City Meat Market

101 W. Austin
Giddings, TX 78942

Phone: 979-542-2740
Hours: Mon-€“Fri 7:30-€“5:30, Sat 7:30-€“4

Opened 1941
Pitmaster Gerald Birkelbach (since 1982)
Method Post oak; indirect-heat pit
Pro Tip For a living history lesson, just sit quietly and watch the old-timers.

TMBBQ Rating: 4.25

Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50

More Reviews

May 15, 2013

A welcome landmark on U.S. 290 between Austin and Houston is the boxy brick building of City Meat Market, in Giddings. The red painted sign reads “Bar-B-Q and Sausage”—sausage being one of their specialties. Walk through the main room, with its high ceilings, two rows of tables covered in plastic Christmas tablecloths (we last visited in late January), and aged cream-colored walls, and into the sooty back room, where you can order the famous links (80…

May 16, 2009

Thousands of drivers a day pass through Giddings along Texas Highway 290 on their way between Austin and Houston. They would all do themselves a favor if they stopped right in the center of town to sample the fine meats smoked at City Meat Market. This is a true meat market with cases full of steaks, ground beef, and sausage right inside the door. Walking back beyond the cases and through the small dining area,…

May 21, 2008

This friendly shop with blackened walls has been going strong for more than sixty years, and the locals swear by it. Though the brisket was average the day we went, everything else was excellent—pork, sausage, and chicken, all smoked with post oak in an iron-lined and tile-covered brick pit.


January 22, 2011

You may remember from the first review that City Meat Market, in Giddings, makes their own sausage for the market as well as providing it to Snow’s. After trying it at Snow’,s we wanted a good comparison of not only the sausage but the brisket as well. I enjoyed my first trip here enough to give it four stars, and they were kind enough to display the certificate I sent right next to their mention in Texas Monthly‘s 2008 Top 50 Barbecue Joints issue.

The meats together just didn’t have the same moist and tender quality of Snow’s, even the sausage. It was a bit less smoky and quite a bit dryer. It was again amazing to see just how different the same raw links can taste after a few hours in different smokers. Brisket and ribs were better than the photo reveals. The beef slices were thick with a nice line of fat but were oddly sliced with, rather than against, the grain. Even the most tender brisket will be tough to chew when sliced in that way. Ribs had great seasoning and flavor and were the smokiest meat of the bunch, but they were a bit dry. I should have asked for some longer ribs near the center of the rack, which is possible here since you get to watch as your order is being sliced right in front of you.

While it wasn’t quite as good as the first trip, it was close and would have been much better given more careful slicing of the brisket. I like this place and plan to return in hopes that it will produce an experience more like the first visit.

(This review originally appeared on Full Custom Gospel BBQ.)



    Anonymous says:

    We went through the drive through 1/22/11 around 2;15p and ordered chopped pork sandwiches. There was a bone in mine, the meat was not all chopped (2 big dry hunks)and teh sandwich as a whole was dry and not very tasty. Fro Texas BBQ, I give it a big fat F. And @ $5 ea, not worth the money. I have lived in Lufkin all my life and have enjoyed their beans, p salad and rolls for years, but after this experience, I will not go back for anything.

    DrillerAA09 says:

    I introduced my wife to Railroad BBQ in Kyle last Friday. Lunch was great. The brisket and sausage were as good as ever.

    BBQ Snob says:

    I don’t remember seeing a drive thru at City Market in Giddings. Are you sure this is where you visited?

    missyb says:

    City Meat Market in Giddings does not have a drive thru nor does it serve chopped pork sandwiches. Wrong place!!

    missyb says:

    City Meat Market in Giddings does not have a drive thru, nor does it serve chopped pork sandwiches. This is not the place that was visited. I give City Meat Market Giddings an A+!

    Kurt says:

    City Meat Market is one of my favorite places. If you make it there, you HAVE to try the pork. Perfection. Very peppery and smoky crust and tender meat with the sticky pork fat–this is what they do better than anyone else.

    Anonymous says:

    I stopped by City Meat Market in Giddings at 1:15 PM on Thursday, Oct 11th. I was informed by the kitchen that they were out of everything except a little sausage and some pork butt. We decided to eat elsewhere after taking in the dark, dirty and decrepit surroundings. This place was so filthy, I wouldn’t have wanted to sit down there.

    bubba says:

    I went there today. This was the most DISGUSTING BBQ I have ever had. I ordered brisket, and the lady pulled it out of a PAN FULL OF WATER that was serving as a warming tray next to the pit. UGH!! First, who the hell would ever put good BBQ brisket in water to keep it warm? Then, she didn’t know how to slice it, as she sliced it with the grain, instead of against it. If you do not know enough to slice brisket against the grain, you do not know what you are doing and have no business serving BBQ. I took one bite, spit it out, and left. I will never go back to that shithole again, and I highly recommend you avoid it too. Drive the 20 miles south and go to Prause meat market for a much better meal!!

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