There's a lot of great options for barbecue in East Texas. Personally, its all good to me. Each destination has it's own flavor, it's own process, it's own unique touch that make that location a favorite for someone. One such place that is a favorite for thousands of East Texans is Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler, Texas. This barbecue stop has been featured in Texas Monthly's 50 Best BBQ Joints in Texas list and has now been named the number one barbecue restaurant in Tyler by Tripadvisor. That number one ranking doesn't come with all glowing reviews, however. Let's see both the good and bad from those who have visited according to Tripadvisor.

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I. Love. East Texas. Barbecue.

I am no barbecue expert. I can only tell you what my taste buds have told me. My own taste buds say that Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q is fan-freaking-tastic barbecue. All of it. The Motherclucker and Bro-In-Law are my go to for lunch while a plate of brisket or ribs is my go to for dinner. I can sing the praises of the many other barbecue joints in East Texas, too. Bodacious BBQ in Longview is great, Country Tavern in Kilgore is awesome, Brisket Love in Lindale is fabulous, Sunbird Barbecue in Longview is delicious. Barbecue in East Texas is all great.

Having said that, not everyone has the same opinion. Someone's taste buds are not going to get the same reaction as mine or yours so that person will have a different opinion. That opinion doesn't mean their barbecue is bad, its just not for them and that's okay.


Tripadvisor recently named Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q as the number one barbecue restaurant in Tyler. They got this ranking based on a four and half out of five stars rating from 1,220 reviews. As a matter of fact, every category Stanley's was rated in was four and half out of five stars (food, service, value, atmosphere). Let's see those reviews, both good and bad, that got Stanley's to this ranking:

The Good:

Thaddeus T - Best Barbecue Around

Best barbecue in East Texas, one of the best in the state. Just check out any review of top barbecue places in Texas and you will see.

kimgR5965IL - Amazing BBQ!

My husband and I had lunch here the other day! I had chopped brisket tacos and he had a mushroom, Swiss & brisket burger. Our meals were both fantastic and we’ve decided it was some of the best BBQ we’ve ever had!

546MP - Top bbq

It's been quite a few years since I've visited, COVID kept me grounded for work and was finally able to get a trip to Tyler. This has been a stop for me since 2015 when in town. It didn't disappoint. Brother-in-law was my choice this time. Of course got a few sides. Happy hour beer as well. Still good smokey flavor and good service.

Sirvivor808 - Excellent BBQ

Went on a Two week Texas BBQ bender and Stanley’s was the best we found in east Texas. A little pricey, but worth it. Would definitely go back and recommend.

Cajuncass - 3 Generation Visit

We live in South Louisiana and were visiting with family, including 3 generations. We enjoyed the outdoor seating on a beautiful Sat. afternoon. The ordering staff were wonderful. The young lady made sure to ask questions so that our orders were correct. I had to make several trips to place orders since our groups members arrived at different times, plus the grandchildren wanted extra items, such as cookies & ice cream. The servers were polite and brought us the extra items we needed. Thank you.

The Bad:

A5998CIchristinaa - Terrible and unsanitary

Food just sucked. Everything sweet and or dry. Meat over cooked and full of artificial smoke. Small parking lot. 1 bar tender for the ENTIRE restaurant. Unsanitary as the men have long beards and they flow free without a net (free pubic floss for after your meal). The ambiance isn't even great. The cost was decent, the food sucked. Heather at the bar did her best to serve the hundreds of patrons as she was the only bar tender. 3 Meat sampler was a total of 1 lb of meat, the brisket burnt and fatty, ribs dry and sweet, chicken moist but tasteless, bread was cheap store bread, mac n cheese was watery, slaw was nothing but cabbage and sweet pickle juice. Their sauce was sweet, no spice. My experience overall was not worth it. I'll go to Rudy's next time I'm in Tyler.

willypete60 - cool atmosphere, sketchy food

My wife and I at there after hearing this was the best BBQ in Texas, and we had high hopes upon arrival. Lots of folks there, and an old fashioned laid back store awaited us-looks like it has been added on for years. Staff was friendly and place was clean. I ordered brisket, bean, and potato salad and my wife had a pulled pork sandwich.
Hers was good. I had two slices of brisket, and one of them was the from the butt and was inedible. I left the beans and potato salad-not nearly as good as something from a supermarket deli, and I paid 2.75 for each of the add ons, and 7.50 for the two slices of brisket, one being the burnt one.
Judge for yourself. If you want a pulled pork sandwich, go ahead. If you want a regular bbq plate that you won't want to eat and which you will pay 13.00 for, you have been warned...........
It would be a great place to eat if you brought your own fool.

Mark and Cindy C - popular restaurant, just ok food

The wait in line was not long and the food was brought to our table, but the onions we asked for were not brought. The turkey sandwich was very tasty. The chicken taco was tasty. The vegetarian taco was returned for refund due to really bad lettuce. We had to fight off the flies while we ate.

r w - $$

Good, but not great BBQ. Portions are VERY SMALL for the price. Brisket sandwich ($11.49) was tender and juicy, but lacking in any real smoke flavor. Frito Pie is only about 1 cup in size (mostly Fritos) and is $9.99----pretty expensive for a dish that will leave you hungry. Overall this place is better than most, but was a disappointment on our visit.

Dug6970 - Stanleys BBQ Tyler Texas, March 31, 2022

Our favorite BBQ joint has gone to the dogs. Their world famous sweet hot pickles are still sweet but no heat. Brisket sandwich was bland as were the beans. Potato salad was OK. Something drastic has changed: New cook, new recipe, new owner. --- Don't know didn't ask. Unless they turn this around, we won't be going back. Instead we'll head over to Rudy's Country Store and BBQ.

All Opinions are Different

Just like these fine folks, your opinion will be a lot different, too. One thing is for certain, there is no perfect restaurant anywhere in East Texas, anywhere in Texas, anywhere in the country. Perfect, when it comes to food service, is more relative than an actuality.

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