Five Restaurants with the Best BBQ in Kansas City

If you like barbecue, then you should know that Kansas City has the well-deserved reputation of being the bbq capital of the world. With almost 100 BBQ joints scattered around the city, it can be hard to decide which one is worth your money. Our list of restaurants that serve some of the best BBQ in Kansas City is sure to help you.

Barbecue preferences are highly subjective, so our recommendations will be ranked based on their TripAdvisor rating and other awards they have received. We will also highlight some of each restaurant’s signature dishes and the design of the place. It’s important to know that the ratings are subject to change.

5. Char Bar

The first entry in our list featuring the restaurants that serve the best bbq in Kansas City is the Char Bar. It has a 4 circle rating on TripAdvisor thanks to its excellent service and delicious barbecue. As the name implies, the restaurant features a slightly unconventional design for a bbq joint, featuring a center stage bar arrangement where customers can enjoy their meal. It also includes a traditional table setting and a Beer Garden, backyard amusements included.

The menu has been designed by bbq competitor Mitch Benjamin and offers a wide variety of barbecue meats. Almost all dishes from fish to chicken, to beef and pork, will include the chef’s specialty Meat Mitch sauce. The restaurant also offers meat-free options, so anyone can enjoy a meal that suits their preferences.

The Char Bar is located at 4050 Pennsylvania, Kansas City. You can contact them for a reservation or more information at 816-389-8600.

4. Arthur Briant’s BBQ

Arthur Briant’s BBQ has an 80-year history of serving some of the best bbq in Kansas City. The founder was part of the initial barbecue mania that gripped the city in the early 20th century. The quality of this restaurant is attested by its 4 circle rating on TripAdvisor. It has served a long list of celebrities like Steven Spielberg, Wilt Chamberlain and even US presidents such as Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Barrack Obama.  The restaurant features a no-frills, modest interior where customers order at the counter. However, you don’t come to Arthur Briant’s BBQ for the design but for the incredible dishes.

The menu includes a wide variety of meats. The most popular options include whole slabs, burnt ends, pulled pork sandwiches and the beef brisket. Regarding side dishes, no meal would be complete without an order of baked beans, coleslaw or fries. This bbq joint emphasizes the quality of the meals that include smoke rings on the meat coupled with a tangy vinegar bbq sauce.

Arthur Briant’s BBQ includes two restaurants out of which we recommend visiting the original one, located at 1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City. For more information, contact them at 816-231-1123.

3. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue

If you want to enjoy a wide variety of barbecue and side dishes at an affordable price, then look no further than Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. Its Trip Advisor rating averages at 4.5 from over 2000 users, so you can rest assured about the quality of this bbq joint. This restaurant provides a laid-back atmosphere thanks to its traditional rustic design which has endeared many loyal customers. Over its five decades of history, the restaurant has always maintained the same high quality of bbq and service.

Jack Stack Barbecue offers an extensive menu featuring traditional hickory barbecue from fish to chicken. Some of the house specialties include Jack’s Best featuring beef and baby pork ribs, the nationally-acclaimed Denver-cut Lamb Ribs. It wouldn’t be a full-fledged bbq restaurant without a variety of side dishes like hickory pit beans. Customers can also special order vegetarian versions.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue is comprised of five restaurants out of which three are located in Kansas City. Find out which one is closest to you and make a reservation at 816-531-7427.

2. Q39

Q39 burger close up

In our opinion, Q39 offers the 2nd best bbq in Kansas City. This statement is reinforced by the impressive 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor and their certificate of excellence. Under Rob Magee, a national barbecue champion, the restaurant has pushed boundaries and developed a huge group of BBQ fans. The menu showcases the chef’s decades of barbecue expertise by including a wide variety of BBQ styles and dishes. From certified Black Angus beef brisket to house-made chipotle sausage or a variety of specialty sandwiches like Mr. Burns. It includes burnt ends, chipotle sauce, pepper jack cheese, onion straws between a toasted bun.

The restaurant’s modern yet rustic design creates a laid-back atmosphere where you can fully enjoy your exquisite barbecue. It includes a large communal table for larger groups who can order shareable meals. Customers can opt for smaller tables either inside or on the patio, as well as enjoy a house-crafted cocktail at the bar. Some people might enjoy the vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Q39 is located in the heart of Kansas City on 1000 West 39th Street and offers free parking. You can make reservations at 816.255.3753.

1. Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que serves, without a doubt, the best bbq in Kansas City. Our opinion is shared by almost 2000 people who reviewed it and gave it 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor alongside a certificate of excellence. Critics and other chefs like Anthony Bourdain have also been overwhelmed by the award-winning taste of Joe’s barbecue. You don’t believe us? Wait until you try the popular Z-Man sandwich. It comes with two crispy onion rings, sliced smoked brisket, smoked provolone and barbecue sauce, all stuffed between a Kaiser roll.

The restaurant is located inside a former gas station featuring a simple design which provides a unique bbq experience. Other selections from the menu include pulled pork, all kinds of smoked meat, ribs and a variety of classic side dishes. The worst thing about this restaurant is that because of its fame, you’ll have to wait in line while the bbq aroma permeates the joint.

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que is located at 3002 West 47th Kansas City, so make sure you get there before lunch or dinner time if you don’t want to wait too long to indulge in their exquisite bbq.


This concludes our list of recommendations for the best bbq in Kansas City. During our review of each restaurant, we found that Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que is a notch above the rest. Its unique design coupled with exquisite specialty barbecue and extensive options to choose from are what makes Joe’s the best bbq joint in Kansas City.

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