Restaurants in Lockhart, TX

With four big-name smoke pits, including Black’s, the Chisholm Trail, Smitty’s, and Kreuz Market, Lockhart (population 13,000) is indisputably the BBQ capital of Texas, making it something like Mecca’s Ka’ba: the heart of the heart. Top menu choices include brisket and hot links, but the town’s pitmasters also smoke-cook prime rib and pork chops. To be clear: this is definitive Texas BBQ, some of the best-tasting meat anywhere. The town’s oldest barbecue building houses Smitty’s Market, which we nominate as the most atmospheric restaurant in America. It is literally so, because the stinging clouds that rise from open wood fires around the pit will make your eyes tear. Smitty’s sausage ring, which is 85 percent beef and 15 percent pork, is the juiciest. It is so succulent that if you plan to snap it into two pieces, you must treat it as gingerly as a bottle of Champagne you are about to uncork. Use two hands and significant pressure and be certain to push outward. When the casing has reached its breaking point, it bursts. Juice erupts and will splatter your face and shirt if it is not aimed away from you, preferably downward toward the table rather than at the stranger sitting opposite.

Lockhart’s Most Famous Dishes

Two slices of BBQ brisket, one lean, the other supersucculently fatty

BBQ Brisket

Thick, horseshoe-shaped sausage ring is tightly cased.


Prime Rib

Hot ham slices are bathed in clove gravy and sided by beets and potato salad


Lockhart’s Best Restaurants

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