1. AJ’S ON MAIN
As if downtown Grapevine could be any more inviting, the aroma of freshly smoked meat greets you anytime you’re near AJ’s on Main. Owned by a retired police officer, AJ’s served up some delicious barbecue along with southern staples like fried okra, mac and cheese bites, tamales and even Frito pie! On top of their food menu, they have a serious bar setup including the largest Bloody Mary in DFW! Piled high with ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, sliced meat, fried catfish, bacon and more, this Bloody Mary is a BBQ bucket list item you’ll want to check off.
Since Heim Barbecue opened last summer in Fort Worth, this joint has been THE talk of the town. Originally earning a strong reputation for selling out incredible BBQ and popular bacon burnt ends from their trailer, Travis and Emma Heim debuted their Magnolia storefront to anxious crowds and served up nearly a ton (literally, ONE TON) of meat, and that was just the beginning. With its cult-like following, Heim has had such great success. Pro tip: get there early to have your pick as they often sell out of items— especially on weekends. Oh, and be sure to save room for the banana pudding.
3. HUTCHINS BBQ
A long time favorite, Hutchins BBQ in McKinney has been serving up perfectly smoked meats since 1978. The folks at Hutchins use fine pecan wood for their smoking and add fresh cut meats to the pit several times a day. When you walk into Hutchins BBQ, you just feel like you are home. The sprawling space with dozens of communal tables make it easy to enjoy your experience from start to finish and their house-made sweet and spicy sauces are in a league of their own!
It’s no secret that we like things bigger and better in Texas and at Jambo’s Barbeque Shack in Arlington, the motto, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas,” holds serious clout. Of course, Jambo’s serves up traditional BBQ favorites like brisket, ribs and sausage, but it is their signature items that can’t be missed! Special shout out to the Jambo Texan Sandwich, (featuring their award-winning meats stacked high and sandwiched between Texas toast) which rightfully received an honorable mention by Texas Monthly for the best BBQ Sandwiches in Texas!
Located within the Shops at Legacy in Plano, Kenny’s Smokehouse is another one of my favorites. Although this is the most upscale spot on our list, it’s far from stuffy. The romantic, yet rustic interior makes it a great place to hang out for an extended period of time, and their expertly Hickory smoked meats will leave you coming back time and time again. Kenny’s also offers an extensive list of non-barbecue items such as coconut shrimp, fried chicken and even fish sandwiches. It is the perfect place to enjoy Texas BBQ in a fine-dining way!
Featured Image of Hutchins BBQ