In Texas, talking barbecue is a cherished pastime — and it's a big business — so the latest accounting of the state's most-talented pitmasters released Monday by Texas Monthly should give fans of smoked meat something to chew on.
Aaron Franklin's east-side eatery was bumped out of the top spot, although it didn't fall far, and overall the capital city was highly lauded. A record seven Austin restaurants made the cut — up from five the last time Texas Monthly compiled the list in 2014, and the most of any city in the state. Go here to see the complete rundown and begin making plans to visit them all.
The Austin restaurants included in the list, and their rank if they made the top 10:
- No. 2: Franklin Barbecue, led by Aaron Franklin, who Texas Monthly dubs "the most famous barbecue cook in the country;"
- No. 8: Micklethwait Craft Meats, the trailer that owner Tom Micklethwait has been running since 2012 just east of Franklin;
- Freedmen’s, with pitmaster Bradley Robinson at the helm in a historic West Campus building;
- La Barbecue, a food trailer on East Cesar Chavez owned by LeAnn Mueller and Ali Clem that trails only Franklin for the honor of "longest barbecue line in Austin;"
- Stiles Switch, the North Lamar joint owned by Shane Stiles, who is planning another location in Dripping Springs;
- Terry Black’s Barbecue, where two generations of the Black family steer the ship;
- Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, pitmaster Miguel Vidal's far-south food truck that is preparing to open its first brick-and-mortar location.
More accolades flooded to restaurants on Austin's rural periphery, traditionally home to some of the best 'cue in the state, including overall No. 1 Snow's Barbecue in Lexington, about an hour east of downtown Austin. Others receiving praise were Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak in Burnet, Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in Llano, Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Hays Co. Bar-B-Que in San Marcos and Louie Mueller in Taylor, which was was named the fifth-best barbecue restaurant in the state.