DestiNATION Austin

The Best BBQ Joints in Austin for Takeout/Delivery

The ultimate comfort food.

stiles switch
Courtesy of Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
If you're even thinking of being in Austin, check out the rest of our DestiNATION: Austin guide. It's stacked with expert advice from locals on what to eat, where to drink, and what to do.

Whatever else is happening this summer, we can still count on some good ass barbecue. Take heart knowing that getting the best brisket no longer requires waiting in the heat, snappy sausage is available at night, brisket grilled cheese sandwiches are a thing, and some genius combined BBQ and Tex-Mex. We enlisted the expertise of a few people who know their stuff -- LeAnn Mueller and Ali Clem of la Barbecue, Miguel Vidal of Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, and Jimmy Ho of The Smoking Ho to steer you toward the best of the best of Austin barbecue. It's all just a few taps away.

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

Brodie Lane
In the world of Texas barbecue, going fusion is a dangerous play but Valentina's is proof that it can work to wondrous effect. Pitmaster/owner/chef (and San Antonio native) Miguel Vidal combines the best of both worlds, smoking locally sourced, high-quality meats like Angus beef and Berkshire heritage pork alongside warm, powdery, handmade flour tortillas and fresh colorful salsas. Order juicy brisket, carnitas, pork ribs, sausage, and fajitas a la carte, in a taco, or a sandwich, but don’t skip the smoked corn. The South Texas-style helote is smoked whole, cut off the cob, and served in a cup with crema, chili-salt, and cilantro. Those in the know hit up Valentina’s for Austin’s best breakfast tacos. Miguel Vidal is arguably cranking out the best-smoked meat south of Lady Bird Lake. 
How to order: Order online for takeout or via Favor for delivery. 

What the expert says: 
“We LOVE this hard-working family! Miguel, Modesty, and their amazing kids put their blood, sweat, and tears into this business, and it shows. Fantastic BBQ and tacos with fresh handmade tortillas and salsas make this place very special. Get the over-the-top Real Deal Holyfield breakfast taco. You will not regret it!”
-- LeAnn Mueller & Alison Clem, barbecue wizards at la Barbecue

la barbecue
Courtesy of la Barbecue

la Barbecue

East Cesar Chavez
Owned and run by LeAnn Mueller (a talented photographer who has shot the likes of Courtney Barnett and Jay-Z) and her wife/partner Ali Clem, la Barbecue breaks the bro-y BBQ mold. LeAnn’s last name is synonymous with Texas barbecue royalty: Her grandfather and father are the late, great Louie and Bobby Mueller, respectively, but she isn’t resting on any laurels. The dry-rubbed brisket at la Barbecue is smoked from 12 to 15 hours at a low temp; when it’s sliced, you can see the distinct pink ring that indicates a textbook smoke and its melt-in-your-mouth moisture. The housemade sausage, pulled pork, house vinegar-based sauce, and spicy mac & cheese also shine. Thanks to a talented pit crew, high-quality meat, and a lot of love, la Barbecue is an absolute must-visit, every Wednesday through Sunday… until it’s sold out. And, with the dining room closed, there is no line and same-day pickup is now available. 
How to order: Order online for takeout. 

What the expert says: 
“La Barbecue is one of my favorites, not only because it’s run by two badass women, but because they consistently put out well-crafted BBQ that’s packed with flavor. They cook the way I do -- with heart, passion, and something to prove, not to the masses but for themselves.”
-- Miguel Vidal, owner/pitmaster/chef at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

rollin smoke bbq
Courtesy of Rollin Smoke BBQ

Rollin Smoke BBQ

East Sixth Street
We all know finding decent brisket after 10pm is damn near impossible, so until recently, Rollin Smoke was supplying piles of smoked meat and big-as-your-face sandwiches to the (very) late-night crowd. But even to a sober BBQ-enthusiast, Rollin Smoke is delicious. The menu here veers from purist territory in that it offers indulgent sandwiches and tacos by the pound. Try the sausage sandwich -- slices of jalapeño cheese sausage AND jalapeño cheese in a bun with a side of smoked mac & cheese. Don't miss the Player’s Pie, a Frito pie topped with your choice of meat, BBQ sauce, cilantro, and chipotle cream sauce -- but sub Cheetos for Fritos. 
How to order: Call (512) 705-5499 for takeout and delivery. Favor and Postmates also offer delivery. 

What the expert says:
“In college, there was a place that I loved to eat after a night of drinking. One day I decided to go there sober. Big mistake. Unlike that place, Rollin Smoke has you covered any time of the day. Owner/Pitmaster Kyle Stallings has elevated his BBQ game over the years and will serve you top-notch 'cue.”
-- Jimmy Ho, BBQ Blogger at The Smoking Ho

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
Courtesy of Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

North Lamar
Stiles Switch is the quintessential neighborhood BBQ joint serving solid smoked meats and a side of old school Austin cred (it’s the filming location of the pool hall from Dazed and Confused). Stiles Switch is known for its perfectly smoked sausage with a nice “snap” to the casing, fatty brisket, and beef ribs that deliver a blackened, peppery crust that contrasts with the juicy pink-red interior. Pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick spent the better part of a decade working alongside Bobby Mueller at the Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, and his pedigree shines in these offerings. Conveniently located in Brentwood, Stiles Switch won’t require a day-long trek, but the mouthwatering menu will demand a serious appetite. 
How to order: Order online or call 512-380-9199 for takeout. For delivery, use Favor. 

What the expert says: 
“Cold beer and smoky meats in the building where Matthew McConaughey coined the phrase, ‘Alright, alright, alright,’ -- you MUST get the spicy sausage and Hawg Rub fries.”
-- LeAnn Mueller & Alison Clem, barbecue wizards at la Barbecue

Micklethwait Craft Meats

Rosewood
Arguably the best quality-to-wait time ratio in town, Micklethwait has, since 2012, found the perfect sweet spot between paying homage to old-school Texas barbecue and innovating enough to turn the heads of traditionalists. The brisket pops with fat and post-oak smoke, while the pork spare ribs cling to the bone with just the right pull. Order a beef rib or two, each weighing in at over a pound. Perhaps most importantly, though, the cheese grits vie for the title of the best side in the city.
How to order: Order online for takeout or Postmates for delivery. 

What the expert says: 
“We are very blessed to have made friends with Tom and Ren -- many late nights (with very little BBQ talk) and tintype photos later and he cannot get rid of us! His Eastside trailer offers not only award-winning BBQ but fresh bread and creative sides. Get the jalapeño cheese grits and chase with one of his monster beef ribs.”
-- LeAnn Mueller & Alison Clem, barbecue wizards at la Barbecue

LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue

South Austin
LeRoy and Lewis and their new-school BBQ have a commanding presence in Austin with their unique approach to smoked meats -- keep it local, and keep it interesting. Pitmaster Evan LeRoy sources meat from local producers and approaches his constantly changing menu with the sensibility of a chef. The result? Perfectly smoked, juicy meats, non-traditional sides like house kimchi, and rotating specials that will stop you in your tracks. Grab some Citra Hop sausage (the hops add a nice citrus zing), tender beef cheeks or LeRoy and Lewis’ ridiculously good burger -- Akaushi brisket, melted American cheese, and all the fixings. On Saturday, treat yourself to Akaushi brisket on Saturdays, the trademark fat marbling creates the juiciest and most flavorful brisket you’ve ever had. And Cosmic Coffee + Beer is in the same lot with (limited) outdoor seating and beverages available for takeout as well. 
How to order: Order online for takeout or use Postmates for delivery.

What the expert says: 
“LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue pushes the limits of Texas BBQ with creative and unforgettable flavor profiles and pairings.”
-- Miguel Vidal, owner/pitmaster/chef at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas
Wyatt McSpadden

Franklin Barbecue

East 11th Street
James Beard winner Aaron Franklin arrives at work every morning at 2am to start prepping and smoking meat; the beef he uses is hormone- and antibiotic-free, and thus, the fat reacts to lower temperatures and maintains juiciness. The fatty cuts are melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the lean cuts aren't far behind. Blackened "burnt ends" are a highly coveted prize -- much like the plastic baby found in a king cake -- so if you get one, make sure to buy a lotto ticket. That way, you can buy more barbecue… from Franklin Barbecue, of course. Franklin Barbecue is infamous for its lengthy wait, however, with its dining room closed right now, you can order up to three days in advance for quick and convenient curbside pickup. 
How to order: Order online for curbside pickup. 

What the expert says: 
“What can I say about Franklin Barbecue that hasn’t been said before? Aaron’s BBQ is on-point, genuine, and pure -- just like Aaron himself. He was one of the first Pitmasters to support Valentina’s and send people our way. Much respect!”
-- Miguel Vidal, owner/pitmaster/chef at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Terry Black's Barbecue

Barton Springs Road
Brothers Mark and Mike Black run the show at Terry Black’s and happen to be the great-grandsons of legendary pitmaster Edgar Black, founder of Black’s BBQ in Lockhart. The brothers pride themselves on their old school, no-shortcuts approach -- smoking meat “low and slow” and sides made from scratch. “Brisket is king” at Terry Black’s where moist, fatty meat contrasts with the thick peppery bark, but don’t sleep on the jalapeño cheese sausage. And, for those of us who enjoy sides just as much as the main attraction, the creamy mac and cheese, sweet-yet-savory creamed corn, and baked potato-salad here are outstanding. And not only is this solid barbecue spot open late: they deliver.
How to order: Order online for delivery and takeout. Or get it delivered with Grubhub

What the expert says: 
“You can compare this place to a Lexus dealership -- high volume, yet always quality products going out the door. Open 7 days a week, including dinner, there’s never a wrong time to drop by.”
-- Jimmy Ho, BBQ Blogger at The Smoking Ho

JNL Barbecue

East Riverside
Before honing his craft at Blue Ox BBQ and a stint at Franklin Barbecue, pitmaster Ben Lambert learned the art of barbecue from his father, whose initials are… you guessed it, “JNL”. Ben and his wife Sarah opened the trailer, located at Buzz Mill Shady, in late 2019 with a selection of meats smoked to juicy perfection and classic sides. Standouts include smoked sausage and al pastor ribs which Lambert has engineered to taste just like the Mexican specialty without an unnecessary sticky glaze. Try it for yourself weekends starting at 11 am.  
How to order: Call (512) 839-9469 or email jnlbarbecue@gmail.com to preorder for takeout or order at the trailer. 

What the expert says:
"If you like juicy meat, this is the spot. The al pastor ribs and housemade sausage are definite must-orders. And to think, Franklin Barbecue alum Ben Lambert is just getting started.”
-- Jimmy Ho, BBQ Blogger at The Smoking Ho

Moreno Barbecue

South Austin
The secret is officially out on family-run Moreno Barbecue. You know when you discover something so great and so pure that you don’t want to share but then you remember that more business can only benefit the creators of the aforementioned great and pure thing? Well, that’s Moreno Barbecue, and there’s nothing vague about the quality of the food or the family serving it. Those already initiated rave over pitmaster Bo Moreno’s impossibly juicy and tender brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, both oak-smoked, as well as the Gouda mac & cheese. As if that wasn’t enough to get you there -- consider the brisket nachos and brisket grilled cheese. 
How to order: Order online or call (512) 808-8271 for curbside pickup.  

What the expert says:
“Tucked away in an unassuming shopping strip, some top-notch brisket is being slung from this trailer. This underrated spot has been flying under the radar far too long.”
-- Jimmy Ho, BBQ Blogger at The Smoking Ho

Whitfield's

South Austin
Attention every Austinite who has ever chanted, “Hook-‘em-Horns!” or claims to “bleed orange”, this message is for you. Kasey Studdard, who helped bring home UT Austin’s national championship win during the 2005 football season, has gone from lineman to pitmaster. Whitfield’s is serving up smoked moist brisket, tender pork ribs, even pulled chicken in the form of sandwiches and tacos with an unexpected side (almost) stealing the show: pickled strawberries. The tartness of their pickled fruit and veggie offerings balances and brightens the smoked meats. Whitfield’s is open Friday through Sunday until it’s sold out. 
How to order: Order at the truck or message @WhitfieldsATX via Messenger

What the expert says:
“All UT and football fans need to visit this place. The owner Kasey Studdard helped Texas win a National Championship in football. Also, don't forget to order the pickled spicy pineapple and strawberry with basil. Unique and tasty.”
-- Jimmy Ho, BBQ Blogger @thesmokingho

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Anastacia Uriegas is a writer in Austin who is still trying to master a George Foreman grill. Follow her @anaurie.