Saucy or dry? Tangy or sweet? Mustard- or vinegar-based?
If these words mean nothing to you, you may not be up for the challenge of exploring one of the tastiest barbecue towns out there. But saddle-up anyway because Kansas City, Missouri barbecue is a taste explosion, and visitors here don’t want to miss it.
Explore Country Club Plaza
The Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza is a great home base for exploring this city’s saucier side. It’s one of the few downtown Kansas City hotels that offers complimentary parking. In addition to remodeled rooms, it offers free WiFi. Who doesn’t love to upload pictures of all the fantastic meals eaten on vacation? It also offers complimentary shuttle within a 5-mile radius of the hotel.
The hotel is also within walking distance of the Country Club Plaza complex near to150 shops and restaurants and home to some of the city’s best barbecue, affording the perfect stroll for those who devour a rack of brick-oven baked ribs at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue.
Check out other affordable hotels in Kansas City.
Stroll Crown Center & Take a Class
Crown Center is another entertainment complex/neighborhood in Kansas City. While there, visit Three Little Pigs BBQ & Catering. In addition to dining at the restaurant, or purchasing some delicious sauce, visitors can take a master BBQ class. Classes are offered by meat type. There’s an advanced class for those who dream of becoming part of a competitive barbecue team. Classes are held all over the country, so check the website.
Taste the Way through the City
There are more than 100 barbecue places in the metro area, not including street vendors. Family owned Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q sends every member of its restaurant staff to Rib Tech to learn the finer intricacies behind great service and mouth-watering ribs. They’re open late, from midnight Sunday-Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday to handle any late-night cravings.
Eat Famous Ribs
Dine where the celebrities do at east side’s Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue. Bryant’s sauce has attracted attention from two presidents, Steven Spielberg, Robert Redford, George Bret, Jack Nicholson, and countless Kansas City residents over the years. His secret is in the slow-smoking with oak and hickory.
Dine at The Barbecue Festival
Early October brings the World Series of Barbecue to Kansas City. The three-day event and season finale of the competitive barbecue circuit in the West Bottoms brings 500 teams to the city to compete for titles and provides endless amounts of finger-licking goodness.
Kansas City may not be on the Top 10 List of most exciting vacation spots, but after tasting its barbecue, visitors will want to redo that list. The area’s oak and hickory woods make KC barbecue some of the most delicious in the world. Some travelers challenge themselves to see the major baseball stadiums in the country, some certain gold courses. If you’re mapping a list of culinary visits, put Kansas City, Missouri, on it.
Christina R. Green is a freelance travel writer originally from the East Coast and now living on the sunny Gulf coast of Florida. She loves kitschy tourist attractions and literary haunts. If she could figure out a way to drive something the size of an RV, she’d take off and write from the road.