1700 E. Cesar Chavez
Hours: Thu.-Sun., 9am-2pm (or sold out)
The Kerlins are newbies, but have made a strong showing right off the bat: They use sweet-smelling pecan wood and crank out pork ribs and sausage to die for.
Bite down into some of the juiciest ribs, chicken, brisket, and tenderloin around at the closest family-style barbecue to the fairgrounds. This place also serves a mean breakfast.
10003 FM 969, 512/928-0229
Located in the former Lewis' BBQ, Ed's has begun its own tradition with pork roast, ribs (and tips), chicken, brisket, and all your favorite sides.
1814 Harvey, 512/236-0858
You'd better circle the wagons early if you want to snag some of Aaron Franklin's famous brisket. After an auspicious start as a trailer, this brick-and-mortar location is serving what's regularly called the best barbecue in Texas, if not the country. The Franklins are devoted to producing the best-tasting barbecue they possibly can, and they won’t sacrifice that quality to feed more customers. Best to get in line by 9:30am.
900 E. 11th, 512/653-1187