Places to Eat

Take Our Texas Hill Country BBQ Road Trip

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Tony Maples Photography


No matter which direction you go in the Hill Country, you are sure to find some of the best BBQ in Texas, and these five are worth the drive.  So, fill up that gas tank and bring your hearty Texas appetite!

The Salt Lick – Driftwood, Round Rock and Austin Airport

Photo:  JoLisa Hoover

Photo: JoLisa Hoover

Whether you visit The Salt Lick as you step off the plane at the Austin airport, next to the Dell Diamond or outside of Austin in Driftwood, a visit to a Salt Lick location is a must on any Texas Hill Country barbecue trip! Grilled over an open pit fueled with oak and pecan, the meat falls off the bone. Food is served family style in generous portions or by the plate. While it is tempting to fill up on the meats, don’t forget to save room for the cobbler.  The Driftwood location is cash only and B.Y.O.B, but local wine and beer are available at the nearby wine tasting venue.

Photo:  Facebook/lambertsbbq

Photo:  Facebook/lambertsbbq

Proving that barbecue is delicious no matter how much you dress it up or dress it down, Lambert’s offers slow smoked barbecue combined with modern Texas cooking. Located in a restored and historic building on 2nd street in Austin, Lambert’s features live music as well as an upscale twist on traditional Texas barbecue.

Cranky Franks – Fredericksburg

Cranky Franks BBQ

Photo: Facebook/cranky.franks 

Cranky Franks is located 1 1/2 miles south of Main Street Fredericksburg on HWY 87. Plates include all-the-sides-you-can-eat served up buffet style slow-cooked on fire-brick pits using 100% mesquite wood coals. It pays to get there early. Cranky Franks is a little cranky with its serving hours and is only open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. until they sell out.

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Mason, Llano, New Braunfels, Austin

Photo:  JoLIsa Hoover

Photo: JoLisa Hoover

When it comes to classic Hill Country barbecue, Coopers in Llano is well known by travelers and locals alike. Known for its pork chops, jalapeño mac and cheese and homemade desserts, guests pick their cut of meat from the pit then take the selection down the line to be sliced for you.  The choices can be overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong with the jalapeño sausage, pork chops or brisket.    Thanks to its popularity, Coopers has added new locations in the Hill Country in downtown Austin and Mason that capture the original classic barbecue feel of the Llano location.

The Original Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q – Leon Springs (and over 36 other locations)

Photo:  JoLisa Hoover

Photo: JoLisa Hoover

What do you get when you combine a gas station, store and the “wurst” barbecue in Texas? Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q.  While others were declaring their barbecue the best, Rudy’s decided to stand out from the crowd and declare their’s the “wurst”. Food is ordered from the counter and first timers get warmly welcomed as well as free samples. Regardless of what meat you choose, don’t skip the creamed corn or the pudding for dessert. Once you’ve selected your meat, you can try the original “sause” or go for the milder “sissy sause”. Rudy’s is also known for their breakfast tacos. The Original Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q opened in Leon Springs in 1989 and now has over 36 locations including Hill Country locations in Round Rock, Austin, San Antonio and San Marcos.