The Lone Star State is known for many things, from its cowboys to its live music to its hot temperatures. One of the most essential parts of Texas is its BBQ, and you'd be hard pressed to find a state with more mouthwatering BBQ joints and talented pit masters. Although there's a limitless number of well-loved and smoky BBQ restaurants, we've narrowed it down to 10 of the very best to help our fellow barbecue lovers experience all that Texas has to offer.
These aren't joints you go to when you are craving something simple. And as much as we love the simplicity of piling on pulled pork on a slice of white bread, these Texas barbecue joints are here to change the smoked meat game. One barbecue restaurant in Austin serves up Asian inspired condiments instead of cucumber pickles and in Waco, you can grab a bowl of beef brisket ramen alongside a chopped beef sandwich.
For BBQ lovers everywhere, we've decided to take things into our own BBQ-sauce drenched hands and rank our favorite BBQ joints in Texas.
10. Blood Bros. BBQ
Brother Terry and Robin Wong and Quy Hoang opened this spot after sharing their BBQ at various Houston pop-ups and festivals. Drawing from their Asian heritage, the team serves up unique favorites like the smoked turkey banh mi with house-made chicken liver pâté and boudin sausage flavored with Thai green chilies.
5425 Bellaire Blvd, 713-664-7776. Open Wed-Sun 11-sold out.
9. Guess Family Barbecue
Opened in 2017, the Waco barbecue joint serves up classics like spare ribs and brisket, but also push the envelope with their brisket ramen. The famous joint is moving towards a full brick and mortar shop soon, so keep an eye out!
2803 Franklin Ave., 254-313-3436. Open Wed-Fri 11-8, Sat 10-8, Sun 10-4.
8. Feges BBQ
Husband and wife team Erin Smith and Patrick Feges take BBQ to the desert with their take on old-school sides. At Feges BBQ, order a rack of ribs served with baby carrots cooked with a Moroccan glaze, or grab yourself a smokey elote.
3 Greenway Plz, 832-409-6118. Open Mon-Fri 11-2.
7. Butter's BBQ
If you are looking for an inexpensive joint that also serves up some of the best barbecue around, Butter's is your answer. Try coming during the weekend and grabbing a plate of barbacoa served with homemade salsa.
104 S. Texas Hwy 359, 361-255-6108. Open Fri 11-sold out, Sat & Sun 9:30-sold out.
6. Pitforks and Smokerings BBQ
Before February of this year, Pitforks and Smokerings BBQ was a combo auto-repair shop and Texas BBQ joint. However, after a dreadful break-in, the auto-shop closed and the building slowly transformed into the BBQ joint it is today. Along with all the good barbecue you can imagine, Pitforks also serves up classic side menu items like mac and cheese, potato salad and beans.
1808 S. U.S. 84. Open Thur-Sat 11-4.
5. Reveille Barbecue Co.
About 50 miles outside of Houston sits Reveille Barbecue Co., which originally started as a passion project by James McFarland, Michael Michna, and Wade Elkins. They smoke everything; even the egg yolks in the Caesar salad dressing. And if you are looking for something totally unusual on the barbecue scene, try the smoked gator.
32360 TX-249. Open Thur-Mon 11-7.
4. 1775 Texas Pit BBQ
Just when you think you've gotten lost, look for the storage unit looking building and follow your nose. Serving up mean peppery pork ribs and superior brisket, this Veteran-owned joint is a favorite in the BCS area. Make sure to order the corn casserole, you won't be disappointed.
8203 Raymond Stotzer Pkwy, 979-492-6241. Open Thur-Sat 11-4.
3. Convenience West
Opened in a converted gas station, Convenience West is only open for dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pitmaster Mark Scott is always coming up with new ways to flavor his smoked sausage, so make sure to check what's on the special's board. And save some room for dessert, Mark's wife Kaki makes to-die-for Texas style hand pies.
1411 W. San Antonio. Open Fri-Sat 5-9.
2. Brick Vault Brewery & Barbecue
If you ever find yourself in the Big Bend area, make a beeline to Brick Vault Brewery & Barbecue. Considered a "nano-brewery" the six beers on tap pair beautifully with the bar-b-que pitmasters Nick Reese, Elliott Reese, and Phillip Moellering cook up.
102 NW 1st (Hwy 90W), 432-386-7538. Open Thur & Fri 5-9, Sat 12-9, Sun 12-5.
1. LJ's BBQ
Pulled pork is key at this Brenham spot. Served by the pound, in a taco, or in a sandwich, the pulled pork reigns supreme. Make it a meal by adding a side of buttermilk & bacon potato salad or Lj's famous pinto beans.
1407 W. Main, 979-421-8292. Open Wed-Sat 11-sold out.
This post was originally published on April 22, 2019.