The Best Barbecue in San Antonio (Ranked by a Local)

best barbecue san antonio

Texas and BBQ, what could be more… Texan?

Sure, Austin and Lockhart might get most of the praise from the out-of-staters, but after living in San Antonio for over a decade, I’d put our smoke meats up against anywhere else in The Lone Star State.

Today, I’m sharing all the best places to grab amazing barbecue in San Antonio.

Map of the Best BBQ Spots in San Antonio

Best Barbecue in San Antonio: Smoke Shack

If you want Texas barbecue from a local legend, look no further than Smoke Shack. Consistently rated as the number-one stop for BBQ in Alamo City, you can’t beat the yeehaw spirit of this little BBQ joint. I mean, they serve their food on metal trays with paper, so you know it’s about to go down the minute you get your food. I’m a Chopped Brisket Sandwich kind of girl, but when I’m feeling adventurous I go for the Brisket Grilled Cheese.

P.S. I like picking up a Shack Pack when family comes over. They’re a little pricey, but the food is great and the portions are generous enough to feed 8 – 30 people, depending on which package you buy.

  • Address: 3714 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209
  • Website: Smoke Shack

Best BBQ Sides: Two Bros. BBQ Market

I used to live down the road from Two Brothers, and I’m devastated now that I live across town from them. Two Brothers is one of the most revered barbecue institutions in San Antonio. They’re known for their top-secret dry rub and for roasting meats low and slow in their custom pits. And it shows in the food: Two Brothers is ranked as one of the top 50 BBQ joints in the world. Greats like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have eaten here, too!

While the barbecue itself is great, I can’t get over how awesome Two Brothers’ sides are. Instead of offering just the traditional sides like mac ‘n’ cheese or okra, they serve Stuffed Jalapenos, Frito Pie, and Spinach Artichoke Dip. But if you’re a purist, you can still pick up your typical BBQ sides here, too.

Best BBQ Food Truck: Nelson’s Barbecue

Sure Nelson’s Barbecue might only be open Thursday through Saturday, but it’s constantly rated as one of the best places in SA to get your BBQ fix. Chef Nate is something of a local legend thanks to his famous Nasty Nate Sandwich: a sandwich with Texas toast, brisket, and mac ‘n’ cheese. Nelson’s specializes in catering, though, so if you’re having a family gathering, give them 1 – 2 days’ notice for finger lickin’-good BBQ.

Oldest BBQ in San Antonio: Mary Ann’s Pig Stand (San Antonio’s Pig Stand)

The Pig Stand just celebrated a 100 impressive years in business. Since 1921, this joint has served up retro, no-frills BBQ goodness to the Alamo City. Most of the menu is old-timey, out-of-this-world diner fare, but the BBQ sandwiches made The Pig Stand famous. It’s definitely retro, but you’ve got to try the Pig Sandwich; it’s been on the menu for (I kid you not) 92 years! Get the Pig Sandwich combo with a drink, fries, slaw, and onion rings to round out the tasty BBQ goodness.

  • Address: 1508 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215
  • Website: Pig Stand

Most Affordable Barbecue in San Antonio: Blanco BBQ

Blanco BBQ is a lesser-celebrated gem of a barbecue restaurant, but I love this place. When I was working my first job after college, I was broke as sin and loved Blanco BBQ’s affordable dinner specials. And you know what? Their food is off-the-charts tasty. I always ordered the 2 X BBQ Sandwich Value Meal, which fed me for at least four meals for less than $12. Blanco BBQ also has a nice venue for live music and a playground, so it’s a great place to get your barbecue fix with the family.

P.S. They also serve breakfast! It’s drive-thru only, but it’s a great way to grab a BBQ taco on your way to work.

  • Address: 13259 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216
  • Website: Blanco BBQ

Best Downtown San Antonio BBQ: Dignowity Meats

Did you see Dignowity Meats on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives? This downtown BBQ stop is famous for its various smoked meats, including pastrami, bologna, and even turkey. I’m not always a fan of deli meats, but boy, you can taste the love here. Swing by for lunch to enjoy a Salumi Sandwich with soppressata, salami, provolone, and mozzarella or a Smoked Bologna sandwich with house sauce and slaw.

By the way, you can buy a pound of just burnt ends here. Since everyone knows that’s the best part of the brisket, Dignowity Meats is a must for any of my fellow burnt ends-lovers.

  • Address: 1701 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78202
  • Website: Dignowity Meats

Best BBQ with Drinks: Smoke BBQ + Skybar

Smoke is a downtown BBQ restaurant that’s open until midnight every night. It has a MASSIVE outdoor seating area complete with string lights, so it’s perfect for a later dinner after the heat of the day. Their Best Damn Brisket Taco is a bestseller that comes with brisket, guacamole, pickled onions, cilantro, and salsa verde. If you’re at Smoke with friends, get the SKYBAR Feast that feeds 4-5 people. It comes with brisket, chicken quarters, sauce, beans, potato salad, and cream corn.

But the food is just the beginning. Smoke is a big destination for drinks (you’ve gotta try the Prickly Pear Margarita—trust me) and entertainment. With live music starting around 4 pm most nights, it’s a great way to entertain yourself with good food, cold drinks, and friendly company.

Best Barbecue Sauce: B-Daddy’s BBQ

Y’all. B-Daddy’s is my latest barbecue obsession. It’s a little out of the way, but boy, is it worth the trip. They have a huge outdoor seating area complete with a stage, playground, fans, TVs, and even a bar. I once ordered the Brisket Grilled Cheese and I still can’t stop thinking about that sandwich. If you eat at B-Daddy’s, you’ve got to try their spicy barbecue sauce. I’m a BBQ sauce connoisseur, and when I say B-Daddy’s spicy sauce is the best I’ve ever had, I’m serious. Whether you slather it on their Jalapeno Sausage Links, Chopped Brisket Sandwich, or Ribs, it’s going to blow your mind.