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The BEST Spots for Barbecue in Austin, TX According to Me!

Here are my Favorite Spots for Barbecue in Austin, TX.


Here are my goto spots for barbecue in Austin, TX! I grew up in Austin and barbecue was a once a week meal. As a kid our default spots were Rudy's, Southside BBQ in Elgin, and Poke E Joes. I've always been way more into the sides than the actual bbq but here are my goto spots!

Interstellar BBQ (My Favorite Spot) 

This is my favorite spot for BBQ in Austin, TX. It's located a bit north and far away from the main tourist spots, but the line and wait can take up to 2 hours. Hear me out though, I've been saying this spot has had the best BBQ in Austin for years, and recently, Texas Monthly named them number 2 for best BBQ in Texas. They went from having 0 wait on a weekend to about a 2-hour average wait time. Anyways, if you go on a weekday, the line is a lot shorter, but still probably about 1 hour. If you go, I highly recommend the brisket taco, peach tea-glazed pork belly, pork ribs, frito pie sausage, and the side of mac and gouda. Oh! And they make a delicious frito pie—it's a bit of an off-menu thing. Every holiday, I order their pineapple sage-glazed ham, and it's always a hit. Their barbecue beans are free!

Click here to check out their menu.

Micklethwait Craft Meats BBQ & Catering

Micklethwait is popular in town because it's considered one of the best spots for BBQ without a long wait. However, as more people have caught wind of this hidden gem, expect to wait about 40 minutes to an hour on weekends. What sets Micklethwait apart is how good their sides are. While their BBQ is above average, I personally prefer Interstellar more. They opened in 2012 and have continued to charm the East Austin community, earning a spot on multiple top BBQ lists in Texas, including Texas Monthly. Their house-made pickles are also excellent. Although I don't see it on the online menu, I highly recommend trying their brisket nachos and frito pie. They also have a sister taco truck called Taco Bronco that is worth checking out.

Click here to check out their menu.

LA Barbecue

LA Barbecue is a good spot for someone looking for a barbecue spot downtown with a nice ambience and solid food. The actual BBQ is similar in quality to Micklethwait but I like the pickles at LA Barbecue more. The sides here are also really good but expect about a 1-hour wait. I really like the flavor of their tangy BBQ sauce. I usually drive to Micklethwait or LA Barbecue and just choose the one with a shorter wait. The owners, LeAnn Mueller & Alison Clem, split their time between LA and Austin, TX. According to their website, they avoid the use of sweet flavors in their barbecue and focus on salt and savory rubs. They do multiple pop-ups including Red Rocket Hot Dog and more.

Click here to check out their menu.

Terry Black's BBQ

This is a spot that you can also find in Dallas, but it's easily one of the most popular spots in Austin, TX, with a location on Barton Springs. The owners were originally born and raised in Lockhart, Texas. The nice thing about Terry Blacks is that even if the lines are long, they move super fast, and people are always leaving their crowded parking lot. The wait time will be around 20 minutes on a busy Saturday. The only stressful thing is finding an empty, clean table to sit at since it's so crowded. I recommend the sausage, beef rib, and brisket. I'm also a fan of their creamed corn and mac and cheese. The barbecue here is very consistent, so basically go here if you don't want to wait too long and want to try Texas barbecue.

Click here to check out their menu.

Mum Foods

I think Mum Food's is a hidden gem that people haven't caught wind of yet. It reminds me of when Interstellar first opened. They sell their pastrami and barbecue at farmers markets and have gone back and forth on opening their brick and mortar. They're currently open at the brick and mortar, but the hours are pretty limited to lunchtime. On my initial visit, I was surprised to find that they didn't serve brisket on Wednesdays and only offered burnt ends. Luckily, because of that, I got to try their special brisket burnt end sandwich, and it was divine! They easily have the best pastrami in town too, and what sets them apart is that they make their bread from scratch, and it's delicious. The other spots on this list tend to just give you Martin's potato buns and white bread, but Mum's makes a brisket tallow bread, special rye breads, and pumpernickel. The matzo ball soup and BBQ sides are solid too!

Click here to check out their menu.


This spot is currently a finalist for a James Beard Award. They serve Egyptian-style barbecue that, if I had to describe it, is similar to Mediterranean-style food with hints of curry, fruity notes, and spices. I tried several dishes and particularly enjoyed the pork ribs with pomegranate, the Mediterranean rice (a bright and aromatic yellow rice cooked with turmeric, bay leaf, and cinnamon, garnished with cinnamon candied nuts and fresh pomegranate seeds), and the chicken shawarma. Everything was flavorful and delicious! This is a food truck with mainly outdoor picnic seating. I recommend getting a brisket Mediterranean rice bowl or a shawarma if you're looking for an affordable, smaller-sized lunch option.

Click here to check out their menu.

Other Options


BBQ sign from Hot luck

Franklin's is easily the most famous barbecue spot in Austin, TX. You may recognize the owner from multiple TV shows and even the movie Chef. This spot consistently has a multiple-hour line. I've never personally waited in the 3-4 hour line for Franklin's, but I've tried it to-go and also at food festivals. They are famous for their brisket, which I think is good but not anything I would wait for that long for personally. I recommend doing their online pre-order with a group of friends and skipping the line. If you're a fan of Aaron Franklin, he has multiple master classes, and he hosts a food festival called Hot Luck every year. But my personal opinion is that Interstellar is better.

Click here to check out their menu.

Southside Market BBQ (Elgin)

This was my childhood spot. We would drive up to Southside on the weekends. Southside Market in Elgin is the oldest barbecue joint in Texas still open. They opened in 1882. The barbecue here is decent and I like their chopped brisket potato and their potato salad. Their sausage is really popular and you can find it sold across multiple HEB's in Austin, TX. If you want a barbecue spot with a Texas flair, I recommend going to the Elgin location, checking out the old building, and getting some Blue Bell ice cream afterwards.

Click here to check out their menu.

Salt Lick Barbecue

This spot is technically located in the Dell Diamond in Round Rock and Driftwood. There's a running joke that Salt Lick is just for the photo op and that you only go there to take a photo of their barbecue pits. While I like the bread they serve, in my personal opinion, the barbecue here is not that great. If you just want a photo with their famous roasting pit, then this is the place to go.

Click here to check out their menu.

Leroy and Lewis

Leroy and Lewis is a barbecue food truck located at Cosmic Coffee Bar in Austin, TX. They recently won a spot in the top 3 on the Texas Monthly BBQ List. They call their barbecue style "New School Barbecue". The flavors here have a fusion element to them, as you'll find barbacoa and kimchi on their menu. Expect to wait 1-2 hours on weekends. They only sell their brisket on weekends but specialize in beef cheeks instead of brisket. I recently went there at 12 pm on a Saturday and they had sold out of brisket, sausage, and beef cheek by the time I reached the front of the line. The line seemed short but it moved very slowly. They also sell items like burgers, Frito pies, and weekly specials. I recommend going very early. We enjoyed the whole pulled hog but felt the burger fell short. I don't think I would go again on a weekend, and I need to go back to try it again on a weekday!

Click here to check out their menu.

Spot's I've tried: Rudys, Black BBQ, Kerlin.

Spot's I want to try: CM Smokehouse, Rollin Smoke.