City Market

Review by: Michael Stern

Luling has two great claims to culinary fame: the annual watermelon thump, a festival presided over by that year’s Watermelon Queen, and the City Market, which is one of the defining BBQ parlors of the Southwest.

City Market’s dining area is cool and comfortable. To fetch the food, however, you must walk into hell. A swinging door leads into a back-room pit, a shadowy, cave-like chamber illuminated by the glow of burning logs in pits on the floor underneath the iron ovens. It is excruciatingly hot; but apparently at ease in their sweltering workplace, pit men assemble meats on pink butcher paper with gracious dispatch. They take your money, then gather the edges of the paper together so it becomes a boat-like container you easily can carry back into the cool, pine-paneled dining room.

The brisket is terrific, as are pork ribs, but City Market’s great dish is a sausage ring. Even when the long communal tables are crowded and a dozen conversations are in full sway all around, you cannot help but hear the crunch and snap as diners’ teeth bite into the unbelievably taut casings of a City Market sausage ring. These horseshoe-shaped, string-tied guts are a lean, rugged grind with only the echo of pepper laced through their mineral-rich muscularity.

Uncharacteristically (for Texas), the City Market also makes significant barbecue sauce – a spice-speckled, dark orange emulsion that is so coveted by customers that signs on the wall above every booth implore “Please Leave Sauce Bottles on Tables.”

Note: The City Market of Luling is not related to the Luling City Market of Houston.

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat



BBQ Sauce

Pork Ribs


City Market Recipes


What do you think of City Market?

2 Responses to “City Market”

Rex R. Wright

December 22nd, 2007

My friends and I all ride touring motorcycles, and we live in and around San Antonio. Several times each month we’ll call each other up to arrange a lunchtime barbecue ride. More often than not we’ll agree to meet at someone’s house and ride over to City Market in Luling. The reason is simple: it really is the best. It’s the best because it’s consistently good. We’ve all had great Central Texas barbecue in Belmont, Lockhart, Gonzales, and Elgin, but we’ve also had some meats that just didn’t live up to the reputation of those great barbecue destinations.

Also, not all establishments make their own sausage, which is one of the highlights at City Market. There is no sausage more tasty or juicy anwhere. Also, the beef brisket is always tender and flavorful, with a good thick smoke ring. Combine that with a frosty Big Red soda and you’re in Texas BBQ heaven!


Steve L.

July 30th, 2003

City Market in Luling is one of the top three BBQ joints in Texas. Their only competition for the top spots comes from up the road in Lockhart at Smitty’s Market or Black’s BBQ. CM serves great beef brisket, sausage and pork ribs, period. The place has serious “joint” atmosphere with thick smoke pouring from the pit room where you get the meats. It’s all served piled high on butcher paper with crackers or bread. No need for side here, but the beans are pretty good and a couple slices of onions and a few pickles work well. Plan on taking a few sausage rings home, because you won’t get any like them anyplace other than a few of the best BBQ joints in Central Texas. NOTE: Do not confuse the “Luling City Market” in Houston with this place. The Houston folks blatantly ripped off the name and are in no way connected to the REAL City Market in Luling.


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