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Cost: $$

Smoked Splendor

Ruby's BBQ maintains an admirable commitment to real-deal Texas pit-smoked barbecue: dry-rubbed meats that spend a whole lot of quality time--we're talking 12 to 24 patient hours--over smoky oak wood in a brick-and-mortar pit. It's a technique with incredibly deep roots in this corner of the country, and one that Ruby's has been wowing eaters with since the late 1980s. Besides the stubbornly slow-smoked methodology, the place distinguishes itself with its usage of hormone- and antibiotic-free beef.

The eatery's culinary purview has expanded a bit since the early days, as the Cajun specialties, tacos, and vegetarian dishes now on offer reveal. That smoky meat, though, still takes center stage every time.

Open in Google Maps: 512 West 29th Street, Austin

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