In Fort Worth, we love our barbecue, no doubt. Railhead Smokehouse, Heim Barbecue and Angelo’s BBQ (open since 1958) are hometown faves and media darlings, and for good reason. Here are 13 restaurants, holes-in-the-wall and mom-and-pop places begging to be discovered.
Bailey’s BBQ is that tiny red building on Taylor Street that you may have passed on your way to or from downtown. There’s usually a line out front, and this is one of those places where you have to get there early if you want the brisket. For three decades, this family-owned, family-run restaurant has served up consistently good ‘cue to a variety of people who live near or work in downtown Fort Worth. It’s nothing fancy: lunch is served in a brown bag, there are a few red-checkered cloth-covered tables and the food is dynamite.
Bull Frog Grill
Bull Frog Grill offers the classic barbecue menu (ham, turkey, ribs, chopped meat sandwiches, brisket, sausage and chicken) along with a variety of burgers and a few salads. Oh, and then there’s the elusive, delicious brisket taco! The location near Lake Worth Marina Park and the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge make it attractive for grab-and-go sandwiches and picnic meals.
Mama E’s BBQ and Home Cooking
Mama E’s BBQ and Home Cooking is probably the best-known on our list of under-the-radar places as it routinely gets noticed by Fort Worth publications. Ernestine Edmonds is the original female pitmaster. She smokes the meat, makes a rotating variety of soul food classics along with all the sides and the desserts, and spreads a little love and a little Gospel through her workday.
DEREK ALLAN’S TEXAS BBQ
Derek Allan’s Texas BBQ occupies the former home of Paco And John Mexican Diner adjacent to Magnolia Avenue and across from Hotel Revel. The menu at the restaurant is straightforward where the 'cue is known for its Central Texas-style take on ribs, brisket and sausage. Try the brisket biscuit; it's an absolute crowd pleaser.
Woody Creek BBQ
Woody Creek BBQ has so much meat on the menu that you could eat there every day of the week and still not get to all the variety. Taco Tuesdays have new meaning here (brisket or pork tacos are offered only on our favorite taco day). You can get a Frito pie here as well as French Fry pie (your choice of meat and sauce over fries).
Jube’s Smokehouse was barely open 18 months when COVID hit. But when you’ve got other restaurateurs praising your cooking (Chef Jon Bonnell raves about the food), you’re likely to thrive at the end of the day. Try Da Nush sandwich – brisket, sausage, pickles, cheese and BBQ sauce.
Rack Attack BBQ
Rack Attack BBQ is setting up shop in Neighbor’s House Grocery. Pitmaster Brandon Anderson, who’s had a storefront in Burleson and created a following with his pop-up events around the Metroplex, won the Food Truck Championship of Texas in May 2021. They’re celebrating with ‘cue and non-traditional (but yummy) sides like Hatch chile mac‘n’cheese.
Dayne’s Craft BBQ
Dayne’s Craft BBQ has a simple motto: Work hard, be nice, eat BBQ. The family-run business started as owner Dayne Weaver’s “expensive hobby,” and now the crew is a staple at Lola’s Trailer Park. Try the bacon brisket (pork belly, smoked brisket-style). If you’re lucky and you land on a day when the Brontosaurus-sized beef ribs are on offer, go ahead and indulge.
Brix BBQ is open Saturdays (until sold out) and Sunday evenings when the offerings include burgers and smoked or fried wings. Throw in a little Funkytown hot chicken on a bun and you’ll be good to go. Cheers to your new find at HopFusion Ale Works located across the street.
The Longorias BBQ
Longorias BBQ is as notable for their ‘cue as they are for the other things that they do with barbecue on their menu. Brisket poppers (weekends only), brisket chorizo, brisket tacos and brisket chili on top of a Frito pie round out a menu that also features traditional brisket, pulled pork and sausage. Like any good home-cookin' restaurant, they’ve got desserts, including a house-made sweet potato pound cake.
Smoke-a-Holics offers you Texas ‘cue with a soul food twist. Favorites include the Big Macc (smoked mac ‘n’cheese with brisket and sausage), Loaded Cornbread with baked beans, brisket and cheese, and their Smoked Ticken Salad –– half smoked chicken, half-smoked turkey and all delicious. Sides include Cajun creamed corn and collard greens, and save room for a Peach Thang for dessert.
Goldee’s Bar-B-Q’s five owners did stints at other major ‘cue empires before banding together to open their weekends-only restaurant in Fort Worth. The menu focuses on the classics: smoked turkey, pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork and a couple of house-made sausage varieties. The pitmasters also offer how-to classes that include their expertise in smoking and creating the various proteins on the menu, and you’ll get to take home what you smoke.
Panther City BBQ
Panther City BBQ is another well-known joint by locals. From their beginnings as a food truck to their current brick-and-mortar store, the brisket elotes and the breakfast tacos are not to be missed. Bask in the glory of the BBQ Breakfast on Fridays that includes brisket and eggs - a play on your steak and eggs - or a Flacodilla, a quesadilla filled with chopped brisket, asadero cheese, cilantro and onion. Yum.
These three restaurants are local neighborhood treasures and have stood the test of time. Sammie’s BBQ enters its seventh decade in Fort Worth –– only the legendary Stockyards stalwart Riscky’s BBQ has been open longer. Enjoy Sammie’s two-inch smoked pork chop, brisket cheeseburger, or try a grilled cheese with chopped beef.
Smokey’s BBQ celebrates 50 years of “open when it’s ready and closed when we run out” goodness. Hickory wood and a little secret spice liven up beef, pork, chicken and turkey on Thursday and Friday.
In the longevity stakes, Hickory Stick BBQ comes in third place –– they’re currently celebrating 45 years as a family-owned ‘cue joint. It’s one of the few places that bother with both hot links and smoked bologna. Don’t miss the cobbler of the day!