Food & Drink

11 BBQ Spots Around Austin That Are Worth the Road Trip

Published On 03/03/2015 Published On 03/03/2015
Flickr/rwoan
Flickr/joshbousel
Mike Cortez/Thrillist
Louie Mueller Barbecue
Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse
Mike Cortez/Thrillist
Flickr/joshbousel
Flickr/smashz
Southside Market & Barbeque
Flickr/Sarah Page
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1. Black's Barbecue 215 N Main St, Lockhart, TX 78644

Lockhart, Texas is the self-proclaimed "barbecue capital of Texas," and Black's Barbecue is one of the cornerstones of the city. It's been owned and operated by the same family for generations,serving up slow-smoked ribs, pork, and other meats since 1932.

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2. Buzzie's Bar-B-Q 213 Schreiner St, Kerrville, TX 78028

This Kerrville BBQ spot has an arsenal of smoked meats to choose from, and they will occasionally boil up some crawfish when the season is right. But ultimately, this is about more aggressively carnivorous pursuits, and with that in mind, you should know that the Wednesday special is the all-you-can-eat ribs plate.

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3. City Market 4726 Richmond Ave, Luling, TX 78648

The City Market in Luling doesn't always get top-billing among Texas' great BBQ giants, but it's well-known among those who truly know and love the craft. This is not a place that requires a website or social media presence to get the word out. The pork ribs, brisket, and sausage speak for themselves. When you speak for yourself, don't you dare ask for a fork -- a hint of the mustard-backed BBQ sauce to go with your brisket is an acceptable request.

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4. Kreuz Market 619 N Colorado St, Lockhart, TX 78644

Originally opened as a meat market around 1900, Kreuz's been smoking insanely delicious BBQ (some of the best in all of Texas) ever since. You won't get a fork or extra sauce in here. You'll eat with your hands and like it!! Out of all the barbecue joints in America, Kreuz Market is by far one of the best.

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5. Louie Mueller 206 W 2nd St, Taylor, TX 76574

Louie Mueller might rightly been the king of Texas barbecue. He was the grandfather of John of J. Mueller Meat Co. and LeAnn of La Barbecue, and was even once said to have been the inspiration for Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ, who was blown away by their brisket. With massive dinosaur-sized beef ribs, juicy smoke brisket, and fatty sausages, Louie Mueller Barbecue is a Texas legend that still has its fastball.

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6. Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse 188 Highway 290, Elgin, TX 78621

This self-appointed "Cuetopia" for barbecue fans has some pretty solid meats selections, but it's the sausage that keeps people coming back. The sausage recipe came from the 1800s, when Henry Meyer immigrated from Germany, and the Meyer family has honed the tradition ever since. The sausages have become so in-demand that you'll find them in local grocery stores, but there's nothing quite like having one at the source.

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7. Opie’s Barbecue 9504 TX-71, Spicewood, TX 78669 (Spicewood Springs)

As you walk into Opie's, you're greeted by a huge black pit that looks like some sort of malevolent coffin, but once the lid comes up you are a greeted by the daily array of smoked meats. Unlike many of the classic joints in the state, Opie’s is a rather bright and almost alarmingly clean place that is surprisingly devoid of years' worth of soot. Don’t worry, all the extra light gives you a chance to admire the beauty on your plate. The pinto beans are free, but make sure you get a side of their tater tot casserole to make your experience complete.

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8. Smitty's Market 208 S Commerce St, Lockhart, TX 78644

The brisket at this old-school spot is solid, as is the sausage -- but the pork ribs are likely what you'll be writing home about. Grab an order with a side of mac 'n cheese or cole slaw, and a Lone Star or Shiner Premium to wash it all down.

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9. Snow's BBQ 516 Main St, Lexington, TX 78947

Snow’s BBQ is famous in Texas with owner and chef Tootsie Tomanetz, a living folk legend. Award-winning by many and voted #1 BBQ by Texas Monthly, Snow’s is a must-eat. BBQ for breakfast? Snow's BBQ is only open on Saturdays from 8am until there's-no-more-meat-left pm, so getting there early is the move. Try the brisket, mouthwatering soft and undeniably the best. If you’re anywhere in Texas - no the United States - it’s worth the drive.

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10. Southside Market & Barbeque 1212 Hwy 290, Elgin, TX 78621

Like at many fine BBQ spots, choosing a favorite meat at Southside is no easy exercise (also not easy: following that exercise with actual exercise). The pork steak is thick and juicy, the ribs seems to just melt off the bone, and the brisket is consistently moist. Southside recently opened a second location in the town of Bastrop, so it makes it more convenient to get your barbecue fix no matter what part of Austin you start your road trip from. Just make sure to leave room for the cobbler, served with a heaping scoop of Texas-made Blue Bell ice cream.

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11. Zimmerhanzel's BBQ 307 Royston St, Smithville, TX 78957

Zimmerhanzel's is another Texas joint that is doing its smoked meats right, but its sausage is what's really winning fans over. The brisket and ribs are still on-point, but those links made in-house with beef and spices are on an entirely different level. After smoking in the pit, the skin pops nicely upon the first bite. Be careful, those sausages are juicy, and they have been known to burn a mouth or two.

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