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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Counter service

Mon–Sat 7:00am–6:00pm

Bar Beer
Credit cards None

633 E. Davis St.
Luling, TX
(830) 875-9019
City Market
Texas barbecue royalty that has its pretenders, but few parallels

City Market in Luling has a wannabe doppelgänger in Houston called Luling City Market, whose core business seems to be trademark infringement. But any Texan worth his brisket knows that the best ‘cue lurks in tiny towns, not big cities. And Luling, with a population just over 5,000, is home to some of the best smoked meats in America—not to mention brotherhood: you’ll sit at communal tables with toolbelt-sporting, cowboy-hat-wearing men of the land, often with the whole family in tow.

Close the door behind you or you’ll get yelled at by the pitmaster. He wouldn’t want any precious smoke getting out, and neither would we. Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and pretty much a religious experience. Brisket is equally good—as long as you ask for it fatty. The rub isn’t so pronounced here, but the sweet, tomatoey sauce in the bottles isn’t really necessary. Sausage is loose packed and almost too rich, and full of the ol’ snap-and-spray. Do heap on some creamy potato salad as a refreshing complement.

This, friends, is barbecue. It’s no Kreuz, where you’ll find well-heeled city folk out for a healthy dose of rural Texas life; this is the real deal. For the multi-generational table with son, father, and grandfather, this is just supper. As it always has been, and as it always will be.

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