Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue

Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue
John & Lela Davis opened the iconic Shepherd Drive Bar-B-Q stand in 1934 and cooked on classic offset brick pits that the current incarnation - Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue - still uses today.

Those brick pits are a beast to work on, and Pizzitola’s has seen a few pitmasters over the years, though the current incarnation is putting out some of the best barbecue in a while. The brisket and pork ribs have gotten a bigger, meatier upgrade and the original dining room built in the 1960s still offers a window into the joint’s past with walls covered in old Davis family photos.

Local entrepreneur Jerry Pizzitola bought the joint from the Davis family in the 1980s and although he is now retired and has since sold the restaurant, you’ll occasionally see him visiting with longtime customers at the Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue tables. Recent menu upgrades include brisket enchiladas and fried fish po-boys (Fridays only).




Building: This is the original roadhouse structure built in the 1950s after the original structure was displaced by nearby I-10 freeway.
Parking: Parking spots all around the building with a larger lot to the north. Usually not a problem to find a space.
Ordering: Perhaps the only barbecue joint in Houston with table service - you will be seated by staff when you enter and place your order with waiters.
Catering: Pickup, delivery and full-service.
Pit(s): Two offset, rectangular brick pits that were moved - brick-by-brick - from the nearby original location to this building in the 1950s.



Owner(s): James Maida
Pitmaster(s): Eudell Hernandez
Established: 1934
Address: 1703 Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77007
Hours: Mon-Sat 11AM-8PM, Closed Sun.
Phone: (713) 227-2283
Known for: The tagline here is "Houston's home for spareribs" and indeed they are very good with a simple salt-and-pepper rub.
Pro-tip: "Grab a slab" of ribs to-go if you are driving along Shepherd Drive, headed home after work. If you are dining in, make sure to scan the walls full of old photos and newspaper clippings that tell the story of this barbecue joint.
Brisket price/lb: $24.00
Price Date: 2021-05-21


Neighborhood(s): Central, Washington Ave
Building Type: Stand-Alone
Primary Wood(s): Oak
Primary Pit Type(s): Offset Brick
Meals Served: Lunch, Dinner
Drinks: Beer


A new era begins at Pizzitola's Bar-B-Cue
Houston Chronicle
A founding family of Houston barbecue
Houston Chronicle
Texas Monthly
This Barbecue Joint Uses Brick Pits From 1935 Alongside a New Smoker
Texas Monthly
The history of Houston's oldest barbecue joint, from segregation to present day
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