The Salt Lick Barbecue

The-Salt-Lick-Eric-HighlandLooking for amazing barbecue food, Austin? Then let’s start with this question: Where is the best BBQ in Texas?

I love BBQ. Yes, love is a strong word, I know…but I could honestly eat good ol’ fashioned Texas BBQ three days a week and never tire of it.

I’m always looking for “the best of.” So I mentioned to one of my co-workers that I wanted to find the best BBQ restaurant in Texas.

Without hesitation, and in a strong Texan accent, he said, “Have y’all ever been to The Salt Lick?”

Now I’m not a native Texan, and I thought that “y’all” is something you say to more than one person, so I was a little confused. But getting quickly past that and listening intently, I caught a gleam in his eye that told me that I was about to be let in on a Texas gem.

He told me that “down over yonder in the hill country there is an ol restaurant that has ribs that fall off the bone and brisket to die fer.”

This sounded like my kinda spot. So I grabbed my girl and hopped in my car and headed on out to The Salt Lick.

I didn’t know what to expect. But as I pulled up and saw the restaurant, my senses were not disappointed.


Shadowy Brittany and The Salt Lick sign

First off, I could smell the BBQ when I was still a good 500 yards away. I pulled into the dirt parking lot which was full of cars, and the aroma of Texas BBQ was droolworthy. I could also hear some live music coming from somewhere in the distance.

We walked in and a gal offered us a taste of brisket right off the BBQ pit. It was honestly the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my entire life. The meat just melted in my mouth and the flavor was indescribably excellent.


This qualifies as a big barbecue pit

After we were seated, I learned a little about the history of the place. The meat-cooking method used at The Salt Lick is from the Roberts family and the roots date back to the mid-1800s!

There are several locations: Round Rock, Austin Airport and Driftwood. But in order to get the full effect, you need to go to the original location: the one in Driftwood.


The Driftwood location is great for large country gatherings

Listen, I can’t recommend this place more highly. Get on out there and check it out for yourself.


the Austinot asks:
Do you think you know of another BBQ joint I need to check out? Comment below and let me know.

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon



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  • David L

    Franklin (recently went from food truck to brick and mortar) is supposed to have some of the best BBQ anywhere. It’s nearby but I haven’t eaten there yet because there’s never not a long line (i.e. an hour wait) and they sell out by early in the afternoon.

    • Austinot Eric

      You know, I’ve heard nothing but great things about Franklins. It is officially on my list of things to do now. Thanks for posting on our blog David… please share it with your Austin area friends.. we’d really appreciate the bloglove…

      oh by the way… Brittany wants to know what you think of our blogroll.. look familiar? ~smirk~

  • Edward

    Not in Any order. (Yes agree w/ Franklin’s)
    Louie Mueller
    City Market
    Kruez Market

    Black’s, Iron Works

    Passable in a pinch:
    Rudy’s, County Line, Stiles Switch (new)

    Haven’t tried:
    Mann’s BBQ

    IMO Salt Lick doesn’t smoke brisket, only grills it as shown in your picture, so doesn’t qualify as BBQ.
    (It is the most famous place but there is so many places with better ‘que around. Get out and find it.)

    Go to as many as you can, your palette will become refined.!

    • BrittanyHighland

      Fair enough, Edward! We’ll get out and let you know what we find. Be watching for more reviews. We appreciate your feedback. -Brittany

      • Edward

        Sure thing and let me know your favorite. It may be out of some random trailer or in a high tea restaurant. The Salt Lick probably has the best overall experience. Beautiful Texas Hill Country with all your friends.

        At the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival, I thought Lambert’s had the best sausage but defiantly the worst brisket. Even at this event people were over cooking briskets and burning ribs.

        Good Luck.

    • Katie Dutch Fournier

      The SL does actually smoke their meats. They have at least 5 smokers on the premises behind the scenes. The pit you see there was the original built by the owner and it is now used as for finishing the meat and also a holding area for the meat so it is more accessible during business hours.
      -lover of many types of bbq

      • Eric Highland

        Great point Katie. We’re fans of the Salt Lick. Love the place. Didn’t know that about the smokers. Good info to have BTW. What is your favorite BBQ joint? Is it Salt Lick?

  • Tim Thornton

    Franklin BBQ for pulled Pork. It is hard to find in Texas, but very close to Memphis pulled pork! Rudy’s for brisket and baby back ribs. And here is one not on your list, Lambert’s, downtown, for Sunday Brunch! Check out this review on–it is incredible grub!  — Lamberts for brunch  — Franklins

    • Eric Highland

      We keep hearing about Franklin’s  We are definitely going to have to check them out.  The experience at Salt Lick was amazing though and we truly enjoyed it.  Whenever people ask me for a great BBQ experience, I point them to the original Salt Lick in Driftwood Springs.  Lambert’s is another we’ve heard of.. there is no shortage of amazing places to eat in Austin Tim.  Thank you for the tips!  We just posted about Way South Philly moments ago. love to hear your thoughts on this too. – Eric

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  • Michael

    Really?  Salt Lick?  Mediocre at the very, very best.  Dry, barely smoked meat and kinda crappy beans.  Opie’s blows this place away, and County Line is even better.

    • Eric Highland

      See Katie’s comment below on this thread @yahoo-NIHPL3R4UOAIGFJLJVRJWO3IBI:disqus. I wasn’t aware that Salt Lick had smokers on the premises. But it doesn’t surprise me. I actually love their BBQ. Though I haven’t tried Opie’s yet.

  • Ronald Sandidge

    Live in South Texas, just found Salt Lick. Don’t know how you can NOT love it. You must be one of the love nothing but smoke to not like it. I want to taste the BBQ, not the smoke. Burnt ends…amazing. Better than anything down here or Luling, Lockhart, etc..

    • Austinot

      I’m assuming you were replying to Michael. Obvious I love the Salt Lick, and get out there any chance I can. It’s a must stop whenever we have folks visiting from out of town too. ~ Eric