The Best BBQ in the Texas Hill Country

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Best BBQ Joints in the Texas Hill Country

BBQ is more than just a food in Texas, its own culture, and a lifestyle with recipes and cooking techniques that have been perfected for years. Luckily in our neck of the Hill Country, Dripping Springs is home to some of the best BBQ in the state. Whether you like brisket, ribs, or sausage, you’re sure to find a new favorite. From traditional sit-down joints to food trucks, here's a bucket list to get you started. Read on for our recommendations for where to grab BBQ when you're in the Dripping Springs, TX area.

SALT LICK

Salt Lick BBQ might be the most popular BBQ joint in all of Texas and is one of the main attractions in the area. With barbecue staples like brisket and sausage, you can get your fill, but the best reviews consistently hit on the ribs, both pork, and beef. Enjoy ample dining both indoors and outdoors for dining while taking advantage of wine from Salt Lick Cellars. Then there’s the ever-popular and much-photographed barbecue pit.

Pig Pen BBQ

While Pig Pen is currently closed as the owner's Bill & Michelle Matthews shift operations from a food truck to a brick and mortar restaurant, the bbq still deserves a mention on this list of best BBQ joints in the Dripping Springs area. Aside from their finger-licking-good BBQ, their broccoli slaw & and German-style baked potato salad are some of their most popular and delicious sides. As for their BBQ, folks love their pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, and the bbq chicken, which has won several prestigious BBQ awards. Keep your eyes peeled for when Pig Pen BBQ opens up their restaurant in downtown Dripping Springs.

a plate of bbq and a glass of bourbon and a bottle of bourbon.

Alice’s Restaurant

Located on the property of Treaty Oak Distilling, you'll find not only tasty drinks but also delicious bbq. Scott Fogle is Treaty Oak’s head pitmaster and was trained under Miquel Vidal of Valentina’s, a Top 50 BBQ joint according to Texas Monthly Magazine. Enjoy Texas bbq and southern comfort faves like brisket, pork ribs, and macaroni and cheese. Dine inside or outside beneath the giant oaks on the 28-acre property.

Crimson Creek BBQ

Located at the Cedar Valley Eats Food Trailer Park, Crimson Creek is a relatively new food truck that serves up Oklahoma-Style Barbecue (that means spicy pork, y’all), and homemade desserts. Pitmaster McNac doesn’t do beef, according to his website, “Brisket is not my thing. I'm more of a chicken, pork, and sausage guy, or any part of the pig. From the snout to the ribs, I'll do it. I smoke pigs' feet, ribs, loin, you name it. I figured out a way to get it tender and give you a totally different taste than something you've never had before.” Crimson Creek is currently to-go only.

PROOF & COOPER

"We’re known for brisket and our fried chicken,” Joshua Brownfield said, Proof & Cooper Owner and General Manager. Southern comfort food made from scratch daily in a rustic, relaxed setting is what Proof and Cooper is all about. They have a huge patio and a big backyard with plenty of seating and room and a large bar with craft cocktails and a fine selection of local and regional whiskeys. To-go and delivery are also available.

Penninger Meat Co. at Revolution Spirits

Chicago born Pitmaster Graham Penninger has been perfecting his recipes and cooking techniques for years and is now serving up his delicious smoked meats out of Revolution Spirits, the great gin distillery off Fitzhugh Road. Crowd favorites on the menu include slow-smoked pork butt with coriander pickles, sesame slaw, and Yellah sauce. If you can’t decide which smoked meat to choose, consider ordering the party platter that comes with one pound of brisket, one pound of pulled pork, four chicken quarters, choice of four sides. Food and cocktails are available Friday through Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. To go and catering are also available.

A rack of meat on a grill.

Thin Blue Smokery

In 2016, Tin Blue Smokery started its high-end catering business to service weddings and private events. The award-winning bbq starts with high-quality meats and uses fresh, local ingredients when possible. Thin Blue uses a 24' custom smoker to cook their prime rib brisket, crispy smoky beef ribs, and they can even offer onsite live cooking including whole hogs, porchetta, ribeye steaks, and fish fries. While Thin Blue does not have a brick and mortar store front, they are well known in the events catering game and also offer online specials, so keep them in mind for your next event needs.

Railroad BBQ

Established in January 1982, this family-operated restaurant located on Highway 290 uses all original family recipes and locally-harvested mesquite for all of their smoked meats. On the menu, you'll find delicious Bar-B-Que including tender brisket, Railroad Bar-B-Que's signature sausage, turkey breast, and whole or half-chicken. Railroad's sides include homemade fresh-cut fries and sweet potato fries, banana pudding, and potato salad. Dine-in, drive-though, or to-go options are available.

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