welcome to austin
One thing you need to know about Texans is not to get in between them and their smoked meats. Lucky for Austinites, some of the best barbecue in the world can be found right here in Central Texas.
And there are a lot of places to try out, whether you're a longtime resident, newcomer or just a barbecue fan. To get your barbecue journey started, here are some of Austin's favorite places to get their grub.
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. The dining room may be closed but curbside is available from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily except Mondays.
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. You can also dine in from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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. You can get your barbecue fix Thursday-Saturday either through preorder or walk up and there's even an outdoor picnic area that is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Terry Black's Barbecue, 1003 Barton Springs Road
Terry Black's namesake, operated by his sons, pitmasters Michael and Mark Black, takes Lockhart's barbeque knowledge to Austin. 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, otherwise, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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. You can preorder online or eat in person from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day except Monday and Tuesday 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 dine at the patio at Stiles Switch from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. every day except Monday.
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. Dine-in is available from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday or to preorder, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 delicious 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 or delivery if you don't want to dine in from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
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 or dine in from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday 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 fixings. Pitmaster Daniel Brown has been in the barbecue game for a while, making incredible brisket and giving Austin yet another delicious barbecue spot. Visit from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, or 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Green Mesquite BBQ, 1400 Barton Springs Rd.
An Austin classic, Green Mesquite BBQ has been providing Barton Springs with great barbecue since 1988. With 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. Plus, both Austin locations are open for dine-in.
Using high-quality ingredients and wood, and cooking in small batches, low and slow is the motto Interstellar BBQ goes by. Of course, you can get all the classic favorites: brisket, pulled pork and ribs, but Interstellar has some pretty stellar signatures. Try the peach tea glazed pork belly, brisket taco, jalapeno popper sausage and you can even get bulk sauces or beef tallow to cook with. You can preorder your feast the day before or enjoy the open dining room and patio from 11 a.m. until sold out Wednesday-Sunday.
Isabella Lopes contributed to this story.
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Pack your bags: it's time to head to sunnier skies in North Dakota.
At least that's what WalletHub's newest study seems to suggest. While South Dakota cities Bismarck and Fargo scored second and third on 2021's Happiest Cities in America, Austin came in at 27th.
The study looked at over 180 of the country's largest cities and weighed them on 31 key indicators of happiness, including anything from sports participation rates to weather, to see where they stacked up.
Austin, despite its rapid tech migration and its description as "utopian" by California transfer Joe Rogan, has moved down five slots from the 2020 list. Last year, the city ranked 22nd overall behind just one Texas city, Plano, which ranked second on the list.
Both Plano and Austin have since fallen in the ranks, with Plano now at 17th and Austin at 27th between San Diego, California and Overland Park, Kansas. Austin, which was previously ranked sixth in the Income and Employment category, has since dropped to 24th and has fallen several slots to 20th in the Emotional and Physical Well Being ranking and 94th in the Community and Environment section.
Austin still reigns supreme over other Texas cities, however. I-35 neighbor San Antonio came in at 141st nationally, while Dallas and Houston clocked in at 104th and 123rd, respectively. Other Texas towns that Austin bested include Amarillo (63), Grand Prairie (70), Garland (77), Irving (85), Arlington (102), Lubbock (117), Brownsville (125), El Paso (128), Corpus Christi (137) and Laredo (161).
Austin has made headlines in recent years for its massive "Texodus" as thousands moved from sunny California or other states to the capital city. Many tech companies have uprooted to Austin as well, including Tesla and Oracle. For 2020-21, Austin is ranked third in the best cities to live in the U.S., a title which it has won for many years in the 2010s. The city's housing market is booming, and it continues to be one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation.
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Having a roommate in the capital city is not uncommon and sometimes the most practical way of living in Austin. One report is recognizing Austin as one of the top ten cities for living with a roommate.
Storage facility company STORAGECafe ranked Austin at No. 8 in the top 10 cities for roommate living.
In the study, 31% of Austinites currently have a roommate. In Austin, doubling up with a roommate can save more than $5,000 a year, according to the report. With so many new and emerging living locations in town, Austin provides the 15th most space per roommate, allowing people living together to have their own space.
The research was conducted by understanding how renters in different U.S. cities have the more favorable living arrangement, while being able to socialize and save money.
Austin ranked in the top spot among Texas' five largest cities.