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

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,…

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…

TMBBQ Buzz

Comments from our joint finder app.
Loved it!
bbqueen @ City Market, 2014-11-13 20:18:01
These are my favorite ribs
Stephen McHaney @ City Market, 2014-10-01 04:16:22
What a disappointment. I had heard good things about this place but it really didn't deliver. I asked for moist brisket. I received a slab of fat with about an eighth of an inch of meat. Tough gross and inedible. I took it back to the counter and they gave me a new order. Much better, but not as good as others I have had. They said "all their brisket is moist" but I have never had anyone serve me something like I got here September 9, 2014. Not sure I would return.
Marcy Newman @ City Market, 2014-09-11 00:15:04
I loved the brisket and sauce. Great taste and full of flavor.
Gabe sheffy @ City Market, 2014-08-19 14:28:58
After waiting in line, 45min, finally got a taste of the Sausage ring that was corse and tasty with a good snap to it. The ribs were tender and flavorful hints from the semi sweet mop that was used on it. Brisket didn't have the peppery crust I'm used to, but it was moist with good beefy flavor. And of course any good BBQ joint has to have Big Red.
Will Bell @ City Market, 2014-07-26 17:37:40
Brisket - not flakey, but soft. Little tough to the tug. A couple of the thicker slices were a bit dry, but all had a fantastic smokey flavor. Could be more flakey, but flavor wise it’s tremendous. Thin mustard BBQ sauce was definitely tasty and unique, though largely unnecessary. Pork ribs - also a bit dry and I had to gnaw a bit to get them off the bone, but the heavy smoke combined with a slightly sweet glaze that’s cooked on gave then an awesome flavor. The dryness of both the meats (potato salad was standard) in my opinion is overcome by the fantastic flavor bursting of smoke and some sweetness. B+ in my book.
Scott Jarvis @ City Market, 2014-07-01 22:00:18
Dry brisket. Good ribs and sausage. The pit is really cool
Jeevan Gowda @ City Market, 2014-06-09 13:45:01
Incredible. Brisket was amazing and I loved the flavor. I also loved the pork ribs but nothing to get too excited about. This place is an original and nothing fancy about it. They are all about BBQ. Was not too impressed with the flavor of the sausage but the texture was great. I will be back here soon!
Izzy Garza @ City Market, 2014-05-11 15:08:42
More Buzz →

Review

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 is barbecue’s holy of holies: City Market’s dark pit room, located in a back corner of the main dining hall. Clouds of post oak incense have been rising from its five pits for fifty years, and the smoke envelops manager Joe Capello Sr. and his crew as they slice your order—a choice of brisket, ribs, sausage, nothing else—onto butcher paper. You pay at the blackened cash register (bread comes free, onions, pickles, and peppers for pocket change), then reemerge into the dining area, where staff at a central counter sell sides and liquid offerings: vessels of potato salad and beans; hunks of yellow cheese; an array of beers, Big Red, IBC Root Beer. You take your place at one of the pine booths or tables among the multitude of other devotees, a startlingly ecumenical mix of faces white, black, and brown. A handwritten notice proclaims the righteous requirements of the meat before you: “No forks—use your hands.”

Your first bite of a generous rib is a revelation. It is tender, salty, fall-off-the- bone succulent. The brisket, perfectly crispy yet moist, emanates an addictive woodsmoke flavor. And, oh, the homemade beef sausage! Epic. Coarse and juicy, it alone is worth the journey. As for sauce? You forgot about the sauce, but it’s in a glass bottle right in front of you. And when you get around to tasting it—a thin, orange-ish, deliciously mustardy concoction—the signs imploring you to “Please leave sauce bottles on tables” suddenly make sense. In fact, your yearnings now met, your hopes fulfilled—suddenly everything makes sense.

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