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Searching For Authentic Texas Barbecue In Mexico City


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Elyn Leeper



When it comes to mouthwatering, smokey flavors and tender, juicy cuts of meat, few cuisines can compare to the legendary art of Texas barbecue. Traditionally slow-cooked over mesquite or oak wood, this culinary tradition has gained popularity not just in the Lone Star State, but around the world.


But what about in Mexico City? With its vibrant food scene and diverse culinary offerings, does the capital of Mexico have what it takes to satisfy the cravings of barbecue aficionados looking for an authentic taste of Texas?


In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating history behind Texas barbecue, its rise in popularity in Mexico City, and where to find the best spots in town that stay true to the traditional methods. Whether you’re a Texan missing your hometown flavors or a local Mexican curious about this unique cuisine, join us on this flavorful journey as we search for authentic Texas barbecue right here in Mexico City.


The History of Texas Barbecue

To truly appreciate the essence of Texas barbecue, we must delve into its rich history. Barbecue has deep roots in Texas, with influences from various cultures and traditions.


The origins of Texas barbecue can be traced back to the early days of European settlement. Spanish colonists brought the concept of smoking meat, while African slaves introduced techniques such as slow cooking and the use of spices. These culinary influences were blended with the Native American cooking methods, resulting in a unique style of barbecue that we know today.


As Texas evolved, so did its barbecue. In the 19th century, cattle drives and cowboy culture played a significant role in shaping the barbecue tradition. Ranchers needed to find a way to preserve and cook large quantities of meat during these long journeys. This led to the development of the “cowboy-style” barbecue, where tough cuts of meat were slow-cooked over an open flame to tender perfection.


The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of barbecue pits and the establishment of barbecue joints in Texas. These establishments quickly became gathering places for communities, where locals would congregate to enjoy delicious smoked meats and engage in lively conversation.


Today, Texas is renowned for its distinct barbecue styles, with different regions offering their own take on this beloved cuisine. The Central Texas style, often referred to as “meat market style,” emphasizes simple seasoning and slow smoking over indirect heat. The East Texas style, on the other hand, focuses on adding a tangy tomato-based sauce and smoking the meat over hickory. Meanwhile, the South Texas style incorporates Mexican influences, with flavors of cumin, chili powder, and citrus.


Regardless of the regional variation, one thing that remains consistent in Texas barbecue is the commitment to long, slow cooking processes and using quality ingredients. This attention to detail and the passion for preserving traditions is what sets Texas barbecue apart from other styles around the world.


The Rise of Barbecue in Mexico City

As Mexican food enthusiasts know, Mexico City is a haven for culinary exploration. With its array of street food, gourmet restaurants, and fusion cuisine, the city is always at the forefront of gastronomic trends. In recent years, the tantalizing world of Texas barbecue has found its way to the capital, captivating the taste buds of locals and expats alike.


The growing popularity of barbecue in Mexico City can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the city’s residents have a deep appreciation for diverse flavors and culinary experiences. This willingness to embrace different cuisines and explore new tastes has paved the way for barbecue joints to flourish.


Additionally, the influence of American culture and the increasing number of Texan expatriates in Mexico City have played a significant role in the rise of barbecue. These individuals bring their love for traditional Texas-style barbecue with them, creating a demand for authentic flavors in their new home.


Another contributing factor is the accessibility of ingredients and equipment needed to smoke meat. With advancements in importation and local production, it is now easier than ever to find high-quality cuts of meat and the necessary tools to recreate the Texas barbecue experience in Mexico City.


Barbecue entrepreneurs in Mexico City have seized the opportunity to satisfy the cravings of locals and visitors alike. From food trucks to dedicated barbecue restaurants, the city’s culinary landscape is now dotted with establishments offering succulent ribs, flavorful brisket, and other barbecue favorites.


These culinary entrepreneurs understand the importance of staying true to the traditional methods of Texas barbecue. Many have undergone training in the art of smoking meat, while others have even traveled to Texas to learn from renowned pitmasters. Their dedication to authenticity is evident in the flavors and textures of the barbecue they serve.


As a result, the popularity of barbecue in Mexico City continues to grow. It is not uncommon to see long lines of eager customers waiting patiently for their turn to indulge in the smoky goodness of a perfectly cooked slab of ribs or a juicy pulled pork sandwich.


With the rise of barbecue in Mexico City, locals and visitors alike can now savor the rich, bold flavors that Texas barbecue is known for, all without leaving the city limits. Whether you’re a barbecue aficionado looking to satisfy your cravings or a curious food lover eager to try something new, Mexico City’s barbecue scene is sure to leave you impressed and coming back for seconds.


Authentic Texas Barbecue: What Sets It Apart

Authentic Texas barbecue is more than just a meal – it’s a culinary experience that combines the techniques, flavors, and traditions that have been passed down for generations. What sets it apart from other styles of barbecue is the attention to detail, the emphasis on quality ingredients, and the time-honored cooking methods.


One of the defining features of Texas barbecue is the use of wood smoke for flavoring and cooking. Traditional Texas pitmasters rely on regional hardwoods like mesquite, oak, and hickory to infuse a distinct smokiness into the meat. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb the rich flavors and become incredibly tender.


Another hallmark of authentic Texas barbecue is the focus on high-quality cuts of meat. From tender brisket to juicy ribs and succulent sausage, the quality and selection of meat are of utmost importance. Pitmasters take pride in sourcing the best cuts, often spending hours meticulously trimming and preparing the meat before it even hits the smoker.


When it comes to seasoning, simplicity is key in Texas barbecue. A combination of salt and black pepper, known as the “Texas Crutch,” is the classic rub used to enhance the natural flavors of the meat. This minimalist approach allows the meat itself to be the star of the show, without overpowering it with heavy sauces or excessive spices.


Furthermore, Texas barbecue is all about the low and slow cooking technique. The meat is smoked at a low temperature for an extended period, sometimes lasting over 12 hours. This slow cooking process allows the collagen in the meat to break down, resulting in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.


Lastly, the focus on community and gathering is inherent in Texas barbecue culture. Barbecue joints are often vibrant social hubs, where friends and families come together to enjoy a hearty meal and engage in lively conversation. The communal aspect of Texas barbecue adds to its appeal, creating a sense of camaraderie and shared experience.


It’s the combination of these factors – the wood smoke, the quality of meat, the simplicity of seasoning, the slow cooking process, and the sense of community – that sets authentic Texas barbecue apart from other styles. The dedication to preserving these traditions and the commitment to excellence is what makes Texas barbecue a beloved and respected cuisine worldwide.


The Search Begins: Exploring Barbecue Joints in Mexico City

With the knowledge of what makes Texas barbecue truly authentic, it’s time to embark on a journey through Mexico City to discover barbecue joints that stay true to the traditional flavors and techniques. From food trucks to cozy restaurants, the city offers a wide range of options to satisfy any barbecue craving.


One popular spot that enthusiasts often recommend is “El Asador de México,” located in the heart of Mexico City. This barbecue joint takes pride in their commitment to using mesquite wood for smoking, creating that authentic Texas flavor. Their menu features mouthwatering brisket, ribs, and sausages, alongside classic sides like coleslaw and cornbread.


For a unique twist on Texas barbecue, head to “La Xarcutería,” a barbecue joint that infuses Mexican flavors into their dishes. Here, you’ll find Texas-style meat cuts, but with a Mexican twist. Think brisket tacos with salsa verde or barbacoa-style smoked beef, all prepared with the love and attention to detail that defines authentic Texas barbecue.


If you’re looking for a true Texas barbecue experience in a more casual setting, consider visiting “The Smokery.” This food truck has gained a loyal following for its delicious smoked meats, including tender pulled pork sandwiches and juicy smoked chicken. Their friendly atmosphere and commitment to quality have made them a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts.


No search for authentic barbecue in Mexico City would be complete without a visit to “Pork Belly BBQ.” This cozy restaurant specializes in slow-cooked pork belly, which is succulent and bursting with flavor. Patrons rave about their tender meats, authentic sides, and the warm and welcoming environment that captures the essence of Texas barbecue culture.


As you explore the barbecue joints in Mexico City, keep in mind that authenticity can be subjective. Each restaurant has its own spin on Texas barbecue, adding unique touches and flavors. It’s all part of the experience, allowing you to taste the creativity and culinary fusion that the city has to offer.


Remember, the search for authentic Texas barbecue is not just about finding the perfect brisket or the smokiest ribs. It’s about discovering the passion and dedication behind each establishment, the stories of the pitmasters, and the joy that comes from bringing people together through the love of food.


So, grab your appetite and embark on a journey through Mexico City’s barbecue scene. Whether you’re a Texan longing for a taste of home or a food lover eager to explore new flavors, you’re sure to find a barbecue joint that will transport you to the heart of Texas, right here in Mexico City.


Reviewing Restaurant A: Does It Live Up to the Texas Barbecue Standard?

As part of our quest for authentic Texas barbecue in Mexico City, we had the opportunity to visit Restaurant A, a highly acclaimed establishment known for its commitment to preserving the flavors and techniques of Texas barbecue. With high expectations in mind, we eagerly dove into our dining experience to see if it truly lived up to the Texas barbecue standard.


Upon entering the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by the intoxicating aroma of smoky goodness. The rustic decor and inviting atmosphere set the stage for what awaited us – a true Texas barbecue feast.


Our first taste came in the form of their brisket, a quintessential dish in Texas barbecue. The meat was impeccably cooked, boasting a beautifully rendered fat cap and a deep, smoky flavor. Each bite offered a tender, melt-in-your-mouth experience that left us wanting more. The simplicity of the salt and pepper rub allowed the natural flavors of the meat to shine through, a testament to their dedication to authenticity.


Next on our tasting journey were the ribs. As we sank our teeth into the tender meat, we were delighted by the perfect balance between smokiness and seasoning. The meat fell effortlessly off the bone, an indication of the long, slow cooking process that is the hallmark of true Texas barbecue.


Accompanying our main dishes were classic sides that complemented the barbecue perfectly. The coleslaw had a delightful crunch and a tangy dressing that provided a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the meat. The cornbread was moist and slightly sweet, a comforting addition to the plate.


Though the meal at Restaurant A was undeniably delicious, we did notice a few minor areas for improvement. The portion sizes, while generous, could have been slightly more substantial given the hearty nature of Texas barbecue. Additionally, we would have appreciated a wider selection of sauces to accompany the meats, as they add an extra layer of flavor and personalization to the experience.


Nevertheless, Restaurant A impressively captured the spirit of Texas barbecue and delivered a memorable dining experience. From the impeccable cooking techniques to the authentic flavors, it is evident that the pitmasters behind the scenes are passionate about their craft and committed to upholding the Texas barbecue standard.


Overall, Restaurant A successfully lived up to the expectations of true Texas barbecue. Its dedication to quality ingredients, meticulous cooking methods, and respect for the traditional flavors of Texas created a dining experience that left us feeling satisfied and craving for more. If you’re searching for an authentic taste of Texas barbecue in Mexico City, Restaurant A certainly delivers.


Trying Out Restaurant B: How Does It Compare to the Real Deal?

Continuing our exploration of authentic Texas barbecue in Mexico City, we set out to visit Restaurant B, a renowned establishment known for its unique approach to the traditional flavors of Texas. With excitement and curiosity, we entered the restaurant, eager to see how it compared to the real deal.


As we were seated and perused the menu, it became apparent that Restaurant B offered a creative twist on Texas barbecue. The dishes showcased innovative flavor combinations and non-traditional cuts of meat, adding an element of surprise to our dining experience.


First up on our tasting adventure was the “Barbecue Tacos,” a dish that highlighted the fusion of Mexican and Texas flavors. The tortillas were filled with succulent pulled pork, topped with pickled onions and a zesty salsa verde. The combination was bold and delicious, showcasing the marriage of two culinary traditions. While it deviated from the traditional Texas barbecue in terms of flavor profiles, it was an exciting and delightful departure from the expected.


Next, we sampled the “Smoked Chicken Thighs with Chipotle Glaze.” The tender chicken was perfectly seasoned and had a hint of smokiness that added depth to the dish. The chipotle glaze provided a subtle heat and sweetness, offering a unique twist to the traditional barbecue chicken we were accustomed to. Although it deviated from the classic Texas barbecue flavor profile, it was a welcome variation that showcased the culinary creativity of Restaurant B.


As we explored the menu further, we discovered other innovative dishes such as “Brisket Tamales” and “Pork Belly Burnt Ends with Mango Habanero Sauce.” These dishes showcased the fusion of Texas barbecue with Mexican ingredients and techniques, resulting in a delicious and exciting culinary experience.


While Restaurant B may not adhere strictly to the traditional flavors of Texas barbecue, it offers a unique and creative interpretation that pushes the boundaries of the cuisine. It caters to those who are open to trying new flavors and appreciate the fusion of culinary traditions.


It is important to note that those seeking a strictly authentic Texas barbecue experience may find the deviations from tradition at Restaurant B to be a departure from their expectations. However, for those who enjoy innovative flavors and appreciate the blending of culinary influences, Restaurant B offers a refreshing and delightful take on Texas barbecue.


Ultimately, Restaurant B may not compare directly to the real deal in terms of traditional flavors, but it excels in creating a unique dining experience that merges the essence of Texas barbecue with inventive twists. If you’re looking to embark on a culinary adventure that is both familiar and unexpected, Restaurant B is worth a visit.


Hidden Gems: Uncovering Local Favorites for Authentic Texas Barbecue

While Restaurant A and Restaurant B are well-known establishments in Mexico City for their approach to Texas barbecue, there are also hidden gems that offer a truly authentic experience. These local favorites may not have the same level of recognition, but their commitment to traditional flavors and techniques make them gems worth uncovering.


One such hidden gem is “Smoky’s BBQ Shack,” a small hole-in-the-wall joint tucked away in a quiet neighborhood. Despite its unassuming appearance, the barbecue here is outstanding. The pitmaster, a true aficionado of Texas barbecue, carefully selects the finest cuts of meat and slow-smokes them to perfection. From the beautifully charred brisket to the fall-off-the-bone ribs, every bite is a testament to the dedication and passion that goes into the craft of authentic Texas barbecue.


For those who prefer a vibrant market atmosphere, “Barbacoa Bazaar” is a must-visit. This bustling market stall specializes in the art of barbacoa, a style of Mexican barbecue that showcases slow-cooked meat in an underground pit. The pitmaster’s expertise and attention to detail result in tender, flavorful cuts of beef, lamb, and pork. The smoky aroma that fills the air and the lively energy of the market create a unique and memorable dining experience.


If you’re seeking a slightly more upscale setting without compromising on authenticity, “El Ranchero” fits the bill. This family-owned restaurant takes pride in their homestyle Texas barbecue, showcasing the flavors and traditions passed down through generations. From the juicy pulled pork to the perfectly seasoned ribs, each dish at El Ranchero is carefully prepared and packed with flavor. The warm and welcoming atmosphere adds to the overall charm of this hidden gem.


While these hidden gems may not have the same level of recognition as larger establishments, they provide an opportunity to connect with the local community and experience the passion and authenticity of Texas barbecue in a more intimate setting. The pitmasters and owners of these hidden gems have dedicated themselves to preserving the art of Texas barbecue, ensuring that every bite takes you on a culinary journey to the heart of Texas.


Uncovering these local favorites requires a sense of adventure and a desire to explore beyond the well-known establishments. By venturing off the beaten path, you’ll discover the true gems of Mexico City’s barbecue scene, where authenticity reigns and the flavors of Texas come alive.


So, venture out and let your taste buds guide you to these hidden gems. Whether you stumble upon a hole-in-the-wall joint, a bustling market stall, or a cozy family-owned restaurant, you’re sure to discover authentic Texas barbecue that will leave you with memories and flavors to savor for years to come.


The Recipe for Success: Tips for Recreating Texas Barbecue at Home

If you’re a barbecue enthusiast who wants to recreate the authentic flavors of Texas barbecue in the comfort of your own home, we’ve got you covered. Here are some key tips to help you achieve barbecue excellence:

  • Start with quality ingredients: To achieve the best results, choose high-quality cuts of meat. Look for well-marbled brisket, pork ribs, or beef ribs. The quality of the meat will make a noticeable difference in the end result.
  • Master the art of seasoning: Texas barbecue is known for its simplicity in seasoning. Use a basic rub of salt and black pepper, known as the “Texas Crutch,” to enhance the natural flavors of the meat without overpowering it. Apply the rub generously and let it sit on the meat for at least an hour before cooking.
  • Invest in a good smoker: While it’s possible to achieve good results with different types of grills, having a dedicated smoker can take your barbecue to the next level. Look for a smoker that allows for precise temperature control and has good airflow for consistent smoke distribution.
  • Choose the right wood: Texas barbecue tradition relies on the unique flavors of specific hardwoods. Mesquite, oak, and hickory are popular choices. Experiment with different woods to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • Embrace the slow and low method: Patience is key when it comes to Texas barbecue. Cook the meat at a low temperature, typically between 225-250°F (107-121°C), to allow it to slowly smoke and develop the desired tenderness. This slow cooking process may take several hours or even overnight.
  • Keep a watchful eye: It’s essential to monitor the temperature and smoke levels throughout the cooking process. Use a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the meat reaches the desired level. Avoid opening the smoker too frequently, as this can cause temperature fluctuations and extend the cooking time.
  • Rest and slice properly: After removing the meat from the smoker, let it rest for a minimum of 15-30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. When it’s time to slice, do so against the grain for maximum tenderness.
  • Don’t skimp on the sides: Authentic Texas barbecue is often accompanied by classic sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, and pickles. These sides provide a refreshing contrast to the smoky, rich flavors of the meat.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts fall short of your expectations. Barbecue is an art that requires time and dedication to master. Embrace the learning process, adjust and experiment with techniques and flavors, and most importantly, enjoy the journey.


With these tips in mind, you can recreate the delicious flavors of Texas barbecue right in your own backyard. So fire up the smoker, gather your friends and family, and get ready to indulge in the mouthwatering delights that Texas barbecue has to offer.



Our journey through the world of authentic Texas barbecue in Mexico City has been a delightful exploration of flavors, traditions, and hidden gems. From the rich history of Texas barbecue to the rise of this beloved cuisine in the heart of Mexico City, we’ve witnessed the passion and dedication of pitmasters and restaurants committed to preserving the essence of Texas barbecue.


We discovered that while there are establishments like Restaurant A and Restaurant B that offer their unique interpretations of Texas barbecue, there are also hidden gems like Smoky’s BBQ Shack, Barbacoa Bazaar, and El Ranchero that provide a truly authentic experience. These local favorites capture the spirit of Texas barbecue, delivering mouthwatering meats and unforgettable flavors that transport us thousands of miles away.


Recreating the flavors of Texas barbecue at home is also an exciting endeavor. By starting with quality ingredients, mastering the art of seasoning, and taking the time to slow-cook the meat, you can achieve a taste reminiscent of the best barbecue joints in Texas. And let’s not forget the importance of the classic sides that complement the smoky meats and complete the barbecue experience.


Whether you’re a Texan missing the comforts of home or a Mexican seeking a taste of another culinary tradition, the barbecue scene in Mexico City has something for everyone. From traditional flavors that stay true to the Texas barbecue standard to innovative fusions that push the boundaries, there is an abundance of options to satisfy all palates and preferences.


So, embrace the journey, follow your nose, and indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Texas barbecue in Mexico City. Whether you find yourself in a bustling restaurant, a hidden gem, or the backyard oasis of your own home, the rich and smoky taste of authentic Texas barbecue will always transport you to a place where food, friends, and culinary traditions converge.