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Your favorite Kansas City BBQ restaurant?

JayMO Oct 18, 2011 07:15 PM


And I'm heading to Kansas City soon for a week for a convention . Would love to hear everyone's ideas on their favorites....

Who has the best sauce?
Who has the best pork?
Who has the best brisket?
Who has the best ______?

I plan to visit as many as I can and would really appreciate your opinions!

Thanks in advance.

  1. t
    Teague Nov 11, 2011 09:03 PM

    Oklahoma Joes is really consistent, always great in my experience. Although, I have to qualify that this is the Mission location, as the Olathe location has always been a bit disappointing. It's just not as good somehow. I work a few blocks from the former and live 5 min in the car from the latter, so I have lots of experiences at both. I get the burnt ends if they have them, pulled pork if not. I've tried the ribs, they were good, not mushy. I like the OK style vinegar sauce, esp on the pulled pork. The Night of the Living Dead sauce is really good too.

    I am a burnt ends fan, and have had LC's twice and they were the best I ever had, both times. Even better than OK Joes and that is saying a lot.

    I historically was a Gates bbq eater, prior to moving here we would periodically get a friend to bring racks of ribs to Lawrence from here. I've been dissatisfied since moving here, the last 6 years or so. It's gone downhill in my opinion, although I will always love their sauce. I like a less sweet sauce, and Gates is less sweet than the average KC-style bbq sauce.

    I've never eaten at Bryant's, I need to.

    Danny Edwards - eh. I have tried their brisket a few times and never was bowled over. I haven't tried other meats. The sauce isn't my favorite though and this might be it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Teague
      JayMO Nov 22, 2011 08:20 PM

      Thanks everyone for your replies. And I apologize for the delay in getting back with everyone, been out of the country.

      I leave next week for Kansas City and look forward to trying quite a few of these places!

      1. re: JayMO
        Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2011 01:14 AM

        So, how'd it go?

    2. Melanie Wong Oct 30, 2011 12:18 AM

      Wondering if any 'hounds have tried the BBQ by Munchin' Hogs at the Hilton's Cafe Weatherby?

      Cafe Weatherby
      8801 NW 112th Street, Kansas City, MO

      18 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong
        2roadsdiverge Oct 30, 2011 11:40 AM

        Coincidentally I spent this past week at a conference at the Hilton. Since I live in the area, I've never had call before to visit this hotel, so I was happy for the opportunity to try it. The BBQ was excellent, although rather pricy. I only ate there once, for lunch. I had the Griller sandwich, with pulled pork and provolone on a grilled sandwich. It was tasty, but didn't blow me away. I would like a chance to go back and try more.

        Their BBQ team has apparently won quite a few awards at competitions around the country.

        1. re: 2roadsdiverge
          Melanie Wong Nov 1, 2011 04:04 PM

          Thanks for reporting in! When I was in KC in May to judge at the Great American, naturally, the locals I met had lots of tips on where I should go for 'cue. I'd read the pros and cons here on Chowhound on every place suggested to me except for Munchin' Hogs. The rep who told me about it said that he'd never dissuade anyone from going to Oklahoma Joe's, but he felt Munchin' Hogs was equally good without the crowds. He said he hosts business events there frequently and his clients don't want him to change venues. That weekend Munchin' Hogs was competing in Las Vegas, so I didn't go to the Hilton. And wouldn't you know it, the team won Grand Champion at the Orleans in a field of 100 teams to win the biggest purse in BBQ land. I'll definitely try it the next time I'm in town. Please do post when you have a chance to go back.

          Arthur Bryant's Barbeque
          1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127

          Oklahoma Joe's BBQ & Catering
          3002 W 47th Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103

          L C's Bar-B-Q
          5800 Blue Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64129

          Gates Bar-B-Q
          3205 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64111

          B B's Lawnside Bar-B-Que
          1205 E 85th St, Kansas City, MO 64131

          Smokin Guns Bbq & Catering
          1218 Swift Ave, Kansas City, MO 64116

          Woodyard Bar-B-Que
          3001 Merriam Ln, Kansas City, KS 66106

          Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
          6304 N Oak Trfy, Kansas City, MO 64118

          Wabash Bbq
          646 S Kansas City Ave, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024

          Danny Edwards Famous Kansas City Barbecue
          2900 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

          Brobeck's Barbque
          4615 Indian Creek Pkwy, Overland Park, KS 66207

          Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue
          11950 S Strang Line Rd, Olathe, KS 66062

          Cafe Weatherby
          8801 NW 112th Street, Kansas City, MO

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            toofat Nov 1, 2011 04:30 PM

            that is a darn good list of bbq places wen in KC usually hit Strouds for fried chicken and a really good Mexican place(can't remember the name)---have cooked the GAB a couple times--it is what the Royal used to be!!

            1. re: toofat
              Melanie Wong Nov 2, 2011 10:44 PM

              The list is just a compilation of the suggestions made by others in this thread. It does look impressive when you use the database linking function to feed the map in the upper right corner. KC is spread out, so having some sense of the relative locations is bound to help a visitor.

              The Great American was stripped down this year. The country's top teams were in Las Vegas that weekend competing for the big purse. No invitational at GAB and fewer than 100 teams for the cook-off.

              I was quite disappointed by Stroud's . . . guess I should post more details of what was wrong.

              Stroud's Restaurants
              4200 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Fairway, KS 66205

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                chileheadmike Nov 3, 2011 05:41 AM

                It's been a couple of years since we competed in the GAB, but I always liked it. Almost as many teams as the Royal but with more space. Hopefully, they get more teams next year. Maybe even us.

                1. re: chileheadmike
                  Melanie Wong Nov 3, 2011 07:40 PM

                  It was a disappointment to not have the opportunity to judge a double at GAB. I hope it can bounce back too. I'm on track to be a master by the first half of next year, and if so, I'll be back for the Royal.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    toofat Nov 4, 2011 06:59 AM

                    good luck on your quest to be a master judge--I've judged at least 40 times over the years(and cooked about 50 contests) but would rather be table captain then a judge!

                    1. re: toofat
                      Melanie Wong Nov 4, 2011 09:52 AM

                      Thanks, I'm sure I'll be asking questions of expert cooks like you once test time comes around. I would like to table captain, but can't carry the heavy trays due to a weak right wrist.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        chileheadmike Nov 4, 2011 10:06 AM

                        The first contest I judged I was asked to be a table captain. It was OK, but I enjoy judging more.

                        1. re: chileheadmike
                          toofat Nov 4, 2011 05:35 PM

                          and I like being a table captain so I can pick and choose what I taste---the best bbq that have eaten has been at a bbq contest and the worst I have ever tasted has been at a bbq contest

                          1. re: toofat
                            chileheadmike Nov 5, 2011 07:59 AM

                            the best bbq that have eaten has been at a bbq contest and the worst I have ever tasted has been at a bbq contest

                            This is very true. I've had some great barbecue when judging. I've also tasted some that tastes like it was marinated in lighter fluid.

                            1. re: chileheadmike
                              Melanie Wong Oct 3, 2012 10:21 AM

                              See you at the Royal?

                              I'm an MCBJ now. Will be cooking in the invitational on Saturday with Butcher's Daughter (space #613), the team's first run at the big time. And then judging the open on Sunday.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                chileheadmike Oct 3, 2012 08:53 PM

                                Congrats on the MCBJ. Quite an accomplishment. And an invite. Nicely done.

                                I won't be there, I'm living in Lexington, KY now and can't get back for this one. I am getting the itch though.

                                Firing up the smoker next weekend for a big party here though. Brisket, burnt ends, turkey.... etc. Gunna show these keeetucky folks how it's done. :)

                                Enjoy your time in KC, wish I was there.

                                1. re: chileheadmike
                                  Melanie Wong Oct 3, 2012 09:50 PM

                                  Thanks, and sorry to hear that you won't be in town. Butcher's Daughter was in the top 10 in California in her 2011 season rookie year and this year earned her first GC and invite to the Royal. She's a one-woman team, famous for cooking all four meats for competition on but one WSM. Yes, she's very organized! I'd cooked with her twice and I'm thrilled that she asked me to be her assistant for this first run at the Royal.

                                  This trip I'm gonna try to eat at Bryant's. Feel kind of sheepish to not have hit it up before, got distracted by Danny Edwards, Brobeck's and OK Joe's last time.

            2. re: Melanie Wong
              chowfish Nov 1, 2011 06:55 PM

              Melanie: What a list! I'll be in KC next month for a few days. Is it possible to narrow my choices down to the top 3 or 4? My current fav is Oklahoma Joe's. I love that you are giving me recommendations in my home town!

              1. re: chowfish
                Melanie Wong Nov 2, 2011 10:52 PM

                Well, well, well, Ms chowfish is back! Don't ask me for advice, I've only spent one long weekend in KC and darkened the doors at OK Joe's, Brobeck's, and Danny Edwards. Oklahoma Joe's was very good indeed, but that line will keep me away (plus the drowned in sauce style). I hope that the chowhounds can suss out the places that are less well known that can still deliver the goods. Like Brobeck's, which was a great tip from chileheadmike when I was planning my visit. And that's why I asked about Cafe Weatherby (aka Munchin' Hogs at the Hilton) which like OK Joe's serves competition style 'cue. I hope you'll have a chance to try it (in the Airport Hilton) and let us know how it is.

                Cafe Weatherby
                8801 NW 112th Street, Kansas City, MO

                1. re: chowfish
                  Beach Chick Nov 5, 2011 08:14 AM

                  We loved Oklahoma Joe's and the line moved quickly..it was to the door and took about 10 minutes..
                  Their BBQ sauce was excellent and bought more in the store.

                  1. re: Beach Chick
                    Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2011 04:25 PM

                    Your line moved a lot faster than mine. I was just inside the door with 42 people ahead of me. It took 30+ minutes from my stepping inside until I picked up the food I ordered. That said, it did go faster than I thought it would. Once I ordered, the food was ready as soon as I'd moved over to the next station to pay.

          2. r
            Rowdog007 Oct 20, 2011 08:06 AM

            My favorite BBQ in Kansas City is Smokehouse. I think Gates is over rated and it's usually dry. You may want to head a bit north of KC to Excelsior Springs and check out Wabash BBQ.

            I agree with chileheadmike about Oklahoma Joe's. It's also very good. There is always a huge line when I'm there.

            Bryant's is decent too. Their original sauce is an acquired taste that I don't like but they also have a sweet heat sauce that is really good.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Rowdog007
              JayMO Oct 20, 2011 08:32 AM

              Thanks for the feedback Rowdog. I'm going to have quite a bit of free time and a car so I don't mind traveling a bit. How far is Wabash?

              1. re: JayMO
                Rowdog007 Oct 20, 2011 11:26 AM

                It's about 30 miles north of Kansas City.

                Here is the address:

                646 South Kansas City Avenue
                Excelsior Springs, MO 64024-2639
                (816) 630-7700

                and website:


                1. re: Rowdog007
                  JayMO Oct 20, 2011 07:48 PM

                  Love the feedback from everyone! Who else has some input?

                  1. re: JayMO
                    toofat Oct 29, 2011 07:05 AM

                    Smoking guns rest in North KC good brisket/burnt ends

                    OK Joes in Olathe great all around great bbq

            2. c
              chileheadmike Oct 20, 2011 05:57 AM

              I agree with Bob on LC's. Burnt ends are the best in the city.

              Brobeck's has the best ribs in the city, good pulled pork and brisket too. They don't serve barbecue with sauce because it doesn't need it. The do have a table set up with some Gate's and maybe some Bryant's.

              Oklahoma Joe's is very good too. Excellent ribs and pulled pork. Burnt ends are good too. Their Night of the Living Dead sauce is good. I usually split an rib dinner with whoever I'm eating with and that seems to be enough food.

              Woodyard is cool, especially if you can eat outside next to the woodyard.

              You should probably hit Bryant's as it's the legend. When their brisket is on, it's the best in town.

              Smokin Guns is quality competition barbecue.

              BB's Lawnside for an evening of blues, beer, and barbecue.

              That should get you started, there's lot's of other opinions here. Look around.

              8 Replies
              1. re: chileheadmike
                JayMO Oct 20, 2011 07:55 AM

                Thanks for the advice......

                I'm looking forward to the trip and will without a doubt hit up as many places as I can!

                1. re: chileheadmike
                  chowfish Dec 24, 2011 04:08 PM

                  ditto on Oklahoma Joe's. Don't be intimidated by line. it moves fast. BB's wins for atmosphere and live music. Next trip I'm going to try Brobeck's.

                  1. re: chowfish
                    Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2011 04:27 PM

                    I loved being able to taste the many sauces at Brobeck's. Takes a confident pitmaster to serve up his competitors' products for comparison to his own.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      toofat Dec 24, 2011 06:15 PM

                      a good pitmaster leaves the the sauce in the bottle<sf>

                      1. re: toofat
                        Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2011 06:55 PM

                        And that's exactly how it's done at Brobeck's. The sauces are in bottles on a condiment station where you help yourself. The meats are served without sauce to your table. If you want sauce, you have to go up and get some. He really wants you to taste his meat without sauce.

                        Here's a photo of the sauces available at the condiment station.

                        Brobeck's Barbque
                        4615 Indian Creek Pkwy, Overland Park, KS 66207

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          toofat Dec 24, 2011 08:02 PM

                          thanks--will have to check it out on the next trip west!

                          1. re: toofat
                            Melanie Wong Dec 24, 2011 08:28 PM

                            The pitmaster hails from Tennessee and smokes over hickory. A little different than the other KC places, I imagine.

                            P. S. I cooked with a team last month. A (normally) one-woman team, and we took 2nd in chicken and 4th overall.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              toofat Dec 25, 2011 04:09 AM

                              nothing like the thrill of getting your name called at a contest--we tanked at our last contest(the Jack) but there is always next year

                2. b
                  Bobfrmia Oct 19, 2011 08:17 PM

                  LC's for the best Burnt Ends. They seem to be a little inconsistent, but if you catch them on a good day, they are transcendent.

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