Most Austin locals will not argue that some of the best Austin BBQ can be found at Franklin’s BBQ, Rudy’s BBQ, and The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que. I have been in Austin since 1985 and I cannot argue that these three Austin barbecue restaurants are among the best. However, to eat great BBQ at Franklin’s, you have to prepare to wait up to three hours and sometimes they run out of food before you get your barbecue. Rudy’s and The Salt Lick are located farther out of Central Austin, so it is not convenient for me to eat BBQ there on my way home from work in Downtown Austin.
As a result of wanting to find great Austin BBQ that is more conveniently located to Central Austin, I found some amazing Austin BBQ joints that are equally as good, if not better, than Austin’s three landmark BBQ restaurants. In addition to serving the best BBQ in Austin, some of my favorite Austin barbecue joints have patio dining with live music! Barbecue lovers will not want to miss eating some of the best BBQ in Texas at my favorite Austin BBQ joints:
1901 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78704
11 am – 11 pm Tuesday through Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday
Brown’s Bar-B-Que is a food trailer located in front of the Corner Bar on South Lamar at Mary. Brown’s Bar-B-Que is hands down my favorite Austin BBQ joint and is priced the best, too! They make the best barbecue pork ribs and sausage I have eaten in Austin. Their signature cabbage side dish, with bacon and jalapeno, is the perfect complement to their smoked brisket, pulled pork and chicken. All of their meats are juicy and fall off the bones. The BBQ sauce is medium spicy with a hint of sweet flavor. A 2-meat plate with two sides is just $10. Sausage wraps are $3. Pounds of meat cost $10-$13 per pound.
Iron Works BBQ
100 Red River, Austin, TX, 78701
11 am – 9 pm Monday through Saturday
Iron Works BBQ is located in Downtown Austin near the University of Texas. This historic landmark is one of my favorite Austin BBQ joints not only because of the great food, but because of the history of the owners and the building. The family of iron workers arrived in America from Germany in 1922 and quickly became famous for their unique pieces. The building became a restaurant in 1978. My favorite Iron Works plate is the baby back ribs and sausage. They also sell great BBQ rubs and sauces. Iron Works will always be one of my favorite Austin BBQ joints.
Green Mesquite BBQ
1400 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704
11 am – 10 pm Monday through Sunday
Locations also at South Park Meadows, Round Rock, and Scholz Garten
Live music in the outdoor patio dining area is one of my favorite things about Green Mesquite on Barton Springs Road near Downtown Austin. I also love the BBQ pork ribs and mac-n-cheese at Green Mesquite. The smoked chicken is really good, too. The owner and staff are some of the friendliest people in the Austin food business. The casual dining experience at Green Mesquite is like going to your friend’s backyard BBQ party.
1200 E. 6th Street, Austin, TX 78702
11 am until sold out, Wednesday through Sunday
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Bring Your Own Bottle to La Barbecue food truck for a fun BBQ dining experience in Austin. It is hard to match the perfectly smoked brisket from La Barbeque. Located just east of I-35 off 7th Street, La Barbeque makes the perfect smoked beef ribs and smoked turkey in Austin! It just melts in your mouth. The pit master came from Franklin’s so it is not surprising how good the BBQ beef is. Also mastering the La Barbecue pit is John and Wayne Mueller’s sister, LeAnn. This is a MUST visit local Austin BBQ joint that will soon become a favorite.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
6610 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78757
11 am – 9 pm Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday
11 am – 10 pm Friday
Texas craft beers are part of the local attraction of this favorite Austin BBQ joint. There is nothing like having great BBQ and tasting different craft beers made right here in Texas. This is such a fun place that was used for the Emporium pool hall in the film Dazed and Confused with Matthew McConaughey. It is located in the 1950’s style Violet Crown Shopping Center on North Lamar. My favorite meal is the pork loin, jalapeno sausage, corn casserole and peach cobbler, with a Texas craft beer of course!
801 Red River, Austin, TX 78702
Call for hours and special events
Stubb’s Bar-B-Q is a legendary Austin BBQ joint complete with a backyard concert venue for the perfect night of food and entertainment in Austin. The concerts vary from some of Austin’s best local musicians to Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, and Robert Earl Keen. I buy Stubb’s BBQ rubs and sauces in local stores and I love their smoked sausage! Stubb’s also has a Sunday morning Gospel Brunch that is really fun to attend.
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