The next time someone asks you if you like trails, say yes. Little do they know that instead of hiking, you’re talking about this awesome BBQ trail in Texas. Yeah folks, y’all heard me right – our love for juicy, tender smoked meat is so great that we had to create a path of some of the best joints for people to try back to back. It’s essentially a barbecue road trip, if you will. So plan a weekend to hop in the car and take this trail to some of the best barbecue in Texas.
1. Southside Market (Bastrop)
Our first stop on the trail is the famous Southside Market that originated in Elgin in 1882, making it the oldest barbecue joint in Texas. The Bastrop location is just as good - the owners use the same recipe, fresh meat, Texas post oak wood, and long hours smoking in the pit. It's a family-owned business that offers meat by the pound or a mixed plate with sides and a homemade dessert. There's also a meat market inside the restaurant, so you can bring home some delicious goodies - trust me, you'll want to.
2. Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse (Elgin)
Sausage is the name of Meyer's game. For 4 generations, they've been using the same recipe that the restaurant's founder, Henry Meyer, brought over from Germany. They use a complex process called vacuum tumbling that produces the juiciest, most tender barbecue you'll ever experience.
3. Black's Barbecue (Lockhart)
Now we're headed to the original Black's Barbecue in Lockhart. It's the oldest barbecue place in Texas that's been owned by the same family since it opened in 1932. They smoke their meat over hardwood for hours upon hours to let the natural juices and dry-rubbed seasonings marinade and develop a robust flavor that's sure to take your taste buds on a journey to heaven. They also serve up some mean side dishes like mac 'n cheese, creamed corn, baked beans, and more.
4. Kreuz Market (Lockhart)
Also in Lockhart is the famous Kreuz meat market and grocery store. It was established in 1900 and has been serving up delicious meats ever since. The dining experience itself is unique, too, since they use chimneys and open fires. Their menu is simple, but that just means they can dedicate more time to each individual item and ensure everything is of the absolute best quality possible.
5. Luling City Market (Luling)
Even though it's an extremely well-known tourist attraction, Luling City Market is definitely a must visit. The line weaves through the actual room where the meat is slow-smoked for over 24 hours, so you get to see the pitmaster in action and see which pieces of meat catch your eye. Everything is sold by the pound for a relatively low price and served with white bread for dippin' and sandwich makin'. You won't leave the table hungry, I can guarantee that much.
6. Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor)
This is another classic joint that's pretty much obligatory if you're a Texan. It's been around since 1949 and has since become internationally acclaimed for its meats that are slow-cooked in post oak pits. All the recipes are family secrets, and everything down to the sides and desserts is completely homemade. Louie Mueller has been featured on the Travel Channel and Food Network, and cited in numerous books. It's just that good, y'all.
7. The Taylor Cafe (Taylor)
We'll finish up our delicious extravaganza with a lesser-known (but still just as amazing) joint called The Taylor Cafe. It's located in the oldest building in the town, and has been steadily perfecting its craft for over 50 years. Families in Taylor turn to the owner, Vencil Mares, to cater all their family gatherings. This is more than just a restaurant - it's a small-town cultural experience that shouldn't be passed up simply because it isn't known worldwide like some of the other places on the list.
Would you go on this barbecue trail? Tag a friend who you think would enjoy it just as much as you!