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Dining Guide

Desert Oak Barbecue

Located in a strip center on El Paso’s bustling east side, Desert Oak’s small but cozy counter-service spot is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Call ahead for pick-up or eat in and enjoy the smoky scent of oak wood flames kissing the brisket, house-made sausage links, and ribs. Pulled pork and a surprisingly good smoked turkey are also available, but take note: beef ribs are served only on Saturdays (pork ribs are regular players). For sides, try the rice with green chiles and cheese—it’s comfort food for the gods—and the coleslaw is a tangy contrast to all that lovely meat.

City: El Paso


Method: Oak in an indirect heat pit

Pitmaster: Richard Funk

Drinks: Beer & wine

Price: $$

Rating: ★★★

Address: 1320 N. Zaragoza Rd., El Paso, TX, 79936

Hours: W–Sat 11-8 (or sold out)

Phone: 915-309-4322

Website: www.desertoakbarbecue.com

Year Opened: 2015

Last updated: February 1, 2018


  • Francesca Cox

    I personally think the Cole slaw is perfect and tastes amazing. I love their beans, toreados. The meat speaks for itself. Brisket and ribs are delicious and just about melt in your mouth. I crave Desert Oak every week and look forward to eating there.

  • George

    I love this place. I hope with this exposure that more El Pasoans can now try this place for great barbecue.

  • Bettina funk

    Great meal

  • Mike

    Excellent! Time to bring a TMBBQ top 50 back to El Paso.

  • JT

    $9/ 1/2 lb….$19/lb???
    Oh wait, U met them at A&M.
    OK, in that context, it makes”sense.” Still not enuf to risk stopping in El Paso Gaso,
    which looks like the set of a Mad Max movie. But it is a city in TX…typical.

    • Kyle

      It says $9.50 per 1/2 pound, or $19 per pound. That could be considered redundant, but it’s mathematically correct. Your Aggie joke was great though. Keep them coming.

  • Smokin88s

    It’s actually $9.50 for 1/2 a pound you turd. Since you’re obviously math deficient 9.50×2 (because 1/2 + 1/2 equals 1 you turd) equals to $19.00

  • Raul Garcia

    The Garcia family enjoyed the Funk’s hospitality the day after Mr. Vaughn visited. I tried my first Big Red soda. During our meal the family did not talk as we were too busy with our lunch selections of brisket, loaded potato, and barbecue sandwiches. We even had a chance to sample the ribs! I like to that my youngest was able to run around the grounds and play in the swing and slide set. Maybe the funks can purchase that entire property to offer the grounds and play area to their customers exclusively!? We live in Gilbert, Ariz. so it will be sometime before we return, but we will be back; in the meantime we will be sending our friends their way! Wonderful meal and presentation.

  • Vito Teti

    Thanks for the heads up on this new establishment Daniel.

    I went here today and it was great!

    Got to converse at length with Rich & Suzanne and they told me that they’ll soon be stuffing and smoking there own sausage and getting a larger smoker to accommodate their growing business.

    Thanks again Daniel and keep up the good work!

  • Michael Sarabia

    The brisket is amazing! I have never had a more perfect piece of brisket in my life! And I have traveled not just here in Texas but all over the U.S.. I believe the slaw is great just as is! It is has so much flavor and is not so bland and bitter tasting. The ribs are perfect! The meat is tender and not so tough! The kids loved that it wasn’t so tight as described in the post. All in all if you have the same tasting bbq everywhere it will never be different. Desert Oaks has done a amazing job and I look forward to visiting them again!

  • ren

    I miss the BBQ of central texas. These guys sell out every Saturday. Best thing going out this way!