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Barbecue Joints in Austin

Aug 16, 2008
Texas BBQ is legendary slow smoked meats served with or without sauce, with our without sides. Although Llano, Lockhart and Taylor boast the most storied BBQ joints in the state, Austin holds its own with some incredible BBQ options. Whether holding to the bottom line of Texas BBQ, beef brisket, or expanding out to include sausage, pork ribs, or chicken, BBQ lovers can find down-home joints, high-tone restaurants, and even music venues serving up Austin's finest.

Stubb's: Probably the most famous Austin BBQ originally came from Lubbock, in the plains of West Texas, where C.B. Stubblefield's hickory-smoked meats and heavenly sauce fortified a burgeoning music scene, including Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. In Austin, Stubb's sauce was bottled informally until the restaurant and music venue bearing his name in tribute, opened on Red River. With an outdoor amphitheater and an indoor nightclub, concert goers can chow down on great 'cue before the show without losing their parking place! (801 Red River / Austin, Texas 78701 / 512.480.8341)

Iron Works: Downtowners and out-of-towners alike flock to this unassuming corrugated metal shack, lured by the aromatic smoke curling throughout the business district. The Iron Works was formerly just that an iron working business, but in 1978 the building got a historic designation and the family began serving up BBQ. They also offer custom smoking of any meat you bring to them . (100 Red River / Austin, TX / 78701 / 512-478-4855)

Sam's: This east side institution serves their delectable fare until late in the night, making it a favorite of the local musicians and music fans. The building might seem a little run-down, but make no mistake this is some of the finest 'cue in Texas. Sam's is justifiably famous for its friendly service, musician-friendly hours, and an offering not found at many other Austin joints melt-in-your-mouth mutton. (2000 E 12th St / Austin, TX 78702-1702 / (512) 478-0378)

Green Mesquite: Located just south of the river, along "Restaurant Row" on Barton Springs just adjacent to Zilker Park, this funky, charming spot is one of Austin's favorite BBQ joints. Their meat combos are popular, and they offer other temptations like some of the best fried catfish in the area. The decor is purely South Austin with neon, music posters, cushy booths and a checkerboard floor. Cold Shiner Bock on draft, bluegrass in their biergarten - this place is hard to beat. (1400 Barton Springs Rd / Austin, TX 78704 / (512) 479-0485

Lambert's: A relative newcomer to the River City's BBQ scene, Lambert's Downtown Barbecue is one of the more upscale joints in town to dish out some well-made Texas food. Located in a renovated building in the burgeoning 2nd Street shopping and dining district, Lambert's features live music, mostly jazz and DJs, in addition to grilled steaks, seafood, inventive sides, and of course, fine smoked meats. Beef and pork ribs, the ubiquitous brisket, and "fancy" surprises such as quail and trout emerge from their oak burning smoker. (401 W 2nd St. Austin, TX 78701)
About the Author
Ki is a realtor working in the Austin Texas real estate market. His website provides a graphical search of the Austin MLS. He also runs a blog covering Austin real estate.
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