Guide to Kansas City’s Best BBQ

A guide to the area’s best smoked meats

Because no visit to Kansas City would be complete without diving into barbecue, here’s where to sample some of the city’s very best.

Joe’s Kansas City

Housed in a still-operating gas station, Joe’s Kansas City firmly remains a local favorite. All of the meat, from the house specialty pulled pork to the brisket, is smoked with Missouri White Oak. But you’ll discover some less traditional menu items, too, like the belly-busting, brisket-stuffed Z-Man sandwich.

Gates Bar-B-Q

Every customer at this famed joint is greeted with a warm and friendly, “Hi, may I help you?” Fittingly, everything served up here is equally approachable and comforting. Whether you opt for a slab or a mixed plate, be sure to end every meal here on a sweet note with a slice of the famed yammer pie.

Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque

Since the 1920s, this beloved, low-key eatery has served legions of fans, including U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Harry Truman. The key here is to keep your order sweet and simple. Make sure to get your order doused in one of the famous housemate sauces, then mop up every last drop with the accompanying white sandwich bread.


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