6 Best Barbecue Restaurants in Tyler, TX

October 26th, 2021 by

Texas is known for its mouthwatering barbecue restaurants, and the city of Tyler is no exception. If you find yourself in the area wanting to taste some authentic barbecue dishes, make plans to visit one or more of these six barbecue restaurants.

Bodacious Bar-B-Que

Originally opened in 1968 by Roland Lindsey, Bodacious Bar-B-Que has almost two dozen locations scattered throughout East Texas. Lindsey began his work with barbecue when as a teenager he worked at a cafe his father owned. After he graduated high school, he had thoughts of becoming a teacher, but he felt the pull of the barbecue pit. He opened Little Roland’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que in Longview, eventually dropping his old nickname. Over the years, the restaurants have popped up all over, and the only stipulation to owning one is the prospective owner must have worked for the restaurant at one time.

Located at 4030 Frankston Hwy., the Tyler restaurant uses a blend of fresh spices daily and slowly smokes the meat using wood-burning pits. Once the meat is done, it’s served along with the gourmet signature sauce. You can even purchase its barbecue sauce and spices to use at home. Order one of its five different plates of meat, or try one of its specialty sandwiches, which include beef, pork, turkey, or fried catfish. Stop in daily from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Hickory Hill BBQ

Hickory Hill BBQ was originally known as Big Warrens BBQ, and when current owner Kerry Shaw and his grandfather W.O. Johnson would visit, Shaw’s dream became to own a barbecue restaurant. Flash-forward about 40 years later, and his vision became reality when he and his wife Kelly purchased the eatery. Today, the smoker used in the restaurant is the same one built by Big Warren, and the Shaws use five different types of natural wood to cook the meat and give it a sweet and bold flavor.

The restaurant’s food is cooked to savory perfection, with many of the plates including homemade potato salad and beans. Try its barbecue ham, chicken, and ribs. Don’t forget about the Big Rib Rib-eye, which is a 16-ounce bone-in rib-eye with baked potatoes and a special barbecue steak sauce. If you want something a little different, opt for the tacos, burgers, or chopped beef sandwich. It’s open at 20101 Hwy 31 E, Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Pat’s Barbecue

Even though the hand-painted wooden sign states the location’s name is Pat’s Barbecue, locals refer to it as Pat Gee’s after its late founder, Mack Henry “Pat” Gee. He opened the business in the early 1960s, and he and his wife Vida and their seven children lived just up the hill from the building. His sons Billy Walker and Arthur Gee, who took over as pitmaster, kept the business alive after their father died in 1999 and their mother a little over a decade later.

Its sauce recipe was developed by Vida, and every plate comes with coleslaw and beans. You’ll notice that its sandwiches don’t come on buns but rather on white bread, and that’s on purpose. The family believed that buns provided too much bread without as much meat, so the sandwiches are stuffed generously with meat on bread. Sandwiches also include onion slices and pickles. Its hours are limited, though, as it’s only open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.  Visit them at 17547 County Road 26.

Poke in Da Eye World Championship BBQ and Catering

As a family-owned and operated business, Poke in Da Eye World Championship BBQ and Catering opened its doors in 1996. Joseph Koricanek and his wife competed in barbecue competitions all across the country and wanted to share their recipes with more people. As a result, plans for the restaurant began.

Today, you can enjoy some of its famous meals including pork tenderloin, brisket, ribs, smoked turkey breast, chicken, and three flavors of sausage. Consider adding a homemade side dish or dessert to your meal. To keep your little ones entertained, let them explore the restaurant’s playground while you sit and digest your delicious meal. Head in Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. They’re located at 11811 State Hwy. 64.

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

Established more than 60 years ago, Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q is the oldest operating mom and pop barbecue establishment in Tyler. This hidden restaurant serves baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and freshly made sausage, but don’t forget its stuffed potatoes, sandwiches, and a variety of vegetarian options. 

It recently added 2,000 square feet of indoor space to go along with its patio equipped with two full bars featuring Texas craft beers and more than 100 different types of whiskey and bourbon. Local, regional, and national artists headline live music events. The eatery is open at 525 S. Beckham Ave., Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. or until it sells out of food.

Y’all’s Barbecue and Produce

Billed as a foodie’s dream destination, Y’all’s Barbecue and Produce was created with the hope that everyone who visits will feel like they are stepping foot inside a backyard barbecue. Owner Ben Warren retired from the restaurant after 20 years to open this eatery, and he now works alongside his family members. What sets the restaurant apart from others is that it doesn’t cook its meat with pellets. Instead, it uses red oak and pecan wood.

Its extensive menu features hot links, sausage, ribs, chicken, brisket, and turkey legs. You can’t forget the array of side dishes, some of which include pinto beans, potato salad, collard greens, baked beans, and cornbread. It’s open at 1515 County Road 24, Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Is your stomach grumbling, demanding that you drop whatever you’re doing and head to Tyler for some of the most mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone barbecue? Did we highlight all the best barbecue restaurants in the area that people must visit, or did Classic Toyota miss a must-visit eatery? If we did, please contact us and let us know so we can make sure to add it to our list.


Image by Emerson Vieira Licensed via Unsplash

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