There is definitely no shortage of excellent BBQ joints in Austin and no visit to central Texas is complete without checking at least one of these amazing places. From small BBQ trailers to nicely decorated restaurants that serve BBQ specialties like brisket, pulled pork, and beef ribs, there is something for everyone here in Austin. Here is our list of the best BBQ restaurants and trailers in Austin, Texas.
Located close to the University of Texas and set inside a nice historic building, Freedmen’s offers delicious smokehouse barbecue and has a lovely beer garden with a beautiful patio. The interior of this place is amazing. The bar is a soda fountain counter from the early 20th century and there is also a cool Whiskey Wall that features an extensive whiskey list from all around the globe.
When it comes to food, Pitmaster Evan LeRoy is hanging around in the backyard and preparing BBQ specialties like pulled pork, brisket, and pork ribs. For starters, you can get jalapeno cheese, smoked beets, or pit chili. In addition to the meat that is ordered by weight, there are several sides to choose from including horseradish potato salad, grilled cabbage slaw, and house made pickles. If you still have some room left for dessert, make sure to try smoked banana pudding or smoked chocolate mousse.
Franklin Barbecue is one of the most popular BBQ joints in Austin and you will probably have to wait in line for a couple of hours before getting a chance to try their amazing brisket. The owner, Aaron Franklin decided to open up a small food trailer back in 2009. Little did he know that in a couple of years, Franklin Barbecue will be mentioned in New York Times and nominated for several awards because of its delicious brisket, fabulous pulled pork, and amazing sausages. I mean, President Obama visited this place recently and Franklin Barbecue is featured in the film “Chef”. Besides briskets, you can also get some amazing turkey and chopped beef. Keep in mind that Franklin Barbecue doesn’t work on Mondays.
Consider being one of the best barbecue trailers in Austin, Kerlin BBQ has a high rating on many social media including TripAdvisor and Yelp. Bill Kerlin, who is originally from Arizona, is the owner and the pitmaster of this fine BBQ trailer. Some of the signature dishes include the smoked brisket and the kolache. From sides, I would recommend jalapeno dill potato salad and charro beans. Texas Monthly describes this place as “One of the finest examples of Texas-style pulled pork”, while the Austin Chronicle wrote, “Pork ribs and sausage to die for”.
Iron Works BBQ
Iron Works BBQ was originally built from the same materials which were used in the construction of the State Capitol building. The restaurant was opened in 1978 and is still quite famous for their traditional Central Texas BBQ. The mixture of salt and pepper with paprika together with some secret ingredients is what attracts hundreds of people daily. Don’t leave this BBQ joint before trying their delicious beef ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, and pork ribs. Iron Works BBQ also offers a variety of craft beers including shiner black stout, real ale brewers cut helles, and independence brewing stash IPA, as well as desserts like pies and cobblers. The good news is that the restaurant cooks plenty of food each day and they rarely sell out.
Situated in a food trailer at Aztec Food Park, La Barbecue is run by LeAnn Mueller who is the daughter of the legendary BBQ master Bobby Mueller and her wife Alison Clem. The pitmaster Dylan Taylor is in charge of preparing beef ribs, briskets, and sausages. He believes that Central Texas has its own style when it comes to BBQ, but also adds how most BBQ joints in Austin have their own signature made from different flavors. Adding chipotle and granulated garlic to a couple of things is what they do around here, and judging by the lengthy lines in front of the trailer, La Barbecue is doing just fine.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
Featuring a simple interior with wooden tables and a nice bar, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew is situated in the Violet Crown Shopping Center and attracts large crowds of visitors each day. The pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick who is a Texas native with over 15 years of cooking experience makes sure that all BBQ dishes are prepared in a classic Texas style. Smoked meats on the menu include brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast, Texas frito pie, St. Louis pork ribs, and sausage. Besides delicious BBQ meats, Switch BBQ & Brew has an extensive list of Texas craft beers on tap. Their version of corn casserole is super tasty and sweets like homemade peach cobbler and banana pudding are definitely worth ordering.