8 Stops for Satisfying, Authentic Barbeque in Central Texas

If we are looking for recommendations on books, movies, doctors, schools, or vacation spots, we can get some of the best ideas from family and friends.

However, there is one recommendation where people are most passionate:


It’s May, and that is BBQ Month. And in Texas, we take our barbeque very seriously. We want the meat smoked with a rub and sauce on the side. White bread, please, plus pickles and onions for condiments. Pinto beans and banana pudding make it pretty much the perfect meal.

In Central Texas, including Austin, many famous barbeque restaurants are the go-to places for an authentic Texas barbeque. This list is the 8 top favorites: the big names all boasting to be the best in Texas barbeque and side dishes. They offer multiple locations, signature products, catering, and the option to have their barbeque shipped right to you. Some have been given awards or the seal of approval from the Food Network. For visitors, these 8 spots for Texas barbeque will satisfy their palates with a real taste of Texas.

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County Line

Started by Texans in Austin, County Line offers high-quality smoked barbeque and provides generous portions at reasonable prices. They offer friendly table service with linens and bar service, featured in a location that celebrates the heritage of Texas.

The Salt Lick BBQ

The location in Driftwood is the original, known for its vast open pit with the delicious smells of sausage brisket and ribs you pass on the way to your table. Their Round Rock location is right next to the Dell Diamond, home of the Texas Rangers affiliated Triple-A team, The Express. What better a place to get real tailgate food!

Franklin Barbeque

Plan ahead if you want to try some of Pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s smoked meats on Austin’s 11th Street. Lines start early and they often close as early as 2 pm when they run out. Not in Austin? Aaron has his own PBS TV series and a Masterclass, where you can sign up to learn his techniques for firing up flavor-packed Central Texas BBQ.

Southside Market

Beginning in 1882 in Elgin, Texas, Southside is authentic Texas barbeque from the oldest joint in the state. It’s still a major Elgin hotspot today in their renovated bank building on Highway 290. With three additional locations, you have more places to get their famous sausage, including multiple grocery stores in Central Texas.


Down the street from Southside is Meyer’s “Cuetopia,” 75 years young and promising a memorable dining experience with their famous sausage and sweet barbeque. According to their website, bacon became the official currency of ‘Cuetopia in 2018!

Kreuz Market

Between Austin and San Antonio is Lockhart, home of Kreuz Market. If you want a wide variety of smoked meats to pick from, visit Kreuz for beef ribs, sausage, pork, and turkey.

Kreuz Market has been making barbeque history since 1875. Charles Kreuz, who bought the market from the original owner, Jesse Swearingen, fused his German heritage with Texas cattle and pork smoked over native post oak wood. That tradition is carried on today.

The Original Blacks Barbeque

Another family tradition, also in Lockhart, is the “Original Black’s Barbecue.” Opened in 1932, this restaurant has been named the oldest barbeque joint in Texas, owned by four generations of the same family. It is also a “Top 50 in Texas BBQ Joint” in Texas Monthly magazine. Nine types of meat are offered on the menu, including turkey, pork, chicken, and the highly recommended Giant Beef Ribs. According to their website, the Black’s 50-year-old barbeque pit in Lockhart holds 500 pounds of meat at a time.

Louie Mueller Barbeque

Take a 35-mile drive northeast from Austin proper to Taylor to get barbeque at the “Best BBQ Restaurant in Texas,” serving fine barbeque since they opened their doors in 1949. Now owned by third-generation owner/pitmaster Wayne Mueller (who looks a little like Bobby Flay in his website photo), this restaurant was awarded the James Beard Foundation “American Classics’ award, the first barbeque restaurant in the country to receive the honor. If you visit on Saturday, you can try their fantastic Baby Back Ribs.

3 responses to “8 Stops for Satisfying, Authentic Barbeque in Central Texas”

  1. One day , I am going to have to have a BBQ joint tour in Central Texas. It's on my bucket list so I will use this to help select places to visit!

  2. Angie, thank you for sharing this list of historic Texas eateries. I will now be sure to partake in authentic Texas barbeque the next time I venture into your fine State. Best wishes.

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