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

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…

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.


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 percent beef, 20 percent pork) straight off the pit. The filling is pleasantly coarse in that way that you only find in homemade sausage, and the casing has a good snap. We could have kept eating these perfect links all day. We were less enthusiastic about the brisket, which cooks at a fairly high heat on an indirect pit for just five and a half hours. While the final result is seductively smoky and has a flavorful salt, pepper, and cayenne rub, the meat itself was a little tough. The ribs, on the other hand, do beautifully under this treatment. They are superlative: ultra-tender, delectably sweet, and infused with post-oak smoke, much like the absolutely succulent chicken. As at any proper joint, black pepper is used liberally, and not just on the meats. It punches up the tangy, sweet sauce (one of our favorites in Central Texas) and gives a nice kick to pinto beans too. Admirable attention has been paid to the stellar potato salad, a bold and mustardy twist on the classic. Banana pudding is enjoyable enough once you forgive the fact that it looks like a meringue and isn’t a pudding but a blob (with an oddly firm outer shell) of cream cake.


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