When we launched this website last summer, I went in deep on KC’s third generation of BBQ prowess. I visited nearly a dozen new BBQ spots around town and discovered an undercurrent of craft BBQ that’s giving way to a renaissance in America’s best barbeque city after a decade of stagnation.
These are the places you should plan on visiting this summer.
Fox & Fire
They’ve got a line every weekend up in Kearney. For a parking lot food truck. That’s hard to do. Respect to them for refusing to move closer to KC. Good BBQ is always worth the trip.
Buck Tui BBQ
Ted Liberda opened his brick and mortar shop this winter after dominating the Overland Park Farmer’s Market the past few years with insanely good breakfast burritos and Thai-inspired smoked brisket, ribs and pork. He set up shop at 75th and Metcalf in an old Plowboys location.
These guys are constantly selling out of meat up in the Northland (the culinary center of the universe) and it’s the place I’m the most excited about visiting this summer.
The guy who launched Char Bar just opened his new spot in Prairie Village in the Ranchmart Shopping Center. Burnt ends, a trip to Ace Hardware and a two dollar movie? Sounds good to me.
KC’s strong corporate BBQ marketplace just got a bit more crowded as Jousting Pigs just opened their second location at the Speedway after dominating Liberty the last few years. I feel bad calling them “corporate,” but when you open that second location, that’s the label you get.
Night Goat BBQ
Vaughn Good is still slinging meat on Sundays in the Fox & Pearl parking lot in the Westside. One of the first guys in KC to have the bright idea of utilizing Caramelo tortillas instead of white bread.
Chef J BBQ
I’m going back and it’s going to be glorious. If it wasn’t for the next spot on the list, he’d easily be #1. His advantage is that he’s open more than two days a week.
Bow down to the king. Head to Raytown one Saturday and pay tribute.
There’s no need to put them on any sort of watchlist. They’re firmly on the radar. There were rumors that they were on the brink of closing this winter due to staffing shortages and high beef prices. KC cannot afford to let this place close. It is the most underrated OG place in town.
BBQ Adjacent Spots To Hit
Big Head Burger
El Pollo Rey
The best way to consume BBQ is in volume and I recommend hitting a festival at least once. Unless you’re ready to go into diabetic shock, avoid the competitions and hit a festival. The KC BBQ Fest has an unreal lineup and is this coming weekend.