Twenty years ago, our first Top 50 BBQ list was published in Texas Monthly. The barbecue issue is a highly anticipated issue that only comes out every few years. To search for the Top 50, a large percentage of our staff scours the state looking for hidden gems and checks in on the legends of Texas barbecue.
The process takes about six months, thousands of miles, and countless slices of brisket. If we published a new list every year, we’d spend half our time on barbecue coverage. In the past, we’ve had gaps as long as six years between issues, but the pace of Texas barbecue expansion has quickened, and every four years just sounds about right for the Olympics of Texas barbecue.
In our version, though, we pass out fifty medals.
Texas Monthly, Barbecue Editor
BBQ Passport Rules
Texas Monthly and YETI have partnered to bring you the Top 50 BBQ Joints Passport. Collect your official passport sticker at each joint while devouring the best ’cue in Texas, and complete challenges to win YETI prizes.
Please visit each joint on the Top 50 List to collect stickers and complete the challenges. Passport is limited to one per person, must be (18) years or older, and each prize may only be redeemed once.
All prizes must be redeemed in person with photo ID and BBQ passport in-hand at the YETI Flagship (220 South Congress Avenue, Austin). Passport expires 12/31/2020. Lost/stolen passports will not be replaced. *YETI passport stickers/stamps will not be available at the BBQ Fest.
Please see official YETI BBQ passport rules for more details. All prizes must be redeemed at the YETI Flagship in Austin.
BBQ Joints By Region
1 2M Smokehouse*
2 Baker Boys BBQ*
3 City Market
4 Cooper’s OLD TIME PIT
5 Franklin Barbecue
7 The Granary ’Cue & Brew
8 Hays Co. Bar-B-Que
9 Heavy’s Bar-B-Que*
10 Kreuz Market
11 La Barbecue
12 Louie Mueller barbecue
13 Micklethwait Craft Meats*
14 Miller’s Smokehouse
15 Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak*
16 Rio Grande Grill BBQ*
17 The Smoking Oak*
18 Smolik’s Smokehouse*
20 Stiles Switch BBQ & BREW
21 Terry Black’s Barbecue*
22 Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ*
23 Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que*
DALLAS, FORT WORTH,EAST TEXAS
24 4-T’s Bar-BQ*
25 BBQ on the Brazos*
26 Bodacious Bar-B-Q*
27 Cattleack Barbeque*
28 Flores Barbecue*
29 Harris Bar-b-que*
30 Heim Barbecue*
31 Hutchins BBQ
32 Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue
33 Lockhart Smokehouse
34 Pecan Lodge
35 Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ
36 Top 5 BBQ*
37 Blue Moon BBQ*
38 CorkScrew BBQ
39 Fargo’s Pit BBQ
40 Gatlin’s BBQ
41 Killen’s Barbecue*
42 Pinkerton’s Barbecue*
43 The Pit Room*
44 Roegels Barbecue co.*
45 Tejas Chocolate Craftory*
46 Truth Barbeque*
47 Evie Mae’s Pit Barbeque*
48 Pody’s BBQ
49 Stillwater Barbeque*
50 Tyler’s Barbeque
* New additions to Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints list.
#1: TOP 50 JOINTS
RULES: Are you the ultimate Texas barbecue fan? Prove it by visiting all of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Joints for the ultimate YETI prize and some serious bragging rights.
PRIZE: YETI Tundra 45 | The original YETI – built to be indestructible and keep ice for days.
#2: LOUIE MUELLER FAMILY TREE
RULES: Visit all of the pitmasters who have trained with the Muellers. See BBQ joints #1, #5, #11, #12, and #20 on the map legend (pg. 24) and taste the common heritage.
PRIZE: Half-Gallon Rambler Jug | The jug that can take a beating and keep ice longer.
#3: TEXAS PASTRAMI
RULES: You don’t need to fly to New York for some of the best pastrami in the country. Visit joints #7, #44, and #49 on the map legend (pg. 24) to sample a Texas take on a deli classic.
PRIZE: Wild Card | Complete this challenge and win a mystery YETI prize.
#4: HISTORIC TOUR
RULES: The history of barbecue is as rich and textured as the history of Texas. Visit the five oldest joints on the list (BBQ joints #3, #10, #12, #23, and #35 on map legend, pg. 24) and savor their smoky history.
PRIZE: 30-oz. Rambler Tumbler | The YETI cup that keeps drinks as cold as science allows.
#5: TOP 10 BRISKETS
RULES: Compare the best of the best across the state. Visit all the joints on the “Top 10 Brisket List” (located at the back of the map on back cover) and determine your own brisket champion.
PRIZE: YETI Tank | The party tub that holds the cold like no other ice bucket.
#6: THE FOUR CORNERS OF TEXAS
RULES: Barbecue spans the state. Journey to the four farthest joints as marked on the “Magnificent Meat Map” (BBQ joints #23, #32, #48, and #50 on pg. 24) and explore the Texas landscape along the way.
PRIZE: Hopper Two 30 | The leakproof, portable, anything-but-soft cooler.
#7: NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
RULES: Do the new additions to the “Top 50 BBQ List” live up to the hype? Visit two of the newest members of the Texas Monthly barbecue dynasty and decide for yourself. (Newcomers designated on pg. 24.)
PRIZE: YETI Hat | Protection from the hot Texas sun.
#8: BBQ TACOS
RULES: Barbecue and tacos are the ultimate Tex-Mex mashup. Visit BBQ joints #1, #16, #23, and #35 on the map legend (pg. 24) for their take on south-of-the-border smoke.
PRIZE: Rambler Colster | The can cooler that keeps your last sip as cold as the first.
#9: BADASS WOMEN
RULES: Barbecue is not just for the boys. Texas women across the state are chopping, pulling, and smoking with the best of them. Visit BBQ joints #16, #19, #33, and #48 on the map legend (pg. 24) to meet some badass female pitmasters on the Top 50 List.
PRIZE: 36-oz. Rambler Bottle | The bottle that keeps ice from Austin to Amarillo.
#10: HOOFIN’ IT
RULES: Burn off your brisket with a walking tour of some of Austin’s top barbecue joints. Start at BBQ joint #6 on the map legend (pg. 24) and make your way east, with stops at #5, #13, and #11.
PRIZE: YETI T-Shirt | These fine fabrics will wick away the meat sweats.
SHARE YOUR BBQ PASSPORT EXPERIENCE
Be sure to use #TXBBQPASSPORT when posting so we can follow your BBQ journey!
GET A PASSPORT
Buy the June 2017 Issue.
Visit one of the TOP 50 BBQ Joints above.
Find it at YETI Flagship store in Austin.
*YETI and Texas Monthly are not responsible for any discrepancies or changes that may have occurred since April 17, 2017. Every effort has been made to ensure accurate information at the time of publication, however, this cannot be guaranteed. We recommend contacting restaurants directly to CONFIRM service hours, menus, pricing and more.