Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



Cooper's Barbecue in Llano is currently my favorite BBQ place. I've said before how great BBQ is a combination of great food and great atmosphere, and Coopers has both. The reasons that they don't get a 6-star rating are that they 1) suffer from consistency issues, and 2) it's very expensive. That being said, this place is awesome! They have the best smoked beans anywhere, and the beans are all-you-can-eat and are free! They also have the best apple cobbler I've found anywhere. On top of that, they have possibly the best smoke chicken, but about 1 in 3 times I go there they're out of it. The other great thing about the chicken is that it's the most affordable item that they have. A half chicken is only $5.00.

The brisket is generally very good, but this is an area where they have consistency issues. Some days it is perfect, some days it is dry, and some days it's almost mushy like pot roast. The smoked prime rib is excellent, but very expensive.

Normally, I say that great Texas BBQ is all about the meat, and that the best places don't need sauce at all. Sauce is often a way to lubricate bad dry meat. But Cooper's does their sauce differently, and I love it. It is a very thin sauce that is heavily vinegar based. I love the stuff!

One of the really unique things about Coopers is that when you get there you'll see an array of giant smokers outside. You walk up to the guy standing in front of the smoker and he'll open it up for you. You point to what you want, and he'll slap it onto a tray. Then you take the tray inside where they weight it and chop it up for you, and then wrap it in butcher paper. It's a fun experience, and it is easy to order more than you can actually eat.

This is a great place to eat on the way to or from Enchanted Rock.


Take 71 West to Llano. Then take 16 North into town. Go over the bridge and turn left on W. Young St. Go down about 1/2 mile or so and you'll see Cooper's on the left.



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