Second Helpings: Regional Barbecue

You're here for SXSW, but you're also here for barbecue, right?

The Salt Lick
The Salt Lick (Photo By John Anderson)

Cooper's BBQ

403 N. Mays, Round Rock, 512/255-5638

Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-8pm
The second generation of a Hill Country BBQ legend, Gary Cooper has been serving his family's style of barbecue in downtown Round Rock since 1985.

Louie Mueller Barbecue

206 W. Second, Taylor, 512/352-6206

Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm
The quality of meats served in this no-frills and famous downtown Taylor storefront has remained unchanged for more than 50 years. Unusual secret-recipe peppery meat jus is served with every order, and even the potato salad has a tangy bite.

Rudy Mikeska's

300 W. Second, Taylor, 512/365-3722

Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm;

Sunday, 11am-2pm
The Taylor store is the cradle of the "first family" of Texas barbecue where they serve great meats and nontraditional side dishes in a cafeterialike setting.

Taylor Cafe

101 N. Main, Taylor, 512/352-2828

Monday-Saturday, 6am-10pm;

Sunday, 11am-10pm
Vencil Mares' joint is a block off the beaten path but well worth the trip. Have the turkey sausage, have the turkey sausage.

Cross-Town Bar-B-Q

202 S. Avenue C, Elgin, 512/281-5594

Sunday-Thursday, 10am-8pm;

Friday-Saturday, 10am-10pm
Look for this place off the beaten path if you prefer your brisket, pork ribs, mutton, and all-beef sausage down-home, greasy, and full of flavor, smoked over a slow oak fire.

Southside Market & Barbecue

1212 U.S. 290 E., Elgin, 512/281-4650

Monday-Thursday, 8am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 8am-10pm; Sunday, 9am-7pm
This 100-plus-year-old sausage factory is one of the main reasons Elgin is known as the "sausage capital of Texas."

Meyer's Elgin Smokehouse

188 U.S. 290 E., Elgin, 281-3331

Monday-Thursday, 6am-8pm; Friday-Saturday, 6am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-7pm
The current generation of sausage-making Meyer brothers expanded the successful family sausage business in 1988 to include a casual restaurant where they serve smoked pork ribs, turkey breast, and brisket.

Kreuz Market

619 N. Colorado, Lockhart, 512/398-2361

Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm;

Saturday, 9am-6:30pm
Rick Schmidt carries on the family tradition in his big new building on Hwy. 183 S., where there's plenty of room for tour buses and regular customers alike.

Black's Barbecue

215 N. Main, Lockhart, 512/398-2712

Sunday-Thursday, 10am-8pm;

Friday-Saturday, 10am-8:30pm
Bragging rights belong to this longtime Lockhart mainstay: Black's is the oldest barbecue restaurant around continually operated by the same family. Nationwide shipping is available.

Smitty's Market

208 S. Commerce, Lockhart, 512/398-9344

Monday-Friday, 7am-6pm; Saturday, 7am-6:30pm; Sunday, 9am-3pm
This historic old building certainly qualifies as Texas barbecue hallowed ground, as it was home to the legendary Kreuz Market for years.

Luling City Market

633 E. Davis, near U.S. Hwy. 183, Luling, 830/875-9019

Monday-Saturday, 7am-6pm
One of City Market's claims to fame is that they don't have any forks in the restaurant. That's because their brisket is so fall-apart tender, you'll want to feel how good it is.

Gonzalez Food Market

311 St. Lawrence, Gonzalez, 830/672-3156

Monday-Saturday, 8:30am-6pm
The Lopez family has 40 years of experience with lamb ribs, and this is our new favorite regional barbecue joint.

Fushak's Pit BBQ

920 Hwy. 80, San Marcos, 512/353-2713

Daily, 10:30am-9pm
Meats here are smoked over hickory in a rotisserie pit and emerge ultramoist and juicy. Traditional sides are available, plus homemade banana pudding and pecan pie.

The Salt Lick

18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, 512/894-3117

Daily, 11am-10pm
Folks drive from all over Central Texas to relax among the picnic tables at the rustic outdoor pavilion and eat their barbecue family-style.

R.O.'s Outpost

Hwy. 71 W. at Hazy Hills (17 miles west of Y in Oak Hill), Spicewood, 264-1169

Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-9pm
A complete barbecue menu is available here, as well as chicken-fried steak and fried quail. No matter how much meat you eat, you must save room for the stellar pies.

Opie's Barbecue

Hwy. 71 W. (20 miles past intersection w/RR 620, turn right at gas station) beyond Spicewood, 830/693-8660

Daily, 11am-7pm
Choose pork chops, pork ribs, sausage, brisket, chicken, and sometimes cabrito from the 12-foot smoke pit and chow on down.

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Erin Mosow. For quick, reliable info about Austin eateries, check here.

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