2023 NFL Draft visitor’s guide to Kansas City BBQ
Slaps is the reason we called this portion the “up and comers”. Located in Kansas City, Kansas, they have solid all-around meats and their sides are great as well. It is a bit off the beaten path since you will have to drive or Uber to get there, but it is worth it. You get a great view of downtown from a different angle, and they have a nice patio. Also, because it is a little out of the way, you probably are not going to run into the crowds you would have at some of the more well-known establishments. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed, and I have a soft spot for their pulled pork and cheesy corn. [EM]
If you want spectacular BBQ south of the downtown area, you also have to try Meat Mitch. Maybe you have seen the BBQ sauce on store shelves? This is from the same group that runs Char Bar. Located in Leawood, they have a small patio, and their food is to die for. The restaurant itself just opened so it is clean, modern, and inviting. I just recently went there for my favorite meal: an appetizer of cheesy hog fries and the Naked & Afraid sandwich—truly spectacular and loaded with burnt ends and sausage, pepper jack cheese, and jalapeños. Of course, I had to have a side of the jalapeno cheesy corn bake (and yes we had tons of leftovers). This might be a perfect meal. And for those of you that want to venture outside the traditional BBQ sauce, you have to try the mustard. I fell in love with it and now my kitchen is never without! [EM]
One of the bigger disruptors in recent Kansas City barbecue memory, Q39 is arguably the gold standard blending modern dining with a traditional staple. With an array of sandwiches to choose from, the Mr. Burns and Triple threat are a couple personal favorites, as well as some more off the wall menu items like their Mac and Q (exactly what you’re thinking: mac and cheese with your choice of delectable smoked meat mixed in), you’re going to have a hard time going wrong here. They also have what I consider the best appetizer in all of Kansas City, a shamelessly American twist on a Canadian classic in the Smoked Beef Brisket Poutine. They also have what they call the Best Wings on the Planet, and I would challenge anyone from Buffalo (speaking of Canada) to honestly say that their city has anything that can compete. This is also Andy Reid’s favorite spot, allegedly. [CR]
Char Bar KC
If you are looking for BBQ on a patio, then look no further than Char Bar. Located in Westport, not only will you love the BBQ, but you will love the atmosphere. The patio is complete with bags, bocce ball, and plenty of seating—plus they are open late. This is a great place to spend an afternoon watching draft picks roll in while getting the meat sweats. I highly recommend their hush puppies, burnt heaven sandwich, or a tray—with burnt ends of course. I have spent many an afternoon slinging back mules while gorging myself on BBQ and have never regretted it! [EM]
If you want to venture in the opposite direction of Slaps, head over to Harp BBQ. Harp started serving out of a brewery, Crane Brewing, and has since opened its own storefront. Former Chiefs right tackle Mitch Schwartz raves about this place and we all know that he has quite the palate. It’s the kind of BBQ joint that is open until they run out. Located in Raytown, this place is quickly becoming known as one of the best BBQ places in the metro and if you take a peek at their menu, you’ll understand why. I love their sausage and brisket, but you really can’t go wrong with anything. If you want to be the kind of person that says they knew about a place before it was cool, check out Harp. [EM]
There you have it, NFL travelers. Kansas City’s finest dining options laid out for you by your favorite Kansas City bloggers. You can’t go wrong with any of these selections, and I guarantee if you elect to hit up more than one of these you’ll leave the K.C. draft experience five pounds heavier with a wicked case of the meat sweats. Safe travels!