You’ve heard the Franklin hype. It’s been lauded by the New York Times, NPR, the New York Times again and countless tourists claiming it’s the best barbecue they’ve ever had. The owner, Aaron Franklin, is even launching his own festival this year. People have gotten married in the famous long line. Bill Murray stopped by, and former President Barack Obama and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay even got to skip the line (sorry, Kanye). But as internet commenters will be quick to tell you, it’s widely disputed as the best barbecue in Austin.
Southern Living’s “South’s best” rankings were released last week, and the famed Austin barbecue landed the No. 8 spot on the magazine’s list of the best barbecue joints in the South—two spots below Salt Lick BBQ. The barbecue joint in Driftwood isn’t without its famous friends, either—Neil Patrick Harris is fond of the restaurant.
But there’s no need to argue about which is the best in Austin, or even Texas: The real question here is why barbecue joints from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee were ranked higher on the list than Texas—those are fighting words.