As the live music capital of the world and inventor of the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” this city is a trending vacation destination. Along with killer live music, a booming tech scene, and numerous festivals (Austin City Limits and South By Southwest to name a few), this southern city boasts world-famous, mouthwatering barbecue. Below you’ll find a round-up of must try joints in the capital of Texas.
The crown jewel of the Austin BBQ scene, Franklins has received global recognition. Bon Appetit even named it the best BBQ in the country in 2011. Prepare to wait in line for up to three hours, as they only make a certain amount of food and once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s totally worth it though, and most people come prepared with brews and snacks–think of it as a tailgate. When it’s time to order you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but my favorite is the brisket. Grab a vintage Big Red soda to wash it all down.
This Austin institution has multiple locations, but the best way to enjoy their fire pit smoked meats is to venture into the Texas hill country. On multiple acres of land, Salt Lick even has a winery on site! The ambiance is laid back and there’s typically live music to set the warm, country atmosphere. If you’re not afraid of the meat sweats, order the all you can eat plate, but leave room for dessert. Their peach cobbler a la mode is to die for.
All Rudy’s locations are connected to a gas station. Don’t let that trick you, as this is some solid BBQ. There is almost always a line but it’s quick and the staff at the counter welcomes out of towners with true southern hospitality. If it’s your first time they’ll let you sample a little bit of everything. The best part about Rudy’s is their selection of sides. The creamed corn is so good, I could just inhale it.
4. La Barbecue
This little place has picked up steam and is often touted as good if not better than Franklin’s. Their lines are almost as long too, but to keep waiting customers happy, the owners graciously provide guests with free beer and live music. Now that’s what I call good service. In addition to the normal BBQ staples, La Barbecue offers some awesome sandwiches. In my opinion the El Sancho with chopped brisket reigns as king.
If you’re looking for something more upscale, this is your best bet. Lamberts is located in a renovated brick building in the heart of downtown Austin. This is a date night spot that still allows you to chow down on some authentic Texas cuisine. On multiple nights a week, you can catch live music on their stage upstairs. The intimate dining spot is another must visit.
Article written by KATIE HABIG.