Kansas City’s famous barbeque

There’s always a line at all three of Oklahoma Joe’s. They’ve perfected their barbecue by winning dozens of competitions including Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS.) photo: Oklahoma Joe’s

Visitors and vacationers won’t get a true taste of the city until they are served a plate of Kansas City barbecue. The secret to K.C. ‘cue is slow smoked over wood (usually hickory.) It’s easy to find a barbecue restaurant, just follow the smell and the smoke.

The Low-and-Slow method of cooking is a barbecue tradition. The type of wood used for smoking is a regional or personal choice. After meats come out of the pit, they may be basted with the sauce. Many restaurants to not add sauce, they have it sitting on your table. Kansas City barbecue stands on it’s own, it is smokey and tender and delicious with or without the sauce.

It’s your choice to slather on tomato-and-molasses-base sauce or not. At least one kind of sauce is always on the table. There are over 100 area barbecue restaurants in Kansas City. All have their own personal sauce, and house specialty meat like ribs, pork, ham, mutton, sausage and even fish. Most use Hickory to smoke the meat.

Sauce is tomato-based. These sweet, spicy, hot or tangy sauces are each restaurant’s special secret recipe. Restaurants may offer several sauces, original, probably a hot bbq sauce and a sweet variety. Ribs are mostly pork. Briskets are usually beef.

Locals are used to good meat cooked low and slow. They learned about good ‘cue from the likes of Arthur Bryant and Anthony Rieke (Rosedale Barbecue) and Jack Fiorella. As Kansas City grows, so does the demand for their famous barbecue. So, there’s always room for another good barbecue restaurant. To succeed in this town, you don’t have to start out fancy, but you do have to be good, real good.

One of Kansas City’s most famous names in barbecue is Arthur Bryant. It may be the most famous barbecue restaurant in the United States. His 18th & Brooklyn restaurant is “the single best restaurant in the world,” wrote food critic and columnist Calvin Trillin.

Walk into the original Arthur Bryant’s at Brooklyn Avenue and you will see an authentic barbecue joint.
Arthur Bryant died in 1982. Owners Gary Berbiglia and Bill Rauschelbach have expanded Arthur Bryant’s to the Kansas Speedway and Ameristar Casino.

Arthur Bryant’s
1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127 (East Kansas City)
Website for all Arthur Bryant’s
This is the heart of KC ‘cue. If barbecue brings you to Kansas City, start here. Many folks claim this is the standard by which all Kansas City barbeque is measured.

Arthur Bryant’s
Legends at the Kansas Speedway
1702 Village West Parkway, K.C., KS, 913-788-7500

Arthur Bryant’s
Ameristar Casino
3200 N. Ameristar Dr., K.C., MO, 816-414-7474

The Zagat national restaurant survey rated Oklahoma Joe’s “Excellent” for Barbecue in 2000. photo: Oklahoma Joe’s

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue
3002 W 47th Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103 (neighborhood: Argentine / Rosedale)
And 11950 S Strang Line Rd, Olathe, KS 66062
Phone: (913) 722-3366.

NO Body just walks into Kansas City and sets up a barbecue business. Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue and Catering got its inspiration from the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) at the American Royal and The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle.

They formed a team and hit the KCBS competition circuit. Winning eight Grand Championships, including the prestigious American Royal BBQ, three Reserve Grand Championships, and the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s Grand Champion “Team of the Year” in 1993.

Oklahoma Joe’s is a family owned restaurant that was first opened in 1995 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, by world champion BBQ pitmaster, Joe Davidson.

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue has two more restaurants in Oklahoma, one in Broken Arrow (near the Bass Pro Shop) and a second restaurant in Tulsa (inside historic Cain’s Ballroom.)

Broken Arrow, 333 W. Albany 75609 Sunday-Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-9pm
phone: 918-355-0000
Tulsa, 423 N. Main St. 74103I, Monday-Friday 11am-2pm, phone: 918-960-2017, Venue Nights 1 Hour Prior to Show

In the Kansas City metropolitan area:

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue, “the gas station location” 11950 S Strang Line Rd, Olathe, KS 66062-5267

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue, Argentine/Rosedale – 3002 W 47th Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103-3244

Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue, Leawood – Barbecue – 11723 Roe Avenue, Leawood, KS 66211-2605

Catered barbecue always makes a meeting or conference better. All of the restaurants in this story cater. Photo: VisitKC.com

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue – Freight House
101 W 22nd, Kansas City 64108,
This ain’t no barbecue joint. What with the upscale décor, excellent service and some of Kansas City’s best barbecue, you’ve found the perfect site for a business lunch or dinner date.

There are three more Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue locations: Martin City, Country Club Plaza, Overland Park.

Martin City
13441 Holmes, Kansas City 64145
This is where Fiorella’s started. Many of the customers have been coming here for decades. Just one bite is all it takes to know why Jack Stack Barbecue is one of the top restaurant names in Kansas City.

Country Club Plaza
4747 Wyandotte, Kansas City 64112
If you are shopping on the Plaza or, touring KC’s fabulous fountains, this is the perfect spot to meet up for happy hour or dinner with friends.

Overland Park
9520 Metcalf, Overland Park 66212
“Man Food Served Here.” Walk in here and you know, even without the sign, you are going to get, a full-service bar, dark woods, polished brass, the same great menu as all of Fiorella’s restaurants.

To find out about Kansas City, contact http://www.visitkc.com photo: Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association.


Rosedale Barbeque
600 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, KS 66103, cross streets: Between Rainbow Ext and Hill St. Phone:
(913) 262-0343

Rosedale Barbeque started as a neighborhood hot dog and cold beer stand known as “The Bucket Shop.” At the Bucket Shop you could buy a half-gallon bucket full of the coldest beer in town for a quarter.

The menu is and always has been plain and simple, good barbecue, no frills. It’s a “come as you are” kind of place with that casual, neighborhood look and feel. They still have cold beer and some of the best barbecue in town.

The third generation of this family is behind the counter today. Rosedale Barbecue is Kansas City’s oldest major barbecue restaurant continuously owned and operated by the same family.


Emergency barbecue supplies

Buy Arthur Bryant’s barbecue sauces and rubs on line or in the restaurants.

Order Oklahoma Joe’s sauces, rubs and t-shirts online and in the restaurant.

If you cannot get to Kansas City, the ribs can come to you. In 2000, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue began shipping their barbecue nationwide. Order ribs, sauce and sides online.

Buy Rosedale Barbecue  sauce when you eat here. It’s the only way you can get it.