August 15, 2019 Slideshows » Food & Drink

Where to Find the Absolute Best Barbecue in San Antonio 

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Even in the meat-loving state of Texas, not all barbecue is created equal. Thankfully, these San Antonio restaurants know what they're doing when it comes to meats and all the fixins'.
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2M Smokehouse
2731 S WW White Road, (210) 885-9352, 2msmokehouse.com
With national recognition in its pocket, 2M Smokehouse has lots to brag about. The East Side joint often inspires a long line of hungry diners waiting for their ‘cue fix, so make sure to get there early. If you do, you’re guaranteed to see what all the fuss is about. Pitmaster Esaul Ramos and company offer a Tex-Mex take on barbecue, with the menu offering chorizo, elote and pickled nopales alongside brisket, ribs and potato salad.
Photo via Instagram / ashleahalpern
Smoke Shack
3714 Broadway, (210) 957-1430, smokeshacksa.com
Brought to diners by Chris Conger, Smoke Shack has gained a dedicated following thanks to its share of quality meats and flavorful sides. The Broadway outpost offers a rustic feel with its honest shack vibes, making your platter of meats and starchy sides all the more fitting. Your best bet is ordering the brisket grilled cheese – or really any of the stacked sandwiches.
Photo via Instagram / fabianluque
Augie's Barbed Wire Smokehouse
3709 N St Mary's St, (210) 735-0088,
Looking for a super country joint? Augie’s Barbed Wire definitely fits the bill. The chill restaurant is complete with a beer garden and live music. Yes, that’s on top of all the barbecue plates and sandwiches made with all the meats you can expect at any self-respecting barbecue spot. There’s even steaks and hot dogs!
Photo via Instagram / charlzalan
B&B Smokehouse
2619 Pleasanton Road, (210) 921-2745, bbsmokehouse.com
Though the old building may be long gone, B&B remains a force to be reckoned with in its new outpost. The family-run joint turns out house-smoked meats – expect brisket, sausage, turkey, pulled pork, chicken and ribs – alongside potato salad, creamed corn, cole slaw and Spanish rice. They even have lunch specials!
Photo via Instagram / nothingbutroomblog
Alamo BBQ Company
511 E. Grayson, (210) 994-8099, twobrosbbqmarket.com/alamo-bbq-co
Brought to you by the esteemed Chef Jason Dady, who also owns Two Bros., Alamo BBQ pays homage to the San Antonio landmark – and delicious barbecue to boot. Located not too far from the Pearl, this spot is perfect for families as it has a large outdoor play area. Don’t worry, you’ll have fun too as you can enjoy live music while kicking back on the patio.
Photo via Instagram / alamobbqcompany
The Barbecue Station
1610 NE Interstate 410 Loop, (210) 824-9191, barbecuestation.com
Opened by the Peacock family in 1992, the Barbecue Station functions out of an old Exxon gas station so you can feast on some delicious barbecue. Rather than having locals have to drive out to the small towns to enjoy quality meats, the Peacocks brought the flavors to the Alamo City. Complete with made-from-scratch sides, the Barbecue Station should definitely be a rite of passage for ‘cue lovers.
Photo via Instagram / regoldman
Davila’s BBQ
418 W Kingsbury St, Seguin, (830) 379-5566, davilasbbq.com
Just a short drive away in Seguin you’ll find unbelievably scrumptious barbecue meats awaiting you. Pitmaster Adrian Davila, who took over the family business, keeps it real with mesquite-smoked meats. Order a plate or enough for the family, either way you’ll be eating good. Try the Big Red cake for the dessert you didn’t know you needed.
Photo via Instagram / theadriandavila
El Monte BBQ
6526 Bandera Road, (210) 267-1356, el-monte-bbq.business.site
Brave through the risk of the red light cameras in Leon Valley and get your behind to El Monte BBQ. Nestled on Bandera Road, this outpost has all the meats and serves them how you like ‘em – chopped brisket sandwiches, brisket tacos and sausage wraps to name a few. It also serves up the choice of having your meal made complete with pan de campo on the side, which you should definitely get.
Photo via Instagram / elmontebbq
South BBQ & Kitchen
2011 Mission Road, (210) 437-0070, southbbqkitchen.com
A still-new addition to San Antonio’s barbecue scene, South BBQ & Kitchen is a welcome joint on the city’s South Side. Inspired by the 2-1-0, South BBQ’s menu includes jalapeño cheddar sausage, brisket (duh), creamed elote, German potato salad and house tangy cucumbers. Trust us when we say that this spot knows what the people want.
Photo via Instagram / southbbq
Nelson's BBQ Food Truck
7327 N Loop 1604 E, (210) 473-4988, facebook.com/NathanielNelsonsbbq
Though currently on hiatus after a major setback from a break in, Nelson’s BBQ remains one of best spots for barbecue in town. Really though, one bite of the Nasty Nate, seen here, and you’ll see what the fuss is about. We’re counting down the days until we can get our fix.
Photo via Instagram / texasjoker1313
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Burnwood '68
1012 N Flores St, (210) 320-0584, burnwood68.com
On top of a badass name, Burnwood ‘68 should definitely be respected for the barbecue it serves up. Opened in 2018, pitmaster Lupe is a third generation smoker who serves up specialty items like brisket grilled cheese and chopped Frito pie, as well as smoked meats by the pound and sandwiches. There’s also lots of potato options here, from the German potatoes and cheesy potatoes to the potato salad and loaded baked potato.
Photo via Instagram / egg_34
Two Bros. BBQ Market
12656 West Ave, (210) 496-0222, twobrosbbqmarket.com
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly place to get the meat sweats, Two Bros. won’t let you down. The casual spot, prized for its oak-smoked meats and homey sides, is complete with a play yard for the little ones. Let them have fun while you slam back your fix of chicken thighs, cherry-glazed baby back ribs, cole slaw and potato salad.
Photo via Instagram / twobrosbbqmarket
The Granary
602 Avenue A, (210) 228-0124, thegranarysa.com
The Pearl may be seen as a haven for vegetarian hipsters, but it’s also home to a dependable barbecue joint. The Granary features all of the meaty staples you know and love during lunchtime with its market-style ‘cue. It’s all about the names here – from Central Texas brisket and Carolina pulled pork to Memphis pork ribs and Hill Country beef links. While all the sides are solid, you don’t want to miss the burnt ends baked beans.
Photo via Instagram / safood.e
B&D Ice House
1004 S Alamo St, (210) 225-9801, banddicehouse.com
If you’re looking for a place to kick back and just appreciate the wonder that is barbecue, head to Southtown. This neighborhood joint is all about hanging out, as the no-frills spot has plenty of picnic tables where you can chow down on smoked meats, sandwiches and sides. Best of all, you can wash down your meal with your craft beer of choice. If you’re looking for the perfect intro meal, order the Bruno.
Photo via Instagram / jaykim_lnf
Harmon's BBQ
102 S Main St, Cibolo, (210) 658-8889, harmonsbbq.com
If you don’t mind the drive, you’ll want to head to Cibolo for some damn good ‘cue. Even if you do mind the drive, Harmon’s is definitely worth it. The menu is simple here: order your choice of meat as a plate or sandwich, and there’s always the combo choice. The sides are the usual lineup you see at more barbecue joints. But the flavors here? Well, they’re close to one-of-a-kind.
Photo via Instagram / 2live_jkrew
Jones Sausage & BBQ House
2827 Martin Luther King Dr, (210) 224-6999
Sausage may reign supreme here, but all of the barbecue meats are sinfully yummy here. This tiny sausage house definitely makes up for the lack of space with the big flavors. Stop by and taste for yourself –– and make sure to save room for 7UP pound cake for dessert.
Photo via Instagram / bbqsnob
The Big Bib BBQ
104 Lanark Dr, (210) 654-8400, thebigbib.com
Nestled in a strip mall, the Big Bib BBQ is known for big, big flavors. The wood-smoked meats – like rib tips, brisket and pulled pork, to name a few – are matched with hearty sides and classic feel-good desserts that will have you coming back time and time again.
Photo via Instagram / thesammywyman
Rusty Bucket BBQ
600 Cupples Road, (210) 433-6663, rustybucketbbq.com
Hanging out in the West Side? Well then you’re not too far from some really good barbecue. Rusty Bucket prides itself in serving up “jaw smackin’ barbecue” such as brisket, pulled pork, chicken, turkey, ribs and sausage. For something hearty, order the Mac Attack – a brisket sandwich smothered in macaroni ‘n’ cheese.
Photo via Instagram / wez_so_n_so
Blanco BBQ
13259 Blanco Road, (210) 251-2602, blancobbq.com
Carnivores with big appetites will want to head to Blanco BBQ, known for its hearty portions of smoked meats and classic sides. Served as either a plate or in a sandwich, the barbecue outpost serves brisket, ham, sausage, pulled prok, chicken fried steak and catfish if you’re in the mood. There’s even a drive-thru if you’re trying to indulge in some ‘cue at home or work.
Photo via Instagram / sanantoniomunchies
B-Daddy's BBQ
14436 Bandera Rd, Helotes, (210) 275-9995, bdaddysbbq.com
Out in Helotes you can find slow-smoked meats, classic sides and Texan beers where all is right in the world. At B-Daddy’s, you’ll be living your Texas dreams while you munch on the flavorful ‘cue while posted up on the patio (there’s picnic tables for the full aesthetic). Be sure to try the ribs glazed with sweet tea and the jalapeño cheddar cream corn!
Photo via Instagram / letsbefrankee
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Texas Pride Barbecue
2980 E Loop 1604 S, Adkins, (210) 649-3730, texaspridebbq.net
With a nod from the Food Network, Texas Pride definitely reps the Lone Star State well. Found in the suburb of Adkins, the joint keeps it lively with live music, dancing and bike nights. But if you’re just here for the ‘cue, rest easy and enjoy the mesquite-smoked meats like ribs, turkey, brisket, pork and chicken. Share the hearty sides with the table so you can enjoy your own peach cobbler (with ice cream if you know what’s good for you).
Photo via Instagram / matrix1822
BBQLIFE By Chris
902 S WW White Road, (210) 359-1511, facebook.com/Bbqlifebychris
From the same family behind Ed’s Smok-N-Q comes BBQLIFE By Chris – the project of Chris Ashford. The pitmaster runs the show at this joint down the road from 2M. Whenever you’re in need of a laidback spot to just slam back some ‘cue and live your best life, BBQLIFE will come through.
Photo via Instagram / waltlewjr
Dignowity Meats
1701 E Houston St, (210) 462-1496, dignowitymeats.com
With a visit from Guy Fieri himself, you’d be silly not to stop by Dignowity Meats at some time. Walk up to the window to order up barbecue sandwiches like brisket burnt ends, pulled pork, ribs and buttermilk fried chicken. Honestly, order all the sides and share with the table because they knock it out of the park.
Photo via Instagram / dignowitymeats
True Texas BBQ
Multiple locations, heb.com
It’s no secret that H-E-B knows the way to every Texans’ heart, and now we know that the local grocery chain knows what it’s doing around the barbecue pit. Found inside two local H-E-B locations, True Texas BBQ’s meats are smoked for up to 14 hours using Texas oak. The brisket is even used in the beans! Trust us, you’ll want to try this joint if you haven’t already.
Photo via Instagram / 2live_jkrew
Old Smokehouse
5145 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 340-5039, oldsmokehouse.net
Only places with delicious barbecue deserve to call itself a smokehouse. There’s no problem here as Old Smokehouse doesn’t disappoint with its lamb ribs, brisket, sausage, pork ribs and shoulders as well as chicken. Here’s a cherry on top: you can even bring your own meats and have them smoke it for your next cookout!
Photo via Instagram / mrchipcarey
Orly's BBQ
3827 SW Military Dr, (210) 334-0300, facebook.com/orlysBBQ
Not too far from the edge of Lackland AFB, Orly’s BBQ is much appreciated in this side of town. With daily lunch specials and party packs for when you need to feed the herd, Orly’s serves up brisket, ribs, sausage and chicken breast as well as cole slaw, rice, beans, potato salad and creamed corn. Be sure to save room for dessert – you can’t go wrong with the banana pudding.
Photo via Instagram / orlysbbq
The County Line
Multiple locations, countyline.com
With one location on the River Walk and another off of I-10, the County Line has a reputation for tasty meats. Meaty platters and the traditional sides will make for a great meal while you enjoy live tunes. Be sure to try the homemade bread pudding!
Photo via Instagram / countylineriverwalk
Smokin' Joe's of Texas
114 N Weidner Road, (210) 231-0849, smokinjoesoftexas.com
Post up on one of the picnic tables and get your fill of ‘cue – from brisket and ribs to all the homestyle sides that make your feast complete. Joe, the pitmaster at this family-owned joint, has more than three decades worth of experience smoking meats. Open since 2010, Smokin’ Joe’s has lunch specials, plates and sandwiches to suit your appetite.
Photo via Instagram / rhino210tx
Ed's Smok-N-Q Bar-B-Q
4419 Rockdale Dr, (210) 776-7444
Consider this spot a somewhat hidden gem as it’s definitely one of the less visible barbecue spots on this list. Still, folks who have dined here know that Ed’s is damn delicious. From juicy meats to sides made with love plus unbeatable customer service, this joint will have you feeling like you’re at a family cookout.
Photo via Instagram / bigchrome210
Rib House BBQ Restaurant
757 Old Hwy 90 W, (210) 433-1916
Regarded for its fried chicken and Southern-style sides, Rib House BBQ, obviously, can hold it down with its barbecue as well. With the usual lineup of meats and sides, you can depend on Rib House for its made-just-right spices and flavors. Make sure to score some dessert too, whether you go for the 7UP cake or banana pudding (only available on Fridays).
Photo via Instagram / dave.stone.tx
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GoodFire Barbecue
8629 Perrin Beitel Road, (210) 267-1155, goodfirebbq.com
After more than two years of a drawn-out opening process, GoodFire Barbecue finally opened its doors in early 2019. The folks behind Chacho’s and the similarly-named Chacho’s Chicken have given us a hit with the smoked meats and sides at this Perrin Beitel outpost.
Photo via Instagram / i_eat_texas
Papa's Quickdraw BBQ
12054 Blanco Road, (210) 642-8822, papasquickdraw.com
The folks behind Papa’s Burgers went into the barbecue business, and we’re so glad they did. It’s all about speed here as the restaurant offers drive-thru service for when hunger can’t wait. Choose from the chunky smoked brisket, smoked pulled chicken or smoked pulled pork for your sandwich, and take your pick from four varieties of kettle chips. Why not try them all?
Photo via Instagram / s.a.vory
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2M Smokehouse
2731 S WW White Road, (210) 885-9352, 2msmokehouse.com
With national recognition in its pocket, 2M Smokehouse has lots to brag about. The East Side joint often inspires a long line of hungry diners waiting for their ‘cue fix, so make sure to get there early. If you do, you’re guaranteed to see what all the fuss is about. Pitmaster Esaul Ramos and company offer a Tex-Mex take on barbecue, with the menu offering chorizo, elote and pickled nopales alongside brisket, ribs and potato salad.
Photo via Instagram / ashleahalpern

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