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Barbecue, Burnt Ends, and Beyond - Dining Out in Kansas City

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Foodies from all over the world come to Kansas City for a taste of its legendary barbecue. The city is well-prepared for this massive influx of meat eaters - there are about 90 eateries devoted to the cuisine, not including suburban restaurants. If you want a break from barbecue, neighbourhoods like downtown and Country Club Plaza offer steakhouses and upscale restaurants.

Typical dishes


Slowly smoked meats slathered in sauce define Kansas City-style barbecue. "Burnt ends," which are the crispy tips of barbecued meat, are a staple. You’ll also see plenty of strip steaks - another Kansas City specialty.



The heart of Kansas City is filled with some of its most renowned barbecue restaurants. If you go a couple of blocks east of the city’s legendary 18th & Vine District, you’ll find Arthur Bryant’s. Diners here can enjoy barbecued meats in the form of sandwiches and ribs, all served in historic surroundings - the eatery traces its roots to the person considered to be the father of Kansas City barbecue. In the mood for Kansas City strip steak? Try The Majestic in the downtown loop. When you’ve finished dining, you can head downstairs for live jazz music.


  • Arthur Bryant's, 1727 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, MO 64127; Tel: +1 816 231 1123; Website: Arthur Bryant's

  • The Majestic, 931 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64105; Tel: +1 816 221 1888; Website: The Majestic


Country Club Plaza


The most upscale shopping district in Kansas City is also home to some exquisite fine dining experiences. The popularity of Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue proves that finger-licking Kansas City staples such as burnt ends, barbecue chicken, and pork spare ribs can be served in an elegant setting. If you’re in the mood for a more traditional, high-end dining experience, Chaz on the Plaza serves old-school classics like Steak Diane and contemporary fare such as braised short ribs with creamy polenta. You can pair your food choices with wines from Europe and California.


  • Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue, 4747 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO 64112; Tel: +1 816 531 7427; Website: Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue

  • Chaz on the Plaza, 325 Ward Parkway., Kansas City, MO 64112; Tel: +1 816 802 2152; Website: Chaz on the Plaza


Crossroads Arts District


This trendy section of town is not only known for its creative vibe, it also provides an interesting dining alternative when you want a break from barbecue and strip steak. You can drop by Michael Smith for a taste of cutting-edge contemporary cuisine made with seasonal produce. For a completely different eating experience, Grünauer serves schnitzels, goulash, and other classic Central European fare in a setting inspired by Viennese dining halls.


  • Michael Smith, 1900 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64108; Tel: +1 816 842 2202; Website: Michael Smith

  • Grünauer, 101 W. 22nd St., Kansas City, MO 64108; Tel: +1 816 283 3234; Website: Grünauer


The Kansas suburbs


If you hop over the Missouri/Kansas border, you’ll discover places that will arguably give you the truest barbecue encounter in the region. You’ll find Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que at a gas station in Kansas City, Kansas, but that shouldn’t stop you from digging into a pulled pork sandwich or a half-slab of ribs. You won’t find any gas pumps on Burnt End BBQ’s property, but you can feast on hand-carved brisket, burnt ends, and smoked sausage served by the pound.


  • Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, 3002 W. 47th St., Kansas City, KS 66103; Tel: +1 913 722 3366; Website: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

  • Burnt End BBQ, 11831 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66210; Tel: +1 913 451 8888; Website: Burnt End BBQ