Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

401 W. 2nd
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-494-1500
Hours: Lunch Mon-€“Fri 11-€“2:30; dinner Sun-€“Wed 5:30-€“10, Thur-€“Sat 5:30-€“10:30; brunch Sat & Sun 11-€“2
Twitter: @lambertsbbq

Opened 2006
Pitmaster Reid Guess
Method Oak; gas-fired smoker
Pro Tip Malbec pairs well with brisket.

TMBBQ Rating: 4.25

Texas Monthly BBQ Top 50

More Reviews

May 14, 2013

Some people may be turned off by the description at the bottom of the Lamberts menu: “Fancy Barbecue?” But there are so many outstanding dishes at this establishment, we urge you to put preconceived notions out of your mind. Plus, the restaurant (we can’t bring ourselves to call it a joint) is housed in a historic, brick-walled general store built in 1873, so at least it has an old-fashioned feel. The brisket, rubbed with brown…

May 21, 2008

Can a place that cooks its meat in a gas-burning rotisserie make really great ’cue? Well, the brown-sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket was delicious, the maple-and-coriander-encrusted pork ribs were tender, the pulled pork was perfect, and the chorizo-ish jalapeño hot links were unforgettable. Sides and desserts were extraordinary. A jícama-and-carrot slaw, in particular, had plenty of cilantro and lime to cleanse the palate, and the hot blackberry fried pie prompted an “oh, my God.”


Comments from our joint finder app.
This place was way too fancy to be considered a BBQ joint. I would call it FeauxBQ... Not impressed
Woodwill Smokers @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2016-08-22 01:49:14
Ran in for a quick bite. This place is upscale and expensive. I just wanted to try meat and got the Brisket, sausage and a rib. Brisket was delivered in thick chunks. Too salty for me. Kind of a weird taste and I could tell that the brisket had been sitting out for a while. The ribs were not that meaty with most of the meat being at the end where most bbq folks cut off. It was a bit tough to chew. The flavor was sweet but not too much so. The sausage was more like chorizo than a real bbq sausage. Plenty of chunks of fat that hadn't rendered out yet. Price for all this? $33
pacumeni @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2016-07-16 15:17:44
We've hesitated for a long time going to a "highfalutin'" barbecue restaurant, but the quality of the food made the stop worthwhile! The brisket was tender with a unique (and very tasty) brown sugar and coffee rub. The maple ribs were perhaps the best ribs I've ever tasted. The jalapeño sausages had an appealing snap. My daughter also thoroughly enjoyed the juicy chicken. The sides were okay but not great. Cardiac alert: the macaroni and cheese was too rich, probably using 50% butterfat cream. ;) The old building was beautifully renovated and preserved. We recommend that you go up market for this place and give it a try!
bbqmeatlover @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2016-05-17 21:48:43
Came at 3pm; limited food menu from 230-530 so take note for future. Got the one meat plate twice (lol) and got brisket and hot link. Brisket was solid; lacked smokiness and bark of traditional wood fired cooked brisket. Hot link was solid also; wasn't hot for me. Collard greens with bacon was best ever for me; potato salad and Jicama slaw were good also. Atmosphere is super cool; it's definitely fancy BBQ but worth checking out.
Rahul Yaratha @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2016-05-06 21:03:58
Very good Brisket. I was worried sick they do not smoke their BBQ but was pleasantly surprised.
texrgc @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2015-12-30 16:48:41
I have to say: 1) the oak smoked ribeye is the bomb 2) the briskey is quite good 3) the jalapeno links are food and spicy 4) devile eggs are delicious and the tap beers are awesome. I'm a fan!
Jeff Overton @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2015-08-14 02:44:51
Great brisket sandwich! Love the spot devil egg appetizer
Christiane Wartell @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2015-06-30 17:29:10
Those sides tho.
John Matteo @ Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, 2014-10-12 17:50:19
More Buzz →


January 1, 2009

Downtown Austin is home to many new structures, many of them modern. In the midst of the building boom sits Lamberts, which is located in a historic two-story brick building with lofty ceilings and an open kitchen. On a Wednesday afternoon, there were no open tables during lunchtime, so we made our way to the concrete bar.

Detractors generally chalk up Lamberts as “fancy barbecue” and insist that it does not belong in the discussion of great Texas ‘cue. The descriptions on their menu do little to dissuade the first-time visitor. Rather than brisket, ribs, and sausage, you can instead choose from “Brown Sugar & Coffee Rubbed Natural Brisket,” “Maple & Coriander Crusted Natural Pork Ribs,” and “Homemade Jalapeno Hot Link.” Fortunately the bartender understood when I simply asked for brisket, pork ribs (they do offer beef ribs), and sausage.

A thin line of fat hugged the bottom of each beautiful thick slice of brisket. The black crust held a deep smokiness that permeated the meat and the fat. I initially peeled some fat off before my first bite, which I rescued later after realizing just how good each previous bite was. The only negative I could find was a slight toughness to the meat which could just be chalked up to a consequence of the thick slices. The sweet rub on the ribs was incredible. It wasn’t cloying, but it married well with the smoke flavor. Each rib had a deep red color with well-rendered fat and excellent flavor throughout. The rib meat was also less than velvety in texture, but not uncomfortably tough. The jalapeno sausage is house made and features a bold pepper flavor, a fine grind, and great snap. Each bite of link also had a great smoke flavor. Three sauces are offered in mild, hot, and mustard, but save it for your bread . . . this meat needs no adornment.

The owner has a sense of humor as evidenced by the menu, which pokes fun at this joint’s supposed reputation by adding the question “Fancy Barbecue?” at the bottom of each page. As far as this BBQ Snob is concerned, if it’s good tender meat that is caringly smoked over oak wood, then superfluous descriptions and cloth napkins are no reason to keep you from enjoying some paticularly scrumptious ‘cue.

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



    Anonymous says:

    I discovered your blog on CNN serendipitously on the eve of a trip to Austin. I moved to Chicago last year from Dallas, and frankly it had been a long time since I’d had good ‘cue, in Texas, much less out of it. I was tired of the haphazard crap-shoot just dropping into places (I’d been on a run of sore disappointments)- I wanted a sure thing.
    So almost straight from the airport I headed to Lambert’s for lunch, based on your rating. man was I glad I did.
    I would say overall the best bbq experience ever had, at a restaurant that is. I especially appreciated having collards that still had some texture, and that weren’t drowning in fat. The “ranch style baked beans” were excellent, if the portion a bit small. As the name implies they should be, they were a bit sweet and a bit spicy.
    I tried the brisket and the pork ribs, and a bite of friend’s pulled pork. I didn’t care for the sauce on her pork, but my dishes were superb. The coriander in the rib rub was a revelation.
    Brisket was firm in places, but not tough, and certain bites with extra crust were as good as it gets.
    Portions were perfect – you won’t feel ready to explode, but then again, you shouldn’t want to. You can savor the bites, instead of plowing through a monster plate enough to feed three.
    Key lime pie for dessert came with a side of coconut ice cream, all home made and incredible. The crust on the pie was a bit thick and tough to fork cut at times, but the flavor was just about perfect -maybe a touch too sweet.
    The atmosphere was pitch perfect – really well-designed, mod meets old Texas. NO CHEESE, no cut corners. Good service.
    A new favorite; I’d also give it 5 of 6 stars.

    Anonymous says:

    I had a meeting in Round Rock, so I drove the extra 15 miles to try this place for lunch. In short, not impressed.

    While the brisket was flavorful, it was not tender. Ribs were tough and too salty. Sausage was okay, but nothing to write home about.

    Two tiny cornbread muffins accompanied the meal. Where are the slices of white bread? Beans tasted like they came from a can with chunks of brisket added. Just okay.

    Not really my idea of good Texas barbecue. While I’m not a expert, I am a barbecue fan. I’d give this place 3 stars.

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