As any true Texan can attest, few things are closer to the heart than smoked meats and perfectly crafted cocktails. Throw in a European-inspired beer garden, a wood-adorned eatin’ saloon and sippin’ bar, and a subtly sophisticated cocktail lounge — all housed in a historic building nearly as old as Austin itself — and it’s a recipe for barbecue paradise. Freedmen’s Bar and Smokehouse, located in the West Campus neighborhood in a nearly 150-year- old structure that once held a church, a grocery store, a private residence and a publishing house, was named for the significant role the building played in Austin’s first freed-man community. And Freedmen’s pays homage to that storied history by serving up Austin’s long favorite delicacy: slow-smoked barbecue. With a mammoth offset smoker helmed by pitmaster Juan Morales, Freedmen’s offers an extensive menu, and just about every tasty morsel is slow-smoked. Must-have meats include the classic fatty or lean brisket, pulled pork, house-made sausage, smoked chicken and the menu’s crown jewel: the Holy Trinity plate, a massive platter of brisket, pork spare rib and house-made sausage. Smoked-meat sammies abound, while horseradish potato salad (served heaped into a glass jar), grilled cabbage slaw, house-made pickles and beer-infused baked beans are side-dish essentials. Even the dessert at Freedmen’s is smoked, and sweet lovers won’t soon forget indulging in smoked banana pudding and smoked chocolate mousse. Rivaling Freedmen’s food menu is its vast selection of beer, wine, innovative house cocktails and its assortment of over 150 whiskeys, from bourbon and rye to Canadian, Irish and scotch to one-of- a-kind sippers and hard-to- find limited releases. Freedman’s is truly a barbecue and whiskey lover’s dream come true!
Where to get barbecue for dinner in Austin, Bon Appetit
Barbecue, whiskey complement history at Freedmen's, Spectrum News
Barrel-Aged cocktails at Freedmen's, Austin Food Magazine