13 Best Barbecue Restaurants in Houston, TX

13 Best Barbecue Restaurants in Houston, TexasTEXAS - Texas barbecue is an essential experience. From high-end restaurants like Aaron Franklin in Austin to roadside diners serving sausage and ribs, Texas BBQ can be found all across Texas -- Tyler in the east to El Paso in the west! The style combines influences from European traditions of early settlers in Texas with Mexican and Spanish heritage to produce something distinct yet unmistakably Texasan.

Photo: Pinkerton's Barbecue

Best Barbecue Restaurants in Houston, Texas

1. Pinkerton's Barbecue

Pinkerton's Barbecue offers CTX-style brisket and pork barbecue dishes and side dishes, prepared on large offset custom smokers from pitmaker David Klose that produce top-grade wet-mop brisket and competition-inspired pork ribs.Hot sides include classic mustard potato salad and crunchy purple cabbage slaw - I opted out of trying the clumpy jalapeno cheese rice and mac and cheese as they fell short of expectations. Pinkerton's features smoky flavors from mesquite and post oak that evoke Central Texas. Additionally, this restaurant serves boudin, pork ribs, and turkey that Texas Monthly considers "the best in southeast Texas."

2. Rudy's BBQ

Rudy's BBQ restaurant off 290 is an indispensable stop for Houstonians and visitors wishing to experience Texas barbecue at its finest. As seen on Anthony Bourdain's show, this pit stop provides chopped beef brisket over baked potato or mac & cheese, smoked sausage links, and other grilled meats.

3. The Pit Room BBQ

Michael Sambrooks is the man behind The Pit Room, the "handcrafted" creation of the native of Kingwood. He attended Baylor University and then the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management of the University of Houston. Michael Sambrooks, who owns the Pit Room with family members, worked in several high-profile Houston-area restaurants.

4. Goode Company BBQ

Goode Company BBQ, situated along Katy Freeway, boasts rustic Texana charm and cow palace grandeur, making it a great way to show visitors from out-of-town what Texas cuisine tastes like. Their tender beef brisket, lean pork ribs, and slow-roasted chicken are cooked over mesquite, while Austin baked beans and jalapeno cheese bread are available on their menu. This family-owned and operated restaurant opened in 1977, led by Jim Goode, who often spent nights waking every hour to tend to his smoker pits. Since then, their menu has expanded to include seafood and burgers, though Barbecue remains their specialty.

5. Gatlin's BBQ

Gatlin's BBQ in the Heights is a family-run establishment specializing in beef (baby back and St. Louis-style spare ribs) and pork barbecue dishes, including "kitchen sink" sandwiches featuring brisket, pastrami, and whatever grilled catfish is fresh out that day topped with garlic butter. Owner Greg Gatlin has also expanded his local presence with Fins & Feathers, Diners carry their orders directly to tables adorned with family photos for ordering and dining.

6. The Brisket House BBQ

In a city known for quality BBQ, The Brisket House stands out with oak wood and an exclusive blend of 16 spices. Their menu offers delicious brisket, pork ribs, sausage dishes, loaded baked potatoes, salads, and sandwiches for you to enjoy! The Brisket House also provides catering and a unique event space where guests can enjoy delicious wine or beer at democratic prices and delightful dessert options like pecan pie and banana pudding. The Brisket House provides an enjoyable low-key atmosphere and friendly staff.

7. Hickory Hollow Restaurant BBQ

Hickory Hollow Restaurant is ideal for enjoying authentic Texas hospitality and delicious food, offering everything from breakfast through lunch and dinner and excellent iced tea, coffee, and lemonade beverages. Their service is exceptional while prices remain very affordable; Hickory Hollow can be found at 8038 Fallbrook Dr in Houston.

8. Ray's Bbq Shack

Soul food restaurant Savour Soul's specialty of hickory-smoked meats makes an impressionful statement about flavorful dishes and exquisite craftsmanship. Co-owner and pitmaster Ray Busch learned his craft under Third Ward icon Mr. River Falls before hanging up his Harris County Sheriff's Department badge to focus solely on running Savour Soul full-time. Taste a classic mac and cheese dish - with woodsmoke curling around neutral pasta bounciness and the milky, salt pop of melting cheese - or treat yourself to some crispy-coated fried catfish, offering milky white flesh in an irresistibly crunchy breading.

9. CorkScrew BBQ

Despite its modest size, CorkScrew BBQ is the real deal regarding slow-smoked meats. With one location in Spring and another in Columbus, Ohio, the small smokehouse draws a crowd from all over the Lone Star state. The restaurant's main claim to fame is its pulled pork. While the meat is undoubtedly succulent, the sauce is not ordinary. Those looking for a tamer might wish to try the sausages, brisket, and pulled chicken instead. The small smokehouse's other notable contribution to the Houston culinary scene is its weekend brunch.

10. Tejas Chocolate & BBQ

In Tomball, Texas, Tejas Chocolate & BBQ offers a unique pairing of Barbecue and chocolate. It opened in 2015 and was named number six on Texas Monthly's list of the best barbecue joints in the state. Tejas Chocolate and BBQ offer an assortment of smoked meats. It provides traditional offerings such as pulled pork, brisket, and sausage. But the company also provides creative dishes like chopped hog po'boys and queso-drenched brisket nachos. In addition to the Barbecue, the restaurant serves craft chocolates made from raw cocoa beans. It also sells chocolate truffles.

11. Lonestar Sausage & BBQ

Located just south of the FM 1960 corridor on the outskirts of Houston, Tx, Lonestar Sausage & BBQ in Houston Tx is a family restaurant with an indoor dining room and a large outdoor patio. You can find Lonestar Sausage & BBQ at 13712 Walters Rd Suite #140, Houston, TX 77014. Lonestar Sausage & BBQ's menu includes a variety of fried catfish and shrimp, brisket, and rib tips. They also offer a few non-traditional barbecue items, like jalapeno and cheese sausage, and a decent selection of cold links. The dining area is small enough to fit three round tables, and the restaurant delivers food. The restaurant is one of the better places to get a Texas-sized serving of the state's famous barbecue chowdah.

12. Burns Original BBQ

Founded by Roy Burns, Sr., Burns Original BBQ has been serving Barbecue to Houstonians for more than forty years. This long-running family business is known for its smoked ribs and sausage. Burns Original BBQ has two locations in Pearland and one in the Summerwood area of Humble. Burns Original BBQ has a plethora of items on its menu. Its favorites include turkey burgers, loaded baked potatoes, and signature rib sandwiches. It has also branched out to cater special events. Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a full three-meat dinner, you'll find it all at this Houston eatery. Burns Original BBQ also provides free food for Metro drivers and volunteers. The restaurant has also partnered with Kroger to help support small businesses in the Houston community.

13. Triple J's Country Store and Bar-b-q

Triple J's Country Store and Bar-b-q has long been a customer favorite since 1994, serving authentic Texas barbecue including brisket, sausage, and ribs - not forgetting their famous Ravens Bowl: fries covered in chopped beef and cheese!