The Most Underrated Barbecue in Houston...According to You

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Photo from VoicePlaces
A brisket platter from our dearly departed Thelma's Bar-B-Que, gone too soon.
So we've been through underrated restaurants, burgers and pizza. Now let's get down to what we really care about here in Texas: Barbecue.

There are a handful of spots in Houston that come up again and again in conversations about local barbecue. There are the classics like Gatlin's, of course, and Virgie's, and then there's newcomer Killen's, which has taken the city by storm.

But I've found that I notice a new (or new to me) barbecue joint weekly while driving around Houston. I discover little hole-in-the wall joints that I've never heard of and that don't appear to get any publicity. Perhaps they're terrible. In my experience, though, these unassuming spots can sometimes surprise and turn out to be the best-kept secrets in town.

In the last discussion of underrated pizza, a few of you brought up a good point: What constitutes "underrated"? I touched on that briefly in the first post query underrated restaurants, but allow me to clarify.

We consider an underrated spot or dish to be something that isn't often covered by local or national media. Instead of underrated, perhaps "under-recognized" is more appropriate. We want to know which places make really good food, but may not get their fair due because they're overshadowed by other, more media-friendly spots or because, simply, not many people know about them.

Alternatively, you could consider something underrated if many people know about it, but you think it's better than anyone gives it credit for. In the case of barbecue, that might be a spot like Rudy's. It's a chain; everyone knows about it. But a lot of people discount it because it's a chain. Maybe you love it, though. That would make it underrated in your book.

Leave us a note in the comments here or on Facebook, or Tweet at us to let us know what you think is the most underrated barbecue in town and why. If your comments are particularly eloquent, we might feature them in the final roundup. We'll then tally the votes and put it to a runoff poll.

So holla at us, Houston. Where's the beef?

Location Info

Gatlin's BBQ

1221 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Virgie's Bar-B-Que

5535 Gessner Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Killen's Barbecue

3613 E Broadway, Pearland, TX

Category: Restaurant

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105 comments
Zonk175
Zonk175

Have had Papa Charlie's at catered events. The brisket, juicy and tender as is the chicken. Ribs are some of the best I have had. I stop by their "Red Shack" in El Campo whenever I pass through...... Have seen Papa Charlie's walk on at several Texas cookoffs.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

I forgot to say that Baker's Ribs has amazing homemade fried pies...

ecnordstrom
ecnordstrom

Pappa Charlie's is the truth. Give that man yer money


andikay23
andikay23

Pappa Charlie's...hands down!

erin.nowlin
erin.nowlin

Been & bun on Long Point in Spring Branch

charlottelweir
charlottelweir

Pappa Charlie's is AMAZING!!! They have catered all my events and have impressed the veterinary community from Houston to Fort Worth!  Great people, Great service, AMAZING BBQ!  

rangerjim1stbat
rangerjim1stbat

I'm actually a judge at the National qualifier held in Meridian TX and Pappa Charie's brisket is some of the best I have eaten.

goatrope2006
goatrope2006

The chicken at Pappa Charlie's is amazing as well!

goatrope2006
goatrope2006

Pappa Charlies is by far the best brisket I have ever had nothing even comes close!

assertnull
assertnull

Pappa Charlies. The dude could smoke a boot and have it come out tasty. Brisket rivals anything I've had in the Austin/Taylor/Lockhart circuit. 

Travis Joyce
Travis Joyce

Blood Bros... Best brisket in Houston hands down

jl.hunter3
jl.hunter3

Blood Brothers also does vending not catering for events. Their buzz is growing and gaining momentum around the city. If you haven't heard you will.

jl.hunter3
jl.hunter3

Blood Brothers BBQ hands down has to be some of the best on the planet. They do it right. No fuss no muss just good eating especially the brisket.

bryannorton
bryannorton

Bbq is brisket, and Pappa Charlie's produces some great brisket. Check them out

Joseph Mayfield
Joseph Mayfield

First person to say Goode company gets slapped. They suck. Plus who pays for BBQ.

tuckerae
tuckerae

Goode Company BBQ is my favorite in Houston! They've been doing it right since before I was born. Levi Goode has kept up the family traditions since Jim retired and it's one of the greatest BBQ joints in the Bayou City, if you ask me. 

dtnguyen
dtnguyen

Blood Bros BBQ!!! Mmmmmmm!!!!

phrringa
phrringa

Hickory Barn on Wilcrest, love sliced beef outside cut! Great sauce too <3

dream.gourmet
dream.gourmet

OMG BBQ in the Heights   Humongous BEEF ribs >>> it's not OMG for nothing.  

The Pork ribs,  the brisket.  the beans....  Putting it down right.  Texas style bbq right there.  


Newhomeguy
Newhomeguy

Can't believe there is only one mention of Luling City Market on here.  Probably the best sauce in town.

texlasvegas
texlasvegas

My vote is for Boogie's OMG BBQ.

Great food, great service.

bigjcslater
bigjcslater

Where do you find BloodBro BBQ - looks like its a food truck? No website, nothing on yelp... Chamon on now

lonniejones55
lonniejones55

OMG BBQ Jacksons watering hole on Richmond & Fitzgeralds on White Oak....

Boogie and his BBQ and homemade sauce is off the hook a must taste experience once you try it you be saying oh my god too.....

Fresh lean meats and friendly service to boot I prefer the ribs both pork & beef Omg there good priced just right.

Firststrike
Firststrike

Fainmous BBQ on S.Post Oak.. Pulled pork and fatty brisket, Burnt ends too.  But everything is good, even the sides.  

juangq
juangq

Blood Brothers hands down

ocelot4381
ocelot4381

Blood Brothers! Hands down some of the best burnt ends I've had ever

groff.kelly
groff.kelly

Boogie's OMG BBQ.  Usually he is at the corner of white oak and studewood.  Super good, super friendly

seasincarnadine
seasincarnadine

It's not even close.  Old Fashion Barbecue.  I cant remember the street, but it's definitely in the hood.  You order through bars out of a trailer and its only open 3 days a week.  I think they close down at sundown because of the crime.  But, it is without a doubt the smokiest, most tender barbecue I've ever had.  It's worth risking life and limb.  I know I sound like I own it or i know someone who does, but I really don't.  I'm just addicted to it. 

henblair
henblair

Rudy's on the Gulf freeway in League City has really first rate brisket, and at a fair price, too.


I spent $44 just yesterday on some AVERAGE (dry moist) brisket and one beef rib at Killen's. My first time there and probably the last. It's not even remotely in the league of Franklin's or Snow's (on a good Saturday) for that matter. One beef rib to go- $18, 1/2# brisket to go - weighed it when I got home 6.5 oz. - $8, one brisket single-meat plate w/2 mediocre and skimpy sides - $11, and the best thing I had ...a Karbach Hopadillo - $4. 


Optimo Ram
Optimo Ram

Corkscrew BBQ is the bomb, so is Hickory Hollow

bengalipunk
bengalipunk

Blood Bros!  awesome...doing pop up BBQ's all around town, this weekend was at the Refinery! on Dallas...was off the chain as usual!

arturocobarrubias
arturocobarrubias

As much as I love BBQ and all the places that I've been around Texas I recently came across Blood Bros BBQ and they have one of the best smoked flavor in Houston check them out and you be the judge, love me some Blood Bros Texas BBQ!

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

My vote goes for Brisket House as well. Bakers??! Not even if it was the last restaurant on the earth, blech.

kjeter1
kjeter1

Gaitlin's was my go - to for good BBQ but now I only want Blood Bros. BBQ. The smoked flavor is unmistakable, the texture is succulent, and the overall taste is unparalleled.

Jonathan Escobedo
Jonathan Escobedo

You missing beef and bun in the south side of Houston. Place has been there since the 70's.

assertnull
assertnull

@goatrope2006  haven't tried the chicken, but I did snag some of their turkey at the HouBBQ festival. I don't know if it's a regular thing for them, but good god man, it wasn't turkey, it was some god-bird plucked from the heights of Olympus, basted in ambrosia, and smoked to perfection. I seriously have no idea how you do that to a dadgum bird. Totally epic. 

dtnguyen
dtnguyen

They smoke their bbq and its amazing!! Crispy outside but so juicy and tender on the inside!!

thepigonvoss
thepigonvoss

@gossamersixteen  I guess being successful at the same location for the past 20 years means there are a lot of people that disagree with you.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah topcommenter

@gossamersixteen  Baker's Ribs kicks Brisket House's ass… 27 years serving fine BBQ speaks for itself….

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