The quest for the Best BBQ in Texas is legendary. There are so many good places to enjoy BBQ in Texas, that it is difficult to declare just one place as “BEST”. And quite frankly, it all depends on if you want ribs, or brisket, or smoked sausage. And the BBQ sauce? Don’t even get me started on who has the best sauce. I mean how can one place have it all? Is that even possible?
If you are a Texan, you have heard of the legendary Franklin BBQ (maybe even if you are not a Texan too). And we have all heard about the incredibly long wait there is to actually eat at Franklin BBQ, right? I’m talking 2+ hour long waits. WHAT?? Is there any BBQ that is worth taking 2 hours of your life to wait for? Apparently there is, and Franklin has it.
Truth be told, with 3 kids, I have never been willing to wait in any line for food. If the restaurant wait is over 30 minutes, we walk out the door. But last week, I was grated a magical pass to eat at Franklin BBQ. Verizon Wireless came to town during SXSW to grant us Austinites a bit of joy during the madness of SXSW. Check out #ATXUnite on Twitter to see more of the fun that Verizon brought to Austin.
Is Franklin BBQ Worth the Wait?
With no wait, the kids and I walked right in and were offered plates that had a “little bit of everything” – pulled pork, sausage, brisket, smoked turkey, and ribs. It was accompanied with baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw. Our plates were overflowing, but I was thrilled to be able to try it all. Here’s what we thought:
Pulled Pork – the pulled pork was one of the most tender pieces of meat we tried. Perfectly smokey – the flavor melted in your mouth. This was my daughter’s favorite.
Sausage – Perfectly juicy sausage – beware of the juices popping across the table when you bite into it. The sausage was delicious, not too spicy, not a bit dry.
Turkey – Again, another perfectly smoked meat, this was my boys’ favorite choice. I thought it tasted great, but I just liked the other meats so much more.
Ribs – First let me say that I am not a rib fan. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t reach for them first. However, Franklin’s ribs were my favorite on the plate. The meat falls right off the bone. And there was a ton of meat on that bone to “fall off”. Absolutely delicious. And ribs happen to be their top seller, selling out first each day.
So, as my husband asked, “Would it be worth the wait?” YES! I can’t believe I am telling y’all to wait 2 hours to eat at Franklin BBQ but I am. It is absolutely worth the wait.
Tips to Eat at Franklin BBQ
That said, I have a few tips for you before you go, many of which came a conversation I had with owner, Stacy Franklin.
- Best time to go is on a weekday. They are closed on Mondays.
- The summer is the busiest. From April to November line waits are 2+ hours.
- Bring a lot of water or drinks while standing in line because of the heat.
- Borrow a chair if you need one while you are waiting.
- They open at 11:00 am. And people start to line up at 8:00 am. It’s unusual to not see someone in line by 8 am.
- The wait averages 2 hours after they open.
- Come later in the day (around 2:30pm) for no wait – you get the “scraps” – lean brisket, chopped beef. They close by 3:00- 3:30pm unless they have run out of everything sooner.
- Ask for a tour of the smoker room – The screen door was open to the room with the smokers, and we asked if we could come in. They were more than happy to let us and answer any questions we had about how they smoke their meat. I loved that they were so willing to talk about it – no secrets here.
- Yes, you can do a pre-orders but they are filled a month in advance. They will take pre-orders for the month ahead on the first Monday of the previous month – In other words, they will take May pre-orders on the first Monday in April. Pre orders must be for 5 lbs or more and can pick them up around 10 am.
For my full interview with Stacy Franklin, click below:
Location: 900 E 11th St, Austin, TX
Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday; 11 am – they run out
Recommended Time: 1-3 hours (depending on when you get there)
If you are unlucky enough to NOT LIVE IN TEXAS (gasp!), you can learn all about cooking BBQ on the BBQ with Franklin YouTube channel. There are some great videos to help teach you how to BBQ like a real Texan.
Disclosure: My family & I were invited to enjoy a meal at Franklin BBQ thanks to their #ATXUnite campaign. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions – especially the one that FRANKLIN BBQ IS WORTH THE WAIT are my own.