Texas Barbecue has seen a bit of a golden age in recent years. There has been an explosion on the scene in recent years and no shortage of incredible food is being produced in one of the premier cuisines of the Lone Star State. That’s probably why I often get asked by both visitors from opposing schools and by Aggies themselves what the best barbecue in College Station is. I steadfastly refuse to rank the joints out of principle but here’s a list of spots within an hour or so of the Texas A&M campus that ought to scratch that barbecue itch if you head to the Brazos Valley for a game (I am not an expert on the geographical regions of Texas, so forgive me if any of these joints aren’t technically in the Brazos Valley)
Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que - Rockdale
Located about an hour northwest of College Station in Rockdale, Brett’s Backyard Bar-B-Que is a 2021 Texas Monthly Top 50 joint with a fantastic menu featuring some awesome rotating specials. If you make the decision to visit, you can’t go wrong with any of the delicious meats on the menu but make sure to try whichever sausages are available that day. And if pork steaks like the one pictured on the left are on special, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not ordering it. Follow all of the wonderful meats up with the Nutter Banana Pudding for dessert.
Cooper’s BBQ - College Station
Located off of Highway 6 in College Station, Cooper’s is a branch of the famous Llano barbecue spot. The sign for Cooper’s reads “Home of the Big Chop” and the thick and juicy bone-in pork chop is definitely worth ordering if you stop in for a bit of Texas history.
Fargo’s BBQ - Bryan
Just north of College Station in Bryan is Fargo’s Pit BBQ. The BCS staple has been regarded as one of the best joints in the Brazos Valley. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, Fargo’s runs rib tips on special. These morsels are delicious and a must have if you decided to stop in for a pregame meal on Saturday in Bryan.
LJ’s BBQ - Brenham
About an hour south of College Station in Brenham, LJ’s BBQ is another Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joint. The gorgeous picture used as the featured image for this guide showcases the fantastic meats that are offered at LJ’s. Delicious brisket with a peppery bark, fantastic ribs with the perfect amount of pull, and delicious sausage are all readily available here. LJ’s also has some of the best collard greens I have ever had in my life so make sure to grab those as a side. And check the specials, you might just get something fantastic like the fried brisket mac-n-cheese ball pictured below.
Snow’s BBQ - Lexington
If you are familiar with the Texas Barbecue scene at all, you have probably heard the story of Snow’s by now. The legendary “Queen of Texas Barbecue” Tootsie Tomanetz, owner Kerry Bexley, Clay Cowgill, and the rest of the Snow’s BBQ crew are Texas royalty having been named the #1 Barbecue joint in Texas by Texas Monthly in 2017. Now, I do have to warn you about the line - though I do think that getting there early and waiting in line is a fun and important part of the experience, I understand that this aspect of barbecue is not for everyone. On my visit to get my Texas Monthly stamp back in the winter, we decided to arrive at 11 on Friday night and camp in line. We were rewarded with delicious brisket, ribs, and sausage as well as the signature pork shoulder steak that is a must for any Snow’s visitor. There are drinks available while you wait so instead of thinking about it as being in line, think of it as the tailgate before the tailgate. But be warned, if you get there after 6AM, you run the risk of Snow’s running out of meat.
1775 Texas Pit BBQ - College Station
Located at the western edge of College Station just before reaching the Brazos River on Raymond Stotzer Parkway - 1775 Texas Pit BBQ is one of the more underrated Texas Barbecue joints on this list in my opinion. It always surprises me when I bring this spot up and folks don’t even realize it’s an option. This spot is a fantastic destination for the classic Texas Trinity of briskets, ribs, and sausage. It’s not a long drive at all and is well worth the trip if you are up in BCS for an Aggie gameday. In fact, I’m overdue for a return visit and look forward to heading that way when I’m in town for the Ole Miss game.
I am sure I’ve missed some folks’ favorite Texas Barbecue joints in the Brazos Valley so make sure to let me know which ones I left off in the comments so folks have all the options on the table.