Where to Order the Best Barbecue in Houston

Whether it’s textbook brisket or sausage-filled breakfast tacos, these spots deliver in more than one way.

10 min read

Texans have strong, almost religious feelings about their barbecue. As a fairly new resident of the Lone Star State, I've quickly learned that Texans hold onto very strong (and often differing) beliefs on issues like how barbecue should be prepared, or what makes a meat-and-three plate worth ordering. One pitmaster will insist that a slice of fatty brisket must be seasoned with black peppercorns and coarse kosher salt, while another may swear by a secret blend of pastrami-style spices.

In experimental foodie haven Houston, however, rules are gleefully tossed aside. I've eaten my way through menus featuring a twist or two — think pulled pork tucked into blue-corn tortillas, brisket topping off electric yellow queso, and smoked turkey piled high on a club sandwich. These barbecue joints command devoted followings, and while many don’t offer delivery, there are a handful that do.

Here are the ten best barbecue joints in Houston I’ve found that offer top-quality smoked meats through DoorDash. No matter your preferred style of ’cue, you’ll find a spot bound to give you new appreciation of Houston's diverse barbecue scene, as well as a rib-sticking meal that will prove why Houston’s barbecue is so beloved.

Roegels Barbecue Co.


Russell and Misty Roegels pay respect to Texas barbecue traditions as well as any well-known pitmasters in town, but where the couple sets themselves apart are in their weekly sandwich specials. One week you may find a Reuben loaded with house-made pastrami, and the next you’ll be enticed by a fried turkey katsu-style sando. Misty’s sides and desserts aren’t a side act. That’s clear when you dig into favorites like Texas caviar salad, a classic Tex-Mex dish that looks like salsa and is made with black-eyed peas, peppers, and tomatoes, or a boozy banana pudding.

The Pit Room


Even people who say they’re not really into barbecue find something they love at this Montrose restaurant. It breaks the mold by excelling at a wide range of options (versus being known for a particular dish or two). Let your belly lead with pickings from the traditional barbecue line-up of brisket, beef ribs, pork ribs, and any number of sausages (Czech-style, venison, pork laced with jalapeño and cheddar, among others), or venture out with a full taco menu (don’t sleep on the pulled pork stacked on heirloom corn tortillas), Texas red chili, Frito pie, and sandwiches stuffed with barbecue meats of your choice.

Big Ray's Barbecue


The smoked meats at Ray’s are a study in some of the best East Texas-style barbecue in Houston, but it’s the Creole classics that set this Third Ward favorite apart. An order of sticky-and-sweet ribs are a good counterpoint to the flavorful, dark-roux-powered gumbo and the filets of crisp fried fish. An extensive and expertly executed dessert menu — unusual for barbecue joints — is worth saving room for, with options like peach cobbler, banana pudding, and pineapple cake.

Goode Company BBQ


The Goode Company started more than 40 years ago with mesquite-kissed brisket, ribs, and sausages, and has since launched a mini empire of restaurants. The taqueria and Gulf-Coast-seafood-centric restaurants are still going strong, but this Texas barbecue concept, which has locations in Upper Kirby and Hedwig Village, has become locals’ go-to for the ultimate comfort food. Lean or fatty brisket prepared in smokers next to the site with post oak can be customized as a barbecue sandwich or po' boy, a rare option in Houston. The jalapeño cheese bread is a good vehicle for mopping up all the bits and pieces of smoked meats — but no Goode Company meal is complete without pecan pie for dessert.



This barbecue joint can be hard to find, among all the development in Houston’s East End, but the smell of post oak wafting down Leeland Street is a good clue that slow-cooked brisket and char-grilled half chickens are nearby. As long as you order earlier in the day, you can get the brisket and smoked turkey, which are prepared textbook style: burnished on the outside with just the right amount of smoke and succulent meat inside. The brisket also shows up in a gooey queso made with Swiss and American cheese. Don’t forget the sides, like cauliflower au gratin dripping in gouda or a bright tomato salad, which balance out the meaty main acts.

Burns Original BBQ


Houstonians love Burns so much that a few years ago, former mayor Sylvester Turner dubbed November 19 Burns Day. Since the 1970s, this family-run restaurant in Acres Home has been drawing crowds with its East Texas-style barbecue, which relies on sauces for chopped meats and often includes influences from nearby Louisiana. You’ll also find a classic Houston dish here — a chopped beef sandwich with fall-off-the-bone meat between two slices of white bread — as well as chaurice, a Creole sausage that packs a spicy punch and pork-laden flavor. Pro tip: Dip the sausage into barbecue sauce (it’s sold on DoorDash by the bottle), which tempers the heat.

Henderson & Kane


At first glance, this Sixth Ward convenience store and coffee shop looks straight out of a Western flick, with its swinging saloon doors. But tucked in the back is an under-the-radar barbecue joint with delivery. There’s pork ribs and brisket, but owners John and Veronica Avila also sell some of the best sausages in town. You can’t go wrong with a classic beef-and-garlic version, but the smoked boudin and chorizo verde are excellent, too. Early risers, take note: Henderson & Kane is one of the few barbecue joints to offer breakfast tacos. The flour tortillas are loaded up with soft scrambled eggs and best paired with sausages or brisket.

The Brisket House


When the most revered cut is part of your business name, you have to deliver. This Galleria restaurant does that and more. Each slab of fork-tender brisket is good on its own; the family-owned spot smokes its brisket every night for 12 to 14 hours. While you can go the traditional route of building a meat and three, consider ordering a sandwich with up to two or three meats so you can add on even more protein. Try the PB&J with pulled pork, brisket, and jalapeño sausage, or slices of smoky turkey layered between bacon slices for a club sandwich worthy of a five-star hotel. The mac ’n’ cheese, cole slaw, and loaded mashed potatoes with bacon round out this meat lover’s feast.

Fainmous BBQ


It’s a risky move to bring Tennessee-style barbecue, with its signature smoked pork and vinegary sauce, into Texas. But for owners (and spouses) Jamie and Karen Fain, it’s one that has paid off in their Sawyer Yards hit. The pulled pork shoulder doused with that puckery condiment is the most popular order; the smoker also turns out ribs, sausages, and pulled chicken fragrant with the sweet scent of hickory. Adding on a loaded brisket baked potato is never a bad idea, but for a more novel order, try the Tennessee potato crisps: potato skins seasoned, fried, then topped with a generous helping of sour cream, cheese, chives, and more meat, if you’d like.

Smokeroom BBQ


It’s not just barbecue that gets low-and-slow cooking treatment at this Oakwood Forest no-frills spot. Sides such as creamy mac  ’n’ cheese, hours-long braised mustard greens, and mini football-sized baked potatoes loaded with chopped brisket are given as much attention as the turkey legs, sausage links, and pulled pork sold by the pound. The plate offerings, from two to four meats, gives room for choosing two sides — be sure one of them is the jambalaya rice.