South Texans love their barbecue. Here’s where to find it in the Coastal Bend.

South Texans love their barbecue. Here’s where to find it in the Coastal Bend.

Some days, even in the seafood-centric Coastal Bend, nothing will do but Texas-style barbecue. It’s that magical meeting of meat, sauce, seasoning, and hardwood smoke — more than the sum of its parts — that puts one’s appetite into overdrive. Here are a handful of places to satisfy that craving.

Hoegemeyer’s BBQ Barn

711 Concrete St., 361-884-4227
Whimsical décor in this repurposed 1920s-era warehouse. The pit crew here cooks over mesquite and offers a few outside-the-box menu items, such as the Texas Cheesesteak, Texas Dip, and Smoked Burger.  

Howard’s BBQ & Catering

1002 Antelope St., 361-882-1200
This downtown favorite has been smoking meat since 1949. Plates and sandwiches include a trip to the “fixin's bar” for hot and cold sides.

Julian’s BBQ

1818 Baldwin Blvd., 361-883-1227
Central Texas-style 'cue with a few South Texas touches. You can get rice and beans for your sides and fresh flour tortillas in place of white bread.        

Mike Cotten’s BBQ

15013 Northwest Blvd., 361-933-0143
Cotten is a familiar name in South Texas barbecue circles. Third-generation pitmasters run the place, which has appeared on Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas” list.

Smolik’s Smokehouse

501 E. San Patricio Ave., 361-547-5494
10541 Texas 359 North, 361-547-3700
This Coastal Bend mainstay has been tending the pits since 1928. Don’t leave without a slice of pie or a cinnamon roll; they bake their own. 

Stevie Lew’s BBQ Kitchen

5340 Texas 35 North, 361-727-0002
Extensive barbecue menu plus a few surprises: barbecue shrimp jambalaya, barbecue quesadilla, fresh-baked desserts, and house-roasted coffee.

Mac’s Pit Barbecue 

815 E. Market St., 361-729-9388
“So good — wishing they could ship me some,” exults one out-of-town reviewer. Menu covers the bases with a familiar protein lineup, nine different sides, banana pudding, and cobbler.


713 E. Sinton Ave., 361-255-6108
One reviewer calls this “the best, south of Austin/Lockhart.” From their pit comes prime brisket with ribs, chicken, sausage, and other meats rounding out the lineup. Sides go way beyond the usual beans and potato salad choices.
This is not an all-inclusive list, so in case we didn’t include your favorite Coastal Bend barbecue spot, leave us a comment below.