Top Austin BBQ Restaurants: 7 Spots That Satisfy Meat-lovers

Ranked among the best cities for barbecue by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, Austin features dozens of restaurants that serve this American favorite. Dry rubbed or slathered in sauce, these meats are slow-cooked to perfection. So much so some people even wait as long as three hours for a table. Ready to fill up? See which ones made the top Austin BBQ restaurants list.

Top Austin BBQ Restaurants to Try on Vacation

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Franklin Barbecue

Come early to grab some famous Texas barbecue at Franklin Barbecue in Austin’s east side. This iconic spot is owned and managed by Aaron Franklin – one of the top pitmasters in the U.S. – who received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2015.

Whether eating by the pound or a single sandwich, Franklin Barbecue’s menu offers brisket, ribs, pulled pork, turkey and sausage. All selections are made in-house and pair well with homemade sides. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. every day except Monday, and closes when barbecue sells out – usually around 2 or 3 p.m. Due to popularity, visitors should line up early, bring a chair and talk to locals while waiting for some of the best barbecue in Austin.

Iron Works Barbecue

Award-winning Iron Works Barbecue has earned accolades from media outlets and celebrities. Originally an ornamental iron work shop, the restaurant transitioned to barbecue in 1978 and has satisfied guests ever since.

This top among Austin BBQ restaurants serves barbecue plates, sandwiches and meats by the pound. Examples include beef, pork and beef ribs, pulled pork, chicken, beef sausage and smoked turkey. In addition, Iron Works Barbecue has an on-site salad bar, sides, baked potatoes and chili. Families also enjoy take-out options, which feed three to four and come with house-made sides. Iron Works opens Monday-Saturday at 11 a.m. and closes around 9 p.m.

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La Barbecue

For melt-in-your-mouth barbecue with a kick, head to La Barbecue in east Austin. La Barbecue offers brisket, pulled pork, turkey, ribs, and regular and chipotle sausage by the pound. Order one of 11 different sandwiches, including custom options that feature different meats and toppings. Diners can even go old-school and substitute two slices of white bread instead of the potato bun.

This popular spot opens Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or until they sell out.Want to avoid the wait? Order five-days in advance and pick it up.

Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q

With several locations in Austin, Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q doubles as a restaurant and store where visitors purchase locally made barbecue products such as meats, sauces and spices.

The restaurant has specialized in Texas barbecue since 1989, and offers a large selection by the 1/2-pound. Visitors select from brisket, turkey, pork loin, chops, ribs, and regular and jalapeno sausages. In addition to enjoying rich flavors, groups find everything they need for an at-home barbecue with all the fixins’. Pick-up times start at 10 a.m. and run until 9:15 p.m. most days.

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Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew

Named among the top 50 Best Texas BBQ Joints, Stiles Switch’s team consists of local and an expert pitmaster. The restaurant specializes in smoked meats by the 1/2-pound and a slew of sides. Meats include brisket, St. Louis pork ribs, turkey, sausage and other meats. Diners also enjoy a selection of plates and sandwiches, such as smokehouse club and Buford T’s diablo.

In addition to regular items, Stiles Switch offers daily specials, including sandwich Friday. This special features one sandwich — for one day only — and changes every week. Other deals offer smoked prime rib, half-chickens and smoked fried wings. Stiles opens for lunch and dinner at 11 a.m. every day.

Stubb’s Bar-B-Q

For live music and great barbecue, check out Stubb’s. This top among Austin BBQ restaurants dates to the early 1970s, when it became part of the local music scene.

With two locations in Austin, Stubb’s serves Texas-style barbecue made with Angus beef, turkey, breast, pulled pork and more. The downtown location offers all-you-can-eat options and combo plates. Its other spot – the Mean-Eyed Cat – sells barbecue by the pound and specialty dishes. The fun begins at 11 a.m., and if planning a trip, view Stubb’s concert schedule.

Terry Black’s Barbecue

Using recipes passed down by previous generations, this local favorite also ranks among the best BBQ joints in Texas. And it’s easy to see why as Terry Black’s Barbecue strives to tempt each customer.

The menu has sandwiches or diners can order by the pound. Meats include brisket, sausage, turkey, beef and pork ribs, and chopped beef. Pair the meat with a side, or order a family pack to take home. Don’t forget to buy a few bottles of sauce as a souvenir, too. Terry Black’s Barbecue opens every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Need to work up an appetite? Read about these top Austin activities.

Need a place to crash after eating barbecue? Find comfortable Austin vacation homes.