Where is the best BBQ in Kansas City?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Larry Olmsted

There are three major regional variants of barbecue in the US, Memphis-style (ribs, tomato-based sauce), Texas-style (beef brisket, little or no sauce), and Carolina style (pulled pork and sauces of vinegar or mustard). Kansas City is a melting pot where they all come together, plus the city’s own contribution to the BBQ lexicon, burnt ends, crusty spiced exterior cubes of brisket. For this reason, KC has arguably the best barbecue scene in the world and excels at every style, and many critics rightfully consider Oklahoma Joe’s just across the border in KS the very best. They make perfect ribs, perfect brisket and amazing sandwiches, and usually have a line at the door when they open. A second, larger location is in Olathe, KS, nearby. KC has several other tops standouts, most notably Danny Edwards Boulevard BBQ (great ribs) and the locally popular Gates Bar-B-Q chain, where you order at a cafeteria style counter. Gates and the more famous Arthur Bryant’s chain are locked in fierce competition but Gates is better.

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