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May 24, 2008 02:44 PM

KC BBQ, the best of the rest?

I will be traveling to KC and plan to do a small bbq tour of the city. I am looking for some advice/recommendations on who has the best bbq aside from what appear to be the most "famous establishments". By those I mean Gates, Arthur Bryant's, LC's, Oklahoma Joe's & Jack Stack. I intend to visit all of these as well as BB's Lawnside. BB's because I will be there on a sunday when the have live music and it seems like it would be a cool place to hang out on a sunday night after a royals game.

I have come up with the following list of restaurants but can't seem to find very much good current information on them.

-Danny Edwards: more positive information than some of the others.
-Earl Quicks: read some good things about them.
-Boyd's n Son: can't find anything recent on them.
-Rosedale: very little on them as well.
-Smoking Guns
-Haywards: is it worth the drive?

These are just some of the places that I found when doing some research. If anyone has any other recommendations I would love to hear them. I do have a car so I can get around easily but I am not really looking to go to far outside of kc.

Thank you all in advance for your replies. I look forward to reading your replies, they are greatly appreciated.

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  1. I can speak to a couple of the places on your list.

    Rosedale's is what I consider the working man's bbq. In the past, I ate there 2 times per week. Most of the times it was myself and legions of guys who came in from blue collar jobs in the area. Overall, the BBQ was fair. It seemed really good at the time, but my BBQ experience and budget was too low to know the difference.

    Hayward's is not worth the drive IMHO. I didn't find their food to be anything special and they didn't seem to happy to accommodate a single diner.

    You may also look into Zarda BBQ (inexpensive) and Bates City BBQ (good price on ribs) and Smokehouse BBQ (by the airport).

    4 Replies
    1. re: jm054

      My husband is a fan of Zarda, I think that it is just "fine". If you go, you should try the fried cauliflower. That is pretty great stuff.

      Haywards is marginal. We live near it, but drive further to go to our favorite BBQ spots.

      Go to Danny Edwards and get a pulled pork sandwich.

      1. re: jm054

        I wouldn't walk across the street for Zarda. Wyandot on State Ave in KCK has great short ends. The one on 75th St is crap. Haywards used to be very good, not so much anymore. Gates on State Line in solid. BBQ Shack in Paola is well worth the drive.

        1. re: SuperCorona

          I am intrigued by the BBQ shack. Is it really worth a 45 minute drive each way?

          1. re: jm054

            I take a long lunch there a couple times a month.

      2. I think that Boyds&Sons burned down several years ago. If you have to pick an authentic BBQ go to Bryants. Its always good and you cant go wrong with the selection. Although it doesnt seem to be a popular choice on this site, Gates BBQ is consistently good. I have had only one bad meal there in 25 years.

        1. I think Danny Edwards is a good bet. Rosedale's did not impress me all that much. Smokestack BBQ on Wornall and 89th is good. Good brisket, beans and slaw. I haven't had much else on their menu b/c I like their brisket so much. They also have great sauce (unlike BB's which is cinnamony or something? but it is a fun place to hang out, you're right). Smoking Gun's has a good rep but I haven't been there.

          1. You did not mention LC's in your original post so I will recommend it. Arthur Bryant's has my least favorite BBQ sauce in KC, Oklahoma, and Texas. I do like their meat though. One thing that confuses me in KC BBQs is they call everything a sandwich although they give a pyle of meat and bread separately. To me that is a BBQ dinner. A sandwich comes with the meat already on the bread. Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone like Winslow's in the River Market? I have never tried it but like to eat breakfast at Cascone's across the street.

            Bigray in Ok

            1. Woodyard Barbeque. randomly open, hard to find. Smoked to perfection.


              Makes me happy to be back in KC next week!!!

              And I'll second LC's, and Oklahoma Joe's.