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Kreuz Market

Like its neighbor a few miles away, Smitty’s, Kreuz is a Texas legend. Housed in a building the size of a Division I basketball arena with a forest of chopped wood out back, the open pits here are roughly the size of school buses. Be sure to get the ham-on-the-bone and all of the sides. … Continued

Snow’s BBQ

Open only on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. (or until they run out), Snow’s is a good hour drive from Austin, in the town of Lexington. The brisket didn’t change my life, but seeing the forest of chopped wood out back, plus the old granny shoveling hot coals beneath the whole pork shoulders, … Continued

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Located on the outskirts of Austin, this cafeteria-style barbecue joint has some of the best hot links around (thanks to Tim Mikeska). I would easily put their brisket up against anyone’s in town, and the ribs are notable as well. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew 6610 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78757; (512) 380-9199

Smitty’s Market

Like so many great Central Texas barbecue spots, you need a car to get to it. With Austin as your base, make the drive out to Lockhart, home to not only Smitty’s, but the legendary Kreuz Market as well. This is German immigrant country, and you’ll spot the sauerkraut and potato salad, as opposed to … Continued

Franklin Barbecue

In the course of just a year or so, Aaron Franklin and his team have created a must-stop destination on the Austin barbecue trail. My friends in town say the locals have all moved on to La Barbecue, due to the ridiculous lines though (you need to get there by 8 a.m. if you want … Continued


Thai food? In Austin? Don’t forget this is a capital city and home to a major university too. This sexier-than-it-needs-to-be Thai restaurant comes from the same team behind La Condessa. Expect homemade curries and funky, spicy, fish sauce-laced salads. After a weekend of smoked brisket and short ribs, it’s a welcome respite. Sway 1417 S. … Continued


If you’re tired of a weekend laced with smoked brisket, ribs and hot links, Austin is pleased to offer quite a bit more. These two sister restaurants offer quite a departure. Uchi is the refined older sibling, offering contemporary Japanese dining and sushi; Uchiko is the younger upstart, with its Japanese farmhouse menu, as well … Continued

Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ

Like many great barbecue joints in Central Texas, you have to drive a little bit outside of Austin to reach them. Cooper’s, in Llano, is worth the drive. The proteins are presented directly on the enormous pit smokers for diners; you choose what looks good, they weigh it, you sit down and eat it. Hot … Continued

La Barbecue

While everyone (mostly out-of-owners) goes gaga for Franklin, locals know that La Barbecue, named for LeAnn Mueller, is just as good, if not better than Franklin (mostly because the line isn’t as ridiculously long). Pit master John Lewis knows how to slowly coax the best from brisket and ribs by low, slow smoking, and while … Continued


Paul Qui combines his French and Japanese training with his Filipino heritage at this very personal restaurant on East 6th Street. In a town of barbecue, his is food worth seeking out. Yes, you’ll find crispy pig’s head and a lumpia (egg roll) taco with pork and fried shrimp, but you’ll also see delicate kanpachi … Continued

Louie Mueller Barbecue

I realize Mueller isn’t actually in Austin proper, but it’s an easy 40 minute drive to Taylor, TX, and it’s well worth your time. Mueller is to Central Texas barbecue what Malnati’s is to Chicago deep dish: the standard by which all followers have based their original recipe. Aaron Franklin was inspired by the pits … Continued