There are few topics that get Dallas-Fort Worth locals more fired up than barbecue — and specifically, debates about where to find the best barbecue in DFW. Regardless of whether you’re partial to smoky brisket or sticky, sauce-drenched ribs, there’s something for every meat lover in this sprawling patch of Texas. Here, you’ll find Cantonese-style roast barbecue pork, charred tandoori chicken cooked in a traditional Indian clay oven, fall-apart fish, and Southern fried chicken. To point you in the right direction, we listened to regulars on the ground and our app’s most avid smoked-meat fans. Scroll on for the best barbecue in Dallas that’s available for delivery and pickup.
Brisket enthusiasts can’t skip Pecan Lodge, named after owner Justin Fourton’s family ranch in nearby Abilene. Here you’ll find gloriously succulent, mesquite- and oak-smoked beef that still draws long lines more than a decade after it graduated from the Dallas Farmers Market to its very own brick-and-mortar spot. Skip that queue and order your bacon-laced collards, smoked pork ribs, and scratch-made fried chicken to go.
Like the Midas of flavors, pecan wood smoke turns everything it touches to gold at this local fave. The sticky, tender baby back ribs are the major draw for Dallas regulars. But we’d happily make a meal out of sides, like bursting deep-fried corn on the cob, honey-spiced baked beans, and sweet-and-spicy Southern potato salad.
Named for the literal Ferris wheel on the backyard patio, this sprawling restaurant serves all the Texan barbecue classics. But don’t skip the less-common sleeper hits, like house-brined, honey-smoked turkey breast that’ll leave your Thanksgiving bird in the dust; Carolina-style pulled pork with jalapeño bacon slaw and house barbecue sauce; and creamy barbecue mac and cheese showered in crushed-up potato chips. Remember: Your carbs always need more carbs.
This isn’t your average barbecue joint. Though smoked meats are still the star of the show at both Good Union locations, the bountiful menu stretches all the way into taco, burger, and salad territory, and you can be sure the ingredients are sourced mindfully and locally whenever possible. The Pig Mountain sandwich is aptly named: You’re going to need both hands to get this huge pile of pulled pork, sausages, and bacon down. Got a meat hankering before noon? Order the smoky burnt ends, fried potatoes, and creamy queso wrapped in a flour tortilla and … call it a breakfast taco?
At the heart of this kitchen is the tandoor, a traditional clay oven that does it all. Naan breads emerge with bubbly air pockets, slightly charred and perfectly chewy, thanks to the radiant, all-over heat. And meats like the tandoori half-chicken, which hangs out overnight in yogurt, spices, and fresh herbs, transforms into delicately smoky bites, thanks to drips of marinade landing on the hot charcoal. Pair both with an order of fluffy vegetable biryani.
This value-for-the-money barbecue joint went viral in 2017 for its truly gigantic baked potato, known as the Big Heavyweight. Order one stuffed with sauced brisket and sausage links, sour cream, cheese, and chives. (If you’re not feeling quite so tough, go for the Lightweight, which features just one meat instead of two.) For a sneaky meal-prep hack, grab a pound of smoked chicken with baked beans, collards, and potato salad, and you’ll be eating well all week.
Founded in 1958 by William Jennings Bryan Jr. (aka Sonny), this legendary James Beard Award-winning ’cue spot serves everything with a side of nostalgia. The hand-battered onion rings are perfectly crispy, ripe for dunking in house barbecue sauce, and big enough to wear as a bracelet. And the family meal for eight, which comes with a whopping three pounds of meat and four pints of sides (don’t skip the brisket-y pinto beans!), will have your squad covered and leave you with plenty of leftovers.
For a dizzying variety of proteins, carnivores need to try this Korean-style Californian import. The seven-meat Combo 2, with sides like kimchi and spicy cucumbers, best mimics the abundant, tabletop barbecue experience. Non-negotiables include the thinly sliced brisket, spicy pork belly, and honey chicken. Prefer to grill at home? You can order marinated uncooked meats by the pound and pretend you made them yourself.
Order from this swanky joint and you’ll get smokehouse flavors with restaurant-y execution — all from the comfort of your couch. The meats are cooked low and slow in the wood burner to coax out the richest flavor and a fall-apart texture. Start with the queso, amped up with brisket and topped with a peppy pico de gallo. Then lean into the fajitas, which are just as fun to eat as they are to put together: Load up a flour or corn tortilla with smoked turkey and jammy peppers before topping it all off with sour cream and cheese.
This Indian grill showcases all the best eats from Hyderabad, one of the country’s many delicious cities. Naturally, you'll find spiced and barbecued lamb chops and lightly charred chicken tikka that’s smoky, tender, and fresh out of the tandoor clay oven. And you’re obliged to try the Hyderabadi-style mutton biryani, an iconic regional rice dish layered with tender goat and rich gravy. (We don’t make the rules!)
The Hardeman family has been serving up hickory-smoked meats in Dallas since 80 years ago — when the first two locations popped up in what was then a segregated Black neighborhood. The oxtail plate is soul food at its finest, featuring rich, deeply savory meat and sides like collards, candied yams, and potato salad. And the sweet and buttery peach cobbler tastes like sitting under a tree on a warm summer day.
This international chain has been drawing crowds since it first opened in Dallas in 2016. It specializes in shareable, combo value meals in a variety of sizes (under the Gyu for All! section of the menu). The Family Meal comes with a selection of marinated and grilled meats — like toro beef bacon dripping in sweet soy, and black pepper wings. Yes, you do want to throw in the marinated chicken karaage, fried until crispy and served with a creamy-spicy chili mayo.
This spot has seven locations around DFW, so you’ll never be too far from sizzling Korean barbecue bowls. Start with a base of kimchi rice or chewy noodles; then add marinated proteins like barbecue pork, chicken, or shrimp; and top it all off with bean sprouts, crispy onions, a sunny-side-up egg, and lots of gochujang dressing. Shikhye, a sweet rice punch beloved in Korea, will offset your fiery meal.
This skewered-meat haven started out as a food truck in New York City before sprouting a handful of physical locations around the country, including two in Dallas. If you love Beijing-style street eats, you’ll love Fat Ni (the nickname of founder and chef Guigiao Chen), where a truly dizzying number of well-seasoned meats and vegetables on sticks are sizzled over a hot-coal grill. At less than $3 per skewer for most, you’ll want to order extra. Pair your handheld feast with the hand-pulled cumin lamb noodles, which are scratch-made in house every day and slicked with an addictive chile-oil sauce.
A fiery collaboration from the chefs behind Austin’s Franklin Barbecue and Uchi sushi, this is where classic smokehouse techniques meet Asian-inspired flavors. You’re definitely going to need a brisket bun, with succulent beef, zesty papaya salad, and chili aioli. Fish lovers shouldn’t overlook the oak-smoked salmon rice bowl, a charred beauty served on fluffy coconut rice with pickled veggies.
The first Dallas location of this full-tilt Texan chain opened back in 2000, and it has since spawned seven more. Bone Daddy’s specializes in big servings of pit-smoked meats, like burnt ends, sticky ribs, and drenched wings. But sandwich lovers should live their truth and order the prime brisket — sliced or chopped — a gorgeous, dripping beast of a thing served on a toasted bun with two house-made sides.
You’ll find generous portions of all the American Chinese favorites on this huge menu: Brothy soup with cloud-like wontons, beef and black pepper, and General Tso’s chicken. But don’t sleep on the barbecue pork, which is marinated in a sweet-savory sauce and then roasted until it’s caramelized on the outside and juicy inside. Round out your meal with some crispy egg rolls and bouncy stir-fried noodles.
With a James Beard nomination under its belt, this where Dallasites flock for creative twists on Southern comfort foods, like the juicy short ribs braised in sweet tea, and seared shrimp with melty tomatoes and grits. Big groups should go for the Backyard BBQ Bonanza, a large-format dinner featuring crispy fried chicken, St. Louis ribs, smoked brisket over baked beans, and sides like mac and cheese, pickles, and fluffy buttermilk biscuits.
Pitmaster Matt Dallman, a Kansas City native, brought his hometown flavors to Dallas back in 2015. That means one thing and one thing only: You’ve got to order the burnt ends, which form like rich, smoky bark around the brisket before getting trimmed and kissed with sauce. The Smo-Fried Wings do a great job advertising themselves: Chicken is smoked until juicy inside and then fried until the skin is crispy outside. Don’t even bother asking for ranch — this is a blue-cheese-only joint.
Since opening in 1974, this Dallas chain has expanded to 19 locations, and it’s where you’ll find no-frills classics and solid portions. All of the meats are smoked low and slow over hickory wood; they’re so tender and juicy you could cut them with a spoon. The two-meat plate will give you a taste of options like the sweet-savory ribs and hearty chopped brisket, plus sides like velvety ranch-style beans and crispy fried okra.
Loro courtesy of Hai Hospitality
Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse by Rebecca White
Courtesy of Burning Rice