Foodie Friday: 3 Best Kansas City BBQ Joints

by Fawn Rechkemmer on November 8, 2013

Best Barbecue

Sarah’s Grow Where You’re Planted post got me thinking about Kansas City Barbecue. It’s one of my favorite things about Missouri.

I lived in Kansas City for about seven years, and now we count ourselves lucky to live close enough – 1-1/2 hours away – to take advantage of the fabulous barbecue every now and then.

In alphabetical order, here are my favorites:

1. Jack Stack

If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale barbecue joint, you’ll want to visit Jack Stack’s Overland Park location. There’s lots of dark wood, dim lighting, and if I remember correctly, cloth napkins. Although now that I think about it, maybe I’m wrong about that. Because, cloth napkins and barbecue?

In addition to delicious, lean meat and mouth-watering sauce, Jack Stack has the best baked beans ever. Seriously, they’re my favorite.

2. Oklahoma Joe’s

Oklahoma Joe’s might be Kansas City’s most popular barbecue joint right now. It’s loud and rambunctious and it feels like everyone there is truly celebrating their love of barbecue.

The Z-Man is arguably their most popular sandwich. It features sliced smoked brisket, melted provolone, and onions rings stacked on a Kaiser roll.

3. Rosedale Barbecue

You’ll collect your order at the counter at Rosedale Barbecue, and it will come in a plastic mesh basket with a side of white bread.

This Kansas City institution is located on Southwest Boulevard, close to downtown, in an area that is known for its Mexican restaurants.

Everything is bare-bones at Rosedale, but the food is so good, no one cares.

Do you have a favorite barbecue joint, in Kansas City or otherwise? Tell us about it in the comments!

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Shana Norris is a writer, reader, runner, coffee guzzler, and chocolate inhaler who dreams of becoming an Avett Brothers groupie. You can follow her on Twitter, Google +ShanaNorris, and Pinterest or on her blog at

Sonda Bruce November 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

We have several really good ones here in beautiful Branson, Mo. USA– or EVERYONE SAYS THEY ARE– We are VEGETARIANS!!! :)

Shana Norris November 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

Sonda, I don’t believe I’ve had BBQ in Branson. We almost always stop at Kehde’s BBQ in Sedalia on our way down, so we choose other cuisines when we actually arrive in Branson.

Amy November 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I came across your blog from the link up from Kelly’s Korner! I’m also from KC and I saw a post about BBQ and I knew I had to check it out!!! I was a little worried at first when I saw that Oklahoma Joe’s was second… but once I saw the list was alphabetical, I felt better. :)

I’d rank KC BBQ like this:
1) Oklahoma Joes
2) Arthur Bryant’s
3) Gates

I do like Jack Stack, but it just seems in a different league. Like, fancy BBQ and not the-line-is-out-the-door, you’ll-get-yelled-at-if-you-don’t-know-your-order type of BBQ joints. I haven’t even heard of Rosedale’s before! I’ll have to check it out!

Shana Norris November 16, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Very true about Jack Stack. And my husband told me I should have put Arthur Bryant’s on the list. Of course, I haven’t taken him to Rosedale’s yet. I’ve ate at the Gates on Main St. more times than I can count. There’s so much good barbecue in KC that it’s hard to narrow it down. Which is a good problem to have, I guess. We keep saying we’d like to try it in Memphis just to see how it compares to what we’re used to.

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