It's widely known that one of the best bbq spots in the country is Austin, Texas, so if you're planning on a tour to visit the capital of Texas for your bachelor/bachelorette party, you should be sure to stop by a few places during your time here.
Austin BBQ Tour Options
A BBQ tour is a bit different than a winery tour or a brewery tour in that many of the BBQ joints in Austin don't actually provide a tour of their facility. This isn't all that surprising, but it's something to consider when planning your party. A helpful tip? Share meals! If you're visiting 4 BBQ joints (and really, you shouldn't visit more than 4 anyway) then you have the opportunity to eat a lot of food. You don't want to fill up after the first stop!
There are a few BBQ touring companies located in Austin, and while they will pull through in a pinch, they aren't fully necessary. All you really need is some advice on which places to visit (we'll get to that in a moment) and an awesome ride (we'll also get to that in a moment).
Austin is home to so many great BBQ spots. However, will you choose just a few to visit? Allow us to help you out with that!
Top Austin BBQ Destinations
Stubb's Bar-B-Q (Mean-Eyed Cat)
Stubb's is undoubtedly the most well-known BBQ spot in Austin because it doubles as a restaurant and a concert venue. Its location in the heart of downtown Austin doesn't hurt, either. Because of its popularity, the restaurant is usually quite crowded. We recommend making a stop at the Mean-Eyed Cat, a Johnny Cash-themed dive bar located about two miles west of Stubb's. Why is that, you ask? Because the Mean-Eyed Cat also operates as a satellite location of Stubb's. You won't get the complete Stubb's Bar-B-Q menu, but you'll get most of their best options (and avoid the crowds so you're not waiting around too long).
The Salt Lick BBQ
Opened in 1967 by Thurman Roberts, Sr. and his wife Hisako T. Roberts, The Salt Lick is one of the most-visited BBQ spots in Austin. It is so popular, in fact, that it is even home to Thurman's Mansion, a popular wedding venue in the area. The Salt Lick is located in Driftwood, about a 30-minute drive southwest of downtown Austin. Even though it's a bit of a drive (which is the perfect excuse to book a party bus for your transportation), it's totally worth it. Our recommendation? Get the Thurman's Choice Plate. It's a great sampler of the best of their menu: brisket, pork ribs and sausage, with the standard sides of coleslaw, beans and their one-of-a-kind potato salad. Just don't forget to bring cash! The Salt Lick is a cash-only operation.
Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew
Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew is the perfect place to kill two birds with one stone, in that they have one of the best beer menus out of all the BBQ spots in Austin. Named after the historic 1800s I. & G. N. railroad stop Stiles Switch, Texas (and owner Shane Stiles), Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew is located in North Austin near Highland Village. Come for the BBQ (the brisket is among the best Austin has to offer), but stay for their curated craft beer menu!
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que
Cooper's BBQ has long been a Texas staple but only just recently opened up a location in Austin back in 2016. With three other locations in Llano, New Braunfels and Fort Worth, Cooper's occupies the 200 block of Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. Cooper's offers some of the largest portions out of all of the BBQ spots in Austin, but what really helps Cooper's stand out among the pack is its live music stage, roof-top garden and oak-shaded back patio (we take our oak trees seriously here in Austin). And whatever you do, don't miss out on the apple cobbler!
Austin's self-proclaimed "bitchin' barbecue" spot is one of the newer BBQ hot spots in the city, but that doesn't mean it's inexperienced. La Barbecue is quickly becoming one of the must-visit spots on every BBQ tour list. Located on the east side, La Barbecue consists of a small trailer with some picnic tables housed under some oak trees (See? We love our oak trees). The line is usually long but it moves at a pretty fast rate. Another perk? La Barbecue provides free beer to everyone waiting in line on the weekends!
You're probably thinking "But what about Franklin's BBQ?" While it's true that Franklin BBQ has some of the best BBQ in Austin, the establishment is also notorious for its long wait times, but their pre-orders must be to-go orders. If you want to chance it and wait in line to eat inside, you're welcome to give it a shot (but don't say we didn't warn you).
Offers From Ninja Buses
As we have mentioned in our previous articles: you need a mode of transportation to get from place to place! Sure, you could stay somewhere downtown and walk from place to place, but you'll miss out on some of the best BBQ outside of downtown (and yes, there are things outside of downtown Austin). Which mode of transportation should you use, though? Call us biased, but we say to use a party bus! Not only does a party bus keep your group together for the day/night, but it also lends itself to a party atmosphere. If you're using the weekend to spend time with your best friends, do you want to be split up between a bunch of Ubers? Or would you rather party in style and stick together on the ride between BBQ stops? The answer is obvious.
Reach out to us today to plan your BBQ tour and get some great recommendations!