Nothing is more Texas than BBQ. The tradition of cooking up BBQ has deep roots here, and today many of the most popular BBQ restaurants in the state are still family run, keeping alive the secret family recipes and techniques that has kept generations of customers coming back for more.
Pitmasters in Austin compete daily to produce the finest BBQ in Texas, and the result is an abundance of incredible savory offerings. On any day in Austin, you can sample some of the tastiest BBQ in the world, served up in establishments ranging from fine to funky.
We here at Mike’s Bikes and Tours have spent many long years making the BBQ rounds and in our humble opinion, these 5 are a must stop if you want to experience the best BBQ in Austin. All of these are centrally located and are easily accessible by bike if you are staying in east Austin or downtown areas.
1. Micklethwait Craft Meats 1309 Rosewood Ave. Austin, TX 78702
Micklethwait Craft Meats is a BBQ trailer located in the heart of east Austin. Owned by local Austinite Tom Micklethwait, this is hands down our favorite place to eat meat. In addition to delicious BBQ, chicken and sausage, they have a great selection of side dishes, including my favorite, jalapeno cheese grits, and delicious homemade white bread. They open Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays) at 11am and close when they sell out (typically by 2 or so). Get there early to ensure the best selection.
2. Franklin’s BBQ 900 E 11th Street Austin, TX 78702
Franklin’s is likely the most famous BBQ restaurant in Austin, and possibly even the world. Owned by Austin native Aaron Franklin, Franklin’s has made waves on the national stage. If you want to sample Franklin’s famous brisket for yourself, you’ll need to plan ahead. Lines start forming around 8 a.m. daily, with the restaurant opening at 11 a.m. When they sell out, they close. Open Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays.
3. La Barbecue 2027 E Cesar Chavez Austin, TX 78704
La Barbecue has quickly become an east side favorite since its opening in 2012. It’s owned and operated by LeAnn Mueller, granddaughter of Louie Mueller, the founder of the famous Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Texas. Mueller has lived up to the family legacy, producing some of the best BBQ Austin has to offer. They are open Wednesday to Sunday, 11-6. Pro tip: free beer is available for diners from Friday to Sunday.
If you’re into BBQ, you might recognize the name Black’s. It’s a famous BBQ in Lockhart, Texas, just east of Austin. Terry Black’s twin sons, Michael and Mark, are the owners of Terry Black’s in Austin. Its the same great BBQ, just served a little closer to home. Unlike many of our favorite BBQ, they are open 7 days a week to satisfy all of your BBQ needs. Catch them Monday to Thursday from 11-9pm and Friday and Saturday from 11-9:30pm and Sundays from 11-9..
5. Uncle Billy’s 1530 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704
Uncle Billy’s is a true Austin synergy - a craft brewery that serves up delicious BBQ. Founded by local Austinites, this local gem features inside dining plus a spacious patio with ample seating plus a wide variety of beers. We love Uncle Billy’s so much that we include it as a stop on our Southside Springs and Brews tour!
Austin is blessed with some of the best BBQ in the country! Having so many great restaurants in a centralized area is just one of the things that makes Austin so unique and fun. Its an added bonus that Austin is a bike friendly city, making it easy to traverse the city and experience all that Austin has to offer. Bike lanes and corridors traverse central Austin and provide easy access to the city’s restaurants, live music venues, parks and urban trails. If you are planning a trip to Austin and want to make the most of your experience, you will definitely want to rent a bike.