Kansas City Barbecue
Metropolitan Kansas City
Kansas and Missouri

American Royal World Series of Barbecue
in Kansas City, Kansas

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Kansas City BBQ smoker at Arthur Bryants
Kansas City has many good restaurants and the variety of cuisine available has increased dramatically in the past 30 years, but the KC area is still best known for barbeque. Unlike the other regional barbeque hot spots in the US, Kansas City barbeque isn't limited to one particular type of meat or smoking style.

This page is devoted to Kansas City barbeque restaurants in both Kansas & Missouri and includes some popular places in communities a little outside the metropolitan area. There are also links to the Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle (Kansas State BBQ contest), our web master's experience judging the American Royal BBQ Contest and a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives KC BBQ Watch Party.

So what is the best place for Kansas City barbecue? That depends on what you are looking for. If you want to go to a famous place, I recommend Arthur Bryant's Barbeque on Brooklyn or Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas. For the best food over all, I pick Brobecks, Danny Edward's Boulevard BBQ, or LC's Bar-BQ. If you want a little nicer setting with good food, go to Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue or C. Frog's. For beef ribs go to Fiorella's. For lamb ribs go to Fiorella's or RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack. For corned beef or turkey go to Hawg Jaw Brew & Que. For something new and unique, get the BBQ egg rolls at Smokey's on the BLVD. For a different take on cheesy corn bake or to make the vegetarians in your party happy, go to Char Bar. For overall atmosphere and live music go to BB's Lawnside BBQ.

Better yet, try several of these places!

Kansas City BBQ Restaurants
A Little BBQ Joint - Independence, MissouriA Little BBQ Joint opened in Independence, Missouri in 2013 and quickly developed a loyal following, but we had not heard about it until the owners participated in a car restoration project on the TV show Gear Dogs, which is filmed in Gardner, Kansas. We give A Little BBQ Joint high marks for the food and higher marks for atmosphere. The seats in the booths are bench seats from old Fords, Chevys and Cadillacs. A 1967 Cadillac front end is built into the carry out counter and a 1965 Chevy Impala is built into the bar.
Longer review and more photos.

A Little BBQ Joint, 1101 W US Hwy 24, Independence, Missouri 64050. (816) 231-1123 Last visited in October 2019

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que - Kansas City, Kansas Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas shares its modest building with a working gasoline station in Kansas City, Kansas. Joe's has a good, consistent product and even better marketing. They have received a lot of national recognition and have become a destination for people visiting Kansas City from other cities and countries. There is a third Joe's KC BBQ in Leawood.

Longer review and more photos.

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, 3002 West 47th Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66103 (913) 722-3366. Last visited in January 2019

Arthur Bryant's Barbeque - Kansas City, MissouriArthur Bryant's Barbeque at 18th & Brooklyn in Kansas City, Missouri was once the most famous Kansas City BBQ restaurant and one of the most famous in the country. Its history can be traced from Henry Perry, "the father of Kansas City barbecue." Arthur Bryant's barbecue restaurant moved to this location in 1958.

Longer review and more photos.

Arthur Bryant's Barbeque, 1727 Brooklyn Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64127. (816) 231-1123 Last visited in May 2019

Johnny's BBQ - Olathe, KansasJohnny's BBQ in Olathe, Kansas is the second Johnny's location in Johnson County. Johnny's has good specials and I think the best one is the Friday lunch special: BBQ Ribs with fries, bread, pickle, and a regular drink for $9.49. 4 ribs, which is a generous serving of meat for the price. Be prepared for long waits for lunch on Friday, as it is quite popular. Johnny's Mission location was one of 4 Kansas City BBQ restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2010. 

Longer review and more photos.

Johnny's BBQ, 1375 West Highway 56, Olathe, Kansas 66061
(913) 768-0777. Last visited in May 2020

Bates City BBQ - Shawnee, KansasBates City BBQ in Shawnee, Kansas deserves a place among the better known Kansas City Barbecue restaurants, but I wish they used real plates and utensils. The walls of the restaurant are lined with dozens of personalized license plates, sports photos, old signs and pithy sayings by Tom the owner. The prices at Bates City BBQ are quite reasonable. A 2 lb slab of pork ribs is $14.99 all the time. The shoestring size fresh cut fries look like leftover scraps, but they taste great.

Longer review and more photos.

Bates City BBQ, 6493 Quivira Road, Shawnee, KS 66216.
(913) 962-7447 Last visited in September 2020

Jones BBQ - Kansas City, KansasJones BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas is in a tiny building, just large enough to prepare orders placed at the walk up walkup window. It isn't clear how much prep is done at this location, but the meat is cooked in a large free standing smoker, next to the building. When we first visited Jones BBQ in 2017, the building was very unappealing and there was no place close to eat, just a barren unattractive parking lot. But there were big changes to Jones BBQ when the TV show Queer Eye came to Kansas City to record shows in the fall of 2018.
Longer review and more photos.

Jones BBQ, 6706 Kaw Dr, Kansas City, Kansas 66111
(913) 788-5005. Last visited in September 2020

Bee Cee's Authentic Barbecue - Overland Park, KansasBB's Lawnside BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri was opened in 1990 by Lindsay and Jo Shannon. They offer a unique mix of Kansas City BBQ, Louisiana side dishes and the blues. There is live music six nights a week.

Racing driver Clint Bowyer joined Guy Fieri in trying out and checking out the preparation of the burnt ends, battered fries and BBQ Sundae at B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ in 2013.

More photos and a longer review.

BB's Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64131. (816) 822-7427 Last visited in September 2019

Jones BBQ - Kansas City, KansasThe Junction on Santa Fe in Lenexa, Kansas is the most recent restaurant at this location, which until last summer housed Hayward's BBQ. My favorite meat so far is the Whiskey Wings, which were a good value when the restaurant open in 2019, but have doubled in price. None of the employees have been wearing face masks in two visits we have made since masks are required.

Junction on Santa Fe, 12804 Santa Fe Trail Dr, Lenexa, KS 66215 (913) 303-3665. Last visited in August 2020

Big T's Bar-B-Q - Kansas City, MissouriThere are two Big T's Bar-B-Q restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri. This review is about the higher rated location on Blue Ridge Boulevard. Big T's is one of the better BBQ restaurants in Kansas City, but has the disadvantage of being few blocks from one of the best BBQ restaurants of the same style in the region, LC's BBQ.

More photos and a longer review.

Big T's Bar-B-Q, 9409 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64138. (816) 767-0905 Last visited in October 2017

LC's Bar-B-Q - Kansas City, MissouriLC's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri is considered one of the top 5 barbeque restaurants in KC. LC's Bar-B-Q is a interesting little dive with a great product. The ribs at LC's Bar-B-Q are slightly crunchy on the outside, but still juicy and well flavored. Much of the flavor comes from the smoking and your mouth will still be a little smoky an hour after you finish eating them. LC's ribs warmed up the next day, are better than the fresh ribs at 80% of the other BBQ restaurants in Kansas City. 

Longer review and more photos.

LC's Bar-B-Q, 5800 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri 64129. (816) 923-4484  Last visited in March 2019

Blind Box BBQ - Shawnee, KansasBlind Box BBQ opened in August 2015. There were significant issues in the first couple of months, but they have already come a long way with both the food and service. Of the dishes sampled, several have stood out: pork ribs (both spare & baby back), smoked chicken, BBQ street corn, onion straws and house made French fries. The Belly Burger, with ground Angus, smoked pork belly, apple wood smoked bacon, smoked Gouda, jalapeños is very good.

More photos and a longer review.

Blind Box BBQ, 13214 W 62nd Terrace, Shawnee, Kansas 66216. (913) 901-9700 Last visited in January 2021

Plowboys Barbeque - Overland Park, KansasPlowboys Barbeque opened this Overland Park location in October 2019. They also have locations in Blue Springs and Kansas City, Missouri. This is the only location which is open seven days a week. We have tried their beef, pork, sausage and pork ribs. The pulled is my favorite, but none of them stands out as a reason to select this restaurant in the crowded Kansas City barbeque market. The French fries are pretty good, as is the "hot head" sauce, which isn't as spicy a it sounds. The menu is fairly short and doesn't include options to try multiple meats without ordering a la carte.

Plowboys Barbeque, 6737 W 75th St., Overland Park, KS 66204.
(913) 914-7569  Last visited in January 2021

Brobecks Barbeque - Overland Park, KansasBrobecks Barbeque is one of the most underrated BBQ restaurants in the Kansas City area. Reasonably priced, dry rubbed BBQ with good side dishes. My favorite meats are sausage and dry rubbed pork ribs that are so flavorful that no sauce is necessary. Brobecks is one of the more reasonably priced KC BBQ places which has table service. The smoked ham salad at Brobecks is unusual BBQ, but very good - only $5.25 including a large plate of crackers or house made chips. 

More photos and a longer review.

Brobecks Barbeque, 4615 Indian Creek Parkway, Overland Park, KS 66207. (913) 901-9700 Last visited in November 2020

Q39 - Overland Park, KansasQ39 opened its first Kansas location in Overland Park, Kansas in August, 2017. This location was originally the site of Hayward's Pit Bar B Que. The combination BBQ plate has a choice of three meat and we selected pork ribs, smoked chicken and sausage. There is also a choice one side, but we paid an up charge to have French fries and another $4 for seasonal vegetables. The ribs have good flavor and the texture I like - tender, but not falling off the bone. The servings seem a little small, but were appropriate for the price point.

More photos and a longer review.

Q39, 11051 Antioch Road, Overland Park, Kansas 66210
(913) 951-4500 Last visited in January 2021

Brobecks Barbeque - Overland Park, KansasChar Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements opened in the Westport neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri in November 2014. The 7,000 square foot restaurant has an outdoor beer garden with a large patio bar, picnic tables, lawn croquet course, bocce court, tire swings and two outdoor fire pits.

Char Bar isn't just about fun. It has a large, eclectic menu which will satisfy BBQ lovers, vegetarians and those looking for creative dishes which they have not had before.

More photos and a longer review.

Char Bar, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave. #150, Kansas City, MO 64111. (816) 389-8600 Last visited in September 2019

RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack - Mission, KansasRJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, Kansas looks like an old BBQ dive, but it has only been open since October, 2003. RJ's is known for country style cooking, and the side dishes are among my favorite items. I particularly enjoy the cheesy corn bake and they do a good job on the lightly seasoned French fries. I was surprised to find that a side of corn on the cob was a whole ear, not just the 3 or 4 inch section that many restaurants serve. 

More photos and a longer review.

RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack, 5835 Lamar Ave., Mission, Kansas 66202. (913) 262-7300 Last visited in May 2019

Crazy Good Eats in Olathe, Kansas opened May 1, 2015, in the same location previously occupied by Big Bubba's Barbecue, followed by McGuire's SmokehouseIt is operated by an extended family which has competed at regional BBQ contests as Steer Crazy BBQ. 

All of the the sauces are sweet and thin. The Red Eye sauce is described as hot, but has little heat. It does have an herb which gives it a slightly different flavor which I do not care as much for. The Extra Napkins sauce is sweeter, but still pretty thin.

More photos and a longer review.

Crazy Good Eats, 16695 West 151st Street, Olathe, Kansas 66062
(913) 905-2744. Last visited in August 2020

Roscoe's BBQ - Edwardsville, Kansas Roscoe's BBQ is a small restaurant in a sheet metal building sharing a parking lot and sign with a gas station. It opened in late 2009, but still has limited hours and no web site other than Facebook. It is open for lunch Monday through Friday. The ribs taste pretty good, smoky with a good flavor, but are cooked until the meat is falling off the bone. The burnt ends are slightly fatty and have a good flavor from the smoking, but would benefit from a touch of crisp on the outside. The cheesy corn ia some of the best I have ever had. The onion rings and beans are both slightly above average, The beans are sweet and have just a slight bit of meat.

Roscoe's BBQ, 9711 Kaw Drive, Edwardsville, Kansas 66111
(913) 422-4600. Last visited in October 2020

Danny Edward's Boulevard BBQ - Kansas City, MissouriDanny Edward's Boulevard BBQ on Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri didn't open until 2007, but has a much longer tradition. Danny's father opened the family's first barbecue restaurant, Jake Edward's Bar-B-Que, during the depression and moved it to Kansas City in 1938. Danny opened Lil' Jake's Eat It & Beat It on Baltimore in 1981, moving it to Grand Boulevard in 1984. 

More photos and a longer review.

Danny Edward's Boulevard BBQ, 2900 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108. (816) 283-0880 Last visited in September 2020

Rosedale Barbeque - Kansas City, KansasRosedale Barbeque in Kansas City, Kansas has been in business since 1934, though they moved into the current facility about 1990. Rosedale has one of the largest and most varied menus of any Kansas City barbecue restaurant, but the counter help do a fantastic job of juggling multiple orders without ever writing anything down. We are particularly impressed with the classic fresh made sauce and tender, tasty ribs. The sides are also good, including the fries which are served in a waxed paper bag.

More photos and a longer review.

Rosedale Barbeque, 600 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66103 (913) 262-0343. Last visited in November 2019

Fiorella's Jack Stack - Overland Park, KansasFiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue in Overland Park, Kansas may be the best higher end BBQ restaurant in the Kansas City area. Jack Stack serves good pork, beef & lamb ribs, and excellent side dishes including enormous onion rings. The service is inconsistent - friendly but with frequent miscues. Jack Stack has several locations in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area. This is one of the few BBQ restaurants in the area with table service & cloth napkins, and it is priced accordingly.

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue, 9520 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas 66212 (913) 385-7427 Last visited in May 2020.

Slap's BBQ - Kansas City, KansasSlap's BBQ in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas has been very popular since opening in June 2014. It is open for lunch only and has a variety of good smoked meats, sides and and an unusual sweet, Asian style sauce. Three members of the Squeal Like a Pig BBQ competitive barbecue team opened the restaurant and the team is competing much less often since its opening. Our favorite items have been the pork ribs, sausage, cheesy corn and baked beans (with jalapeños added).

More photos and a longer review.

Slap's BBQ, 553 Central Ave., Kansas City, KS 66101. (913) 213-3736. Last visited in May 2020

Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q - Leawood, KansasGates & Sons Bar-B-Q on State Line Road in Leawood, Kansas has little changed over the years. Gates is an old Kansas City, Missouri BBQ chain with 6 locations in the metro area, including this one off I-435 and one in Kansas City, Kansas. The counter where food is ordered forms a "T" with cash registers to each side, and shortly after getting in line, you hear a shouted "Hi, may I help you?" There is another more or less interchangeable Gates location in Kansas City, Kansas and three more in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Longer review and more photos.

Gates & Sons Bar-B-Q, 2001 W 103rd Terrace, Leawood, Kansas 66206. (913) 383-1752 Last visited in December 2019.

Smokey's on the Boulevard - Overland Park, KansasSmokey's on the BLVD BBQ opened in Overland Park, Kansas in September 2012. It is the first restaurant for owners Rob & Mandy Harris and their son Jason. 

The menu is growing more complex. Dishes like BBQ egg rolls have been added to the BBQ chicken, ribs, pork, beef, turkey, sausage & burnt ends, along with a couple of alternatives for children. Smokey's moved to this new location in 2018.

More photos and a longer review.

Smokey's on the BLVD BBQ, 8669 W 135th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66223  (913) 897-7427 Last visited in November 2020

Hawg Jaw Brew and Que - North Kansas City, MissouriHawg Jaw Que & Brew BBQ restaurant was in Riverside, Missouri for 5 years, but moved to its present location in North Kansas City, Missouri in February 2017. The exterior is very plain, but the split level interior, with counter service and self serve beverages on the upper level and tables on the lower level is fairly attractive. 

There is a wide variety of smoked meats and they are served dry (without sauce). Hawg Jaw has 3 BBQ sauces and there are bottles on the tables and large dispensers of sauce with little go cups near the counter.

Longer review and more photos.

Hawg Jaw Brew & Que, 900 Swift Street, North Kansas City, Missouri. (816) 741-4294 Last visited in June 2019.

Smokin' Joe's B-B-Q - Olathe, Kansas Smokin' Joe's B-B-Q opened in Olathe, Kansas in 1989. The daily lunch special at Smokin' Joe's is a good value: $10 including tax for a large BBQ sandwich, well cooked crinkle cut French fries and soda. Or get the same deal on ribs, only on Mondays. Place your order with the friendly people at the counter and the food comes out fast. There are lots of good things here, including garlic coleslaw which is my favorite slaw in Kansas City.

Longer review and more photos.

Smokin' Joe's B-B-Q, 519 E Santa Fe Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061 (913) 780-5511  Last visited in July 2020

Hayward's Pit Bar-B-Que - Shawnee, KansasHayward's Pit Bar B Que in Shawnee, Kansas is the oldest barbecue restaurant in Johnson County. it was founded by Hayward Spears Sr. in 1972, and has been in four locations. Spears owned the restaurant for the first 42 years.

I recommend the pork burnt ends and ribs, but the two items which stand out for me are the onion rings and the chicken wings. I particularly like the wings with an upgrade which isn't listed on the menu on their web site - Wades Wild Style, tossed in Buffalo sauce, rub and a a spicy mustard sauce from Helga Fine Foods in Lenexa.

Hayward's Pit Bar B Que, 10901 W 75th St., Shawnee, KS 66214
(913) 451-8080.  Last visited in August 2020

Woodyard Bar-B-Que - Kansas City, KansasAlthough Woodyard Bar-B-Que is one of the less well known BBQ restaurants locally, it has had attention nationally for many years. Many serious BBQ fans include Woodyard among their favorite BBQ restaurants. The Woodyard began selling selling various woods for use in grills & smokers in the 1950s and still sells wood. Along the way, the owner, Frank Schloegel II, started grilling meat for his customers at lunch time.

More photos and a longer review.

Woodyard Bar-B-Que, 3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, KS 66196 (913) 362-8000 Last visited in March 2019.

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que - Olathe, Kansas Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Olathe, Kansas was the second Oklahoma Joe's location. The first location is in a working gasoline station in Kansas City, Kansas and there is a third location in Leawood. The Olathe & Leawood locations are much larger and serve the same food. 

Be prepared for a long line if you arrive at Joe's during meal time. But the line usually moves faster than you would expect.

Longer review and more photos.

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, 11950 Strang Line Road, Olathe, Kansas 66062 (913) 782-6858. Last visited in December 2020

Wyandot Barbeque 2 - Overland Park, KansasWyandot Barbeque 2 is a neighborhood BBQ restaurant located near the heart of Overland Park, Kansas. 

There were once three Wyandot Barbeque restaurants, but today there is only this one and the original location on State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas (Wyandotte County). There are good reasons why someone may not care for this restaurant, but the prices are low, the servings are large and I like all of the food. The mixed plate of beef, ham, ribs and fries for $11 is a great meal.

More photos and a longer review.

Wyandot BBQ 2, 7215 W 75th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66204 (913) 341-0609. Last visited in January 2021.

Zarda Bar-B-Q - Lenexa, KansasZarda Bar-B-Q opened in Blue Springs, Misouri in 1976 and added this Lenexa location three years later. They were among the best suburban BBQ restaurants in the 1980s, but were slow to up their game as Kansas City BBQ moved into the 21st Century. But Zarda has upped their game in the past 5 years and are a contender again.

My favorite meat in the smoked chicken, followed by the Ltd. Reserve burnt ends. The fries are thick and could be a little crisper. The cheesy corn is very good.

Zarda Bar-B-Q, 11931 W 87th St Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 492-2330. Last visited in November 2020.

Archived reviews of Kansas City barbecue restaurants which are no longer open:
Big Bubba's Bar-B-Q   KC Masterpiece Barbeque & Grill   Bee Cee's Authentic BBQ
McGuire's Smokehouse    Mr. Epps Barbeque    Quick's Bar-B-Q & Catering
Jon Russell's Kansas City BBQ    Papa Bob's BBQ   BBQ Shack
Wild Frontier BBQ   Arthur Bryant's Barbeque - Woodlands

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