Missouri cities, led by Kansas City and St. Louis, often find their way to the top of annual “best of” lists for barbecue restaurants, and with good reason. From burnt ends to smoked ribs, Missouri’s major metro areas know what it takes to make great Q.
While the big cities have abundant stops for enjoying the smoky goodness that is barbecue, they aren’t the only places to find great tastes in Missouri.
Here’s a look at some of the top spots in Missouri’s largest cities, plus a few out-of-the-way places that don’t make headlines, but do make darn good Que.
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 the cream of the crop. Arthur Bryant's products are distributed world-wide.
Q39 Barbecue – They’re changing the game in Kansas City with unique takes on traditional dishes. Check out what they call pulled pork taQos, which consists of smoked pork covered with jalapeno-cilantro slaw and chipotle mayo, served on flour tortillas.
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, such as apricot-glazed ribs, slow-roasted turkey, smoked prime rib and smoked pastrami.
Sugarfire Smoke House, has multiple locations in St. Louis (including the suburb of Olivette) and serves all the standards, plus goodies such as smoked fried artichokes and pork belly hush puppies.
Roper’s Ribs, north of I-70 in the Jennings area, specializes in, you guessed it, ribs. Slow cooked for 12 hours and capitalizing on a flavorful dry rub, the ribs at Roper’s are worth the drive … from practically anywhere.
Elsewhere around the Show-Me State, great out-of-the-way eateries 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.
Baylee Jo's BBQ & Seafood Grill in Ironton uses cherry wood. Their baked beans and barbecue cornbread are crowd favorites.
Wabash BBQ has locations in Excelsior Springs and Chillicothe and, among other things, cooks up awesome ribs and barbecue chicken. Both restaurants are located in former train depots.
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.