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Dining Guide

Joseph’s Riverport Bar-B-Cue

Photograph by Daniel Vaughn

Riverport is a quintessential small-town barbecue joint, sitting on a corner in a charming East Texas town. After the place burned to the ground five years ago, the city rallied around owner Stephen Joseph. When he could barely make a profit in this secluded small town, the townspeople stepped up their patronage. There was a line out the door on the Wednesday we visited. The sweet and salty spareribs were supremely tender, as was the combination of simple pinto beans and hot-water cornbread on the side. A new method Joseph was trying for the smoked turkey breast was also a winner. The Bewley pit in back turns out a great brisket even though this is one of the few spots on our list that doesn’t use premium beef. Folks in Jefferson aren’t gonna cough up $20 a pound for it, but happily for them, Joseph does a fine job with Choice grade for $14.

City: Jefferson


Method: Post oak; indirect-heat pit

Pitmaster: Stephen Joseph


Address: 201 N. Polk, Jefferson, TX, 75657

Hours: Tue–W 11–3, Thur-Sat 11–6, Sun 11–3

Phone: 903-665-2341

Website: jesspryles.com/riverport/

Year Opened: 1993

Last updated: October 18, 2017