US News and World Report includes Kansas City and St. Louis on their list of the top seven barbecue cities in America – and those are just the cities they know about. Here’s a look at some of the top spots in Missouri’s two major metros, plus a few out-of-the-way places that don’t make headlines – but do make darn good barbecue.
Note: There are many spellings for barbecue, barbeque, BBQ, Bar-B-Q, et cetera – all are correct and delicious.
Kansas City, the home of Que:
- Jack Stack Barbecue has three Missouri locations in the Kansas City area. For the last several years Jack Stack has been named the "No. 1 Barbecue House in the Country," by the Zagat Survey.
- Gates Bar-B-Q is a Kansas City tradition since 1946. They have four locations in Missouri to satisfy your craving for smoked meats. Gates Bar-B-Q sauces and rubs are sold by many grocery chains across the country.
- Arthur Bryant's, founded in Kansas City in the 1920s, is one of the most renowned barbecue restaurants in the world; their sauce is considered one of the best anywhere. Arthur Bryant's products are distributed world-wide.
Across the state, in St. Louis, don’t miss:
- Pappy's Smokehouse is a nationally known restaurant, named one of the “101 Best Places to Chow Down in America,” by The Travel Channel.
- Bogart's Smokehouse, located in the Soulard district, offers a special spin on some of America’s favorite foods, including apricot-glazed ribs, slow-roasted turkey, smoked prime rib and luscious smoked pastrami.
- Sugarfire Smoke House, in the St. Louis suburb of Olivette, serves all the standards, plus goodies such as smoked fried artichokes and pork belly hush puppies.
Elsewhere around the Show-Me State, great out-of-the-way spots include:
- Dexter Bar-B-Que, in the southeast Missouri town of Dexter, where 40 years of experience has taught them a thing or two or six about great smoked meats. (Also in Sikeston and Cape Girardeau.)
- Lutz’s Famous BBQ, in Missouri’s capital, Jefferson City (also in Columbia) is one of the most successful purveyors of barbecue in the Show-Me State – they have a crowded trophy case to prove it.
- Danna's Bar-B-Que and Burger Shop in Branson is home to slow-smoked pork, beef, chicken, ribs and sausage. Specialties include BBQ nachos and a one pound BBQ-stuffed potato.
- Ozark Bar-B-Que in Sunrise Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks, welcomes customers arriving by car or by boat. They have plenty of barbecue selections to enjoy.
- Baylee Jo's BBQ & Seafood Grill in Ironton uses cherry wood. Their baked beans and barbecue cornbread are crowd favorites.
As you can see, Missouri has a lot to show you when it comes to barbecue. Learn more about Missouri restaurants, along with attractions and fun things to do, at VisitMO.com.