Barbecue Heaven: Kansas City, Missouri

When I moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City, Missouri nearly two years ago, I knew I was leaving behind cheesesteak heaven in my hometown, but I had no idea that I was about to enter the equivalent of barbecue paradise when I arrived in K.C. However, I can tell you from firsthand experience, that Kansas City’s barbecue ribs, are as good as the city claims them to be. Here are my top five barbecue restaurants in Kansas City.

Hayward’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Hayward’s isn’t just some run-down barbecue hole in the wall – it is an undeniably fine dining establishment – that won’t kill your pocket however. The food is scrumptious and served up in huge portions (which I love). It is Hayward’s use of a pit (which is widely-used in Philadelphia) that makes this place unique. Many other barbecue restaurants in the area fall short of the real thing that is Hayward’s is a one-of-a-kind original barbecue.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, which lies just south of Kansas City, may be the most beloved barbecue restaurant in the entire K.C. metro area.The atmosphere is friendly and the staff is incredibly accommodating. If you’re looking for some excellent barbecue, this is the place.

Arthur Bryant’s
Bryant’s in downtown K.C. has the best sauce of every rib restaurant I went to.
Bryant’s short ribs are nearly legendary and he also makes exquisite sandwiches which are more than filling. Bryant’s also offers several combination platters.

Finally, consider the sauce you’ll want on your ribs. There are bottles of sauce on each table, so you can select the one of your liking. The only drawback to going to Bryant’s is that the food is so good that many times there will be a line almost out the front door. However – as all of those people know – the food is well worth the wait.

Gates Bar-B-Q
Gates is one of the legends of K.C. barbecue. The first Gates restaurant opened in 1946. The Gates empire has since grown to six restaurants in the metro area and offers several delicious sauces to go along with their tender selection of ribs.
The only drawback I found is that Gates can sometimes be quite noisy. Other than that, you’ll love the ribs.

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue
So how did a Kansas City barbecue place end up with a name like Oklahoma Joe’s? Well, the owners originally started in the business by entering meat they’d prepared in their Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker, in local barbecue competitions. They were so successful in competition that the smoker company agreed to open a company restaurant with the team.
First-time visitors should be ready for Joe’s unique location. The restaurant is positioned inside a gas station and next to a company-owned liquor store. However, Joe’s ribs are so good, you’d probably run through a brick wall for them.

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