Are you looking for the best barbecue in the Woodlands? We’ve assembled a guide to the restaurants that serve the best BBQ we’ve found in the Woodlands area.

Our criteria is simple: Who makes the most delicious barbecue? Great brisket? The best ribs? Superb sausage? Our guide is based around the Woodlands, but we’ll venture outside the immediate area if the food is worth the drive… and we found some that is.

In each section, restaurants are listed in alphabetical order; they are not ranked within the section.

Updated July 2021. Originally published in 2017.)


The Best

Notable craft BBQ in a cozy backyard spot near the Woodlands

3rd Coast BBQ & Catering

There’s a new rising star on the north side craft BBQ scene, and their name is 3rd Coast BBQ. Pitmaster Troy Mulligan is a Houston native, and has mastered his art after driving around Texas and sampling ‘Q from dozens of the state’s top pits. His dedication and research is paying dividends: The centerpiece is superb brisket; remarkably moist, beautifully rendered, and with a cravable bark created by his top secret rub. Other proteins aren’t shortchanged; the pork ribs are savory masterpieces, with a plucky texture and effortless pull from the bone. Sausage should’t be overlooked; Troy makes an outstanding boudin, with perhaps the best meat/rice balance that we’ve come across. For those eating lighter, turkey is beautifully smoky and tender. Attention to detail shows in the sides (all made in-house, don’t miss the gently spicy street corn or the excellent buns and breads (all Slow Dough, the local baking wizards.) Open Thursday through Sunday, and they’re typically sold out by 4pm.

$$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

25219 Oakhurst Dr | Spring 77386
713-545-0718
| Map
Full Info | Website

Iconic Craft BBQ

CorkScrew BBQ

When Will Buckman quit his job with the phone company to focus on barbecue, some thought he was crazy. Our first taste of Will’s brisket, served from a trailer on Budde road, convinced us he was crazy like a fox. Along with wife Nichole, Buckman has built Corkscrew BBQ into one of the best BBQ joints in the world – Texas Monthly named them to their prestigious Top 10 list in 2017. From the superlative brisket to the gargantuan beef ribs (Saturday only) Corkscrew’s meats do not disappoint. But don’t skip the sides, or Nichole’s remarkable cobblers. And get there early. Corkscrew routinely sells out by mid-afternoon, and the line starts an hour or more before opening.

$$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

26608 Keith St | Spring 77373
832-592-1184
| Map
Full Info | Website

Chef Ronnie Killen's BBQ is now in the Woodlands

Killen’s Texas Barbecue

JJ Watt’s favorite barbecue is now available in the Woodlands. Chef Ronnie Killen has expanded his footprint in the Woodlands to include his incredibly popular craft BBQ spot, located at Six Pines and Research Forest. Craft is the key; Chef Ronnie is Cordon Bleu trained, and it shows in his approach to BBQ. Superb prime briskets, with savory, complex bark and expertly rendered fat. Ginormous beef ribs, sublimely tender and beefy. Picture-perfect pork ribs, well balanced between sweet and savory. And don’t miss the sides; Killen’s creamed corn has become a Houston legend, and for good reason. The chef’s attention to detail is evident; even the pickles are housemade sweet and sour, and are expertly paired to the flavors of the rich, moist meats. As with all craft BBQ places, they sell out when they sell out, but expect food into the dinner hour.

$$ | BBQ
Catering and Outdoor Dining

8800 Six Pines Dr | Shenandoah 77380
| Map
Full Info | Website | Order Online

World class BBQ, outstanding specials, unique sides

Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue

World class craft barbecue is the draw at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue, a classic Texas barbecue joint located just off Main Street in Tomball. It’s also one of the best on the planet; in 2017, Texas Monthly ranked them #6 in the nation in their prestigious list. We agree. Pitmaster Scott Moore, Jr. and his brother (and chef) Greg smoke some of the best brisket, ribs, and sausage to be found in the state. Thursdays are a special treat, when housemade pastrami is added to the mix; don’t miss it. Wednesdays have become a big deal with the appearance of the Smoked Burger on the menu; it’s a destination burger worthy of a trip. (Update: The burger spawned its own restaurant.)

Read our full review >

$$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

200 N Elm St | Tomball 77375
832-761-0670
| Map | Review
Full Info | Website | Menu


Recommended

South-Texas-Style BBQ served from a food truck

BBQ Godfather

Do you like your barbecue with a little kick? Then BBQ Godfather has you covered. Award-winning competition pitmaster Tony Faour brought his South Texas style ‘Q to Deacon Baldy’s food truck park, and the locals have been lining up ever since. Each meat gets a unique rub, and the perfect sauce is available for those who prefer it. From the delicious pork ribs to spicy brisket, BBQ Godfather offers unique versions of all the Texas BBQ classics. Sides are top notch as well; don’t miss the sweet potato casserole or the mac & cheese burnt ends. Sandwiches come on a crusty Italian loaf… just don’t call it French bread, or you risk the ire of the Godfather himself.

$ and $$ | BBQ
Outdoor Dining

5447 Fm 1488 Rd | Magnolia 77354
713-828-5960
| Map
Full Info | Order Online


Restaurant Listings

3rd Coast BBQ & Catering $$ BBQ   I-45 Corridor and Rayford Road
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BBQ Godfather $ and $$ BBQ   1488 West
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CorkScrew BBQ $$ BBQ   Outside the Bubble: Spring
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Gessner’s Grub BBQ Co. $$ BBQ   Sawdust
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Herb & Beet $$ American, BBQ, Salads, and Sandwiches   Sawdust
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Killen’s Texas Barbecue $$ BBQ   Research East
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Pappas Bar-B-Q $$ BBQ and Burgers   I-45 Corridor
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Pit Master Bar-B-Que $$ BBQ   Sawdust
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Q-Shi $$ BBQ and Sushi   Outside the Bubble: Spring
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Spring Creek Barbeque $$ BBQ   I-45 Corridor
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Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue $$ BBQ   Outside the Bubble: Tomball
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