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Nov 13, 2009 06:08 PM

Best BBQ?

Hi all!

My husband and I are new in town, and we're curious: what would Austinites consider the best BBQ place in town? We're looking for something of good quality and affordably priced. Hit us with your best recommendations!


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  1. Welcome to Austin, Laura,

    As you might imagine, we take our barbecue pretty seriously around here, and as such, any talk of the "best" in or around town gets contentious pretty quickly. I would suggest a board search (the handy little box above) to get you the most recent opinions.

    Bear in mind that it's not unheard of for local 'hounds to drive an hour or so to get to central Texas meat meccas like Lockhart or Luling. I'll refrain from any specific rec - this topic comes up so often that you'll have no problem finding lots of mentions of crowd favorites.

    Besides, you and your husband may be the ones who discover the next great little hole-in-the-wall!

    good luck

    1. In Austin, my personal favorites are Iron Works (kind of expensive but they have beef ribs), House Park (solid but you actually do need teef to eat their beef), and Sam's (their mutton is real good if you don't mind grease).

      I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been to Mann's, which is by all accounts the best brisket in town.

      All that being said none of the places in Austin that I have been to come even close to the Lockhart, Luling, Lexington, etc. joints.

      6 Replies
      1. re: uarent

        Mann's is just okay. A neat old-timey place but the brisket compares to Bill Miller's below Pok E Joes or Rudy's. Bad sausage Eckrich quality which doesn't fly at all around here. Other meats just okay also. Nice people. Texas Monthly put them in the top 50 last year and that was a crazy sham. Go to Lockhart for bbq.

        1. re: BTAustin

          No way. Mann's brisket is leagues above all other Austin BBQ joints. Specific Rudy's location moist will compare but to mention Manns as being inferior to Poke Joe's or to compare to Bill MIller, where the meat isn't even cooked onsite, is just crazy talk.

          If you like the Lockhart style (salty bark, sizable layer of fat cap underneath) I don't see how you don't like Mann's as its in the exact same style and done well.

          1. re: BTAustin

            Went to Mann's on Friday and it was excellent. The brisket was, for me, the best I've had in town. Moist to the point that it melted in my mouth. The sides were good too, the service was friendly, and the ambiance was more than expected. And they passed around for free your choice of home made strawberry or peppermint ice cream. Long live Mann's.

            1. re: uarent

              Go on Thursdays where the brisket plate is like 7.69. And I think thursday is homemade brownie day.

          2. re: uarent

            In town, I've had pretty good luck with Texas Rib Kings at Research and Burnet. Pretty standard looking place that's mainly concerned with catering, but the brisket and (appropriately) the pork ribs were excellent. Their counter guy was excellent. Saw him bring out a new brisket and he didn't automatically cut off the fat.

            Texas Rib Kings
            9012 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758

            1. re: exlnghrn

              I'll second Texas Rib Kings. I haven't tried much else but their pork ribs are the best I have had anywhere. And you certainly can't beat the price of their young 'n old plate at $4.99 (it's all I can eat). I ask for the end pieces (I love the chewy ends!) and it usually gets me an extra rib or 2.

              Texas Rib Kings
              9012 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758

          3. One joint I wanted to hate is Woody's BBQ in San Marcos since they supposedly kicked out the fantastic Southwest Market. I finally stopped in a few weeks ago and wow that was some of the best brisket I've had since before John Mueller went off the deep end. When the girl tried to pick up a brisket to cut off my 1/2 pound, it broke in half. it was that tender. She commented that she'd get mine from a different one since that was too tender. Confident in their meat, she sliced it in 1" thick slices. Very moist with a black peppery crust. Didn't try anything else but I didn't have to.

            2 Replies
            1. re: achtungpv

              Man I miss John Mueller's joint on Manor Road. Sweet tender brisket.

              1. re: uarent

                Best intown for traditional BBQ is House Park, since 1943.

            2. This isn't quite in-town, but I'll throw a vote in for Johnny T's. Solid moist brisket with a good pink smoke ring. Sausage is respectable Elgin sausage (Meyer's I think). I also tried their pulled pork, not too common around here, and it was tasty with just enough bark thrown in for those that like such a thing.

              Where they excel is their sides. There are a lot of options, but I personally like the apple slaw with its vinegary bite and the sweet potato fries that are nicely crisp on the outside and not overly salty. Made a sandwich out of leftover pulled pork and the apple slaw and it was full of deliciousness. They have a free pickle bar with escabeche and whole pickled okra, too.

              It's in Round Rock, off of 620. If you want something good in-town, my favorite provider of BBQ at this point is Ruby's near UT.

              1. As far as ribs go, I like Artz Rib house the best. Especially their country style back ribs. Good atmosphere (if you like a "well-used" building) - bluegrass music practically all the time. I cannot vouch for their brisket cause I can never get past the ribs.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rudeboy

                  I'm not sure why Artz Rib house doesn't get more love on this board. I really like the beef rib, and like you Rudeboy that's all i've ever had. Admittedly, I have only been about 3 times, but I plan to go more.

                  1. re: rudeboy

                    I agree. I like Artz very much. I usually get the brisket but most people enjoy the ribs. I think the sides are very good there too. That being said, the best Texas style bbq I've had has been at Blacks in Lockhart.