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Truth BBQ Lands the No. 3 Spot On ‘Texas Monthly’s’ Best Barbecue Joints in the State

Several other Houston-area restaurants also made the list

A sandwich of barbecues beef ribs and a sausage link on a toasted bun.
Truth BBQ jumps to number three on Texas Monthly’s list of best barbecue joints in the state.
Packy Saunders

Truth BBQ, the Heights restaurant known for its whole-hog roasts, Cajun burnt ends boudin, and delectable cakes, has landed the spot No. 3 on Texas Monthly’s list of 50 best barbecue joints in the state.

The restaurant, which was founded in Brenham in 2015, opened a Houston outpost three years ago, serving up classic Central Texas barbecue along with creative sides like corn pudding, tater tot casserole, and cakes made by pitmaster Leonard Botello’s mom, Janel, and head baker Laquita Wilkins. In 2017, the Brenham location made the tenth spot on Texas Monthly’s list.

The 2021 version of the list, which was released on Monday, October 18, also includes a number of other Houston-area restaurants, recognized for their innovation, creativity, and attention to detail. Only the first 10 spots are ranked, but included in the Top 50 are Feges Barbecue, which just opened its first standalone location in Spring Branch, and longtime pitmaster Ronnie Killen’s Pearland spot.

Check out the full list of Houston-area spots below:

  • #3 — Truth, Houston
  • Blood Bros BBQ, Bellaire
  • Feges, Houston
  • Brett’s BBQ Shop, Katy
  • Killen’s Barbecue, Pearland
  • CorkScrew BBQ, Spring
  • Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue, Tomball

The list is updated roughly every five years. To do so, more than 30 Texas Monthly staffers and freelancers spent eight weeks over the summer exploring barbecue restaurants across the state, from the Panhandle to the Rio Grande Valley.

What’s notable about the 2021 list is that it specifically celebrates the “new horizons of Texas barbecue” — younger pitmasters, influence from international cuisine, and innovative techniques. Twenty-nine of the Top 50 spots are newcomers. Two Houston spots, JQ’s Tex-Mex and Khói Barbecue, were recognized as boundary-breaking; JQ’s for the melding of smoked brisket into birria tacos; and Khói for its Vietnamese sausage, made with brisket, lemongrass, honey, fish sauce, and grilled lá lôt leaves.