2815 La Sale Ave, Waco, TX “I steer the group out of the high traffic area and resigned myself next to a barrel of peanuts.” In 5 reviews.
701 Dallas St, Bell mead, TX Rudy's Bar-B-Q famous for brisket, pieces, and sides that can be served up cafeteria-technique in a no-frills setting with indoor party tables.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and group meals are regularly accessible, and the barbecue pantry was open for seven days a week, especially for late-night Food lovers. “ A butcher by profession and a good businessman by soul, he indeed considered his clients and engaged in providing them with high-quality meats and other foods.
The restaurant was initially started as a grocery store and meat market by Tony Maria Jr. Geoff's wife Elizabeth, son Blake, and nephew Anthony help to maintain the establishment; the company now works solely as a barbecue restaurant using the same method that's been served since the '50s.
Don't worry about the cooking for the weekends and family gatherings and special events; their catering crew handles your needs. “ All of our barbecue restaurants actually face a rigorous 50-Point Inspection, which includes customer reviews, history, complaints, ratings, satisfaction, trust, cost and general excellence.
I like that I can get a good meal that includes plenty of vegetables. Hell yea girl bet you slap yo mother after eating a chop BBQ sandwich, and you might just drink the BBQ sauce out the bottle.
Owners Phillip and Yvette Hedberg are passionate about what they do and love being able to share it with others. They specialize in traditional Central Texas-Style Barbecue, cooking their meats low and slow to perfection.
Welcome to Vivek’s, Home of the Original Gut PAK! Whether you are a local Waco an, here for the first time, or returning to an old favorite, we are so glad you are here.
No matter what type of top BBQ list gets produced, you can count on one thing: Texas will be mentioned at least once, if not multiple times. For this year's South's Best list, we decided to take a deep dive into the great BBQ joints in Texas.
Here are the top 10, reader voted BBQ restaurants in the state of Texas. This is a Central Texas fan-favorite spot for their beef brisket and “shoulder clod,” but the pork chop is a surprise treat.
The Schmidt family from Cruz Market brought the flavors of their legendary barbecue town tithe big city of Dallas. College Station From a mobile trailer that’s now permanently parked on the outskirts of College Station, Brad Down wows visitors with prime-grade brisket and plenty of homemade sides.
Founder Ronnie Killed expanded his menu and added dinner hours, but folks still lineup at lunch for brisket and ribs. There are nearly 20 Bodacious franchises that dot the state, and they all serve the restaurant’s beloved original sauce.
Austin Customers still wait hours for brisket and ribs from Aaron Franklin, the celebrity pit master who put Austin barbecues on the map. The Salt Lick’s dramatic finishing pit brims with tempting mounds of brisket, sausage ropes, and massive racks of ribs.
I’ve spent the two years since we published our 2017 list of the Top 50 barbecue joints trying to keep up by taking frequent road trips to every corner of the state. Motivated by the competitive barbecue scene and inspired by the foods they eat out or at home, pit masters are enlivening their menus with ingredients and cooking styles from all over the world.
New spots in the Austin area are serving brisket band mi, barbecue gumbo, and kimchi instead of pickles. Moroccan-style carrots and Armenian coffee share the stage with Tex-Mex touches like pic ode Gallo sausage, barbacoa, and elites.
We launched it in 2015 because the level of activity in the Texas barbecue scene had gotten so intense that it seemed wrong to make readers wait to hear about the worthy rookies until we released our next Top 50 list, which comes out every four years. And then there are the top-tier places that have spawned second locations, such as Austin’s Micklethwait Craft Meats, which launched a satellite in Smithville, and Blenheim’s Truth Barbecue, which expanded to Houston.
While these places are technically new, their parent operations got plenty of accolades in our last Top 50 list. Austin Opened: 2017 Pit masters: Evan Leroy, Brad Robinson, and Thomas Spaulding Pro tip: Incredible smoked burgers are available after 5 p.m.
Leroy made our last midterm report as pit master of the now-closed Freedmen’s, but by the time the Austin joint appeared on our 2017 Top 50, he was no longer there. In March of that year, Leroy and business partner Sawyer Lewis, who works the counter, opened a food truck, and since day one they’ve been ahead of the curve with barbecue trends.
Their de facto beef option is smoked cheek meat, which is somehow even juicier than fatty brisket. Their sauce contains beets, kimchi is standard on their sandwiches, and you might even be treated to fried rice inside their smoked boudin.
Austin Opened: 2018 Pit master: Bram Trip Pro tip: The smoked beef brisket is served only at dinner. Their Asian smokehouse concept pairs meats with sauces more likely to contain fish and herbs than ketchup and molasses.
Trip left the Pit Room, in Houston, to oversee the smokers at Lord, and his skill is on display with proteins ranging from baby back ribs to cured and smoked salmon. Beaumont Opened: 2012 Pit master: Charles Brewer Pro tip: Visit on Saturdays for smoked oxtails.
Brewer operated a food truck before opening inside a convenience store, in 2016, but I didn’t discover his links until late 2017, right before he moved into his current building. His are a little leaner and have more of a smoky punch, but they have that recognizable spice from red pepper and Chile powder.
There’s plenty of brisket, pork ribs, and house-made sausage to sample, but the team also draws from their Asian heritage for items like the smoked turkey band mi with a thick swipe of house-made chicken liver Pate. Blenheim Opened: 2017 Pit masters: Matt Lowery and Corey Cook Pro tip: Come here when the line at nearby Truth Barbecue is unbearable.
I’m still craving the collard greens with bacon and the creamy macaroni and cheese, which starts with an Alfredo-like sauce, as much as I am the sweet and salty ribs and the tender, smoky brisket. College Station Opened: 2017 Pit master: Brad Down Pro tip: When you think you’ve driven too far, just keep going a little ways down.
Whether it’s the peppery pork ribs, smoky brisket, or juicy turkey breast with a touch of smoked paprika, this barbecue will keep you coming back. Some regulars are so taken with the corn casserole and loaded mashed potatoes that they order double portions.
Dripping Springs Opened: 2018 Pit masters: Chris McGhee, Bill Dumas, Troy Warwick, and Marco Ogles by Pro tip: Don’t miss the brisket Benedict for Sunday brunch. For their second act, the folks who brought us Stiles Switch, a 2017 Top 50 joint in Austin, headed west, to just outside Dripping Springs, where they’re serving up their version of Cajun-Texan barbecue.
You’ll find all the Texas favorites, like juicy brisket, sweet and spicy pork ribs, and some of the finest smoked sausages around, but be adventurous. Potato salad replaces the rice in a bowl of brisket, chicken, and sausage gumbo, prompting you to wonder why this version isn’t offered statewide.
Ernest Morales’s custom brisket knife at Panther City BBQ, in Fort Worth. Left:Ernest Morales’s custom brisket knife at Panther City BBQ, in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Opened: 2018 Pit masters: Chris Magazines and Ernest Morales Pro tip: Check their hours, as the transition from trailer to brick-and-mortar might affect their schedule. It’s good, but more impressive is how they pair it with a jalapeño, which they cut in half, stuff with cheese, top with the pork belly, and wrap in bacon.
The brisket is going to be generously coated in black pepper and cooked hot and fast, giving it a bark that bites back. He also makes a sauce that’s so good, with heat and plenty of beefy flavor, that I break my own rule against dipping; try it with the brisket or maybe a chunk of beef rib pulled cleanly away from the bone.
Bhutto Opened: 2017 Pit master: Dustin Pasta Pro tip: A simple sausage wrap makes for a quick and inexpensive lunch. This is my plea to stop eight miles earlier at the Texaco gas station on FM 1660, just off U.S. 79, for a spot as good as you’ll find anywhere.
Pasta smokes a mean brisket, ribs, and half chicken, and he also makes his own sausage from an old Polish family recipe that uses mustard seeds. Houston Opened: 2018 Pit master: Patrick Fees Pro tip: Try as many sides as you can during your visit.
Erin Smith, a chef who’s worked at restaurants such as New York’s Per Se and Houston’s Main Kitchen, wanted a place to showcase her cooking skills, especially with vegetables. Whole ears of corn take on a smoky flavor while getting browned on the flat top for elites, and the greens taste like they’re straight from a Southern grandmother’s kitchen.
Magnolia Opened: 2018 Pit masters: James McFarland, Michael Mishna, and Wade Elkins Pro tip: There’s even smoke in the salad, a variation on a Caesar that uses smoked egg yolks in the dressing. Opened as a passion project by McFarland, who works full-time in the oil and gas industry, and Mishna, a full-time firefighter, Reveille has turned into a weekend barbecue destination for fans (it’s about a fifty-mile drive from Houston).
The two friends have brought on Elkins, most recently of Fees BBQ, to help expand the menu and the operating hours. Marathon Opened: 2018 Pit masters: Nick Reese, Elliott Reese, and Phillip Hollering Pro tip: Bring a designated driver or stay at the Gage Hotel (which owns Brick Vault), because there are six beers on tap.
It used to be a challenge to find good barbecue in the Big Bend region, but several solid options have popped up just within the past few years. The brisket and ribs are impressive, and it’s not often you find fresh green beans at a barbecue joint, or slaw so good you can’t imagine the meal without it.
This converted gas station on the west side of town opens for dinner only on Friday through Sunday, and there’s no doubt you’ll leave happy. Scott cranks out the best barbecue Maria has ever seen from a hail-damaged smoker that sits in front of the building, right alongside the picnic tables.
His sausage-making skills are also on full display, so be sure to try the weekly special; it was the pork all pastor during my visit. Mark’s wife, Kali, makes lemon hand pies, and I’ll tell you from experience that one is good, but another for the road is even better.
Monster pork spareribs coated in black pepper and tender turkey slices also impressed. Bolton Opened: 2017 Pit master: Aaron Region Pro tip: Time your visit with the Thursday evening special of smoked fajitas.
The tiny town is thirty minutes off Interstate 27, between Lubbock and Amarillo, so folks must be traveling for a taste of their smoky brisket, sweet baby back ribs, and peppery turkey breast. Green Chile show up on barbecue menus in these parts often pretty, and the Regions put them to good use in their creamed corn.
Going far beyond chopped beef and pulled pork, Brotherton and his crew make a mean smoked cheeseburger, a pastrami Reuben that’ll easily feed two, and a brisket band mi that’s sure to become a new favorite. Owner Joseph Salinas’s family had great success at the nearby Copper Moon Bar & Grill before deciding to dive into barbecue.
They bought a couple of Tyler smokers in Mesquite and brought in Garcia, a pit master with plenty of experience at Freedmen’s and Terry Black’s, in Austin, so it’s no mystery why the monster beef ribs are magnificent here. Harlem Road Texas BBQ's pit master Ara Malian slicing beef ribs.
Right:Harlem Road Texas BBQ's pit master Ara Malian slicing beef ribs. If the Armenian native is cutting meat, he’ll probably be wielding a large blade that’s nothing short of menacing.
He’s like the Indiana Jones of Texas barbecue and smokes one of the finest beef ribs I’ve eaten. Rockdale Opened: 2018 Pit master: Brett Born Pro tip: Ask for the fruity rib sauce of the day.
Born is banking on Rockdale with his new barbecue truck, despite the recent closings of the Sand ow Power Plant and the hospital. But the truck’s location, right on U.S. 79, in the center of town, seems to be working for it, judging from the happy customers filling up the picnic tables on a Saturday.
An all-beef variety brings the Texas barbecue flavor; a little heat comes with the jalapeño link; and the pic ode Gallo sausage is like a smoked version of chorizo. But thanks to flawless smoked brisket, stunning house-made sausages, and an array of satisfying sides made from scratch, it’s worth the trip for Parasites who are willing to drive an hour or so.
Tuesday is taco day; I like the smoked barbacoa and brisket, both of which are served with pickled onions, cilantro, and cream. Sister dale Opened: 2017 Pit masters: Jake Randolph and Jo Primary Pro tip: Get a cookie to go and warm it on your dashboard.
It might sound dubious to start by praising a barbecue joint for its fried foods, but you’d understand if you’d tried the catfish here. Brisket burnt ends have just the right amount of chew in the bark, with salty beef gushing with fat beneath.
Specials include a brisket grilled cheese with a bowl of creamy tomato soup. Salton Opened: 2018 Pit master: Isaac Arellano Pro tip: Thursday nights are dedicated to barbecue tacos.
Monday through Wednesday, Arellano would change oil and fix flats in the place his dad ran for decades and then switch over to pit master duties the rest of the week, using two smokers beneath the awning where gas pumps once stood. But after a break-in in February, the auto shop closed; Arellano plans to convert it into a pit room this summer.
Try the thick pork ribs with more than a hint of Chile powder in the rub, the eminently juicy turkey breast, or a bite of peppery brisket. For seven years Guess ran the kitchen at Lambert’s, an Austin restaurant known for serving fancy barbecue alongside wood-fired meats.
When he and his wife, Sara, decided to move to a city less saturated with barbecue, they chose Waco, where her family lives. His brisket and sausage are good too, but I can’t wait to see what surprises he’ll be serving up with a full kitchen and a bigger staff.
Left:Potato salad, sausage, and smoked turkey at Hedberg Barbecue, in Waco. Waco Opened: 2018 Pit master: Phillip Hedberg Pro tip: Ask for pastrami beef cheeks, one of the most unusual barbecue items in Texas.
When Phillip and Yvette Hedberg decided to move their Southern California barbecue-catering business to Phillip’s native Texas last spring, they started small, serving locals from a well-worn truck (which they’ve since replaced) parked out in front of Pinewood Public House, on Austin Avenue. At press time, they were opening a brick-and-mortar on Highway 6; the truck will be renamed Hedberg on Austin and focus on pub food.