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50 reasons we need to visit Texas right now

(Twist: Every every single last one of them is barbecue.)

Diplomatic types are fond of saying that barbecue is a subjective thing. We’re not among them and neither is Daniel Vaughn, the Barbecue Editor of Texas Monthly, who wrote in 2013 that the brutally straightforward, let-the-meat-speak-for-itself style made popular by Texas pitmasters “has no peer on earth.”

He was correct then and he’s even more correct now—the last few years have seen an entrenched scene get even more exciting, as a new generation gets behind the state’s many pits, amping things up even more than anyone thought possible.

From Brownsville, way deep down in the Rio Grande Valley, to Longview up and over in the far east, the magazine has selected fifty of the best barbecue joints in Texas for 2017. And if you’re thinking you know the winner already, hold your horses—it’s not Franklin Barbecue, which enjoys one of the best ratings (4.75 out of 5), but wasn’t quite good enough to beat out Snow’s, a pilgrimage-worthy spot in the tiny town of Lexington where the pitmaster’s name is Tootsie. (It’s all very peak Texas.)

Hungry for the entire list of the best barbecue in Texas? Head here. Below, you’ll find the top ten—all received 4.75, with the exception of Snow’s, which received a 5.

  1. Snow’s, Lexington A small town favorite worth a road trip from anywhere 
  2. Franklin Barbecue, Austin Poster child for the new generation
  3. Micklethwait Craft Meats, Austin Franklin’s close rival
  4. TRUTH Barbecue, Brenham Shack of BBQ dreams, on the road between Austin and Houston
  5. Cattleack Barbecue, Dallas At the forefront of the BBQ revolution currently underway in Dallas
  6. Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Longview The original location of an East Texas favorite
  7. CorkScrew BBQ, Spring Layover in Houston, anyone? (IAH is twenty minutes’ drive). 
  8. Louie Mueller Barbecue, Taylor Classic favorite near Austin
  9. Tejas Chocolate Craftory, Tomball Chocolate and BBQ in one spot, just outside of Houston
  10. Evie Mae’s Pit Barbecue, Wolfforth A popular food truck gets its own spot near Lubbock

Road trip!

Looking for the best airfares to Austin? (San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, too?) Start your search at CheapFlights, or compare multiple sites and save with BookingBuddy. If Texas isn’t your bag and you’re in need of some destination inspiration, Orbitz keeps a handy list of airfares going for under $200 round-trip. Finally, if you bundle your hotels and flights together, be aware that you could save as much as 40 percent off your next trip at Expedia.

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