This past weekend we had a friend in town from Arizona. The moment he arrived, The Hubs whisked him off to get some Texas BBQ. While I know that this friend was really a convenient way to satisfy the Hub’s BBQ craving, it got me thinking about the best BBQ in Dallas. During my relationship with The Hubs, I’ve gained a lot of insight into the best BBQ in Dallas. I have carefully curated that list for you. Please note that these are not all in Dallas proper, but all in the Dallas area. They’re worth the drive! Also, as a warning: you are getting crappy cell phone pictures here. Consider it Raw Footage. Live, from the field!
Tori’s Definitive List of the Best BBQ in Dallas:
Pecan Lodge is, hands down, my favorite BBQ place in Dallas. It’s a favorite for many other’s as well. It was also on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (though they went to the old location in the Farmer’s Market. It has since moved.) Pecan Lodge makes my favorite brisket. Their sausage is to die for. Like, I am not a sausage person, but I can go to town on some Pecan Lodge BBQ. Their sauce, while not a traditional BBQ sauce, is another strong favorite of mine. Pecan Lodge is also the most creative with their sides. Their mac and cheese features bacon and green chiles (I actually prefer mine plain, but The Hubs likes it this way so we roll with it.). Pecan Lodge is also the home of the Hot Mess, which I love and discuss here.
Pecan Lodge is located in Deep Ellum (right next to an Emporium Pies, score!), which is always an interesting place to visit. There’s a lot of cool street art around and some pretty cool concert venues (Trees, Bomb Factory). Deep Ellum isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, however. Your hipster brother, yes. Your conservative father, maybe not. Also, you can’t really escape paying for parking in Deep Ellum, so that’s a bummer.
Count on at least hour wait if you arrive right when Pecan Lodge opens (worth it!). It’s generally pretty shaded in the early part of the day and half of the line is indoors, so it’s not horrid. You can always snag a seat at the bar or order The Trough($75, serves 4-5) to skip the line.
This is my husband’s absolute favorite place to get BBQ. Hard Eight catered our wedding(even though I was too preoccupied to eat), so we may be a little biased here. Their brisket is solid and their sausage is fine, but not as flavorful as Pecan Lodge. Their sauce comes in traditional and spicy and it’s what you would expect for a Texas style BBQ sauce(sweet, spicy, and tomato based). Hard Eight has some pretty good poppers as well. As for sides, I like the mac and cheese at Hard Eight better than Pecan Lodge. They also offer free beans, which is good if you’re trying to save your money for, well, the BBQ.
Hard Eight has two locations, one in Coppell and one in The Colony. The one in Coppell feels like the middle of nowhere (At least it does to me. I have no sense of direction.). The location in The Colony is right in front of Nebraska Furniture Mart near Stonebriar Centre so there are lots of other things to do in the area. Parking isn’t too bad, and they have a golf cart that drives around and shuttles people (though I’ve never been offered a shuttle).
Depending on when you go, the wait time is about 30 to 40 minutes. The unfortunate factor about Hard Eight is that the line where you winds through the area filled with the meat smokers, so you WILL smell like a campfire by the time you are done. Your clothes, your hair, it’s all going to smell like smoke by the time you order. The area is shaded, but it gets pretty hot and muggy from all the smokers, so it’s not my favorite.
Hutchins BBQ was a new place for The Hubs and I. I really enjoyed everything that I had there. Hutchins the only place on this list that has an all you can eat option (for around $21) and it was totally worth it. I normally don’t eat a lot of meat, so I didn’t order it. It would have been way to much for me. But for any red-blooded male out there, it’s perfect. The Hubs liked it because it allowed him to sample a larger variety of meat. The sides were pretty awesome too. They were all piping hot and fresh and the mac and cheese was excellent. (I hope you’re starting to get an idea of my priorities by now.) They also offer a free dessert, which is a major score! When we went, they had soft serve ice cream, cobbler and banana pudding.
Hutchins also has two locations. One is in McKinney and one is in Frisco. We initially tried to go to the McKinney location but it was closed for remodeling. This was reflected absolutely NOWHERE on their website or google page, which was frustrating. From there we drove to the Frisco location, which was blessedly open, despite not answering my call to verify. That location was pretty accessible, with lots of parking. It’s a little further back from the road, but we still found it easily.
We waited in line for about an hour or so. The line stretches both inside and outside and honestly clogs up the exit a little bit. Still, it wasn’t terrible unpleasant. They were on their last thing(I don’t know the unit of measurement here) of brisket by the time we got to the front (maybe around 7:00 PM?) but had plenty of burnt ends left.
Lockhart BBQ is good, but doesn’t really stand out to me. Perhaps that’s why I never actually took a picture of my food at Lockhart BBQ. The Hubs likes their smoked turkey and their brisket is pretty standard. Whatever you do, do NOT get their spicy mac and cheese if you want to taste the rest of your meal. It is SPICY. Like nothing else tasted right afterwards. I would not recommend the spicy mac…unless you’re into that sort of thing.
Lockhart BBQ also has two locations. One is in Bishop Arts District, the other in Downtown Plano. Both are really cool areas. We did our engagement pictures at Bishop Arts District, so naturally I love that place. It’s a super cool place to just go and walk around. Good luck with parking though. Be prepared to walk. Downtown Plano is the closest to where we live, and it’s really easy to access. It’s also right by the DART rail, which is nice.
I’ve rarely seen a wait at the Plano location. It’s really easy to get in and out. The upstairs seating is pretty cool too, The Bishop Arts location had maybe a 20 minute wait, but it was all indoors, so it barely counts.
So there you have my humble assessment of the best BBQ in Dallas. There are other places besides these four, but these are the ones that stand out as the best in my book. They all have different strengths depending on what vibe you’re looking for and how much time you want to spend. Do you have any favorites that I’ve missed? Let me know and I’ll add them to my taste test list!