City Market

633 E. Davis
Luling, TX 78648

Phone: 830-875-9019
Hours: Mon-€“Sat 7-€“6

Opened 1958
Pitmaster Joe Capello Sr. (since 1970)
Method Post oak; indirect-heat pit; gas-fired smoker
Pro Tip Take home some sauce.

TMBBQ Rating: 4

Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50

More Reviews

December 13, 2012

There are many folks around the country that may have just been introduced to the existence of City Market, in Luling, earlier this year when Newsweek published their list of the “101 Best Places to Eat” around the world. I myself have joked at the dubious nature of most lists like this one, but as one of only fourteen restaurants in North America to make the list alongside such names as Husk, Daniel, and Momofuku,…

May 16, 2010

Showing this joint to a friend for the first time is always fun, but the huge line can be daunting. Luckily we were stuffed, so waiting for a half hour or so wasn’t the worst that could have happened. Once inside the smoking room we were mesmerized by the smell and the view of these huge smokers. One of them was completely full of the popular beef links, which helped to create some room in…

May 21, 2008

You’ve come for wholeness, for satisfaction deep within your soul. Your searching has brought you here, to the company of fellow pilgrims in the snaking line. Slowly, you advance across the tile floor, past the knotty-pine walls, and up to the inner sanctum: a glass-enclosed chamber where a host of priests, in green apron vestments and orange hard hats, labor at a smoky altar. Aware of your unworthiness, you push open the swinging door. This…


May 16, 2013

There are few places we love as much as the pit room at City Market. Entering the smoke-filled, glass-enclosed chamber at the back of the dining room is an experience you will remember for decades—a trip into an iconic, sacred space in the world of barbecue. Like Kreuz Market and Smitty’s Market, in Lockhart, this joint has been a mainstay in our top tier for years, and while we’d still recommend a visit, the tough, tasteless brisket from repeated visits over a series of months (and the impressive quality from new joints) has moved it down a notch. Maybe the layer of unrendered fat and lack of smoke is the result of the short cooking time—six to eight hours—or maybe it’s the result of a lamentable new development at City Market. We didn’t want to believe this at first, but it seems that this venerable old partisan of wood-smoking has, of late, been using a gas-fired Southern Pride smoker on the weekends to help provide for the heavy crowds. To discover the intrusion of gas into one of the canonical Central Texas joints was sort of like finding out that Willie Nelson lip-synchs, and we took it as a very dark and ominous sign. Thankfully, the other meats still stand out. The pork ribs, which showed a half-inch smoke ring, were the best thing on the menu: semisweet, meaty, and flavorful, with a perfect salty exterior. And when we bit into the homemade beef sausage ring, the snap was audible. Inside, the meat was coarse and juicy, with good seasoning. Though anything would be great dipped in City Market’s thin mustard sauce, we were a little disappointed that we had to use it on the brisket.



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