The Best BBQ in San Antonio for 2024

Enjoy the best BBQ in San Antonio with this top 10 list from two decades of recommendations by travelers to the River City! Alamo Corporate Housing client’s help you find hidden treasures for BBQ ecstasy, alongside traditional San Antonio Barbecue favorites.

Pollos Asados Los Nortenos

Pollos Asados Los Nortenos Best BBQ in San Antonio

Pollos Asados Los Nortenos just hits different, bruh! We know starting with a Mexican barbecue that specializes in chicken may seem non-traditional for a best of of BBQ list… but you asked for the best in San Antonio (and this is it). Located 15 min Southeast of Downtown, where else can you walk in and simply ask for a whole chicken? Don’t forget the rice and beans, lots of green salsa, half grilled onion and jalepeno with delicious tea! The atmosphere is humble, the service is simple, the prices are excellent, and the BBQ chicken is spectacular (did we mention you’ll want more of the green salsa?). When you want the best BBQ San Antonio offers, start here.

Bottom line: our clients say Pollos Asados Los Nortenos is the ONLY right answer to the best BBQ in San Antonio debate. 

Here’s a direct quote, “Pollos Asados is so good, it’s the only place I’m willing to wait for a table. If the owners ever realize what they have, they will take over the world.”

The Barbecue Station

BBQ Brisket at The Barbecue Station in San Antonio

The Barbecue Station is THE hidden secret missing from the best of BBQ in San Antonio lists. Delight your tastebuds in moist brisket that melts in your mouth, literally. Pair it with jalapeño mac n’ cheese, delicious pork ribs, and sausage. Forget the sauce, you won’t need it here. And don’t let the short lines and ultra-personalized service deceive you into thinking this place isn’t catching on. Just 10 minutes from Alamo Heights, the BBQ Station is continuously acclaimed as the barbecue joint lovers go-to first for the best old school BBQ. 

Bottom line: our clients say The Barbecue Station is the best traditional BBQ in San Antonio, period. 

Here’s a direct quote, “This traditional Texas Barbecue restaurant is the best BBQ I’ve had in San Antonio. The old-time vibes and exceptional ribs that fall off the bone are perfectly cooked with delicious sides. Even the smell from the parking lot is amazing!”

2M Smokehouse

Among traditional “San Antonio Best BBQ” lists, 2M Smokehouse sits at the top. Located in the lower Southeast side of San Antonio, this smokehouse is where barbecue meets hipster and has delicious baby back ribs. Don’t be late for lunch because you’ll have to wait in long lines, but once you’re in the building your brisket is moist with a deep smoke flavor and a savory crust of spices. The pickles are renowned as the best in Texas, the mac n cheese is great, and don’t forget to try the beans and street corn. Did we mention that you can BYOB?! Some hangups are a lack of patio on the front of the building, which can mean waiting in the sun and heat, and for the upper end cost you might not find seating either. That said, as far as BBQ goes, you’ll get what you pay for here and any meal will give you more than enough food to handle. 

Bottom line: our clients say 2M Smokehouse comes close to comparing to the best BBQ spots in Austin and Dallas. 

Here’s a direct quote, “Excellent BBQ and sauce. Make sure you get here early because every day they sell out fast! I read a local article about this being the best barbecue in San Antonio and I definitely agree.”

Pinkerton's Barbecue

Often the #2 choice on “San Antonio Best BBQ restaurants” lists, Pinkerton’s Barbecue is considered San Antonio’s best Riverwalk BBQ in Downtown San Antonio. Though some local barbecue aficionados say this isn’t truly slow smoked BBQ, Pinkerton’s is regularly acclaimed for excellent homestyle barbecue. Located near the Riverwalk, you get meat by the pound at affordable BBQ prices, with tasty sides like beans, coleslaw, bacon, Jumbalya, potato salad, and, of course, mac n’ cheese. The tables are large enough for big or small parties, and you can eat inside or outside. Oh, and that mouth-watering brisket is so tender it can be sliced with your plastic knife. The lines can be long, but the staff is well-organized and everything moves very quickly in this downtown San Antonio BBQ. 

Bottom line: our clients say Pinkerton’s Barbecue is the best BBQ on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. 

Here’s a direct quote, “The pork ribs at Pinkerton’s are the best I’ve have ever had. The beef ribs are massive, and everything is cooked perfectly! You’ll need a to-go box, but don’t worry, they’ve got you covered. Get here before 11:30am to beat the lines. You’ll love it

TWO Bros. BBQ Market

Known for their cheese chop, which is a mix of their mac n’ cheese and brisket, Two Bros. BBQ Market is regularly reviewed as one of the top 5 BBQ places in San Antonio. The BBQ Starter Kit is an affordable meal to begin with 1/2 lb brisket, 1/2 lb pulled pork, 1/2 lb ribs, 1 sausage, 2 chicken thighs, and 2 sides. Though the ambiance feels like it is stitched together a bit, the customer service is fantastic and the brisket has perfect flavor and texture. Did we mention the one-of-a-kind fried Strawberry pie with ice cream for dessert? SO good. Two Bros. BBQ Market is regularly listed as one of the best San Antonio BBQ restaurants.

Bottom line: our clients say Two Bros. BBQ Market is very good, but hit-and-miss at times in terms of cohesive presentation. 

Here’s a direct quote, “The brisket here is very tender and delicious, but other meats are a bit dry. The sauces are excellent and make the meal. Try their banana pudding or potato salad for awesome sides, and the Purple Kool-Aid is a lot of fun for nostalgia. Overall, it’s a great place!”

Smoke Shack

Known for their brisket grilled-cheese sandwich, Smoke Shack is a popular destination for a tender, gooey, cheesy, crunchy toasted Texas bread finish. But Smoke Shack isn’t a one-trick pony, and their love of innovation means you’ve got to try their Texas hot chicken sandwich which has just the right amount of heat for a light and delicate favorite. Located near Fort Sam Houston, you’ll enjoy the amazing BBQ sauce and array of good sides. 

Bottom line: our clients say there is a unique BBQ combo for everyone to love at Smoke Shack. 

Here’s a direct quote“This is great BBQ with good seating and service. Standouts are tender brisket, warm rolls, tasty pickles, onions, and jalapeños, and phenomenal BBQ sauce.”

Curry Boys BBQ

Curry Boys BBQ is quickly becoming known as one of the best BBQ spots in San Antonio. Born out of the Covid-pandemic, Curry Boys BBQ is an Asian barbecue restaurant specializing in the unique combination of southeast Asian curry and classic Texas BBQ, all in the form of a delicious rice bowl. CNBC sampled the brisket and curry and gave it a “triple-wow.” The curries stem from Thai and Vietnamese flavors, and favorite menu items include the brisket smoke show, and the super tender 14 hour post-oak smoked in an offset smoker with fluffy jasmine rice and green curry. Here we must give an honorable mention to South BBQ, as well, because they partner with Curry Boys BBQ to provide the pulled pork, brisket and chicken. If you love the flavors of curry and barbecue, you will love everything about the artful blend at Curry Boys. Located just 8 minutes North of Downtown San Antonio in a little pink building, there are plenty of tables outside for dining with impressive turnaround and excellent service. Free parking is limited, but there is paid parking across the street. 

Bottom line: our clients say the combination of flavors and food here is uniquely amazing, and you will want to come back again and again. 

Here’s a direct quote, “I didn’t know what to expect but Curry Boys did not disappoint. The curries are an amazing compliment to the meats and the Thai green curry sauce, is so good you’ll want more. This is a totally unique BBQ restaurant in San Antonio for a Texas Thai and BBQ fusion.”

Reese Bros Barbecue

Reese Bros BBQ plate

Another lesser known gem that is often missed on the best BBQ in San Antonio, Reese Bros Barbecue holds the unique distinction of an average 4.8 star rating on Google Reviews, which is two-tenths of a point higher than all other competitors with 330+ reviews. Praised for incredibly friendly customer service and perfectly cooked BBQ, Reese Bros Barbecue also has a refreshment bar for beer and cocktails like the frozen watermelon margarita. There are rave reviews for the brisket, tortillas, and sides like poblano Mac, okra, beans, pickled onions, pickles, and sauces for the meat. Did we mention the ribs that fall of the bone, the Jalapeno cheddar sausage, and the brisket tacos? You cannot miss here. There is plenty of outdoor seating and the food is delivered quickly. 

Bottom line: our clients say word is quickly spreading that Reese Bros BBQ is next-in-line for the throne as the best BBQ restaurant in San Antonio. 

Here’s a direct quote“Reese Bros is on my favorite restaurants of all time list! The meat is tender and juicy and it’s so stuffed with so much flavor and goodness. The service is off-the-charts and the ambiance is perfect.”

Rusty Bucket Jawsmacking BBQ

Located 12 min Southwest of Downtown San Antonio, Rusty Bucket Jawsmacking BBQ is a relative newcomer to the best BBQ restaurants in San Antonio lists, though it’s been around for a decade-and-a-half. But hey, we said we’d help you find hidden treasures for BBQ ecstasy, and Rusty Bucket delivers (and then some). With television screens for big games, a bar and tavern atmosphere, and many delicious sides, you’ll have such a good time you might be tempted to forget how good the brisket is. Don’t worry, that’s why 2024 is the year we’ve made sure to give Rusty Bucket full-credit for their jawsmacking BBQ! 

Bottom line: our clients say they love the simple salt and pepper rubs and excellent ribs with a kiss of Chile. 

Here’s a direct quote, “This place is a great place to eat and watch a game. The meat is flavorful and extremely tasty. You get a lot of food for your buck by the pound or by the plate. The Smacked Down Potato is insanely good, full of meats, sauce, cheese, and sour cream. They’ve got something for everyone you can get almost any drink as well!”

Leon Springs BBQ (aka The Original Rudy's)

We round out our “top 10 BBQ in San Antonio”  list with a long-shot in Northwest San Antonio, the Original Rudy’s now known as Leon Springs BBQ. Ironically labeled as ‘the Worst Bar-B-Q in Texas,” Leon Springs BBQ has been around in one form or another since the 1800’s as the Original Rudy’s country store. This famous BBQ in San Antonio also has 51 locations across 6 states, and in 1989 they added signature barbecue with 100% oak wood smoked meats. Leon Springs BBQ delights customers with special in-house spices and everything from brisket, turkey, chicken, pork ribs, sausage, chopped beef, pulled pork, and prime rib to  coleslaw, cream corn, spicy pinto beans, new potatoes, potato salad and bread. Wash it all down with soda or beer and get some general shopping done afterwards. 

Bottom line: our clients say the Original Rudy’s is a great place for BBQ and a popular choice for best BBQ near San Antonio destinations.

Here’s a direct quote, “If you haven’t tried Rudy’s, it’s a must!”

The BBQ Bottom Line:

You’ve heard what our clients say is the best BBQ San Antonio has to offer in 2024. We’re sure the debate will continue, but we’re confident you won’t go wrong with this top 10 list. 

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