7 Must-Visit Barbecue Spots

As Texans, we’ll admit that we can be overly proud of things like our state size and our sports teams, but I think we can all agree that we serve up some pretty mean barbecue. Juicy, slow-smoked brisket, tender ribs slathered in sauce, and more cheesy, buttery sides than you can imagine. In celebration of the forthcoming season 4 of Goodtaste with Tanji (premiering September 15th), I’m sharing some of my favorites from the past 2 years. Here are 7 of my go-to barbecue spots in the Lone Star State.

La Barbecue – Austin

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Austin has one of the best food truck scenes in the country and it wouldn’t be complete without the wood-fired meats at La Barbecue. Pitmaster Dylan Taylor learned his tricks and received his 3 smokers, housed across from the food truck, from a local barbecue legend, John Lewis of Franklin Barbecue. For brisket with a crispy “bark” (BBQ speak for “crust”), he seasons his meat with a simple course-ground rub of black pepper, kosher salt and garlic granules.


Pecan Lodge – Dallas

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The line at Pecan Lodge starts at 11am, but understandably – it was named the 2nd best barbecue in the state by Texas Monthly. Their crowd-favorite staples include smoked sausage and a pulled pork that is so delicate they pull it by hand. Their sides, like the three-cheese bacon mac and cheese, are some of the best in Texas.


Killen’s – Houston

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One of the secrets behind the moist, juicy brisket at Killen’s is the little piece of NASA space technology, a space shuttle tile, hidden inside their smoker. Also, don’t skip the crème brûlée bread pudding. This dessert is almost as famous as their meat and was named “one of the top 10 dishes in the country” in 2008 by Food & Wine Magazine.

The Shack BBQ – Lubbock

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The Shack BBQ is smoking some of the most tender barbecue in town, with juicy turkey, hulking ribs, and live music. Their apple pie cheesecake is also one of the best things I’ve eaten on the road. Pro tip: to guarantee a slice, make sure to call ahead because they sell out every day.


Central Texas Style Barbecue – Pearland


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At Pearland’s oldest restaurant, Central Texas Style Barbecue, the female pit masters have been tending the flame since 1969. Their food fuses Texas-style bbq with flavors from their Cuban heritage. Try the Cuban black beans and rice, or Congri, and their super-popular loaded baked potato with butter, shredded cheddar, green onions and chopped beef.


It’s All Good BBQ – Spicewood

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The awards collected by It’s All Good BBQ speak for themselves. Their slow-cooked, pit-smoked brisket has been a finalist at every major BBQ cook-off in Texas! Although they’re known for their brisket, the Pedernales sausage is spicy and smoked to perfection. The Tater Tot Casserole is also killer. Bonus: we have the recipe for it here.


Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q – Tyler

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In addition to some fantastic barbecue, Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q also has great live music six nights a week. Their patio and fully stocked bar featuring Texas craft beers and over 70 American whiskeys, bourbons, and ryes invite guests to listen to live music, chow down on a slab of ribs, and enjoy each others company hours at a time. Their award-winning ribs are smoked over pecan wood for three hours and are so juicy and tender, you’ll see why Texas Monthly named  Stanley’s as “One of the Best BBQ Joints in the World!”

6 Responses to 7 Must-Visit Barbecue Spots

Mike Filipiak says: October 6, 2018 at 12:16 am

Hi Tanji, Do yourself a big favor and try Tejas Chocolate+Barbecue in Tomball, TX. (especially on Thursdays.) How one business can excel at such diverse products as Texas Barbecue and elegant chocolate is beyond me. Both the sweet and savory are very well covered.


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