Let’s just all acknowledge that being in Texas gives one a hankerin’ for really good barbecue. Fortunately, it also gives one access to really good barbecue. In fact, it may be harder to choose which BBQ joint to pick from the bevy of low-lying fruit.

Well, don’t say we’re not here to help. Check out a few of these top-notch BBQ places in the Austin area.

1. Franklin Barbecue 

There is little that people agree on when it comes to any best-list rankings, but few who know Austin barbecue would not put Franklin Barbecue in the top spot. Everything, absolutely everything, from Aaron Franklin’s kitchen is the stuff only hyperbole could even try to make sense of. It’s so good that people with many other things to do spend as much as five hours in line to get in. Take that, every nightclub on the planet!

2. John Mueller Meat Co. 

If there is a challenger to the Franklin throne, it would have to be the John Mueller Meat Co., known as much for its feisty proprietor as for its succulent, smoky barbecue. This outdoor-only establishment is the second business for Mueller, who is generally considered the seed of Austin’s burgeoning barbecue renaissance. His original joint, JMueller Barbecue, is now in the hands of others and named La Barbecue. Speaking of which ….

3. La Barbecue 

Proprietor John Lewis was once a pupil of the two ‘cue wizards who top this list, and his training has proven astoundingly worthwhile. This Eastside joint boasts some of the best smoked sausages and meats this side of Franklin and Mueller, and on a good day, La Barbecue can stand on its own and give either mentor a run for his money.

4. Micklethwait Craft Meats 

Away from the drama of Austin’s most intense ‘cue triangle, Tom Micklethwait is quietly making what might be the best smoked sausages you can find. This outdoor-only establishment is big on the whole BBQ experience, focusing many hours and much energy on high-quality meats and handmade breads ‒‒ as if you needed another reason to drop in, considering the smell will lure you in from blocks away.

5. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew 

Austin’s generally best-loved ‘cue joint is a local favorite for a reason. Actually, a few reasons. One is the fact that you can get top-tier BBQ here without having to wait for hours or to sit outside. You can hang in air-conditioned comfort and enjoy some fine craft and local beers with your sweet-and-smoky slices of heaven. Service is also friendly and fast, making Stiles Switch a definite favorite for those looking for delicious without hassle.

Posted by Richard Soto on
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