Austin is BBQ Ground Zero
Austin has always had good BBQ. I was hardly here a whole day before I ate at County Line BBQ on 2222. And I haven’t lived more than 2 miles from a County Line BBQ ever since… And yet County Line isn’t anywhere near the best BBQ in Austin. Maybe it was up there once upon a time, but these days the BBQ competition is heated. For years, Austinites would make the pilgrimage to Salt Lick, or to Lockhart for one of Black’s, Kreuz, or Smitty’s (or one of the others!). Or to Llano. Or Lampasas. Seems that every town that starts with an L has good BBQ around here.
But then something changed. Good BBQ came to the heart of Austin as well.
- First, the best BBQ in the state: Franklin’s Barbecue. I can’t argue with them, except that the lines are so long that I’ve only eaten there twice.
- John Mueller Meat Co. All my friends swear by it- I need to try it.
- La Barbecue – Haven’t been yet
- Lamberts Downtown Barbecue (this place is so good outside of BBQ, but every time I go, I end up getting the brisket!)
- Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew – Great BBQ.
Keep in mind, 3 of those places are new since the last time they compiled the list 5 years ago. And you can still get mighty good BBQ from Rudy’s, County Line, The Pitt, Stubbs, IronWorks, Blue Ribbon BBQ, and Salt Lick. And this doesn’t even get to the food trucks that have amazing BBQ.
- Fredericksburg: Cranky Frank’s Barbecue Company
- Giddings: City Meat Market
- LLano: Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (Seriously, this place is fantastic)
- Lockhart: Black’s Barbecue and Kreuz Market ( I would swear by both of these )
- Spicewood: Opie’s Barbecue (I concur, this is good stuff)
- Smithville: Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ
Of course, as a process guy, part of the reason I like BBQ is because it is all about the smoking process. The best BBQ doesn’t need sauce, or even silverware. Just fingers and napkins. Or maybe wet wipes. Most of these places love to tell you about how they smoke their meat, when they’re not too busy. Because they’re also process-geeks in a sense. It reminds me of talking to people who home-brew beer, or roast their own coffee beans.