Best BBQ in Kansas City

Find the best pork, brisket, and burnt ends here

Certain regions in America might lay claim to certain types of barbecue (like Texas with brisket), but locals in Kansas City are equal opportunists when it comes to smoking meat. Below, three barbecue spots you can’t miss.

Joe’s Kansas City
Housed in a still-operating gas station, Joe’s Kansas City remains a local favorite – evidenced by the perpetual lines.) All of the meat, from the pulled pork to the brisket, is smoked with Missouri White Oak. But you’ll discover some less traditional menu items, too, like the infamous Z-Man sandwich: a belly-busting original creation of sliced brisket, provolone, onion rings and barbecue sauce piled high on a kaiser roll.

Arthur Bryant’s
Not much has changed at this downtown institution since the founder passed away in 1982. Here, the focus is on ribs, brisket, and burnt ends – all of which are humbly presented with slices of white sandwich bread and hand-cut fries. The world-famous sauce was created by Bryant in the 1930’s and today, the recipe remains a secret. All that’s for sure is the vinegar base and unique spice blend – so the flavor is more tangy than sweet.

Gates BBQ
Sure, this spot turns out mouthwatering barbecue, but the real legacy is the sauce. Today, the lineup includes the original recipe, in addition to other varieties that cater to every heat level and palate: mild, sweet and mild, and extra-hot. The sides (especially the beans, slaw, and potato salad) are no slouch either, and you’ll want to finish your meal on a sweet note with a slice of the sweet potato yammer pie.




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