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The 10 Best Under-the-Radar Barbecue Joints in Collin County

Collin County is a hungry person’s paradise, with communities serving up a delicious array of options. These days, you’re just as likely to find outstanding Chinese and Korean food as you are local staples like Tex-Mex, steak and barbecue.
#shook | Photo by Brandon Hurd

Collin County is a hungry person’s paradise, with communities serving up a delicious array of options. These days, you’re just as likely to find outstanding Chinese and Korean food as you are local staples like Tex-Mex, steak and barbecue. But even as menus trend toward global fare, barbecue joints continue to operate at peak brisket.

DFW is fortunate to host meat-smoking institutions like Pecan Lodge, Lockhart and Cattleack. Each has been canonized as a must-visit destination for good reason. But throughout the metroplex you’ll find plenty more barbecue joints worthy of a stop. So here we’re skipping the obvious picks in favor of under-the-radar restaurants located in and around Collin County. The next time a perfectly-seasoned brisket is calling your name, these 10 spots are ready to answer.

Local Yocal Barbecue and Grill

McKinney’s fun-loving Local Yocal isn’t your typical barbecue spot. But inside this Americana-laced ode to all things Texas, big steaks, smoked meats and single-barrel whiskeys conspire to provide diners with a good time. Load up on brisket, sausages and ribs with cole slaw and potato salad for a hearty lunch. Or put all that between bread by ordering the Texan, a two-handed sandwich stacked with chopped brisket, jalapeño-cheddar sausage, slaw and barbecue sauce.

350 E. Louisiana St., McKinney |

Tender Smokehouse

With a successful Celina operation under its belt, Tender Smokehouse expanded to Frisco in May 2019. The casual, comfortable restaurant focuses on quality ingredients and nails the basics, like pulled pork and a brisket sandwich on Texas toast. If you’re extra hungry, add a Flintstones-size beef rib and a loaded baked potato to your plate.

 224 W. Pecan St., Celina | 4226 Preston Rd., Frisco |

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Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery

This Downtown Garland operation is a real one-two punch, providing delicious barbecue alongside house-brewed beers. The menu consists of all the usual meats—brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage—plus a few craveable sides, like the jalapeno creamed corn and the mac and cheese. (You can top that last one with brisket or pork, should you so desire.) And to wash it all down, you’ll find two dozen taps, from hoppy IPAs to tart sours and rich stouts.

509 W. State St., Garland |


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Bumbershoot’s bbq plate | Cori Baker

File Bumbershoot under “worth the drive.” Then when the craving hits, head for the cozy canopy of trees that signals your arrival. There the Bumbershoot team is smoking brisket, ham, sausage, St. Louis ribs and other things that pair nicely with baked beans and the rice wine-based cole slaw. Of course, it would be a shame to drive all that way and miss the Loaded Tots, which are everyone’s favorite potato pillows topped with cheddar cheese, chopped brisket, sour cream, barbecue sauce and spicy jalapeños.

425 US-377, Argyle |

Delta Blues Smokehouse

The Pappas Restaurants empire has been feeding us steaks and seafood for years. Now, they’ve added barbecue to the list with their newest opening, Delta Blues Smokehouse. The restaurant is serving a modern take on barbecue as well as southern dishes, including chicken fried steak and fried catfish. If you want to stick with slow-smoked meats, opt for the brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, sausage or turkey breast.

3916 Dallas Pkwy., Plano |

Good Union Urban BBQ

After a successful start in Richardson, Good Union expanded to Plano’s Granite Park earlier this year. Fortunately, their dedication to quality ingredients and craft beers came with them. The menu features smoked meats available by the half-pound. But if you want to mix things up, you can add that meat to a sandwich, taco or salad. And if you’re craving some barbecue for breakfast, Good Union opens early, which is your cue to swing by for tacos laced with burnt ends, pulled pork and sausage.

5880 State Hwy. 121, Ste. 103-1, Plano |

Wood and Time Smokehouse

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Brisket Frito Pie | Brandon Hurd

Any trip to Lake Lavon can be quickly improved with a stop at nearby Wood and Time, which operates out of a TX-78 Shell station. The small outfit serves Texas-style barbecue available by the pound, on a sandwich or as a combo plate, plus whole chickens and turkey legs. Pro tip: don’t miss the brisket-topped Frito pie.

400 TX-78, Lavon |

Winners BBQ

Any spot serving a menu with a “most valuable potato” section is worth a look. Once you’re inside Winner’s you’ll find a simple operation with fresh food and a friendly staff. Choose from brisket, sausage or the generous slab of ribs, and be sure to try the smoked chicken with its deliciously crispy skin. Obviously, you’ll require one of those potatoes, which come topped with your choice of meat and all the fixins.

3200 14th St., Plano |

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Big Ray’s BBQ

Ray Cotton has been smoking meat at his eponymous Allen restaurant since 2011, but his barbecue pedigree dates back more than three decades. The casual spot serves up the usual suspects like brisket, pulled pork and pork ribs, while a dozen sides keep your plate interesting. When you’re in the mood for something different, swing by on Fridays for the fried catfish special.

400 E. Main St., Allen |

Smoker’s Only

This Trenton food truck is only open on the weekends, so plan ahead, and then steer toward the slow-smoked Texas barbecue and fresh sides. The pulled pork, smoked chicken and ribs will treat you right, as will the tacos and homemade pies.

305 N. Pearl St., Trenton |