Kerlin BBQ – $5
1700 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-till sold out Thurs-Sun
The best deal in barbecue. Period. Five bucks for a tasty and fulfilling meal? Yes. The ingredients are just chopped beef, cheese, onions, and jalapeños. It is a special and not always on the menu. Call ahead. I never understood why Kerlin flies under the radar. While you there, get some of the ribs and kolaches. If not, you might want to reassess your priorities.
EastSide Tavern – $10
1510 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-10 PM Su-Th, 11 AM-11 PM FSa
Although I have not written about Eastside Tavern, it does not mean that I am not a fan. I am. Indoor seating, open later, and good drinks. The Frito pie is on the appetizers menu but eats like a meal. It comes loaded with chopped beef, salsa verde, pico, and queso in a big ass cast iron skillet. Crispy and flavorful.
Micklethwait Craft Meats – $8
1309 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-till sold out Tue-Sun
This Frito pie was the reason why I thought about doing this guide. I got a lot of attention on social media for my picture of it. It is super tasty and comes with brisket, chili, cheddar, cilantro, escabeche, red onion, & crema. Great combination of flavors and textures. I like that they use a slice of brisket instead of chopping it up.
La Barbecue – $9
1906 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 | 11 AM-till sold out Wed-Sun
The wait is always 30+ minutes here. When you get to the front, you feel like you need to order more. It took a lot of willpower for me on this day just to get the Frito pie. It comes with chopped beef, Southwest black bean salad, cheese, jalapeños, and pickled red onions. Yum. I wanted to add my own twist to it, but they were sold out of most of the meats that day.
Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue – $16, $8 during happy hour
401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701 | 11 AM-2:30PM, 5:30-10 PM daily
Fancy Frito pie. That is what it is. It is not cheap but is packed with a ton of flavor. The chopped beef, fresh pico, goat cheese, and Lambert’s queso play well together. It is obvious that there was a lot of thought put into this dish. It is a bargain at happy hour. I could eat one every day at that price point.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew – $9
6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757 | 11 AM-9 PM SuTWTh, 11 AM-10 PM FSa
In my opinion, this is the closet one to being a traditional Frito pie. It has chopped beef, cheese, jalapeños, and onions. I added some of the Switch sausage for an extra kick. The portion is huge so you get more bang for the buck. I could not finish it all. Shocker.
Bert’s BBQ – $6.95 regular, $8.95 large
907 W 24th St, Austin, TX 78705 | 7 AM-3 PM M-S & 3563 Far West Blvd #109, Austin, TX 78731 | 11 AM-8 PM M-F, 11 AM-7 PM Sat
I ate at the MLK location back in college before the building burned down. The one by campus now is within eyesight of Freedmen’s Bar. I ordered the large size, and it was a good portion. It was loaded with chopped beef, beans, and BBQ sauce. It cost 60 cents extra for cheese though. You can buy frozen ones for later as well.
Until next time, happy smoking…
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