Texas BBQ is more than just food – It’s a religion. With Texas Monthly as its Bible, and its Holy Trinity being the trio of brisket, sausage and ribs.
BBQ should be an experience. BBQ should consist of a road trip, waiting in line, or a combination of both. If you can walk straight up to a BBQ place and order, something is terribly wrong. And the wait isn’t so bad if paired with BYOB mimosas or free beer.
In addition to the BBQ classics like Corkscrew, Franklin and Truth, I’m highlighting on this list some new fusion BBQ pop-ups around the state. These new places are redefining Texas BBQ. My favorite BBQ right now is not Franklin or Snow’s, but a twice-a-month Asian BBQ pop-up serving up brisket hand rolls and beef cheek ramen.
Find your favorite below!
Truth BBQ, Brenham
- While the meat is fantastic, my favorite thing about Truth may be the free Lone Star in line while you wait. Or the homemade pies.
- They’ve also now opened a shop in the Heights, Houston, but I prefer making the drive to their shack off the highway in Brenham.
- Read my full review at the link above.
- What to get? Holy Trinity, corn pudding, beans, any pie
Corkscrew BBQ, Spring
- Corkscrew is a top 10 BBQ spot in Old Town Spring, just north of Houston.
- In addition to the classics, I love the addition of green chile ranch. The Bob-bert is a pulled pork sandwich topped with green chile ranch and pico de gallo, while the Buckman tacos are the same thing, but in taco format.
- What to get? Pork ribs, bob-bert sandwich or buckman tacos
Khoi BBQ, Houston
- Khoi is an Asian fusion BBQ pop-up in the Houston area, started by two Vietnamese brothers.
- While they have some serious logistics issues, their food is absolutely fantastic, and may – just may – be worth that 1.5-3 hour wait.
- They have mastered Texas BBQ classics like brisket and beef ribs, and continue to offer unique, new dishes including brisket pho, brisket bun bo hue, beef rib penang curry, beef cheek ramen, hand rolls (brisket, sushi rice and fried shallots wrapped in seaweed), bo luc lac sausage, and chicken rice.
- Khoi BBQ is one to watch. Follow these guys on Instagram to find their next pop-up, and buy some merch (the ‘Viet Tex’ hats are so cool).
- What to get? Beef rib, brisket, and any specials on the menu that day.
Eddie O’s BBQ, Houston
- Eddie O’s is a Tex-Mex BBQ pop-up in NE Heights. Their pecan-roasted barbacoa taco was recently highlighted in Bon Appetit as one of the top ten tacos in the nation.
- The El Corazon taco is one of the best things I have eaten. It’s a costra taco, meaning, instead of a flour tortilla, there’s a crusty cheese wrapping. This one is stuffed with fatty brisket and salsa.
- Don’t forget a side of elotes – Their version is a full corn on the cob, with a lovely dry chile rub.
- What to get? Brisket, El Corazon taco, barbacoa taco, boudin taco, elotes
Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ, Austin
- Out of a permanent food truck in South Austin, Valentina’s has consistently been on Texas Monthly’s top 50 BBQ restaurants.
- They serve meat by the pound, ‘tex’ sandwiches and ‘mex’ tacos, but the breakfast tacos are where they shine. Get there before 10am, or they’ll be done serving breakfast tacos.
- What to get? The Real Deal Holyfield taco (fried egg, potatoes, refried beans, bacon, fatty brisket, and serrano salsa), specials like their tacos de lengua, carnitas tacos
Hurtado BBQ, Arlington
- Hurtado BBQ is a pop-up, imminently moving into a permanent location in Arlington. They also focus on Tex-Mex BBQ.
- Their sausage is a star here, with unique flavors including tamale and carne guisada.
- Texas Twinkies – bacon wrapped jalapeños stuffed with brisket and cream cheese
- What to get? Brisket, sausage, quail, Texas Twinkies, burnt ends, and a side of tortillas
Fargo BBQ, Brenham-College Station
- Not worth a trip to College Station just for this BBQ, but worth a detour while you’re in town. The food is consistent, and the people are incredibly nice.
- What to get? Loaded baked potato, burnt ends, ribs, sweet tea