Kansas City Barbecue
Metropolitan Kansas City
Kansas and Missouri

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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 barbecue. Unlike the other regional barbecue hot spots in the US, Kansas City barbecue isn't limited to one particular type of meat or smoking style.

This page is devoted to Kansas City barbecue 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 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 August 2022

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 February 2022

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 September 2022

Johnny's BBQ - Olathe, KansasAlthough the first location has since closed, Johnny's BBQ in Olathe, Kansas was 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 original 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 October 2021

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 August 2023

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 July 2022

Hickory Log BBQ - Kansas City, KansasThe Kansas City BBQ Bistro's Hickory Log BBQ (Yes the name is that long) opened in the old Hickory Log BBQ building in August of 2022. There has been a BBQ restaurant at this location since the 1950s. I recpmend the pork ribs and smoked chicken.

Longer review and more photos.

Hickory Log BBQ, 5047 Welborn Lane, Kansas City, KS 66104.
(913) 287-9560  Last visited in September 2023

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 December 2022

LC's Bar-B-Q - Kansas City, MissouriLC's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri is considered one of the top 5 barbecue 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 October 2022

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 July 2022

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 2022

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, jalapenos 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 2023

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 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 December 2022

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 March 2023

Roscoe's BBQ - Edwardsville, KansasRoscoe's BBQ is located in a small restaurant in a sheet metal building sharing a parking lot and sign with a gas station. Roscoe's opened in late 2009, but still have limited hours and no web site other than Facebook. It is open for lunch Monday through Friday. The menu is shorter than many. There are pork ribs, burnt ends, four smoked meats (turkey, pulled pork, jalapeño sausage, ham) and pork tenderloin (not hand breaded). My favorite meat is the jalapeño sausage, which is not as spicy as it sounds. The French fries are frozen crinkle cut and should please anyone who likes extra crispy fries. Closed in late 2022 but it has been reported that they are going to reopen.

Roscoe's BBQ, 9711 Kaw Drive, Edwardsville, Kansas 66111
(913) 422-4600. Last visited in June 2022

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 April 2021

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

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

Slap's BBQ - Kansas City, KansasScott's Kitchen and Catering at Hangar 29, is just a few miles from the Kansas City, Missouri airport. It is only open from 7AM - 6:30PM on Monday - Friday and this review is just for the BBQ, as with the restaurant being closed on weekends, I have not been able to get there for breakfast. The building's dining area is not air conditioned and the dining room door stands open in the hottest weather. Side dishes are limited to beans, cheesy potatoes, potato salad, beans and slaw. The meats have a smoky flavor and the chicken wings are my favorite of the dishes I have sampled.

Scott's Kitchen, 11920 N Ambassador Dr, Kansas City, MO 64153. (816) 270-0505. Last visited in July 2021

Chef J BBQ is one of the growing number of Texas style BBQ restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri. They are doing a great job on their meats, but still have a ways to go with their side dishes. They are in the area known as the West Bottoms, about 1,000 feet from the Kansas state line.

The pork ribs have some of the best flavor of any ribs I have had. The brisket is as good as the ribs. The meat is nicely seasoned and the fatty parts of the brisket are heavenly as they melt in your month. 

More photos and a longer review.

Chef J BBQ, 1401 W 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64102
(816) 805-8283. Last visited in June 2023

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 jalapenos added).

More photos and a longer review.

Slap's BBQ, 553 Central Ave., Kansas City, KS 66101. (913) 213-3736. Last visited in May 2021

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 November 2022

Smoketown BBQ - Overland Park, KansasSmoketown BBQ on Shawnee Mission Parkway in Overland Park was opened in September 2020 by some former employees of Johnny's BBQ which was located about a mile away in Mission, Kansas. The Big Memphis is the best Carolina sandwich I have had since Kansas City Masterpiece Restaurant closed years ago. There are three sauces: regular, sweet and hot. They all have tomato and vinegar. The sweet sauce is a little smoky. The hot sauce is a medium heat, which is hotter than most hot BBQ sauces in KC.

More photos and a longer review.

Smoketown BBQ, 7702 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Overland Park, KS 66202. (913) 544-1012. Last visited in February 2022

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 October 2022

Slap's BBQ - Kansas City, KansasSnead's Bar-B-Que was started in 1956 by Bill Snead on his family's farm west of Belton, Missouri. He enlarged the restaurant several times and continued to operate the restaurant until his death in 1994. Although it is no longer owned by the original family, many of the traditions and recipes have been continued to today.

Depending on which ones you pick, the smoked meats run a spectrum from some of the best in the city to ones that are just so-so, but I have been impressed with all of the sides I have tried.

Longer review and more photos.

Snead's Bar-B-Q, 1001 E 171st Street, Belton, Missouri 64012
(816) 331-7979. Last visited in September 2021

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 October 2022.

Slap's BBQ - Kansas City, KansasThe Big Q Barbeque in Kansas City, Kansas is the only surviving restaurant which grew out of Quick's family Barbecue which began in 1953. The Big Q was started 1986 by Marvin Quick's son Rusty Quick and son in law Gary Wright. The ribs, chicken, sausage and burnt ends all come slathered with a lot of sauce which appears to be made from tomato paste, rather than ketchup and has little seasoning. Rather than using a dry rub in the cooking, Big Q smokes the meat covered with the same sauce. 

Longer review and more photos.

The Big Q Barbecue, 2117 S 34th St. Kansas City, KS 66106.
(913) 362-6980. Last visited in June 2022

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 December 2021.

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 November 2021.

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 2022

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. Temporarily closed following a fire.

More photos and a longer review.

Wyandot BBQ 2, 7215 W 75th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66204 (913) 341-0609. Last visited in August 2023.

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 March 2023

Zarda Bar-B-Q - Lenexa, KansasZarda Bar-B-Q opened in Blue Springs, Missouri 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 May 2023.

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
Smokin Joe's BarBQ    Smoky's on the BLVD BBQ

Olathe Restaurant Guide Overland Park Restaurant Guide  Unique Kansas Restaurants

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