Barbecue is a religion in Texas and a staple on menus all over the Lone Star State.

‘Cue joints in Central Texas get most of the love from food critics and foodie magazines, but Texas Monthly recently published a list of what its barbecue editor has chosen as “The Top 25 Best New and Improved BBQ Joints in Texas,” and two spots in El Paso are on it.

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When you think of El Paso cuisine, Mexican food is most likely the first thing that comes to mind.

And rightly so. You don’t have to go far to find a Mexican restaurant around here. From “authentic Mexican food” to Tex-Mex and fine dining Mexican-fusion, El Paso has it all, and it’s done better than most anywhere else in this great state of ours.

Barbecue, however, is a relatively new star of the 915-food scene.

For the longest time if you wanted brisket and ribs around here your choices were limited to the Stateline, Smokey’s Pit Stop, and Rib Hut. But that was then and this is now, and El Pasoans have many more tasty smoked-meat options now.

So, which two new places in El Paso does Texas Monthly say “embody [our] city’s growing barbecue culture”?

‘New’ being those that opened since our 2021 report and ‘improved’ including those that made significant changes to their menu or settled down in one spot long enough for me to catch up to them -- Texas Monthly

El Paso's 'Best New and Improved' 'Cue Joints

Hallelujah BBQ Texas Facebook
Hallelujah BBQ Texas Facebook

The destination-worthy barbecue joints the publication is singing the praises of is Hallelujah BBQ, a "vocational training ministry" run by The Rescue Mission of El Paso, and Smokin’ Joe’s Pit BBQ, a food truck that sets up in the Buddy's Beer Barn parking lot.

These are the glowing reviews the authority on all things Texas gave each one.

Hallelujah BBQ
130A N. Cotton

Hallelujah BBQ Texas Facebook
Hallelujah BBQ Texas Facebook

The barbecue options include tender brisket, peppery baby back ribs, and a sausage called 13 Habaneros, which is reminiscent of a spicy Italian link with plenty of caraway seed. As for sides, you’re in luck if you’re a fan of carbs, because you have your choice of tater tot casserole, au gratin potatoes, and mac and cheese. The green beans are cooked down with barbecue spices, green apple, and mushrooms—an unexpected combination that works.

Smokin’ Joe’s Pit BBQ
10150 Montana Ave

Smokin' Joe's Pit BBQ Facebook
Smokin' Joe's Pit BBQ Facebook

[Joe Martinez] and his brother Martin smoke a black-barked brisket that could hold its own anywhere. Peppery spareribs get a brush of sweet barbecue sauce, and the meat comes off the bone with just a tug. Joe uses his sausage to bring some El Paso flavor, adding Hatch chiles and Muenster cheese.

Top 25 Delicious Foods & Drinks That Define The Great State of Texas!

There's more to Texas than just Dallas Cowboys and oil in fact, Texas has helped shape the taste of America. From BBQ, to Tex Mex to Ice Cream and beyond, Texas has introduced the rest of the U.S. to the Texas way of life through food. So what foods and drink make Texas so special? Let's take a look.

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