brim.
You probably won’t have room for dessert, but if you do then you will love the hand dipped ice cream or the homemade peach cobbler.
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