Food

Texas Monthly’s “The 50 Best BBQ Joints” in Texas

Tyler Frazer of Tyler’s Barbecue. PHOTOGRAPH BY WYATT MCSPADDEN.

Texas Monthly’s much-anticipated list of “The 50 Best BBQ Joints” in Texas is live on TexasMonthly.com and out in the June issue on newsstands! Released only every four years, the list is the work of Texas Monthly editors and writers under the direction of the only full-time barbecue editor in the magazine industry, Daniel Vaughn. The crew of some two dozen spent months eating their way across Texas to rank quality ‘cue from nice restaurants to food trucks.

2017tmcover-june-1-237x300The 2017 “50 Best BBQ Joints” list is also published in a pocket-sized BBQ Passport, presented by YETI Coolers. In addition, the list has inspired a collection of barbecue-themed goods on the Texas Monthly General Store, an editorially curated e-commerce site (texasmonthly.com/store) launching with the June issue.

To celebrate “The 50 Best BBQ Joints” issue, Texas Monthly has released a limited number of early-bird tickets to the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest weekend. Hosted in Austin for the eighth consecutive year, this year’s festival rolls out a two-day line-up. Programming begins on Saturday, November 4th, with the Texas Monthly’s Brisket Brunch and a new educational event entitled Texas Monthly ‘Cue Course. The festival itself will be held on Sunday, November 5th, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. The Early-Bird Ticket Sale will give barbecue lovers three days to purchase tickets at TexasMonthly.com/tmbbqfest. This sale kicks off at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 22, and ends Wednesday, May 24, at 10 p.m. General sales for the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest Weekend go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 10th.

This year’s list marks the fifth edition of the magazine’s “50 Best” rankings. Not only is the list an indispensable practical guide, it also chronicles Texas’s changing ‘cue scene. Barbecue is more urban than ever, and the joints are younger than ever, as a new generation of entrepreneurs joins the time-honored masters of the craft.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JODY HORTON
PHOTOGRAPH BY JODY HORTON

Barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn said, “Previously we singled out four or five places as the best of the best. This year we made it a top ten—and half of those weren’t even in existence when we did the last list.” Texas barbecue has also gained status nationally. In 2015, Austin’s Aaron Franklin, the owner of Franklin Barbecue, was named Best Chef in the Southwest region at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. Texas Monthly food editor Patricia Sharpe said, “The award shows that Texas-style smoked meats can attain the highest quality. Franklin is not just a pitmaster; he is a chef.

Top 10 of the 50 Best BBQ Joints: 

1.         Snow’s BBQ, Lexington

2.         Franklin Barbecue, Austin

3.         Cattleack Barbeque, Dallas

4.         Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Longview

5.         Louie Mueller Barbecue, Taylor

6.         Tejas Chocolate Craftory, Tomball

7.         CorkScrew BBQ, Spring

8.         Micklethwait Craft Meats, Austin

9.         Evie Mae’s Pit Barbeque, Wolfforth

10.      Truth Barbeque, Brenham

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About the author

Shelley Seale

Shelley Seale is a freelance journalist and author in Austin who has written for National Geographic, USA Today, EAT Magazine, TravelFinder, The Guardian and Texas Monthly, among others. She loves food, travel, yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. Shelley has performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, she doesn’t know how to whistle.

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