The Quintessential Guide to Fort Worth Barbecue

Where to go, what to try, and why they're so good.

by Malcolm Mayhew  |  photos by Olaf Growald

There’s no better way to pick a fight in Fort Worth than saying five simple words: “Who has the best barbecue?” › In a town with so many great answers, passions run deep. In no time at all, you’ll be duking it out with someone over which is better: Railhead or Angelo’s, fatty brisket or lean brisket, a sweet glaze on ribs or a spicy rub? And, of course, the most important question: Sauce — yay or nay?Fort Worthians love to debate the merits of barbecue, but lately we’re not the only ones. The cuisine that we hold so dear is currently in the throes of a nationwide change and renaissance, with a newfound focus on organic, local and high quality. In its infancy, barbecue was often the parts no one else wanted. Now, many of the new places that have opened near and far — and even some grizzled vets — use only best-in-show stuff, sourced as locally and responsibly as possible.In and around Fort Worth alone, nearly a dozen new barbecue joints opened last year, from small mom-and-pops to iron and steel giants. Add these spots to an already long list of worthy ’cue joints, and you’ve got a thriving BBQ scene worth bragging — and arguing — about.  The time seems ripe for a guide to these joints — where to go, what to get, a cool little tip or two. Welcome, then, to Fort Worth Magazine’s first-ever guide to the best barbecue spots this side of the Trinity.