Best Barbecue in Kansas (2019)


The barbecue cultures of Kansas and Missouri meet in Kansas City, but you’ll find delectable smoked meats throughout the state. Barbecue here is typically cooked low and slow in large pits. While burnt ends – the crusty, fatty end of a smoked brisket – are somewhat of a local specialty, menus will often feature beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, turkey and sausage, all served with a thick and sweet tomato-based sauce.

  • Slap's BBQ

    Slap's BBQ
    Kansas City

    Opened in 2014, Slaps BBQ sells out just about every day. Smoked fresh meats include burnt ends, sliced brisket, Polish and jalapeño cheddar sausage, turkey, pulled pork and chicken legs.
    Photo courtesy of Slap's BBQ

  • When Pigs Fly BBQ

    When Pigs Fly BBQ

    When Pigs Fly BBQ is known for its rotating weekly specials. Often classic BBQ with a twist, these dishes might include BBQ nachos, pulled pig and cheese sandwiches or a Aporkalypse Burrito.
    Photo courtesy of When Pigs Fly BBQ

  • Joe's Kansas City BBQ

    Joe's Kansas City BBQ
    Kansas City

    Ranked by many critics as the single best BBQ spot in the country, it is hard to argue against Joe’s, set in a onetime gas station that still operates its pumps. The full racks of ribs are so perfect they look Photoshopped, the KC burnt ends are perfectly seasoned, the brisket and pulled pork are both standout.
    Photo courtesy of Bonjwing Lee / Joe's Kansas City BBQ

  • Jack Stack Barbecue

    Jack Stack Barbecue
    Overland Park

    Jack Stack takes a “date night” approach few top barbecue places can match, with full table service, cloth napkins, even a wine list. But the pleasant surroundings should not overshadow the stunning variety of BBQ: brisket, two styles of pork ribs, pulled pork, sausage, rarer beef ribs, plus even rarer lamb ribs, smoked turkey, ham and an innovative range of KC’s famed burnt ends 
    Photo courtesy of Jack Stack Barbecue

  • The Angry Elephant

    The Angry Elephant

    The Angry Elephant serves “traditional barbecue with a modern twist.” Meats are smoked in a Cadillac Cooker, including peppered brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, hot links and chicken. The popular Elephant Sandwich features smoked pork, smoked pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a fried egg on a sweet Hawaiian bun.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / NadzeyaPhoto

  • Lonnie Q's BBQ

    Lonnie Q's BBQ

    Lonnie Q's BBQ keeps things simple and delicious with a short menu of smoked meats – pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey breast and ribs. Get them as a sandwich or as a Q-Cup atop a bed of tater tots and beans.
    Photo courtesy of seandwigans via Instagram

  • Jones Bar-B-Q

    Jones Bar-B-Q
    Kansas City

    The Jones Sisters carry on their father’s legacy of smoking meats and making the family recipe BBQ sauce at Jones Bar-B-Q in Kansas City. Sausage links are a house specialty, but meat lovers will also find brisket, ham, turkey, burnt ends, ribs and pulled pork.
    Photo courtesy of Jones Bar-B-Q

  • Bite Me BBQ

    Bite Me BBQ

    Started by a husband and wife team as a hobby in 2003, Bite Me BBQ has grown to become a local favorite known for its ribs, hot links and other smoked meats.
    Photo courtesy of Bite Me BBQ

  • We B Smokin BBQ

    We B Smokin BBQ

    You wouldn’t expect to get great barbecue at an airport, but that’s just what you’ll find at We B Smokin BBQ at the Miami County Airport. Meat options include ribs, brisket, pork, turkey, ham or sausage.
    Photo courtesy of Brook Morris and the Paola Chamber Of Commerce via Facebook

  • Q39

    Overland Park

    Led by national barbecue champion Rob Magee, Q39 has become well-known for pushing the boundaries of barbecue during its few short years of operation. Competition BBQ includes housemade chipotle sausage, Angus beef brisket, smoked chicken and pork spareribs.
    Photo courtesy of Q39

The top 10 winners in the category Best Barbecue in Kansas are as follows:

  1. Slap's BBQ - Kansas City
  2. When Pigs Fly BBQ - Wichita
  3. Joe's Kansas City BBQ - Kansas City
  4. Jack Stack Barbecue - Overland Park
  5. The Angry Elephant - Wichita
  6. Lonnie Q's BBQ - Topeka
  7. Jones Bar-B-Q - Kansas City
  8. Bite Me BBQ - Wichita
  9. We B Smokin BBQ - Paola
  10. Q39 - Overland Park

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning restaurants!

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Ardie A. Davis

Ardie A. Davis

Ardie A. Davis

MeLinda Schnyder

MeLinda Schnyder

MeLinda Schnyder