Here’s my no-fluff, no beating-around-the-bush, top Houston-area Black-owned BBQ spots. Because when BBQ is on your mind, you want to get straight to it. So, let’s go…

Ray’s BBQ Shack. Courtesy Rays.
Ray’s BBQ Shack. Courtesy Rays.

Ray’s Real Pit BBQ Shack

3929 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX 77021
(713) 748-4227

Some of y’all remember when Ray’s was located in that little one-quarter strip mall (i.e. room for a gas station/convenience store… and Ray’s), across the street from MacGregor Park, off OST. They outgrew that spot with the quickness, and moved down the street to way more space. But yo, they’re outgrowing that location too. And not only is the BBQ great, but their burger rivals the best in the city. And whatever you do, please, please don’t drink the kool-aid. That concoction is so good it’ll have you Jonesin’ for more.

Triple J’s Smokehouse. Courtesy Triple J’s Smokehouse.
Triple J’s Smokehouse. Courtesy Triple J’s Smokehouse.

Triple J’s Smokehouse

6715 Homestead Road, Houston, TX 77028
(713) 635-6381 for restaurant; (713) 635-6384 for catering

Hey, the “norfside” has got it goin’ on when it comes to BBQ. Triple J’s is living proof. When I taught at YES Prep North Forest, the students and teachers all told me I had to try Triple J’s. Let’s just say, I found out what all the fuss was about. Good Gawd-a-mighty!

Burns BBQ. Courtesy Burns.
Burns BBQ. Courtesy Burns.

Burns Original BBQ

8307 De Priest St., Houston, TX 77088
(281) 999-5559

What can I say about Burns BBQ that hasn’t already been said by er’body in H-Town, especially Mayor Sylvester Turner? Check this; I did my research and found that Turner mentioned Burns BBQ in 79.5% of all the speeches he ever made; mentioning the iconic spot almost as much as his beloved “Foe-Foe.”

Gatlin’s BBQ. Courtesy Gatlin’s.
Gatlin’s BBQ. Courtesy Gatlin’s.

Gatlin’s BBQ

3510 Ella Blvd., Building C, Suite A, Houston, TX 77018
(713) 869-4227

It’s been said that when Gatlin’s opened its doors in 2010, it wasn’t long before this once-hidden gem became a Bayou City staple. And when you taste their food, you’ll know they ain’t lyin’ when they say Gatlin’s is “where love is the secret ingredient.” And Gatlin’s is a secret no more, having garnered national acclaim even before being featured on that powerful Netflix series, “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.”

Sherice and Steve Garner, owners of SouthernQ BBQ and Catering. Courtesy SouthernQ.

SouthernQ BBQ and Catering

411 W Richey Road, Houston, TX 77090
16540 Kuykendahl Road, Houston, TX 77090
(281) 919-1238

I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the dynamic husband and wife team (Steve and Sherice Garner) that owns SouthernQ. And the only thing more amazing than their down-to-earth charm is their out-of-this-world food.


Houston Sauce Pit crew. Courtesy Houston Sauce Pit.
Houston Sauce Pit crew. Courtesy Houston Sauce Pit. Credit: Courtesy Houston Sauce Pit.

Houston Sauce Pit

Address: Food truck location changes daily. Often located at 4906 Almeda, Houston, TX 77004. Check @HoustonSaucePit Instagram page.
(832) 649-8286

If you tried the BBQ from this already iconic and legendary food truck without any prior knowledge of how they roll, you would have no way of knowing they are an all-vegan spot. And when I say their food is insanely good… Bruh!

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...