If the smell of smoked meats wafting through the air gets your mouth watering, you’ve no doubt figured out that Texas is the place for you. Austin, with its myriad of various cuisines, still holds bar-b-que close to it’s heart, well, maybe with a napkin to protect it first. Some of my brisket cooking friends here in Austin swear by getting some gourmet bbq hickory cooking wood from a tree service in Sarasota, Florida. There are several different types of woods you can get like oak, hickory, pecan and cherry. But if you are not the DIYer bbq type and want to just get some great grub at a restaurant, here are some of the best barbecue joints around Austin to help you find a new place to call home.
Franklin Barbecue – 900 E 11th St
Franklin’s has become a nationally top-rated bar-b-que restaurant in the last few years, and has been featured in multiple publications. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin has put together a small but excellent menu, with meats by the pound and sandwiches available from 11 in the morning to whenever they run out. You’ll need to be prepared to wait in line, with some patrons finding almost two hours waits, but they all say it’s worth it. Franklin’s does have a pick up form for orders of five pounds or more, perfect for your larger group, or next home gathering when you don’t want to spend the entire time cooking. Next time you want some award-winning barbecue find your way to Franklin’s, make some friends in line, and enjoy.
la Barbecue – 902 E Cesar Chavez
la Barbecue is actually a food truck, but with plenty of picnic table seating to accommodate your group. It’s casual atmosphere is perfect for a weekend day to catch up with friends, but be prepared to wait in line, as they only serve dishes until they run out for the day. With unique dishes such as the Javiachi, a Chicago style hot dog with a twist, or the La Frito Loco, with an added tex mex element to your normal pulled pork. They’re able to add or remove menu items daily, so be sure to check out their daily specials for something new and exciting.
Terry Black’s Barbecue – 1003 Barton Springs Rd
While not run by Terry Black anymore, his twin sons, Mark and Michael, keep the tradition alive in Austin. Terry Black’s offers a large amount of indoor and outdoor seating, and though they may run out of dishes earlier, they’re open each day until 9pm. While regulars rave about the brisket, most folks come here to gather with friends and family, and kick back while eating mouthwatering smoked meats. If you’re curious about how they smoke their meats, they do offer pit tours, which shows you exactly what they do to create their award-winning dishes. If you like their sauces, they sell them in bottles for you to take home so you can recreate some of the tastes of Terry Black’s in your own kitchen.
Some people may say that all bar-b-cue tastes the same, and we like to call those people “Wrong”. The pitmasters at each of these locations has lovingly and meticulously created their own signature way to smoke their meats, so don’t assume one size fits all. While most barbecue places will serve their dishes until they run out for the day, don’t let that discourage you from trying out something new, and you never know, it may become your new go-to meal.