You've moved to Austin, learned where to find the best views, best day trips and how to be the best Austinite. Next, kick off your Austin experience by trying the best barbecue spots in town. Besides, there's nothing more Texan than a good ol' barbecue joint.
We're not recommending you try all of these barbecue joints around town, but how will you know which one is your favorite?
Franklin Barbecue, 900 E. 11th St.
Franklin Barbecue is known for having extremely long lines and amazing brisket from well-known pitmaster and "barbecue nerd" Aaron Franklin. From brisket to beef ribs and a Tipsy Texan sandwich, there's nothing more iconic to Austin than this particular barbecue joint. Along with barbecue lovers, celebrities such as Anthony Bourdain, Jimmy Kimmel and Barack Obama have celebrated the beloved spot. Since the pandemic, Franklin barbecue is only accepting preorders for extra safety precautions. Described by Texas Monthly as "serving the best barbecue in the known universe," Franklin Barbecue is a must-try if you're new to town.
Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ, 11500 Manchaca Road
In a city where tacos and barbecue aren't hard to find, pitmaster Miguel Vida brings Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ to Austin with a twist on both food groups. Besides, is there anything more Austin than skipping tradition and creating something completely unique? Valentina's serves incredible brisket, pulled pork and chicken and beef fajita with a Mexican twist. Make sure to try their smoked brisket taco and order online before it all sells out.
Micklethwait Craft Meats, 1309 Rosewood Ave.
Micklethwait Craft Meats is no stranger to the well-known barbecue game in Austin. Also featured in Texas Monthly as one of the best barbecue spots in Texas, pitmaster Tom Mickethwait brings standout items to the Austin food game. With brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, homemade sausages and so much more on their menu, Micklethwait Craft Meats is the perfect spot for meat lovers looking for a new destination. Due to the pandemic, Micklethwait is another barbecue joint that has switched to preorders for curbside pickup.
Terry Black's Barbecue, 1003 Barton Springs Road
Family owned and operated by pitmasters Michael and Mark Black, the Black family knows barbecue. What started in Lockhart by Terry Black, has branched out to Austin by his twin sons, Michael and Mark, to provide Central Texas with the delicious family business. The meat market-style restaurant offers delicious brisket, pork rib, beef sausage and so much more for flavors and high-quality barbecue you can't miss out on. If you're new to town and thinking of sending a gift to your friends and family outside of the state, Terry Black's offers nationwide shipping for most of their meats. Austinites can preorder online for pickup or delivery.
LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue, 121 Pickle Road
This new-school and uniquely creative food truck proves that barbecue isn't just for the traditional establishments in town. LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue opened their doors in 2017 in the Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden lot. Since then, pitmaster Evan LeRoy and Director of Operation Sayer Lewis have provided Austinites with amazing barbecue by also supporting local ranches in Texas. From brisket to sausage to barbacoa, LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue have all the fixins' and more for barbecue lovers in town. Preorder online to try this inventive and mouth watering barbecue.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, 6610 N. Lamar Blvd.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew is one of those barbecue joints in Austin that helped create the lavish barbecue scene Austinites know and love. Lead pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick learned his technique with a true Texan twist and provides Stiles Switch authentically delicious barbecue such as beef rib, pork ribs, sausage and so much more. Owner and Texas native Shane Stiles named Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew after a Central Texas railroad stop on the I&GN Railroad from the 1800s. You can preorder online or call ahead to place an order.
Kerlin BBQ, 2207 E. Caesar Chavez St.
In the competitive barbecue market in Austin, this barbecue joint manages to hit top rank in all categories. Kerlin BBQ has been providing Austin with amazing brisket, pork ribs, pork shoulder and best of all, brisket and cheddar kolaches since 2014. Bill and Amelis Kerlin bring their own personal taste and preference to their menu, helping cater to most barbecue lovers in town. To preorder, email email@example.com.
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, 217 Congress Ave.
For any barbecue lover who hasn't tried the pork ribs at Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, it's time to finally do so. Pitmasters Kenny Oestreich and Louis Garcia provide the family-owned and operated restaurant, along with any Austinite who walks by the deliciously smelling barbecue, with great food on South Congress. Brisket, pork ribs, pork chops and beef ribs are only a small amount of what Cooper's has to offer. You can order for takeout and delivery by texting (512) 496-1958.
Mum Foods, 2113 Manor Road
If you're thinking of skipping out on Mum Foods, think again. The farm-to-table barbecue joint can be found around town at the Barton Creek, Cedar Park and Mueller farmers' markets, along with their shop, Mum's brisket. Serving Austinites with quality brisket, amazing pastrami, sausage, chicken and delicatessen, Mum Foods has it all for meat lovers in town. You can preorder online from Thursday through Saturday.
La Barbecue, 2027 E. Cesar Chavez St.
In a state where barbecue is the shining star, La Barbecue has put themselves up to the task of providing Texas with one of the best barbecue spots. La Barbecue, owned by LeAnn Mueller and wife Ali Clem, has provided Austinites with brisket, beef and pork ribs, amazing sausages and so much more. Pitmaster Ali Clem has established her influence on La Barbecue with help from Francicso Saucedo, especially for the sausages and pork ribs for a perfect barbecue experience. You can preorder online to try La Barbecue.
Brown's Bar-B-Que, 1901 S. Lamar Blvd.
It seems like the list of barbecue joints in Austin is never going to end, proving that there is no place better to find your favorite barbecue. Brown's Bar-B-Que adds to the list of incredible barbecue in town, providing South Austin with award-winning bone ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork and all the fixins. Pitmaster Daniel Brown has been in the barbecue game for a while, making incredible brisket and giving Austin yet another delicious barbecue spot.
Green Mesquite BBQ, 1400 Barton Springs Rd.
An Austin classic, Green Mesquite BBQ has been providing Barton Springs with great barbecue since 1988. Affordable prices and all the mouthwatering flavors you can think of, this Austin barbecue spot switches thing up by featuring mesquite barbecue, a method of cooking meat over a fire using mesquite wood, giving it a distinct flavor. Try their smoked chicken wings for the best bite of chicken you'll ever have.
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Austin's Delta 8 industry has been turned on its head after Texas health officials clarified that the cannabinoid is on the state list of illegal substances, though it was previously believed to be legal by most retailers, consumers and manufacturers.
House Bill 1325, which was signed in June 2019 by Gov. Greg Abbott, and the Farm Bill, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2018, legalized any hemp product containing less than .3% THC. The same bills were thought to have made Delta 8 legal, though the Texas Department of State Health Services added a notice on its website saying it was still a controlled substance as of Friday, Oct. 15.
Both the federal and state governments keep separate lists on what is considered a controlled substance. Marijuana is considered Schedule I, a category reserved for substances with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," both statewide and federally.
Austin-based CBD retailer Grassroots Harvest CEO Kemal Whyte, like many CBD shop retailers, was blindsided by the announcement. Many small businesses rely on Delta 8 for their sales—Green Herbal Care CBD said about 90% of its sales come from Delta 8—and Whyte said he is frustrated by the inconsistencies in the drug scheduling system.
Since 87% of Texans support the legalization of marijuana, at least for medical use, per a recent poll, Whyte said he wonders who this legislation is for.
"It's gonna have a massive impact on small businesses—there's just no way around it," Whyte said. "The reality is, we don't want to push out anything bad for our customers, we want this to benefit our customers and to help them. If we can make money while doing it, that's the American dream. What are we doing, whose benefit is this for?"
Delta 8 surged in popularity after the perceived legalization—consumers enjoyed its lower psychotropic potency, decreased anxiety while using it and the peace of mind as a legal way to get high. So in order to protect their products and livelihoods, both Grassroots Harvest and Austin-based manufacturer Hometown Heroes are taking legal action.
Whyte said Grassroots Harvest is suing DSHS, saying their action is creating negative effects in the market. Meanwhile, a Hometown Heroes spokesperson said the company is in the process of filing a temporary restraining order that would pause the ban on Delta-8 in the state of Texas.
Threats against Delta 8 are not new—DSHS lost a lawsuit trying to make "smokable hemp products" illegal last year and Texas lawmakers had been considering a bill that would make Delta 8 illegal, though it was dropped after the clarification was made.
Hometown Heroes released a formal statement in response to the DSHS rule.
"I need to be clear—we love Texas, we're just choosing to fight for the will of the people in regards to cannabis in Texas," Hometown Hero CEO Lukas Gilkey said in a statement. "(Texas DSHS) are using backhanded ways to create legislation and go against the will of the people."
Whyte laments the fact that it would be easier legally to "open up a strip club that also sells guns," and said he can't post customer testimonials that mention the benefits of Delta 8 without getting hit with a cease and desist from the Food and Drug Administration. Whyte said he isn't opposed to regulation—far from it—he just wants to see it go through the correct channels.
"The fact that they're stunting our ability to communicate with our clients that want to learn about this, you're preventing us from communicating with them and teaching them, or spreading information that we know," Whyte said. "I think that that in and of itself opens up a lot of questions."
Grassroots Harvest still has Delta 8 products on its shelves for the time being but for how long, Whyte doesn't know.
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Austin Public Health and other clinics around Austin are now providing booster shots for all three vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, to fully vaccinated individuals after both Pfizer and J & J were approved by the CDC on Wednesday.
APH and Austin clinics, which were already administering the approved Pfizer booster, will begin distributing shots as soon as Friday.
Those who received the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine more than six months ago are elligble to receive a booster if they are over 65 or if they are over 18 and:
- Live in a long-term care environment
- Have underlying medical conditions
- Work or live in high-risk settings, such as schools, hospitals or correctional facilities
Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in a media Q&A Friday that APH is encouraging boosters just as much as they have urged residents to get their first and second doses.
"Boosters are incredibly important to keeping our community protected and hospitalizations low," Walkes said. "If we can stay on top of our vaccinations, we provide protections for our most vulnerable and make it that much harder for COVID to spread in our community."
Eligible residents are free to choose the same booster as their first doses or "mix and match," per the CDC announcement.
Those looking for another dose can simply bring their vaccination card to APH centers or the dozens of Walgreens and CVS locations in the metro, which began administering doses Friday.
Additional updated guidance from the CDC allows for all eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a "mix-and-match" booster dose. It is advised to remember to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card showing the original doses with you when going for booster shots.
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