Kansas City BBQ Tour

Posted by on April 21, 2015

Kansas City BBQ Tour


Ribs in Kansas City aren’t all sweet and sticky. I had these delectable bones at Wood-Yard BBQ


In the summer of 2011 I dragged my family nearly 500 miles across the south and into the Midwest, from Memphis to Kansas City, just to experience Kansas City style bbq and to have a point of comparison with our ‘que here in the bluff city. We sampled barbecue from ten different bbq restaurants in two days, plus one more in St. Louis en route. The boys had fun helping me review the bbq by giving their own opinions and even writing some of them down.

I wanted a sense of what KC style ‘que is all about. Some of what I found challenges popular notions. Some of what I discovered reinforced what I’d heard. Most of what I’d read and heard describing KC style barbecue sauces depicted them as sweet-n-sticky. I found the various sauces to be generally less sweet than what you’ll find in Memphis (of the sweet sauces-some Memphis restaurants still serve the old-fashioned tangy style sauce) and KC sauces also tended to have southwestern flavors, such as cumin and chipotle. Dry ribs were also fairly common, despite Kansas City’s reputation for sweet and sticky ribs with a molasses based bbq sauce. Prior to my trip I’d also heard that barbecue in KC meant both pork ribs and beef brisket, especially in the form of “burnt ends.” This much I found to be very true. I tried to get a sense of what each place seemed to specialize in and got that. In some bbq shops we had pork ribs. At others, we ordered burnt ends. Overall, I found tender, smoky meat and really enjoyed the ‘que. Click on the highlighted links below from the list of KC bbq restaurants we visited for photos and my notes (short reviews) for each bbq joint. Check back for added and updated posts. Begin your online Kansas City bbq tour here. If I may, I suggest starting with Wood Yard Bar-B-Q.                                 Tim Shirley

  1. Arthur Bryant’s BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  2. BB’s Lawn Side BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  3. Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ-Overland Park, KS
  4. Gate’s Bar-B-Q-Kansas City, MO
  5. Hayward’s Pit BBQ-Overland Park, KS
  6. LC’s BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  7. Smokehouse BBQ-Independence, MO
  8. Three Little Pigs BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  9. Wood-Yard BBQ-Kansas City, KS
  10. Zarda’s BBQ-Blue Springs, MO

Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.