From St. Louis on the east to Kansas City on the west, Missouri has plenty of reasons to believe it does barbecue best. Connecting the state’s two largest cities, Interstate 70 is a highway to barbecue heaven no matter which direction you drive. There’s plenty of stops offering succulent smoked meats and delicious sides.
A Kanas City barbecue tradition since 1946, Gates Bar-B-Q serves piled-high sandwiches, ribs, burnt ends and an assortment of sides, cafeteria style. Chose from four different sauces: original, mild, sweet and mild, and extra hot. Gates has three other locations in the Kansas City area.
With 25-foot ceilings, a fireplace lounge and a full-service bar, Jack Stack’s Freight House location offers a beautiful backdrop for enjoying its hickory smoked meats and fresh seafood. Other Jack Stack Missouri locations include the Country Club Plaza, Martin City and Lee’s Summit.
Beef, pork, ham, sausage and chicken slowly cooked over a combination of hickory and oak has been Arthur Bryant’s claim to fame for decades. Their sweet and tangy sauce is a favorite of many barbecue fans.
Sweet Smoke BBQ prepares its meat with a dry rub and slices or pulls it to order. Diners can choose from four house-made sauces. Sides include jalapeno cheddar grits and fried potato salad. The restaurant has two locations in Jefferson City and one in Columbia.
Beef, chicken, pork and turkey are prepared in-house with a special dry-rub, and then smoked for hours to reach tender perfection. One of Missouri’s best barbecue restaurants is located in Columbia.
A variety of smoked pork, poultry and beef is served at Lutz’s Famous BBQ. The restaurant is also known for its house-made, spiral cut potato chips with your choice of a dozen seasonings. Lutz’s has restaurants in Columbia and Jefferson City.
Located in downtown St. Louis, Sugarfire Smoke House offers traditional barbecue and some interesting chef-inspired twists, including smoked artichokes and portobello mushrooms. Desert isn’t usually a staple at barbecue restaurants, but if you have room, try the Sugarfire Pie or smoked chocolate chip cookie topped with a touch of salt. Sugarfire has seven other Missouri locations.
Pappy's Smokehouse specializes in ribs – dry-rubbed and slow-smoked over apple and cherry wood. The menu also includes pulled pork, pulled chicken, beef brisket and pork loin. Pappy’s has locations in St. Louis and St. Peters as well as a food truck.
Bogart’s Smokehouse serves a variety of barbecue including specialties such as apricot glazed ribs, smoked prime rib and pastrami. Sides include pit baked beans and deviled egg potato salad.