2.5 days in Austin with my son to experience BBQ! What tips can you offer first timers?

Been discussing it for a while and finally getting to it. We go on Nov. 30 and return on the 2nd of December., a Sunday. We have a room at the Hyatt Regency with a view of the river. I may upgrade to a balcony but we probably won’t be there too much. Gonna hit the usuals: La Barbecue, Franklin’s etc but could use some insights. Planning on hitting some the food truck spots too. Cold beers from long neck in the evenings and who knows where we go. We’ll Uber our asses off but don’t mind walking.
lol thanks

Mike, your timing is good for Austin, weather wise. In all honesty, I would swap Franklin’s for Micklethwait (unless you really like to get up early and wait in a line). Micklethwait and LA Bbq are just as good, if not better with much smaller queues. For Micklethwait, you can bring your beverage(s) of choice and eat there.

If you still want Franklin’s, you could even place a to go order ~45-60 days (I think it’s 45 days but check) prior to your trip so as to avoid the line. Other wine/restaurant places to try: Bufalina (Cesar Chavez location), Lenoir (personal favorite), and Kemuri Tatsu-ya. Happy to give more suggestions.

Good tips, thanks for sharing them. I will take your advice.

This is good advice.

I hit Micklethwait this weekend and it was excellent as always with almost zero line. La Barbecue is of course amazing—perhaps just a nudge better than Micklethwait—but its lunchtime lines are creeping up there in length and I have limited patience.

Also had a nice meal at Foreign & Domestic the other day.

Here a a list of some of the better joints in Austin. https://austin.eater.com/maps/best-barbecue-austin-restaurants If you wan’t Franklin’s follow Gus’s advice. Don’t wait in line. Order in advance. As Gus knows, quality BYOB places are hard to come by but if you are looking for good and interesting food and an interesting wine list, June’s All Day is one of my favorite places. I don’t like their website much but I do like the food and the wine list is limited but interesting http://junesallday.com/

If you have a little extra time and want to shop around for wine, the Austin Wine Merchant is a must visit. Crowded with wine but you can find some interesting stuff lying around. If you can’t find it, ask.

Emmer & Rye, Lenoir, and Cafe Josie currently top my restaurant likes in Austin.

Small Victory and Garage bar are cool cocktail bars downtown. If you want more of an old time Austin dive bar experience, try Donn’s Depot, the Deep Eddy Cabaret, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, or Lala’s.

I concur with comments above vis-a-vie bbq – don’t feel like you have to do Franklin’s to get great bbq. There are many good ones in town now, so there is no reason to waste a couple of hours standing in line at Franklin’s. Also, Terry Black’s is excellent and is very close to your hotel. Also close to your hotel is Threadgill’s World HQ. Threadgill’s is a restaurant with a lot of history in Austin. It serves southern comfort food – not especially good (or bad), but it can be a fun joint to check out. They also frequently have live music.

If you enjoy Tex-Mex, I recommend Matt’s El Rancho or Maudie’s, but there are many great purveyors of Tex-Mex in Austin.

If you want some live music, the Continental Club is near your hotel and often has some good shows – usually in the blues/country/roots rock genres. The Broken Spoke is a classic old honky tonk on South Lamar – if you like two-stepping to country. It’s kind of weird to see it surrounded by newly built apartment complexes these days. The Saxon Pub is another potential choice for folk/blues/roots rock type music. Otherwise, check DO512.com and/or Austinchronicle.com to see who’s playing and where during your stay.

If you want to bar-hop the Rainey street area can be fun – it also has El Naranjo (an interior style mexican restaurant that is very good). Emmer & Rye is also in this neighborhood.

Finally, the east-side seems to be booming these days with so much construction and so many new bars/restaurants that I can’t keep up. “East-Side” in this situation refers to the area east of I-35 between the river and 7th street.

I would not recommend hanging out on “dirty sixth” (essentially the blocks of east 6th street between Congress Avenue and I-35) as it is largely the domain of 20-somethings hitting shot bars. The exception would be if you want a good bistro experience, which can be had at Chez Nous (which allows BYOB).

All great and useful info and I thank you all for it.

How could I have forgotten Chez Nous Greg? I have had some excellent meals there and it is downtown. Last time I was there, corkage was $25 per bottle. Probably hasn’t changed. Greg is right, 6th street is the bar version of kitsch for the barely legals.

How is it possible that Snow’s has not been mentioned yet?

Franklin offers horrible ROI for time spent in line.

As Michael stated above, Snow’s is worth the journey out of town. But, it is only open on Saturday. I would also highly recommend going to Louie Mueller in Taylor for a beef rib.

While Snow’s is likely the best bbq in Texas (and, therefore, everywhere), Mr. Pobega inquired about Austin, not places within an hour’s drive or so of Austin.

Also, depending upon one’s bbq palate sensitivity, the difference between the sublimity of Snow’s and the sublimity of other very very very good spots in Austin may not be sufficient to dedicate a Saturday morning/afternoon to driving out to Lexington (and returning) in hopes of getting some Snow’s - particularly given the potential that, if you don’t get there in time, they might run out of meat.

Wow. Have a great time Mike. I got to spend two weeks in Austin before the streets were paved and thought it was the coolest town. I ate BBQ every day for those two weeks, then we were sentenced to Waco. Post notes on the BBQ please.

Yeah, definitely make the excursion to Louie Mueller. Not that long of a drive from Austin and it’s a national treasure. Much of the best Texas BBQ can trace its roots to Louie Mueller–and the beef rib is one of America’s best food items, anywhere. Brisket is excellent too.

I have not been to Snow’s but am dying to go. It’s a bigger investment of time.

LOL, I’d never heard of Louie Miller so I googled. They ship. Their beef ribs are available by the rack, which they say is “1-2 ribs” for $199.00. Two bills for a rib? But there is free delivery so that’s something I suppose

That cannot be correct for two ribs. Yes, they are expensive (and worth it) in person.

Wow, that’s just wrong. They must have shipping and the container priced in there something fierce.

I think a single rib runs about $30 in house

No, they say it is for 2-3 ribs. Still friggin’ expensive, but goldbely probably adds a major markup.

While I don’t disagree with the Austin recommendations, I’m going to be a contrarian and suggest you do go to Franklin’s and spend the time in line. It sounds like this is a “once in a lifetime” or at least very rare occasion, and Franklin’s is legendary for a reason. The BBQ is great, the line can actually be kind of fun, and the experience will be unforgettable. Skipping it on a trip like this sounds to me like going to the Louvre for the 1st time and skipping the Mona Lisa. I agree with Greg and also suggest staying in Austin and not spending time driving around TX. You’ll be able to get your fill of amazing BBQ, Tex-Mex, local craft brews, and just about anything else you want in town.

If you were asking for advice about the Louvre I might very well advise you to avoid the Mona Lisa too. Or the Louvre altogether. :slight_smile:

Chuck I could swear it said 1-2 yesterday but maybe my eyesight is failing me (or my reading skills).