The summer heat is here and it’s as good an excuse as any to set up shop with a whole heap of barbecue.
Fortunately, some of the best barbecues in the world are right here in town. If you’re new to ‘cue, start here, if you’re an experienced eater, see how many you’ve checked off your list.
Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que | 217 Congress Avenue.
For any barbecue lover who hasn’t tried Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que pork ribs, it’s time to finally do so. Pitmasters Kenny Oestreich and Louis Garcia run the family restaurant, so that delicious smell of barbecue wafts over South Congress. Brisket, chicken, jerky and even goat are just a fraction of what Cooper’s has to offer. You can dine from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day.
Distant relatives | 3901 Promontory Point Dr.
Parked at South Austin’s Meanwhile Brewing, Distant Relatives and pitmaster Damien Brockway sport a James Beard nomination despite his youth as a company. The food here is spiced with African influences – try the pork ribs, burnt ends, collard greens and smoked peanuts. Distant Relatives is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Franklin BBQ | 900 E. 11th St.
Known for having extremely long lines and mouth-watering brisket from pitmaster and “barbecue nerd” Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue is loved by locals and celebrities alike Anthony Bourdain, Jimmy Kimmel and Barack Obama. From beef brisket to prime rib to a Tipsy Texan sandwich, there’s nothing more iconic to Austin than this particular barbecue. Described by Texas Monthly as “serving the best barbecue in the known universe”, Franklin Barbecue is a must if you’re new to town. Franklin’s is closed on Mondays and open Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. – sold out, which comes sooner than you think, so get there early to wait in line.
Green Mesquite BBQ | 1400 Barton Springs Rd. and 9900 I-35
An Austin classic, Green Mesquite BBQ has been serving barbecues in Barton Springs since 1988. This Austin barbecue is changing things up by offering mesquite barbecue, a method of cooking meat over a fire using wood. mesquite which gives it a distinct flavor. This is the place for chicken wings, fried okra, baked potatoes and sweet smoked meat. The Barton Springs site is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the Southpark site is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.
Interstellar BBQ | 12233 Ranch Road 620 N
Using high quality ingredients and wood, and cooking in small batches, slow and slow, is the motto of Interstellar BBQ. Sure, you can get all the classic favorites: beef brisket, pulled pork, and ribs, but Interstellar has some pretty stellar signatures. Try the peach tea glazed pork belly, brisket taco, jalapeno sausage, and you can even get bulk sauces or beef suet for cooking. You can take your feast or dine on site from 11 a.m. until full from Wednesday to Sunday.
The BBQ | 2401 E. Cesar Chavez St.
La Barbecue is a shining star of Texas barbecue. Owned by LeAnn Mueller and his wife Ali Clem, La Barbecue serves beef brisket, beef and pork ribs, sausages and more. Pitmaster Clem established his influence at La Barbecue with the help of Francicso Saucedo, especially for sausages and pork chops for the perfect barbecue experience. You can pre-order online or dine in from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
LeRoy and Lewis Grill | 121 Pickle Road
This new school and creative food truck mixes new school flavors with traditional embellishments. LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue opened in 2017 in the Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden lot and pitmaster Evan LeRoy and operations manager Sayer Lewis have since provided Austinites with locally sourced barbecue. From beef brisket to sausage to barbacoa, LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue have it all for barbecue lovers in town. Grab food from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., or full, Wednesday through Sunday.
Micklethwait Artisanal Meats | 1309 Rosewood Avenue
Micklethwait Craft Meats is no stranger to Austin’s famous barbecue game. Also featured in Texas Monthly as one of the best barbecue spots in Texas, pitmaster Tom Micklethwait brings exceptional items to the Austin cooking game. With brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, house sausages and more on the menu, Micklethwait Craft Meats is the place for meat lovers looking for a new destination. You can get your Thursday-Saturday barbecue by pre-ordering or walking in and there’s even an outdoor picnic area open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew | 6610 N. Lamar Blvd.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew is run by pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick, with hometown flair and the celebrity status of being featured in “Dazed and Confused.” Owner and Texas native Shane Stiles named Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew after a Central Texas railroad stop on the 1800s I&GN Railroad. pork and sausage are just the start of the menu. You can dine from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday and from Tuesday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Friday to Saturday.
Terry Black’s BBQ | 1003 Barton Springs Road
Pitmasters Michael and Mark Black, of the famous Black’s Barbecue family, bring Lockhart’s knowledge of barbecue to Austin. The meat market style restaurant offers delicious briskets, pork chops, beef sausages and brilliant sides. If you’re new in town and planning to send a gift to friends and family out of state, Terry Black’s offers domestic shipping for most of their meats. Austinites can dine from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and Friday through Saturday from 1:20 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ | 11500 Manchaca Road
In a city where tacos and barbecue aren’t hard to come by, pitmaster Miguel Vida brings Valentina’s Tex Mex barbecue to Austin with a twist on both food groups. Is there anything more Austin than skipping tradition and creating something completely unique? Valentina’s serves beef brisket, pulled pork, and chicken and beef fajitas with a Mexican twist. Be sure to try their smoked brisket taco and order online before everything sells out. Valentina’s is closed Monday through Tuesday, but open for dinner from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or while seats last) Wednesday through Sunday.