Friday, December 9, 2022


Lockhart — Barbecue Capital of Texas

Kreuz Market German style BBQ in Lockhart (Julianne G. Crane)

(Updated: 5/30, 2016)  Texans take their barbecue seriously — very seriously–especially in Lockhart, a small town in Central Texas.

For a great meal, good hospitality and a little Texas history, this is the place to stop for RVers on the road in this part of the country.

A number of years ago, I heard of Lockhart being the ‘Barbecue Capital of Texas’  from Gaylord Maxwell, the late RV author and founder of the RV Life on Wheels educational conferences.

Gaylord knew I had relatives in Austin and asked if I had ever been to Lockhart (about 30 miles south on Hwy. 183) for the best BBQ ever. According to Gaylord, he and his wife, Margie, had often RVed through Lockhart just to eat.

Lockhart and cattle go back a long ways to when it was a major northward converging point on the Chisholm Trail to Kansas.

Today, the town of about 12,000 has four major BBQ restaurants–Black’s BarbecueChisholm Trail BBQ, Kreuz Market Smitty’s Market.  Together, they estimate they serve about 5,000 people each week.

Jimmy Smith outside Black’s Barbecue (Julianne G. Crane)

I have eaten at three of these grand establishments: Kreuz Market, a German-style barbecue restaurant since 1900; Black’s Barbecue, the oldest BBQ eatery in Texas that has been “continuously owned and operated by the same family;” and Smitty’s Market, home of the original Kreuz Market for more than 50 years.

Kreuz Market specializes in a dry-rub BBQ. “Don’t ask for barbecue sauce. They don’t have it and quite honestly are offended if anyone asks. The owners say, ‘good barbecue doesn’t need sauce.’ “

Both Kreuz and Smitty’s have been selected among the Top Texas BBQ Joints by Texas Monthly magazine.

Live music at Black’s (Julianne G. Crane)

On our stop on Sunday afternoon at Black’s, owners Norma Jean and Edgar Black were seated in their corner booth and the place was packed. There is free live music on Sunday afternoons.

The specialties are “Texas smoked meats, homemade sausage, and barbecue sauces.” Jimmy ordered Baby Back Ribs and I had a sliced pork loin sandwich. Sides of pinto bean and cold slaw. Sweet tea. Nothing was left on either plate.

If you go:

Kreuz Market
619 N. Colorado St.
Open: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (daily)
The meat, including beef, sausage or pork, is served on brown butcher paper. ‘Vegetarian’ side of the house includes beans, German potato salad and sauerkraut,

Black’s Barbecue
215 N. Main St
Open: ‘8 days a week’ – 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. on Fri.-Sat.) Great selection of sides.

Chisholm Trail Barbeque
1323 S. Colorado St
Offers a large selection of salads and side dishes to go along with the sausage, brisket, ribs, turkey, chicken and fajitas. Fried catfish on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Chicken fried steak on Tuesday and Thursday.

Smitty’s Market
208 S. Commerce St
Open: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Nina Schmidt Sells established Smitty’s Market in 1999 in the building that housed her father’s Kreuz Market for more than 50 years. Excellent brisket and pork ribs.

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Julianne G. Crane  

Photos: Top left: Kreuz Market Barbecue; top right: Kreuz dinning room. Lower left: Jimmy Smith of Spokane, Wash., outside Black’s Barbecue; lower right: Live music at Black’s (click on photos for larger images). (Julianne G. Crane)

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