The "BBQ Capital of Texas" Is a Single Street, Miles from a City
Founded in 1932, is the kind of joint with George Strait blasting, even in the bathroom. The vibe is more intimate than other spots in Lockhart, and the walls of the cozy, eclectic space are covered with family photos and heirlooms. What to order: Great brisket, but the baby back ribs might have been the star of the show. Fun fact: The sides bar at Black’s is insane—pile your plate for just $1.59.
The people at Smitty’s claim the place has been open since 1948, but it’s complicated. Feuding siblings led to a now-legendary split between Kreuz and Smitty’s in 1999. Kreuz kept the original name...but Smitty’s kept the building. What to order: The Jalapeño sausage has a perfect snap. And everyone here was drinking Big Red, so you should pop one of those too.Fun fact: Need groceries? There’s still a working meat market attached.
Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que
Since opening in 1978, Chisholm Trail has developed a reputation as more of a “hidden gem”—the website proudly declares that it’s “where the locals eat,” and many contend its superiority over the town’s (more expensive) tourist favorites. What to order: Locals love the classics, but it’s also worth checking unorthodox options like fajitas with fresh tortillas or a family meal of chicken fried steak.Fun fact: Short on time? You’re in luck—this spot boasts the only BBQ drive through in town.
This newcomer to the scene has a literal BBQmobile, feeding hungry regulars during the day and driving around town for catering and events with their self-contained barbecue trailer. Judging from their growing list of local BBQ awards Thumper’s is holding its own against Lockhart’s barbecue behemoths. What to order: The $6 pulled pork sandwich plate—make sure to add jalapeños, onion and pickles.Worth investigating: The BBQ Baked Potato, piled with meaty goodness.Fun fact: Most days, you’ll find the team slinging BBQ out of their trailer parked between a used car lot and a gas station.