The 25 Best Barbecue Joints in Dallas, According to Local Pitmasters

Wagyu beef brisket is just the beginning.

Few topics—besides religion, politics, football, and Tex-Mex—have the ability to bring people together for several choruses of “Kum Ba Yah.” Or cause a heated argument worthy of Jerry Springer quite like BBQ. In Texas, it’s a passion with no limits. A topic with endless points of debate. A hobby that can turn into a restaurant empire.

You see, with barbecue, there are really no wrong answers when it comes to questions of taste. Take brisket, the superstar of Texas BBQ, for instance. Some people love a heavy black bark on theirs. Others prefer a dry rub over a wet one. Some have a preference for meat smoked over post oak instead of pecan or hickory. And quite a few people are just as enthusiastic about a brisket-stuffed baked potato at a big barbecue chain restaurant as those die-hard fans who camp out in line for hours before a pitmaster begins slicing his first meat of the day. It really comes down to a matter of preference and similar to wine, if you like it, you like it. Make no apologies.

But there are individuals who live and breathe barbecue—and have the smoke-scented wardrobe to prove it—armed with insights into the artful craft of smoking meat that lead to a better appreciation of every mouthwatering bite. Over the past 13 months, we’ve chatted with a variety of North Texas BBQ pros to get their take on the barbecue scene across Dallas-Fort Worth (and even a hundred or so miles beyond) to find out which joints they prefer to eat at when not fanning their own flames.

The Justice League-worthy assemblage of BBQ superheroes includes Loro Dallas pitmaster Judith Covarrubias who began her culinary journey in fine dining; Parry Avenue Barbecue Company’s pitmaster, Leo Morales; Ten50 BBQ’s William Weisiger of in Richardson, a pitmaster with more than 30 years of experience; Jill Bergus, owner of Lockhart Smokehouse in Oak Cliff and Plano; Chad Session, pitmaster at Royce City’s Smoke Sessions Barbecue; Michael Lane, an experienced fine-dining chef turned pitmaster at OAK’D Handcrafted BBQ; artisan and founder of AJ’s Custom Cookers, AJ Ramirez, who’s manufactured smokers for several local barbecue joints, including two from the list below (Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q and Panther City Barbecue); and two husband-and-wife teams, Justin and Diane Fourton, owners of Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum, and Travis and Emma Heim from Fort Worth’s Heim BBQ. And believe you me, they sure had plenty to say.

“I think the BBQ scene in North Texas is as good as anywhere in the world. You see the full spectrum of cooking styles displayed, from direct-heat, wood-coal grilling to cold smoking/curing and whole-animal cooking,” says Pecan Lodge’s Justin Fourton. “The quality and cuts of meat are unrivaled—it’s not uncommon to find hand-stuffed sausage links, giant beef ribs, prime rib, wild game, and other exotic cuts. Each joint has its own vibe and all the locals have a favorite spot or enjoy a regular rotation of a few select places.”

Weisiger and Bergus agree with Fourton, describing the Dallas-Fort Worth BBQ scene as a rich melting pot (or pit, as the case may be) of cultural and regional influences: “East Coast whole hog to West Coast tri-tip, Texas-style brisket to Kansas City’s sauced burnt ends, and spice profiles from South America to South Korea. If you want it, North Texas has it.”

Covarrubius echoes that sentiment.

“North Texas BBQ is exciting because you’re not expected to stick to any one specific style of Texas BBQ. You get to pick and choose from all the other great Texas regional styles without upsetting anyone. And you can get creative with fusing BBQ with other cuisines, like we do at Loro,” she says. “As a native from El Paso, I’m also excited about the increasing influence of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines in North Texas BBQ.”

The first smoke shack on record dates back to 1878, though Texans and those who lived here long before we were a state likely have been dabbling in the meat-fire-smoke arts for long before that. As people migrated to Texas over the decades, they brought with them their own barbecue styles that influenced the BBQ we enjoy across Texas today.

“We have so many different styles within an easy driving radius, it's a great area for a BBQ tour,” Bergus adds. “We all do something a little—or a lot—different. Also, with great BBQ, it’s the atmosphere as much as the food.”

Sometimes that atmosphere is a roadhouse-style restaurant in the middle of a small town or on the patio under a canopy of shade trees. Other times it’s a parking lot in the shadow of Downtown Dallas or at a live music festival where a BBQ food truck has set up shop for a few hours. And whether you’re eating juicy brisket with a knife and fork in a restaurant with white tablecloths (a really bad idea, by the way) or off a sheet of butcher paper with your fingers, great barbecue transcends the need for formality, yet rises to levels of culinary sophistication that could justify the presence of a sommelier, too.

“When we opened our food truck in February 2015 there wasn't much of a ‘scene.’ Pecan Lodge in Dallas was doing great BBQ, but most of North Texas was still old-school places that hadn’t changed for 40-plus years,” recalls Travis Heim of Heim BBQ. “The influence of guys like Aaron Franklin and the craft BBQ scene out of Austin changed all that, and a ton of new food trucks in Fort Worth are doing really good BBQ. It's amazing, but I still feel like Fort Worth BBQ in particular doesn't get the credit it should.”

Aaron Franklin, famous for his temple of ’cue, Franklin BBQ in Austin, comes up a lot in this crowd. Last summer, the legend himself joined Dallas’ restaurant community with the local outpost launch of his Asian-influenced smokehouse joint-venture, Loro, with Uchi’s Tyson Cole.

“Aaron really is the godfather—he’s an expert at what he does and a lot of people look up to him,” says OAK’D Handcrafted BBQ frontman Michael Lane. Gifted as Franklin is, however, Lane acknowledges that an irresistible hunk of Grade A Texas brisket’s true worth doesn’t stem solely from the hands that smoked it low-and-slow, but rather from the community it ultimately sustains. “Barbecue is American food, an iconic way of eating,” he adds. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in a restaurant or hanging out with your family at home, it’s fellowship cuisine and that’s the way we want people to feel.”

It’s a lifestyle that sucks people in when they least expect it, too.

“I started cooking BBQ as a hobby after moving to San Marcos, Texas. I was introduced to Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, TX and fell in love,” Sessions says. “I quickly became addicted to smoking meats, and after a long period of time became good at it. I already worked in the restaurant business and was surprised when I started making money, so my wife and I decided to move back to North Texas, and started a BBQ trailer.”

It’s a familiar story that always features different characters, but offers the same happy ending: delicious food to bring people together from all different backgrounds over one common love.
So if you’re ready to go on your own BBQ journey through North Texas, we’ve assembled a list of 25 favorite spots from our collection of experts, plus a few of our own go-to spots that shouldn’t be missed for one tasty reason or another. Keep in mind that some of the smaller operations might only be open a few hours a couple of days per week—and many places sell out of popular items early—so before you make the drive, check the hours at each spot to ensure you have greasy fingers and a stained shirt clearly in your future.

Parry Avenue Barbecue Company
Parry Avenue Barbecue Company

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Fair Park, Mobile
Leo Morales’ BBQ food truck can usually be found within a stone’s throw of Fair Park, but also parked at various locations around the city, which is great because the only thing better than seeking out great barbecue is when you stumble upon it someplace unexpected. Though they’re best known for their award-winning smoked full spareribs, Parry Avenue Barbecue Company also does a mean Prime brisket that appears atop mac ‘n cheese or potato salad, as well as inside birria tacos and quesadillas, along with traditional sandwiches and platters—all equally worth obsessing over.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar
Courtesy of Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar

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Old East Dallas
From the combined creative genius of BBQ legend Aaron Franklin and Uchi visionary Tyson Cole, Loro Dallas was born as an offshoot of the Austin original and has flourished as a destination in Old East Dallas with its lively dog-friendly patio and creative cocktails. In firm control of the smoker is El Paso native Judith Covarrubias, who enjoyed smoking meats at home as a hobby, but during her stint at Uchi Dallas her bosses saw her BBQ potential and now she’s in charge of the meats that find their way into Asian-inspired dishes including smoked beef brisket with chili gastrique and Thai herbs; a smoked prime bavette bowl with coconut rice, seasonal pickles, and Thai herbs; and smoked turkey breast with apricot chutney and crispy chicken skin. Covarrubias also recommends the turkey sandwich on a pretzel baguette topped with giardiniera, sharp provolone, and Dijon mustard.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order online for takeout, or order delivery from Uber Eats.

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Fort Worth
Loro Dallas’ pitmaster Judith Covarrubias called out this no-frills joint for their mastery of the craft. “I'm a big fan of the veggie sides at BBQ places and definitely recommend the potato salad here. If you are feeling like a carnivore, they have amazing bark on their brisket and perfectly smoked jalapeno & cheese sausage. Don't sleep on that turkey.” And she’s not alone in her praise. The joint won the coveted Number One Barbecue Joint in Texas title bestowed by the experts at Texas Monthly. Using an offset smoker and post oak wood, everything is served in a nondescript dining room with a line of tables covered tightly in red-checked table coverings. A quintet of pitmasters craft juicy brisket and succulent pork ribs, made even better with a heaping portion of jalapeño cheese grits. They’re only open Friday to Sunday, from 11am until they sell out or 3pm, whichever comes sooner—and it’s usually the sellout that happens first. For your own chance at greatness and maybe starting your own , you can enroll in a $1,000-per-person brisket class.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating

Panther City BBQ
Panther City BBQ

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Fort Worth
Co-owners Ernest Morales and Chris Magallanes seized the opportunity when a food truck became available after its previous BBQ vendor ceased doing business and they’ve been steadily growing a fanbase ever since. “Both Chris and Ernest put their souls in that food,” says Parry Avenue Barbecue Company’s pitmaster Leo Morales. Chad Sessions, owner and pitmaster of Smoke Sessions Barbecue concurs. “Chris and Ernie are super cool folks that spent a great time in a trailer busting their ass and honing their craft. They helped me a great deal along my way of growth, and their hard work is very noticeable in their products. Their elotes, barbacoa, and Birria tacos are on another level,” he says. Among the other post oak-smoked standouts are the pork belly burnt ends, smoked bologna, beef garlic sausage, and the Southside Slammer, a mammoth sandwich with four types of meat, slaw, pickles, onions, jalapeños, and BBQ sauce.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or call 682-499-5618 for takeout.

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Royse City
Take a quick road trip outside the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to Royse City where Chad and Jessica Sessions are bringing together the dynamic combination of BBQ and cocktails (including a smoked margarita and a Bloody Mary made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, piled high with slices of their tender brisket. Though their main menu is small and to the point, the couple aren’t afraid to experiment. “Chad & Jessica are a dream team in barbecue,” says Leo Morales of Parry Avenue Barbecue Company. “Their garlic parmesan ribs take barbecue to a different place.” Other specials that have been wildly popular, according to Chad, include burritos, Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls, and fried pies. You can learn to smoke like the Sessions, too, with upcoming BBQ classes. For $200, you’ll get a whole brisket to prepare, as well as a brisket plate and a cold beer to keep you fueled up during the course.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or call 469-723-5092 for takeout.

Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q
Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q

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Grapevine
Sharing space with the Hop & Sting Brewing Co. in Grapevine, pitmaster Trey Sanchez brings together the worlds of barbecue and Tex-Mex for its throngs of admirers. “They create some amazing Tex-Mex dishes and his tacos will blow your mind,” says Leo Morales of Parry Avenue Barbecue Company. Birria tacos with consomé for dipping are the signature taco offering, but you’ll also occasionally be treated to Tacos Tlaquepaque and Tacos de Chorizo. Better still, get tortillas on the side of any meat plate to create your own unique flavor combinations. Salsa Macha Agave-Glazed Ribs, Brisket Tostadas, Al Pastor Smoked Wings, Brisket Nachos, and Smoked Cochinita Pibil also deftly blend Tex and Mex.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or call 214-532-4244 for takeout.

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Argyle
In a town where menu brevity is the norm, 407 BBQ has an extensive offering of smoked meat creations, starting with its signature beef. “This man makes some mean brisket,” says Leo Morales of Parry Avenue Barbecue Company. “Bryan McLarty has been killing it for years and he doesn’t stop.” In addition to traditional BBQ meats, sandwiches, and sides, McLarty turns out a septet of sammies that further enhance the skilled preparation of the proteins. Among the best of this lucky seven is the Jack Reubie. Not only is it a clever play on the name of Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassin, it’s a clever interpretation of a Reuben sandwich with housemade pastrami, Russian dressing, and kraut with melted Monterey Jack cheese on a toasted hoagie. Don’t sleep on Grandma’s Banana Pudding, either.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order online, or call 682-224-9225 for takeout.

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Fort Worth
Dayne Weaver, this BBQ joint’s “pitmaster supreme” is the driving force behind an accolade-laden history that dates back to only 2017 when his father-in-law left a small grill in his backyard and he began playing around with briskets as a hobby. Today, he and his team can barely keep up with demand. “His burgers, sausage, and brisket are some of the best in the biz,” says Chad Sessions, pitmaster of Smoke Sessions Barbecue. Bacon Brisket may be their most unique item: pork belly rubbed and smoked then sliced like brisket or as Weaver puts it, “Like bacon and brisket had a baby.” Street corn topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Frito Pie Beans are among the far-from-traditional sides on offer.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order online for takeout.

Sunbird Barbecue
Sunbird Barbecue

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Longview
Located two hours outside of Dallas, this Longview barbecue spot has become a road trip destination for many. It’s a favorite of Chad Sessions, pitmaster of Smoke Sessions Barbecue, who says Sunbird’s pitmaster Brian Bingham is “The next superstar of Texas BBQ.” As if that’s not praise enough, Session takes his devotion a few notches higher. “His sausage, tacos, and—most importantly—his Al Pastor Burnt Ends will make you hear colors.” The salsa for the tacos also makes a nice substitution for barbecue sauce on anything and everything.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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Fort Worth
A favorite of custom-smoker craftsman AJ Ramirez, this Southside BBQ Airstream trailer got its name from owner/pitmaster Trevor Sales’ boxer-terrier, Brix. He adds a little Tex-Mex flair to things with beans and rice as side options for super-juicy brisket, beef ribs, sausage, crispy hot chicken sandwiches, and the occasional burger with glazed donuts in place of buns. A Brix-and-mortar location is already under construction, so Sales will soon be able to welcome more people to his culinary world.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Woodshed Smokehouse
Woodshed Smokehouse

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Fort Worth
Celebrity chef Tim Love’s tribute to anything and everything that can be grilled, slow-cooked, or roasted, Woodshed Smokehouse has become one of the top spots for indulging in the unexpected with friends of all shapes, sizes, and species. “Their patio is the place to be and let's not ignore the fact that it's better than just dog-friendly. My pooches love coming here,” says Loro Dallas’ pitmaster Judith Covarrubias. “This is the place to try non-traditional BBQ, like lamb brisket or pork rib ramen. And there's weekend brunch if you need a pick-me-up after a late night before.” Rabbit-rattlesnake sausage, smoked Thai cauliflower, and bulgogi salmon tacos are also in Love’s repertoire alongside more straightforward (but equally incredible) favorites such as a juicy double cheeseburger or a classic chopped brisket sandwich with mustard, onions, and pickles. With two wood grills, three smokers, a duo of rotisseries, and four types of wood known for different characteristics, he has the tools to craft BBQ from just about anything.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or call 817-877-4545 for takeout.

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Farmers Branch
Weekly specials are a good starting point for experiencing some of what makes Cattleack stand out from the pack. Featuring lesser-seen items like pork steaks, chopped whole hog, and beer-bacon-and-beef sausages, Ten50 BBQ chief William Weiseger calls this “Serious-minded BBQ” and Lockhart Smokehouse’s Jill Bergus says she absolutely “Loves the brisket.” Of course, you can’t go wrong with other standards, including beef ribs, burnt ends, and the Pitboss, a sandwich made with a hefty trio of brisket, ribs, and sausage piled on a bun with pickled red onion and jalapeño. And don’t forget the Cheesy Chipotle Corn and decadent Crack Cake for dessert.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order catering via the website (five-pound minimum).

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Photo courtesy of Travel Texas

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Photo courtesy of Slow Bone

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Design District
Half the fun of visiting Slow Bone is walking through the line and picking out exactly what you want from the vast assortment of meats and sides. Pecan Lodge duo Justin and Diane Fourton both recommend the place while Bergus exclaims, “OMG!” about the fried chicken. Other must-eats include the Texas Nail, a sandwich made with slow-smoked Prime brisket, cheddar cheese from brewery darling Revolver Blood & Honey, smoked mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted green chiles, lime crema, and jalapeño BBQ sauce as well as the hangover-annihilating Frito pie. Braised greens, Brussels and cauliflower au gratin, roasted squash casserole, and pea salad headline a huge list of creative takes on typical sides, a selection so good Travis Heim dubs it “Probably the best sides in BBQ.”
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 214-377-7727 for take-out, or order delivery online.

Pecan Lodge
Pecan Lodge | Photo by Kathy Tran

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Deep Ellum
Travis Heim first visited Pecan Lodge when it was a tiny operation at the Dallas Farmers Market and loves that they’re still serving “Consistently great super smokey, delicious meats.” It was also Loro Dallas pitmaster Judith Covarrubias’ first taste of Dallas BBQ when she moved here from El Paso several years ago. “All I have to say is get the Hot Mess,” she says. “I couldn't even have imagined something like this back then. And don't skip that Flintstones-style, giant beef rib.” For those in the know and newcomers alike, the Trough is an excellent way to sample a little bit of everything that has made this wildly popular spot so famous: Brisket, pulled pork, housemade sausage links, pork ribs, and one enormous one-pound(ish) beef rib, all smoked on a combination of hickory and oak. The Hot Mess, by the way, is a jumbo salt-crusted baked sweet potato filled with South Texas-style barbacoa, chipotle cream, cheddar cheese, butter, and green onions. Everything pairs well with green chile mac ‘n cheese, and all meals should end with a heaping serving of Aunt Polly’s banana pudding.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 214-748-8900 for take-out.

Ten50 BBQ
Ten50 BBQ | Photo courtesy of Ten50 BBQ/Marketing & PR Collaborative

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Richardson
Prime beef can be found on nearly every Dallas steakhouse menu, but it’s always a treat—and has quickly become the norm for top barbecue spots. Here, you’ll find everything that makes that endlessly tender USDA Prime brisket worth the extra cash along with showstoppers like their hulking nine-inch beef ribs, the whole 1.25-pound mass having been smoked for hours over post oak. Made-to-order hand-cut fries and onion rings, as well as Brisket Torpedoes (AKA meaty stuffed jalapeños) shouldn’t be missed, and neither should the juicy BBQ chicken, sold by the half-bird.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 1-855-QUE-1050 and order online for take-out, or get delivery via Grubhub and Favor.

Hutchins BBQ McKinney
Hutchins BBQ McKinney

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McKinney, Frisco
The Hutchins family’s love affair with barbecue dates back to at least 1978 when patriarch Roy commissioned his very first pit. And today, they operate as one of the most popular brands in the northern suburbs. “They do a very good job, and they’re good people,” says OAK’D’s Lane. Fellow pitmasters Bergus and Emma Heim recommend the “Phenomenal” weekend-only Twinkies, which aren’t actually the indestructible pastries of yore but large jalapeño peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in thick-cut bacon (no joke). “Their Texas Twinkies are the best on the planet without a doubt,” adds Chad Sessions, pitmaster Smoke Sessions Barbecue. Daily fixtures include Prime brisket and jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage, which Emma Heim similarly vouches for.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 972-377-2046 and order online for take-out.

Heim Barbecue
Heim Barbecue | Photo by Robert Strickland

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Fort Worth, Love Field
After expanding from a starter food truck to two brick-and-mortar locations in Fort Worth, Travis and Emma Heim opened their first Dallas location in 2020, a joint Bergus calls a “Great addition.” Bacon burnt ends have become a popular signature item, but all the smoked meats shine, especially the turkey, a dish which all too often disappoints elsewhere. Because burgers are as popular as barbecue in North Texas, make sure to check out the best-of-both-worlds Pitmaster, featuring a single beef patty, American cheese, and a full quarter-pound of melt-in-your-mouth smoked brisket. Corn dogs are also worth a try, made here with their spicy smoked sausages.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call your nearest location for take-out, or order catering online.

Photo courtesy of Oak'd

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Old Town
Opened in November 2020, this Old Town joint on Lowest Greenville aims to elevate barbecue through the fine-dining pedigree of pitmaster Michael Lane while still maintaining a casual counter-serve vibe. Serving only Prime and wagyu brisket, they pay careful attention to every aspect of the menu. The cocktails and fully-stocked bar make for a nice upgrade from the usual bottled Shiner fare—though that’s perfectly acceptable here, and always ice-cold. You can get sauce on the side if you really want it, but you definitely won’t need it. Make sure to save room for desserts created by their pastry chef, including a decadent red velvet cake and s’mores pie.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 214-242-8671 and order take-out via Toast.

Lockhart Smokehouse
Lockhart Smokehouse | Photo by ROBERT STRICKLAND

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Oak Cliff, Plano, Arlington
Good barbecue doesn't have to be fancy—a little dinge is integral to the cuisine’s charm. Regardless of locations, customers have their pick of Central Texas-style slow-smoked brisket, hearty beef shoulder, moist turkey, pork chops, pork ribs, and Kreuz sausages imported all the way from Lockhart, each pulled right from the smoker and carved to order. Cloaked in butcher paper, the heavy packages of meat transport well for take-out, as do enticing sides like blue cheese slaw, baked beans, and brisket-stuffed deviled eggs. (Don’t worry, they taste just as good onsite if you can’t wait to indulge.)
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call your nearest location for take-out, or get nationwide shipping via Goldbelly.

Angelo's Barbecue
Angelo's Barbecue

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Fort Worth
Travis Heim grew up frequenting this Fort Worth icon, long revered for its old-school vibes, ice-cold schooners of beer, and what the esteemed pitmaster deems “The best BBQ sauce in town.” Plates come with three sides, so make sure to arrive hungry. Greatest hits include the sliced brisket, of course, alongside less traditional options like housemade barbecue salami and pork loin. Mac ‘n cheese lovers can turn their beloved side into a full meal by topping it with any of their smoked meats.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 817-332-0357 for take-out, or get delivery via Uber Eats.

Terry Black’s Barbecue
Terry Black’s Barbecue | Photo courtesy of PLUG PUBLIC RELATIONS

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Deep Ellum
When this Austin-based original sought out a second Texas location for its budding barbecue empire, Dallas was a no-brainer—and a grateful recipient at that. Terry Black’s simple, timeless style gets its start in one of five 1,000-gallon smokers, prepared with a focus on quality and straightforward, old-world technique. “They’re very honed in at what they’re doing,” says Lane, who favors the brisket and ribs, while Emma Heim seconds the “Perfect” brisket and notes the “Great bar in a super-cool building.” Brisket, beef, pork ribs, turkey, and sausage are the signature by-the-pound and studded inside sandwiches. Family packs serving up to 12 arrive flanked by top-notch sides like creamed corn, pinto beans, and Mexican rice. Throw in a mini pecan pie or peach cobbler for dessert.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 469-399-0081 for take-out, or get local delivery via Favor and nationwide shipping via Goldbelly.

Blu's Barbeque
Blu’s Barbeque

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Far North Dallas
Innovation reigns supreme at Blu’s, starting with the building itself. The dining area is attached to a converted shipping container that houses the kitchen and smokers. From there, the pitmasters smoke meats for daily specials in addition to their standard offerings of brisket, sausage, ribs and all the usual suspects. Must-order items include Fred Flintstone-worthy wagyu beef ribs, prime rib, smoked brisket jalapeño poppers, and smoked chicken wings.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 972-316-7478 and order online for take-out.

Photo courtesy of One90 Smoked Meats

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Lake Highlands
With only a handful of stools lining a single counter, the bulk of this Lake Highlands’s business has always been aimed at home consumption—or in the front seat of your car for those who couldn’t wait. The brisket is phenomenal, but a surprise all-star is the DLT: Succulent layers of smoked duck breast, green leaf lettuce, and vine-ripened tomatoes, plopped upon toasted rustic bread and finished with a smear of nose-tickling cherry-jalapeño sauce. The chili mac comes in a close second, with its velvety noodles piled high with brisket. Nearly every protein can be purchased in vacuum-sealed bags, too, making reheating at home easy as pie.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 214-346-3287 and order take-out via ChowNow.

Brisket Love
Brisket Love | Photo courtesy of Legacy Hall

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Plano
Legacy Food Hall is known for having a little bit of everything, and that list would be sorely incomplete without barbecue. Enter Brisket Love, a one-stop-shop for top-quality meats smoked onsite over post oak wood for a deeper, richer flavor profile and visible smoke ring. USDA Prime brisket (chopped or sliced), pulled pork, smoked turkey, and jalapeño-cheddar sausage comprise the bulk of the plate and sandwich menu. Baked potato salad and heaping platters of chips and queso round things out, helped along by housemade cane-sugar slushies in four different thirst-quenching flavors.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Grubhub and UberEats.

Smoky Rose
Smoky Rose

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Little Forest Hills
The perfect antidote to a muggy Dallas afternoon, Smoky Rose near White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum boasts one of the biggest and breeziest patios in town. They’ve got a damn fine lineup of BBQ standards, but our pros suggest starting with the smoked chicken wings, smoked chicken flautas, or brisket queso before digging into a game-changing twist on a gut-busting Texas classic: Chicken Fried Brisket, smothered with pepper gravy and served beside a mound of buttery mashed potatoes. Live music on the weekends is yet another bonus.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 469-776-5655 and order take-out via ChowNow.

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Steven Lindsey is a Thrillist contributor.