Skip to main content
  • Music festival in Austin, Texas
    View more

    Starting Point: Austin, Texas

  • Sampling barbecue at a restaurant in Taylor, Texas
    View more

    Taylor, Texas

  • Sign for barbecue restaurant in Elgin, Texas
    View more

    Elgin, Texas

  • Rustic stop in Driftwood, Texas
    View more

    Driftwood, Texas

  • Barbecue being cooked at a smokehouse in Lockhart, Texas
    View more

    Lockhart, Texas

  • Field of bluebonnet flowers outside of Luling, Texas
    View more

    Luling, Texas

  • Greetings from San Antonio, Texas!
    View more

    San Antonio, Texas

A Texas-shaped barbeque grill with rugged Texas scenery in the background
View more

Texas Barbecue Trail

By Kate Donnelly

  • Route distance:
    330.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    5 days

Eat your way through the Lone Star State's signature dishes.

Traveling the Texas Barbecue Trail is a culinary adventure of the most delicious kind. Although the eateries that pepper this “Barbecue Belt” are the highlights of the trip, you can also look forward to exploring Texas’ exciting cities, including Austin, Taylor, Elgin, Lockhart and San Antonio. Texans are serious about their barbecue, so bring your appetite. Other than that, the only other things you need are a love for live music and a readiness to experience true Texan hospitality!

01
Music festival in Austin, Texas
View more
Pedestrians in motion outside of the state capitol in Austin, Texas
View more

Starting Point: Austin, Texas

Your first stop is Austin, the capital of Texas. Fly into Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and pick up a rental car. Austin has a lot to offer in live music and entertainment; make sure you take in a show at one of the many live music venues, and don't forget to two-step at one of the honky tonk bars. Meat lovers will want to make a point to visit Iron Works, which ranks among the best barbecue in Austin. Sink your teeth into a sampler platter to try all of the delicious meat, and grab barbecue sauce or spice rub to take home. If you have a taste for brisket, stop at Franklin Barbecue – Bon Appetit Magazine has called their barbecue the best in the USA, and you can tell by the ever present line of customers waiting daily until they're sold out.

54 km
1 hour by car
02
Sampling barbecue at a restaurant in Taylor, Texas
View more

Taylor, Texas

Next on the agenda is Taylor, a railroad town established in the late 1800s. An influx of German, Czech and Austrian immigrants then brought their culinary sausage-making expertise here. A tasty first stop is Louie Mueller Barbecue, which has been dishing out thick slabs of tender salt-and-pepper crusted brisket since 1949. Complement your meal with Texas-style pinto beans and the peach cobbler.

26 km
0.5 hours by car
03
Sign for barbecue restaurant in Elgin, Texas
View more
Scenic countryside view in Elgin, Texas
View more

Elgin, Texas

The Sausage Capital of Texas is located in Elgin, which offers the feeling of classic, small-town Texas life. Located on Highway 290, Southside Market is famous for serving their Original Hot Sausage for more than 125 years. At lunch, it’s common among locals to order meat by the pound and devour it directly off the butcher paper. Another tasty choice for sausage is Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse, a famous eatery that has been in the Meyer family for four generations.

82 km
1 hour by car
04
Rustic stop in Driftwood, Texas
View more

Driftwood, Texas

Drive through the Texas Hill Country to Driftwood, home to the family-owned favorite The Salt Lick. This landmark joint is known for world-class barbecue cooked on an open flame and Texas Hill Country hospitality. This delicious spot also has its own winery and if you have time, you can round out this culinary stop by taking a side trip along the Driftwood Wine Trail.

52 km
0.75 hours by car
05
Barbecue being cooked at a smokehouse in Lockhart, Texas
View more

Lockhart, Texas

Farther northeast is the small town of Lockhart, Texas, where you’ll find two iconic barbecue spots. Family-run Black’s Barbecue uses certified Angus beef for their brisket. Kruez Market (pronounced “Krites”) smokes meats in its centuries-old brick pits and serves as both a grocery store and meat market. Take a break in between these two meals by walking around Lockhart State Park and going fishing in its creek.

More information
23 km
0.5 hours by car
06
Field of bluebonnet flowers outside of Luling, Texas
View more

Luling, Texas

Back in the car, and you’re off to Luling, Texas. This small town is known for its barbecue as well as the four-day watermelon festival “Watermelon Thump.” In the heart of town, you will find the town’s barbecue shrine: Luling City Market, dedicated to the “Texas Trinity” of sausage, brisket and ribs served on butcher paper. Finish up by picking up a light watermelon snack and enjoying it on the banks of the river at Zedler Mill.

More information
94 km
1 hour by car
07
Greetings from San Antonio, Texas!
View more

San Antonio, Texas

The final stop on this culinary trail is the seventh largest city in the USA, San Antonio. In addition to killer barbecue, you’ll find historic missions, the famed riverwalk, Pearl Brewery, El Mercado and much more. Discover the lively Texas Pride Barbecue with great food and pool tables, plus plenty of events like a bike night for motorcyclists. The premier Cooper’s serves up mesquite-smoked brisket, cabrito (roasted goat) and prime rib. After you’ve had your full share of barbecue, end the day by visiting the historic Alamo to learn about the settlement of Texas and the American Southwest.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
View more
Continue exploring