A meat lover’s guide to the best KC barbeque

Kansas City is spoiled with America’s best barbeque. There’s no other place in the world where meat aficionados can choose from more than 100 closely located barbeque joints in the same area. And there’s no other place that faithfully hosts the best annual barbeque competitions and festivals, like the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle, which took place just last weekend, and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Labor Day weekend.

In preparation for Independence Day, a celebration often enhanced by barbeque, TCD team members voted on their favorite pit stops. Check out our top 5:

1. Q39

Since opening in April 2014, Q39 has rapidly become a new favorite for Kansas City natives. Smoked or grilled, your meal at Q39 will not disappoint, especially when embellished with their homemade sauces. The interior ensemble is complete with wood furnishings, industrial ceilings, warm lighting, and an open kitchen and full-service bar. Great food, great atmosphere. It’s undoubtedly our #1 pick.

2. Jack Stack

With five locations in the Kansas City area, Fiorella’s Jack Stack is a barbeque phenomenon. They’ve mastered their craft and maintained a loyal following in Kansas City. Their hickory-smoked meat is a local tradition and treasure. Jack Stack’s great service and ambience creates the prime place for a dinner date, a GNO or a celebration.

3. Joe’s Kansas City

Famously known for its Z-Man sandwich, Joe’s serves up stellar smokes every time. This quick-service stop offers satisfying portions at a reasonable price. As if Joe’s couldn’t be any dreamier, they will even ship their barbeque anywhere in the U.S. That’s good info to keep in mind as most restaurants, like Joe’s, close over the Fourth.

4. Woodyard

Woodyard Bar-B-Que is a quaint old place in an unexpected corner of the city (on Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kansas). The family-owned business has been around more than 60 years and has been featured on programs by Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain. The restaurant is small and rustic, but outdoor seating is a must, so you can watch one of the chefs stack the slabs in the smoker or, at the very least, bask in the smoke-scented goodness.

5. BB’s

Another off-the-beaten-track favorite is BB’s Lawnside BBQ. This cozy venue might be known more for its live blues bands than its barbeque, but they’ve perfected both. Try their burnt ends and their giant battered home fries. BB’s menu also features Louisiana favorites such as gumbo and jambalaya, in keeping with its bluesy theme. Stop in on a Saturday afternoon for a jam session or any evening during the week to catch live music.

And since most of us will enjoy home-cooked barbeque on July 4, we also voted on our go-to barbeque meat choices, with pulled pork taking first place in our hearts…and our bellies.

A breakdown of TCD’s favorite BBQ meat

Have a wonderful July 4 celebration!

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