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. It's its own culture and 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 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 while taking advantage of wine from Salt Lick Cellars. Then there’s the ever-popular and much-photographed barbecue pit.

Pig Pen BBQ

Pig Pen BBQ started as a food truck and is now a great brick and mortar restaurant on Hwy 290 just west of RR 12. Owners Bill & Michelle Matthews' bbq 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. And don't forget to order a piggy tail!! Yummy.

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.

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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.

the switch bbq

The Switch offers smoked meats, sides, and Cajun sandwiches and salads. Look out for the po’ boys made with pulled pork, crispy fried shrimp, jalapeno mayonnaise, and brisket debris gravy. Dinner (which is table-service), will feature entrees like gumbo, the smoked and fried beef rib with cheddar cheese grits, and blackened catfish with smoked shrimp. All desserts were concocted in collaboration with Holy Roller’s Callie Speer (her downtown restaurants features brisket from Stiles). This includes banana splits, ice cream sandwiches, and the Big Red Firecracker Float.

A rack of meat on a grill.
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