I Ate Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, for the First Time

USA News

Franklin Barbecue is famous for its long lines. However, due to the pandemic, the dining room wasn’t open when I visited in October 2021, so I ordered my food online instead.

franklin barbecue austin texas

The exterior of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.

Erin McDowell/Insider

Franklin Barbecue was established in 2009 and has been an Austin staple for barbecue ever since. It’s also gained a reputation worldwide for its barbecue, largely thanks to the late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain who visited the spot in 2012 for an episode of “No Reservations,” waited in line for over an hour, and called the brisket “earth-shatteringly good.”

In 2011, Bon Appetit called it the “best barbecue in the country,” while Texas Monthly ranked Franklin Barbecue first on its list of “The Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas” twice, in 2013 and 2017.

In 2015, Franklin Barbecue owner Aaron Franklin was also awarded a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Southwest. He is the first chef specializing in barbecue to earn the distinction.

I’ve heard plenty of stories about people waiting in line for hours to try Franklin Barbecue, and menu items like its famous brisket usually sell out quickly. To ensure that I would be able to try everything I wanted to, I placed my curbside pick-up order two days in advance on its website.

The only hang-up with ordering online was that I needed to order at least 3 pounds of meat. In total, I spent $135.50 on my order, including taxes and a 15% tip. My order ended up being way too much food for one person to eat in one sitting.

However, if you were feeding a large group of people, I thought the process was super convenient and fairly priced. I was able to eat my food over the span of multiple days, so it didn’t go to waste.

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