Every meat lover knows that Texas is famous for its unique style of saucy barbecue. San Antonio is Texas’ second-largest metropolis, offering one of the best selections of Texas-style barbecue in the Lone Star State.
Barbecue in San Antonio is a quintessential cultural attraction and will certainly leave you in the happiest food coma of your life.
You can work up an appetite walking along San Antonio’s lovely Riverwalk or strolling along the historical ground of the famous 19th century Alamo.
The key is to come hungry because you’ll get Texas-sized plates of smoked meats, sausages, and all the fix-ins at any of San Antonio’s excellent BBQ joints.
I spent my most recent trip to San Antonio sampling its best barbecue plates, sandwiches, and sauces so that I could share a well-researched list of restaurants for you to explore.
2731 S WW White Rd, San Antonio, TX 78222
2M Smokehouse is the long-time dream come true for pitmaster and San Antonio native Isaul Ramos, who worked his way from backyard pitmaster extraordinaire through countless barbecue restaurants and finally to an independent business owner.
Ramos and his high-school buddy opened 2M Smokehouse in the Comanche neighborhood in 2016.
The hip and fashionable dining space with awesome murals lining the exterior white brick walls always has a line out the door.
Ramos combines Texas barbecue tradition with his Mexican heritage, offering dishes like house-made sausage links with serrano peppers and Oaxaca cheese.
Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse
909 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215
Located in Downtown San Antonio a few blocks from the lovely Travis Park, Augie’s Alamo City BBQ Steakhouse is a fun, urban pub and barbecue counter.
They serve Texas-sized barbecue and comfort food plates with a large selection of craft brews to wash it all down. Augie’s is a San Antonio staple, serving the Alamo City for the past 20 years.
Along with excellent barbecue, Augie’s also offers giant hand-cut steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, and salads.
Their combo plates could easily feed two, but they also have family packages. Their Southern Comfort Sandwich with deep-fried pork belly and creamy coleslaw was outstanding.
Smoke Shack BBQ
3714 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209
Smoke Shack BBQ is a Texas-style barbecue smokehouse and Southern comfort food kitchen in Mahncke Park, overlooking Brackenridge Park.
Smoke Shack BBQ started as a food truck that quickly gained local acclaim, opening its own fast-casual smokehouse counter to national acclaim. Smoke Shack BBQ has been featured in the Texas Monthly and on the Food Network show, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives.
Along with award-winning smoked meat, you can also get delicious fried chicken and southern-style sides like mac and cheese, creamed corn, fried okra, and collard greens. Try the Smoke Shack Mac, creamy mac and cheese piled high with chopped brisket and BBQ sauce.
Alamo BBQ Company
511 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215
Alamo BBQ Company is a beloved Neat East Side barbecue restaurant and bar with a fabulous tree-covered backyard replete with an enormous wooden children’s playground.
The interior is housed in a classic Texas-country house, so eating at Alamo BBQ feels like a backyard cookout. There’s live music on the patio on weekends for you to enjoy while the kids play.
Alamo BBQ’s full bar features craft cocktails, wine, and frozen margaritas. All their meats are slow-cooked to perfection and served family-style by the half-pound.
I loved their peach glazed baby back ribs and smoked turkey. Save room for their incredible banana pudding.
The Big Bib BBQ
104 Lanark Dr, San Antonio, TX 78218
The Big Bib started as a classic gas station barbecue haunt in East San Antonio that was so popular it was upsized to a massive 1200 sq ft dining hall and picnic table patio off the busy Austin Highway in General Krueger.
The Big Bib’s famous Texas barbecue represents Texas in San Antonio and beyond, sold at the AlamoDome, San Antonio International Airport, Baylor University in Waco, and even the Texas-famous HEB grocery chain.
You get the best example of Texas barbecue with a side of sweet and spicy barbecue sauce at the Big Bib with everything from brisket and pulled pork to jalapeno sausage.
I loved their loaded brisket baked potato. I recommend the ribs with sweet potato casserole and ham hock green beans if you’re getting a plate.
Two Bros. BBQ Market
12656 West Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
Owned and operated by brothers Jason and Jake Dady in 2009, Two Bros. BBQ Market is a family-friendly Texas Barbeque market using an open fire slow-smoked technique that has won the brothers countless awards.
Located minutes from Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park, Two Bros BBQ Market has been voted Best Barbecue in San Antonio by USA Today and featured on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations.
Their proprietary dry rub is bursting with flavor, and the char on the brisket, beef tips, and cherry glazed baby back ribs adds a special texture and smokiness.
To sample multiple types of meat in a big messy package, try their Big Bro Sandwich with smoked brisket, sausage link, and pulled pork topped with coleslaw, pickles, and sweet sauce.
2619 Pleasanton Rd, San Antonio, TX 78221
Teetering between Tierra Linda and Mission San Jose, B & B Smokehouse is one of San Antonio’s oldest barbecue joints, originating in 1958 as a Hal’s Barbecue Drive-In.
The former owner Hal Finley passed down his barbecue know-how to his son and current owner Bruce Finley, who changed the name and updated the space in 1984. You can still get drive-through barbecue, though!
You can enjoy a plate of fall-off-the-bone beef ribs with a cold brew from their offering of local and national brews on tap.
They have great specials for lunch during the workweek. Their daily special is half a barbecue chicken with two sides, pickles, onions, sauce, and bread.
Black Board Bar-B-Q
3102 Martin Luther King Dr, San Antonio, TX 78220
Located in the northern suburb of Sisterdale, Black Board Bar-B-Q is the latest creation from celebrity Chef Jake Gandolfo that mySA calls “A barbecue renaissance.”
Chef Gandolfo delivers classic barbecue in an innovative, chef-driven way. In its short tenure, Black Board Bar BQ has received accolades from Texas Monthly and USA Today, to name a few.
I loved the Texas roadhouse dining hut, which added to the authenticity of Texas hill country barbecue. The food is superb; everything is scratch-made and presented on bright red trays with black paper in refined-roadhouse fashion.
They make some of the best thick potato chips with parmesan and chives. They also have the best brisket I’ve ever tasted.
The Barbecue Station
1610 NE Interstate 410 Loop, San Antonio, TX 78209
Established in an old Exxon gas station in 1992, The Barbecue Station is an Oak Park-Northwood neighborhood favorite with 30 years serving the kind of unpretentious yet perfect barbecue you usually have to travel to a small Texas town to find.
Owned and operated by the Peacock family, The Barbecue Station serves affordable plates, sandwiches, and market meat to every demographic.
I loved their chopped beef and pork loin, which you can get by the pound as a plate or on a sandwich. Combination plates include hearty portions of meat, sauce, pickles, onions, and sides.
13259 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216
Located inside a massive exposed beam wooden dining hall with a giant outdoor patio and playscape shaded by massive oaks, Blanco BBQ is a family-friendly smokehouse and scratch kitchen.
Located in Vista del Norte overlooking Phil Hardberger Park, Blanco uses the finest Black Angus beef to make their famous 14-hour smoked briskets along with the highest quality pork, chicken, and turkey breast.
There’s live music at Blanco BBQ every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also have a breakfast menu featuring tons of tasty breakfast tacos filled with their brisket, sausage, and pork.
Not only can you get Texas barbecue at Blanco, but you can also get Texas classics like chicken fried steak and giant turkey legs you’d find at the county fair.