Josh Koop
May 4, 2023

Deliciously Smoked: 15 BBQ Places to Try in Houston

Discover the top 15 BBQ joints in Houston and satisfy your cravings with mouth-watering smoked meats. Don't miss out on…

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Houston is known for its barbecue, and it’s no surprise that there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, finding the best barbecue spots can be overwhelming.

To help narrow down your search, we’ve put together a list of the 15 best BBQ restaurants in Houston.

From classic brisket to fall-off-the-bone ribs, these restaurants offer some of the most delicious and authentic Texas-style barbecue around.

Some have been around for decades, while others are newer additions to the Houston food scene.

So whether you’re in the mood for traditional smoked meats or more innovative dishes, there’s something on this list for everyone.

Get ready to satisfy your cravings at one of these top BBQ joints in Houston!

Blood Bros. Bbq

If you’re looking for some of the best smoked meats in Houston, look no further than Blood Bros. BBQ. This restaurant has quickly become a favorite among both locals and visitors alike.

Their unique blend of Asian fusion and Texas style BBQ is sure to impress even the most discerning foodie. What sets Blood Bros. BBQ apart from other restaurants in the Houston foodie scene is their cultural influences.

In addition to traditional BBQ favorites like brisket and ribs, they also offer dishes such as Vietnamese-style beef jerky and Korean-style pork belly. It’s this fusion of flavors that really makes their menu stand out.

Overall, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind dining experience in Houston, be sure to check out Blood Bros. BBQ. You won’t be disappointed by their delicious smoked meats and innovative dishes that are sure to satisfy any craving.

And if you’re still hungry for more, the next stop on your culinary journey should be Corkscrew BBQ – another one of Houston’s top spots for mouth-watering barbecue.

Corkscrew Bbq

After indulging in Blood Bros. BBQ’s mouth-watering dishes, CorkScrew BBQ is another must-visit spot for any barbecue lover in Houston. Located in Spring, Texas, this establishment is known for its perfectly smoked meats and homemade sides. The owners, Will and Nichole Buckman, started their journey by catering events with a food truck before finally opening up their brick-and-mortar restaurant.

At CorkScrew BBQ, the menu items include classic barbecue staples like brisket, ribs, and sausage as well as unique offerings such as the ‘Texas Twinkie,’ which is jalapeño stuffed with cream cheese and brisket. Customers rave about the tender and juicy meats that are smoked to perfection. They also praise the friendly service and cozy atmosphere of the restaurant.

In addition to their delicious food, CorkScrew BBQ offers catering services for any type of event. Their food truck can be booked for weddings, corporate events, or even backyard barbecues. The owner’s story of starting out with just a food truck and growing into a successful restaurant is inspiring and adds to the charm of this establishment.

  • Customer reviews rave about the ‘Texas Twinkie.’
  • Homemade sides like mac and cheese and potato salad accompany every meal.
  • Will Buckman used to work in oil fields before pursuing his passion for barbecue.
  • Catering services are available for events both big and small.
  • The line may be long but it’s worth the wait at CorkScrew BBQ.

Transition: But if you’re looking for a spot with a little more history behind it, Gatlin’s BBQ should be your next stop on the Houston barbecue trail.

Gatlin’s Bbq

If you’re in search of authentic Texas-style barbecue, Gatlin’s BBQ is a must-visit spot in Houston. Owned and operated by pitmaster Greg Gatlin since 2010, this family-owned restaurant has quickly become a local favorite.

The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with rustic decor that adds to the charm of the place. One of the best things about Gatlin’s BBQ is their menu highlights. From brisket to ribs, pulled pork to sausage, every meat on offer is cooked low and slow over hickory wood for hours until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender.

But what sets them apart are their unique sides like mac ‘n cheese loaded with bacon bits and jalapenos or creamed corn that’s sweet and savory at the same time. If you want to know more about the history and traditions of this iconic barbecue joint, just ask Greg himself! He’ll be happy to share his pitmaster secrets with you.

And while they’re already well-known for their customer favorites, like the sliced brisket sandwich or loaded potato salad, they’re always thinking about future plans to keep innovating and improving their menu.

Killen’s Bbq

Killen’s BBQ is one of the most popular barbecue joints in Houston, and for good reason. Chef Ronnie Killen has been perfecting his craft for years, and it shows in every dish that comes out of his kitchen. But what many people don’t know is the history behind Killen’s.

Chef Killen started off as a fine dining chef, but he always had a love for barbecue. He eventually decided to open up his own pitmaster spot, where he could showcase his skills and passion for smoked meats. And thus, Killen’s BBQ was born.

Nowadays, people come from all over Texas (and beyond) to taste the best dishes at Killen’s. The brisket is a must-try – it’s tender and juicy with a perfect bark on the outside. And don’t forget about the ribs – they’re fall-off-the-bone delicious. Plus, there’s Killen’s secret sauce that adds an extra layer of flavor to any meat you choose.

As for future plans, Chef Killen has big expansion plans for Killen’s BBQ. He recently opened up a second location in Pearland, and there are talks of even more locations popping up around Texas.

But for now, make sure you stop by either location to get your fill of some seriously amazing barbecue before we move on to the next top contender: Pinkerton’s BBQ.

Pinkerton’s Bbq

A Houston staple for BBQ enthusiasts, Pinkerton’s BBQ offers a unique blend of traditional and modern flavors. Exploring Pinkerton’s BBQ: History & Menu will take you on a journey through the restaurant’s roots in a small trailer to its current brick-and-mortar location.

The menu is an ode to Texas-style barbecue with mouth-watering brisket, ribs, and sausage. The pitmasters at Pinkerton’s are masters of their craft, using techniques passed down from generation to generation. They use only the highest quality meats and slow cook them over post oak wood until they reach perfection.

This attention to detail is what sets Pinkerton’s apart from other BBQ joints in the city. Customer Reviews & Recommendations rave about the flavorful meats and friendly service at Pinkerton’s. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or catering for a special event, Pinkerton’s has got you covered.

Their Special Events & Catering options make it easy to bring their delicious food straight to your doorstep. With plans for Future Expansion on the horizon, there’s no doubt that Pinkerton’s will continue to be a go-to spot for Houstonians seeking top-notch barbecue. As you make your way through the restaurant, one of the highlights is getting a glimpse into The Pit Room where all the magic happens.

This section showcases racks of meat smoking over seasoned oak wood, filling the air with an irresistible aroma. You can watch as the pitmasters carefully tend to each cut of meat, ensuring it reaches optimal flavor and tenderness before being served up on your plate.

The Pit Room

The Pit Room is one of the best BBQ restaurants in Houston, known for its unique cooking techniques and delicious dishes.

The restaurant has a rich history and origins, with a team of expert pitmasters who have perfected the art of smoking meat over years of practice.

When it comes to customer favorites at The Pit Room, brisket is a must-try dish. Cooked to perfection, the meat is tender and juicy with a smoky flavor that will leave you craving more.

Another popular dish is the pulled pork sandwich, which features succulent pork that has been smoked for hours.

Despite its already impressive reputation, The Pit Room has plans for expansion in the future. There are talks of opening up new locations in other cities, which means even more people will be able to enjoy their delicious BBQ fare.

With its top-notch cuisine and commitment to quality, it’s no wonder why The Pit Room is such a beloved spot among Houstonians.

As you move on to the next section about Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue, prepare your taste buds for another round of mouth-watering dishes that are sure to impress.

Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue

After indulging in the smoky goodness of The Pit Room, it’s time to move on to another top contender for the best BBQ restaurants in Houston: Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue. This joint may seem like an unlikely pairing at first, but trust us when we say that they’ve got their chocolate pairing game down pat.

Aside from their unique chocolate offerings, Tejas also boasts a killer smoker design that brings out the best flavors in their meats. And speaking of meat, they’ve got some brisket secrets up their sleeves that will leave you wanting more.

But what really sets Tejas apart is their commitment to local sourcing. From the meat to the sides, they make a conscious effort to support Texas farmers and producers. So not only are you getting a delicious meal, but you’re also supporting the community with every bite.

Four items to try at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue:

  1. Brisket – You can’t go wrong with this classic BBQ staple.
  2. Smoked turkey breast – A lighter option that still packs a punch of flavor.
  3. Chocolate pecan pie – Trust us, this dessert is worth saving room for.
  4. Local craft beer – Wash it all down with a refreshing brew from one of Houston’s many breweries.

With its unique chocolate pairing offerings, expert smoker design, dedication to local sourcing, and mouthwatering menu options, Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue is definitely worth a visit. But don’t just take our word for it – head on over and taste the magic for yourself.

And speaking of tasting magic, our next stop takes us to Truth BBQ – a spot known for its award-winning meats and loyal fanbase.

Truth Bbq

If you’re looking for an authentic Texas-style BBQ experience, Truth BBQ is the place to go.

The Story behind this restaurant is a tale of hard work, perseverance, and passion for great food. Pitmaster Leonard Botello IV started off cooking in his backyard before opening his first brick-and-mortar location in Brenham, TX. Since then, he’s expanded to Houston and has become one of the city’s most beloved pitmasters.

The Menu at Truth BBQ features all the classic meats you’d expect from a top-notch BBQ joint. Brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and sausage are all cooked low and slow over post oak wood until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender. But what sets Truth apart is their creative side dishes like jalapeno cheese rice and smoked beets. And don’t forget about their famous banana pudding – it’s been known to make even the most die-hard dieters cave.

Reviews of Truth BBQ speak for themselves – customers rave about the juicy brisket, flavorful sauces, and friendly service.

Location-wise, Truth has two spots in Houston: one in the Heights neighborhood and another in Katy. And let’s not forget about their Awards – they’ve won countless accolades including being named one of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas multiple times.

Transitioning to Feges BBQ without using ‘step’, it’s worth mentioning that this other Houston favorite also has a unique story behind it.

Feges Bbq

Located in Greenway Plaza, Feges BBQ prides itself on being a modern and sustainable BBQ joint. The moment you step inside, you’ll notice the sleek and minimalist design that sets it apart from traditional BBQ restaurants. But don’t let the contemporary look fool you – Feges BBQ is serious about its meat.

Brisket innovations are at the forefront of Feges BBQ’s menu. Co-owners Patrick Feges and Erin Smith have spent years perfecting their craft, experimenting with different smoking techniques to create melt-in-your-mouth brisket that stands out from the rest. And if you’re not a meat-eater, fear not – Feges BBQ also offers vegetarian options that are just as delicious.

Sustainable sourcing is another key aspect of Feges BBQ’s philosophy. They source their meats and ingredients from local farms and ranches that use ethical and environmentally-friendly practices. Smoker technology also plays a big role in their commitment to sustainability – they use state-of-the-art equipment that minimizes waste and reduces emissions. Plus, creative sides like smoked beets and roasted butternut squash add an unexpected twist to your typical BBQ meal.

As you finish up your meal at Feges BBQ, make sure to save room for dessert – their banana pudding is not to be missed!

If you’re still craving more Texas-style BBQ, head over to Harlem Road Texas BBQ for a taste of some of the best ribs in town.

Harlem Road Texas Bbq

After indulging in the divine flavors of Feges BBQ, you might think that nothing else could compare. But Harlem Road Texas BBQ is here to prove you wrong. This establishment has been serving up mouth-watering meats since 2018 and has quickly become a Houston favorite.

History Lesson: The owners, Ara and Lance, both come from a long line of pitmasters and have turned their passion into a thriving business. They use only the finest ingredients and follow traditional smoking techniques passed down through generations.

Menu Highlights: You can’t go wrong with any of their meats, but their brisket is a standout. It’s perfectly smoked and melts in your mouth. Their sides are also not to be missed, especially the mac and cheese and jalapeno creamed corn.

Smoker Secrets: The real magic happens behind the scenes with their custom-built smokers. They use a combination of oak and pecan wood for a unique flavor profile.

Famous Fans: Harlem Road Texas BBQ has quickly gained a celebrity following, with stars like Matthew McConaughey praising their delicious food.

Local Community: The owners are passionate about giving back to their community and often host events to support local charities.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder why Harlem Road Texas BBQ is one of the best in Houston. But don’t just take our word for it – stop by and taste for yourself.

And if you’re still craving more barbecue goodness, let’s move on to Ray’s BBQ Shack – another hidden gem in this city of culinary delights.

Ray’s Bbq Shack

Ray’s BBQ Shack is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for delicious barbecue in Houston. With its mouth-watering menu highlights and unique cooking techniques, Ray’s has made a name for itself as one of the best barbecue restaurants in town.

One of the reasons customers keep coming back to Ray’s is because of their customer favorites, like the brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. These dishes are cooked to perfection using unique cooking techniques that give them an unforgettable flavor. In addition, Ray’s also takes pride in using only the freshest ingredients to ensure every dish is packed with flavor.

Aside from their amazing food, Ray’s BBQ Shack also has a rich history and origins that date back several years. The restaurant was founded by a local family who wanted to share their love of barbecue with the community. Today, they continue to be an integral part of the local community through various charitable initiatives and events.

Meat platesBrisket plate$15.99
SandwichesPulled pork sandwich$8.99
SidesMac and cheese$3.99
DessertsBanana pudding$4.99

Ray’s BBQ Shack has something for everyone, whether you’re craving classic barbecue dishes or want to try something new. Plus, their commitment to giving back to the local community makes them stand out even more as an exceptional restaurant. Next up on our list of top Houston barbecue spots is Roegels Barbecue Co., where you’ll find even more delicious eats.

Roegels Barbecue Co.

Moving on to Roegels Barbecue Co., this joint is known for its delicious smoked meats and pitmaster skills that are unparalleled.

The brisket secrets of Roegels are closely guarded, but the taste will tell you that it’s a well-kept secret worth keeping.

The restaurant offers a range of cuts such as beef ribs, pulled pork, and turkey breast that are all equally heavenly.

One thing that sets Roegels apart from other BBQ joints in Houston is their sauce selection.

They have a variety of sauces that complement the smoky flavor of the meats perfectly.

Whether you like spicy or sweet sauces, they have it all.

Customer favorites include the classic Texas-style sauce, mustard-based sauce, and tangy vinegar sauce.

Overall, Roegels Barbecue Co. has everything you could possibly want in a BBQ restaurant – mouth-watering meats, flavorful sauces, and excellent customer service.

If you’re looking for some top-notch Texas BBQ in Houston, this is definitely the place to go.

Now let’s move on to Spring Creek Barbeque and see what they have to offer!

Spring Creek Barbeque

If you’re craving for some mouth-watering barbecue in Houston, Spring Creek Barbeque is one of the best places to go. With several locations across the city, it’s a local favorite that has been serving up delicious food for over 35 years.

Spring Creek Barbeque has an interesting history that dates back to the early 1980s. It all started with a small restaurant in Richardson, Texas, where they served only hickory-smoked ribs and brisket. Today, their menu features a wide variety of meats, sides, salads, and desserts that cater to every taste bud.

Apart from their delectable dishes, Spring Creek Barbeque has also received numerous awards and accolades over the years. From being named ‘Best BBQ Restaurant’ by D Magazine to winning ‘Best Ribs’ at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo BBQ Cook-off, they have consistently proven themselves as one of the top BBQ restaurants in Houston.

If you don’t believe us, just take a look at their rave reviews online! Customers love their fall-off-the-bone ribs, juicy brisket, and flavorful sides like mac n’ cheese and fried okra.

Whether you’re dining in or taking out, Spring Creek Barbeque is sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic Texas-style barbecue.

If you can’t get enough of Houston’s amazing BBQ scene then Tin Roof BBQ needs to be on your list for your next stop.

Tin Roof Bbq

Continuing our search for the best BBQ restaurants in Houston, let’s move onto Tin Roof BBQ. This family-owned establishment has been serving up delicious smoked meats since 2001. Located in Atascocita, this restaurant is known for its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff.

Menu specialties at Tin Roof BBQ include their brisket, which is slow-cooked for 12-14 hours over hickory wood, resulting in a tender and flavorful meat. Their sausage is also a standout dish, made in-house with a blend of spices that gives it just the right amount of kick. Don’t forget to try their loaded baked potato, topped with your choice of meat and all the fixings.

The ambiance at Tin Roof BBQ is cozy and comfortable, with outdoor seating available under string lights for a fun and festive atmosphere. Customer service is top-notch here, with attentive staff who are happy to make recommendations or answer any questions you may have. They also offer catering options for events big and small, as well as local partnerships with nearby businesses to bring you the freshest ingredients possible.

As we continue our journey through Houston’s best BBQ restaurants, next up on our list is Virgie’s Bar-B-Que. Known for their traditional Texas-style BBQ and homemade sides, Virgie’s has been serving up tasty meats since 1998. Stay tuned to find out why this spot is not to be missed!

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que

Virgie’s Bar-B-Que is one of the most popular BBQ restaurants in Houston. The restaurant has been serving its customers for over 30 years, making it one of the oldest and most established BBQ places in town. Virgie’s has a rich history that dates back to the late 1980s when it was founded by Virgie herself.

One of the reasons why Virgie’s is so popular is because of its delicious menu items. From brisket to pork ribs, chicken, and sausage, there is something for everyone at this restaurant. Customers rave about the tender and juicy meat, as well as the flavorful sides such as mac and cheese, collard greens, and baked beans.

Aside from its mouth-watering food, Virgie’s also boasts a loyal following of famous patrons. Many celebrities have visited this iconic establishment over the years, including former President George W. Bush and Hollywood actor Will Smith.

In addition to its famous fans, Virgie’s also has a secret weapon: their signature BBQ sauce recipe that keeps customers coming back for more.


In conclusion, Houston is a city that knows how to do barbecue right. From traditional Texas-style brisket to mouthwatering ribs and sausages, there’s no shortage of amazing options to explore.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, be sure to check out some of the top BBQ spots in the city. Personal favorites include CorkScrew BBQ for their melt-in-your-mouth brisket and Blood Bros. BBQ for their creative Asian-inspired flavors. And if you’re looking for a classic hole-in-the-wall joint, Virgie’s Bar-B-Que is a must-try.

No matter where you go, Houston’s BBQ scene is sure to leave you satisfied and craving more.

Josh Koop

Discover Space City is a Houston blog by Josh and Jaime, a married couple that loves to discover new things at home and around the world.