12 Mouth Watering Austin BBQ Joints You Have to Try

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In Texas, barbecue isn’t just a food, it’s a way of life. And Austin is all about the meat life. Smoky, saucy, or spicy, look no further than the capital city. There are hundreds of great joints in Austin to satisfy a BBQ craving and here are just a few in no particular order of greatness.

1. Stubb’s BBQ

Live Music at Stubb's BBQ

Photo: Flickr/ Nan Palmero

The history of Stubb’s is as steeped in live music as the city of Austin. Honing his skills as a mess sergeant in the army, C.B. “Stubbs” Stubblefield opened his first restaurant in Lubbock back in 1968 where up-and-coming blues singers would sing for their supper. After relocating to Austin in the mid-80s, Stubbs upheld the tradition of saucy BBQ with a side of blues.

2. Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ


Photo: Flickr/Jen R

Originally a country store providing all the necessities of life, barbecue was wisely added to Rudy’s Country Store’s list of amenities in 1989. Now there are locations all throughout the southwest including four in the Austin area.

3. Chi’lantro’s Korean BBQ

Chi'lantro Korean BBQ Food Truck

Photo: Pinterest/Angela Johnson Agency

Although a Korean BBQ place may not be the first thing to come to mind when mentioning Texas and BBQ, it certainly shouldn’t be dismissed. Chi’lantro’s brilliant fusion of Korean and Mexican cuisine is worthy of any Austin foodie’s “must eat” list. With four restaurant locations (and another opening in September) plus a food truck, checking this one off the list is easy.

4. The Salt Lick

Salt Lick BBQ Pit

Photo: Flickr/Wally Gobetz

The Salt Lick is certainly one of Austin’s most notable BBQ joints and with good reason. Since 1967, The Salt Lick has been smoking up some of Austin’s best BBQ with classic Hill Country flare. A short drive out of Austin to the original restaurant in Driftwood brings you to the pit where it all began. Be sure to bring your cash and favorite beverage because this place excepts cash only and is BYOB.

5. Micklethwait Craft Meats


Since 2012 Tom Micklethwait, founder and pit master of Micklethwait Craft Meats, has been serving specialty sausages and other succulent BBQ out of his vintage Comet food trailer. That’s right, food trailer. Move over food trucks.

6. Iron Works BBQ

Iron Works BBQ


Once the ornamental iron workshop of German Immigrant F. Weigl, is now the home of Iron Works BBQ. They opened their doors in 1978 and since have heard their praises sung in both Southern Living and The New York Times. They have also had their share of celebrities stop by such as Jay Leno, Reba McEntire, Spike Lee, and Jerry Seinfeld.

7. Franklin BBQ

Franklin's BBQ


Another legendary BBQ Joint, Franklin BBQ has also been featured in numerous media outlets such as Food And Wine Magazine and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. They are closed Mondays and open at 11 a.m., but sell out quick so get there early.

8. John Mueller Meat Company

John Mueller Meat Company

Photo: Flicker/F.D. Richards

Great BBQ isn’t just a family tradition for 3rd generation pit master John Mueller, it’s an all out passion. Grandson of famed Louie Mueller, son of Bobby Mueller, brother of Wayne Mueller (3rd generation owner and pit master of Louie Muller Barbecue), and brother to La BBQ’s owner LeAnn, John’s mastery of the craft is undeniable.

9. La Barbecue

La Barbecue

Photo: Flickr/Lars Plougmann

Since they are closed Monday and Tuesday, demand for La Barbecue can get pretty high. Even though the sign’s hours say 11 a.m. -6 p.m., there’s a good chance they will close early due to selling out.

10. Lambert’s 

Lambert's BBQ

Photo: Pinterest/Paula Biehler PR

With menu items such as Crispy Wild Boar Ribs and Cold Smoked Rainbow Trout, you just might find yourself eating BBQ with your pinky out. Because the menu changes daily due to what is in season, Lambert’s never gets mundane. Let’s not forget the nightly live music upstairs in the lounge, either!

11. The Green Mesquite

The Green Mesquite

Photo: Facebook/Green Mesquite

Named for the native mesquite wood used to smoke their meats, The Green Mesquite has been firing up the pits since 1988. This BBQ joint has 3 locations throughout Austin and was voted to have the “Best Wings” in 2012. It was also featured on Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives.

12. The County Line


Photo: Facebook/The County Line on the Lake

In what was once an old speakeasy, The County Line opened its doors in 1975. Since then they have 7 locations in the state of Texas, 2 in Austin,  and one in Albuquerque, NM.