It’s been 7 years since we started Dallas Food Nerd. If you weren’t around for our start, it all began around a car and a hunt for some fav desserts around Dallas. So, we jumped at the chance to recreate our beginning with a partnership with Toyota for National BBQ Day!

They hooked us up with a 2019 Toyota Highlander Limited All-Wheel-Drive Platinum which, if you don’t know the lingo, means that it’s a midsize SUV with just about every bell/whistle you can think of. The fold down 3rd row made sure we had plenty of room to haul the toddler around town, along with everything that comes with toddlers. (i.e. all the stuff). It’s definitely a nice bonus knowing that extra seating is there when you need it, and the extra cargo room when you don’t.

Of course the SUV has all the technology we expect from modern vehicles, but one of the things that really jumped out from our current rides was the extra stability that the available Dynamic Torque-Control All-Wheel Drive system provides. It does it’s thing in the background when Texas weather throws you a wet and slippery curve-ball, but there is actually a really neat visual that lets you see what the system is doing to keep you in control. (Excuse the picture quality, we do not condone driving in wet conditions, or at all, while taking pictures)

The other thing that is surprisingly useful is the visibility you gain with the Bird’s-Eye View Camera that takes the back-up cam to a whole different level. With cameras on every side of the car, you get a virtualized top-down view of the vehicle while parking that gives you the confidence of knowing what’s going at every corner. This is really useful for the OCD parkers among us who have to be perfectly centered in the spot. We all know, some people around here park all crazy.

We polled our contributors (over 20 people now!), our Insta followers, and our friends to bring y’all this list of tried and true BBQ places around town. One interesting discovery; many of them are outside of Dallas proper. So, I guess the “I don’t drive north of 635” rule is waived in the interest of serious barbeque! And second, the sign of a truly excellent BBQ spot, many close whenever they run out of food. The hours are only sort of “suggested”. We’ve been driving the Highlander around town for close to a week, and in that time we found ourselves at two different places that were OUT OF FOOD.

In alphabetical order (because we’re all friends here, and we don’t want to start a BBQ war), here are the barbeque places you should add to your map:

18th & Vine | Dallas

  • What people are saying: “Wonderful spot for some Kansas City BBQ. Great friendly service and wonderful menu options. If you check in with yelp you get a free okra appetizer. Delicious! Our server was dynamite! My favorite meat was the ribs. Sugary, salty, savory and falling right off the bone. ” – Leena J. | Yelp
  • Location: 4100 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
  • Try this: Fried Apple Pie – hot and delicious!
  • Check ‘em out: @18thandvinebbq | https://18thandvinebbq.com/

Cattleack Barbeque | Addison

  • What people are saying: “Been coming here for years (before Texas Montly made then stars). Best barbecue in the city and the quality hasn’t wavered in all these years. Nice people too. If you get a chance to go on a pastrami beef rib day, don’t pass it up. Its life-changing good.” – Brandon Y. Google
  • Location: 13628 Gamma Rd Dallas, TX 75244 (near Addison Airport)
  • Try this: Crack Cake: Buttermilk & Cheese Pie
  • Check ‘em out: @cattleackbbq | https://www.cattleackbbq.com/
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bh9fWedhc63/

Hard Eight Pit BBQ | The Colony & Coppell

  • What people are saying: “Wow, this place is incredible. Just the incredible barbeque smokey smells as you walk up to the entrance is enough to get you salivating. We got there at 1pm so the regular HUGE line of fans was greatly diminished and we got in quickly.” – Sarah W. Yelp
  • Locations: The Colony, Coppell, Roanoke, Burleson, & Stephenville
  • Price point: Order by the pound
  • Try this: Poppers: The poppers come in chicken or shrimp and are wrapped in bacon with a sliver of jalapeño and onion.
  • Check ‘em out: @hardeightbbq | https://hardeightbbq.com
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv9iRe-nN8N/

Hurtado Barbecue

  • What people are saying: “As an avid barbecuer myself, I quickly realized the quality of their brisket: super tender, well marbled with flavorful fat, amazing black crust that wasn’t overly salty.  Most importantly, their bbq required no sauce to appreciate the amazing flavor. You can tell that these guys cooked the meat low and slow as I was able to tear it apart with my fingers; no knives required!” – Ivan R. Yelp
  • Location: 506 E Main St Suite B, Arlington, TX 76010
  • Try this: Beef Rib Burger or Hatch Mac & Cheese
  • Check ‘em out: @hurtadobbq | http://hurtadobbq.com/
  • Photo: (also in email) https://www.instagram.com/p/BxBR6WChhkd/

Lakewood Smokehouse | Dallas

  • What people are saying: “Excellent meat, excellent service, comfortable setting. We had moist and lean brisket (go moist or go home!), baby back ribs (not overcooked), jalapeno cheddar sausage and burnt ends (a good amount of bark, as good as I’ve ever had). A carnivore’s delight!”- Mark A. Google
  • Location: 1901 Abrams Rd, Dallas, TX 75214
  • Try this: Fried Dill Pickles + Avocado ranch – hand breaded to order and fried to perfection served with spicy ranch (h/t FoodBitch)
  • Check ‘em out: @lakewoodsmokehouse | https://www.lakewoodsmokehouse.com/

Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ | Dallas, Arlington, & Plano

  • What people are saying: “Lockhart’s is my gold standard for BBQ. You simply can’t get better brisket anywhere. Burnt ends are awesome, and you have to try their blue cheese cole slaw – it’s legit. This is the place to go for BBQ in Dallas”. – Neil R.  Yelp
  • Location: Dallas – 400 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208 and Arlington – (at Texas Live) 1650 East Randol Mill Road STE 130, Arlington, TX 76011 and Plano 1026 East 15th
  • Street Plano, Texas 75074
  • Try this: Lockhart Slaw – Crispy chopped slaw with a kick
  • Check ‘em out: @lockhartsmokehouse | https://www.lockhartsmokehouse.com/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BMZeP0WhJQ7/

Meat U Anywhere | Grapevine & Trophy Club

  • What people are saying: “God bless MUA and Texas!!! Gosh this place rocks. Amazing meat. Bark to die for. Flavor of the BBQ gods. Sauce that make the angels sing. Service is amazing grace how sweet the sound.” – Randy S. Yelp
  • Location: 919 W Northwest Hwy, Grapevine, TX 76051 and 91 Trophy Club Drive
  • Trophy Club, TX, 76262
  • Try this: Brunch – Brisket Egg & Cheese taco
  • Check ‘em out: @meatuanywherebbq | http://www.meatuanywhere.com/

Mike Anderson’s | Dallas

  • What people are saying: “I loved my Monster BBQ potato topped with plenty of beef brisket. The brisket was juicy and tender and the ratio of cheese, sour cream, butter, onions was spot on. Some places skimp, but they don’t here!” – Sally M. Yelp
  • Location: 5410 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, Texas 75235
  • Try this: Brisket Potato and Cherry Cobbler – Add some all you can eat ice cream on the side
  • Check ‘em out: https://www.mikeandersonsbbq.com/

Pappas Bar-B-Q | Dallas

  • What people are saying: “My family has been going here for years. Its good for big groups and for things like Father’s Day when no one wants to cook.” – Laura | Yelp
  • Location: Northwest Hwy, Dallas
  • Try this: Chopped Beef Fries
  • Check ‘em out: https://pappasbbq.com
https://www.instagram.com/p/BCZcg64Il8-/

Pecan Lodge | Dallas

  • What people are saying: “The best in Dallas! Don’t miss the perfectly smoked brisket! Also excellent is the baked sweet potato with the pulled pork. Great value and taste. By itself it will fill you up, I ended up taking most of it home because I just couldn’t finish it with everything else. The line is long but it moves pretty fast. Definitely worth the wait every time!” – Andrew D. Google
  • Locations: 2702 MAIN STREET DALLAS, TX 75226
  • Try this: Mac and Cheese – gooey melty cheese topped with crisp bacon
  • Check ‘em out: @pecanlodge | http://pecanlodge.com/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BeYnILNg83o/

Sammy’s Bar-B-Q | Dallas

  • What people are saying: ”Food was excellent. The brisket was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. Dad and I loved the food. The people working the line were super friendly and very helpful. The brisket was perfectly juicy and the bark was to die for. I loved the sauce. It wasn’t too hot or too sweet. Nice balance that didn’t blow out my mouth. The ribs were extra juicy and fell off the bone.” – Sarah D. Yelp
  • Locations: 2126 Leonard St, Dallas, TX 75201
  • Try this: Apple Pie – made from scratch from the best ingredients
  • Check ‘em out: http://www.sammysbarbeque.com/
View this post on Instagram

Isn’t she lovely #whenintexas ⭐️

A post shared by Denver Cramer (@denifunf) on

Slow Bone BBQ | Dallas

  • What people are saying: “The Slow Bone is truly underrated in the DFW BBQ scene. They’re off the beaten path near the design district in Dallas. The storefront is low key and the food is served on cafeteria trays, but don’t let any of that fool you, they cooking some real deal Texas BBQ here. I got to try the Smoked Fried Chicken, Beef Ribs, Pork Ribs, Brisket, Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage, Sweet Potato Praline, Jalapeño Mac and Cheese, Beans, the honey butter cornbread, and the Brussels and Cauliflower. Man oh man was it delicious. “ – Jake | Yelp
  • Locations: 2234 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207
  • Try this: Collard Greens
  • Check ‘em out: @theslowbone |  https://www.slowbone.com/

Ten Fifty | Richardson

  • What people are saying: “This is my favorite BBQ place in all of Dallas. The food here is fantastic and the environment is great. It is my go to when people come in from out of town to show off good Texas BBQ. I highly recommend it to everyone.” – Alexander H. | Yelp
  • Locations: 1050 N. Central Expy Richardson, Texas 75080
  • Try this: Brisket Torpedos – Brisket filled jalapeno wrapped in bacon
  • Check ‘em out: @ten50bbq | http://ten50bbq.com/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwQCHAIHqEF/

Zavala’s Barbecue | Grand Prarie

  • What people are saying: “This place is a hidden gem! Get there early because they sell out within a few hours. Food: Sliced brisket melts in your mouth. Beautiful smoke ring. Tender, moist, and smoky beef flavor.” – Andy S.
  • Locations: 421 W Main St, Grand Prairie, TX 75050 / Note: they are only open on Saturdays
  • Try this: Free beer!
  • Check ‘em out: http://zavalasbarbecue.com
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnzcSHKhcJo/

And two honorable mentions that are a serious drive, but we hear worth it!


Hutchins BBQ | McKinney

  • What people are saying: “OMG. That phrase sums up exactly how I felt eating at this place. This BBQ joint was SO good and the process was very accommodating to someone like me, who wants to try a little bit of everything. I got a 1/4th of marbled brisket (hands down the BEST brisket I’ve ever had), pulled pork (which paired great with their spicy BBQ sauce, original sausage and some Mac and cheese (YUM).“ – Serina | yelp
  • Location: 1301 N. Tennessee St., McKinney, TX 75069
  • Try this:  Texas Twinkies: Brisket and cream cheese stuffed jalapeño wrapped in bacon.
  • Check ’em out: @hutchins_bbq | https://hutchinsbbq.com/ 

Tender Smokehouse | Celina

  • What people are saying: “Now I know why they were rated so high and why they were mentioned on Fox4 News. Every single item we ordered was scrumptious. From the brisket, beans, Mac-n-cheese, pickles, potato-salad everything was delicious.” – Bessy R. Google
  • Locations: 224 W Pecan, Celina, Texas 75009
  • Try this: Pineapple slaw – Slaw, pineapple, pineapple juice & a little mayo
  • Check ‘em out: https://tendersmokehousebbq.com/