BBQ-Lockhart, TX and nearby

Hello, Texas BBQ friends:

I just booked a BBQ trip with my kid (albeit a 31 year old kid) for late January staying in Lockhart, TX! Re the 3 famous Lockhart BBQ favorite(s) what specific meats at each restaurant? (In addition to Black’s, Smitty’s and Kreuz I’ve also been hearing good things about the newer Barb’s BBQ.)

We’ll have a car so we’ll likely hit la BBQ in Austin first on the way from the airport. What great BBQ joints are not a long drive (around 45 minutes) from Lockhart. A friend recommended Valentina’s in Buda which isn’t far. Other suggestions?

I’m far from an expert but have eaten at La BBQ in Austin when it was still a trailer and Cooper’s in Llano many many years ago.

Anyway all suggestions really appreciated, really looking forward to our trip and happy holidays to all!


My experiences and favs are dated - I haven’t been up that way in about 15 years vs. sometimes going up twice a month a long time ago. You’re asking about the old line places — I can speak to those but none of the newer ones.

My first choice in Lockhart would be the brisket at Black’s. I like everything there but the brisket is best, sausage perhaps least impressive. IGNORE THE SIDES - it’s all institutional-quality stuff - don’t waste space in your tummy.

Kreuz - most impressive cooking area. To walk into that pit room is something. Per the meat, in retrospect, everything at Kreuz is overseasoned. Not so badly that you can’t get it down, but more than it needs to be. A rule I concocted - if you reach for the seasoning shaker or salt shaker at Kreuz to ‘perk a dish up,’ it’s a sign you’ve had enough for the day and should stop. Hard to pick their best offering.

A general rule (another) - stick to the brisket for beef - that’s the traditional cut. I had shoulder the first time I was at Kreuz; brisket had become what was (for the times) very expensive and they were offering a lesser cut. Avoid it. I have never had any of the beef rib offerings up that way and what I’ve had in the Houston area joints isn’t what I want. I don’t understand the appeal.

I have only been able to try brisket at Smitty’s - I think they’re perhaps the most likely to run out early. Very interesting site to experience as the oldest pit still in operation.

City Market in Luling is another excellent choice - everything there is excellent and the pit room is another awesome experience. Mueller’s in Taylor is the other excellent choice you should consider (there’s a pretty direct back road connection so you don’t have to get into Austin traffic). Sausage at Mueller’s is exceptional, to me, but everything is good and the site is amazing.

@NotDoobieWah is originally from Lexington, I think. He hasn’t posted here in a couple of months but maybe will see this. I have never experienced the place at Lexington.

@johntannerbbq also has been thru C-Tex recently and could offer some insight.

There are many other HO’s from all over the galaxy who’ve been more recently than I and they should feel welcome to offer input, as well as any actual Austin/C-Tex HOs.

Have a good trip, Rob.


I agree with Bruce on only getting brisket – and sausage. Shoulder isn’t nearly as good and pork ribs are … not like the Deep South.

The Original City Market in. Luling is my favorite, with the classic smoke room Bruce mentioned, and the Old Texas setting. the brisket is dependably great, and was about half the price of the Austin places on my last trip. I’ve never had less than a great meal there.
I’ve never had good luck at Smitty’s. I keep returning to watch small children play beside the completely unprotected fire,

but I had a subpar piece of meat. Others have had better luck, and some love it.

On my last trip I also ate at Terry Black’s in Austin and Pinkerton’s in Houston. Both were very good. I have more detailed posts on each of these on my blog. Enjoy your trip. I look forward to your report.

1 Like

Thanks! How do I find your blog?

1 Like


Here you go:

Thanks, ElsieDee!

1 Like


1 Like