March 2, 2012 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Kansas City Eats: Where are your favorite places to eat in the greater KC, MO area? I'd especially love to hear about some hole-in-the-wall BBQ places.

Heading to KC for the weekend and I'd love your suggestions on places to eat. I'm particularly interested in good breakfast/brunch places and local favorite BBQ places. (Found this 2010 KC Brunch post, but shockingly no BBQ recommendations!) I've tried some of the larger BBQ places and I've had hit-or-miss enjoyment (Jack Stack was great, Gates was so-so).

We may or may not be game for a drive to, say, Lawrence on Saturday afternoon.

Anything else not to miss in KC?
posted by sararah to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: LC's Barbecue is definitely my favorite of the barbecue places--and also definitely fits anyone's definition of "hole-in-the-wall."
posted by flug at 7:27 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Oklahoma Joe’s in KCK is supposedly the go-to (I'm an Arthur Bryant's man myself for city places). If Concordia isn't too far, Biffle's is my flat-out favourite.
posted by scruss at 7:28 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: If you've already hit up two of the big three, then you might as well go for Arthur Bryants to get the trifecta.

Oklahoma Joe's (there's one in Mission/Merriam-ish just on the other side of state line, or in Lenexa if you're out in the Johnson County suburbs) is my favorite barbecue place in Kansas City, bar none. The meat is great, and the fries are the best in the country and if anyone tries to argue with me on that I will fight you. You'll wait in line for a decent amount of time.

I've never had LC's, but my coworkers think it's fantastic.

Beer Kitchen in Westport has an okay brunch. And beer, which unsurprisingly the specialty of the place. I am pretty sure it is owned by the microbrewery across the street.
posted by dismas at 7:29 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Oh, also, fried chicken at Strouds is another local favorite. Not so much hole in the wall, though.
posted by dismas at 7:30 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Arthur Bryant's.

Eden Alley is fantastic but pretty much the antithesis of smoked meat and sauce on a plate.

blue bird bistro has a pricy but good brunch.

As far as BBQ in Lawrence; Gran-daddys, Biemers and Biggs are OK, but I think you'd be way better off just getting BBQ at Bryant's. (Stay far away from Buffalo Bob's.)

Lawrence breakfast/brunch (in order of my own personal preference): 715, WheatFields, Ten (in the Eldridge hotel, menu here (PDF)), Teller's.

Lawrence lunch: Free State, Pachamamas, Dempsey's or Burger Stand for burgers. Esquina re-opened recently and is now serving Spanish/Mediterranean food, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
posted by cog_nate at 7:36 AM on March 2, 2012

Arthur Bryant's is amazing. Get the ribs.

Skip Gates BBQ. It's really overrated.
posted by mmmbacon at 7:39 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: (Sorry I'm not linking things, don't have time to look up all the links right now.)

For BBQ, I'd have to second OK Joe's and Arthur Bryant's, but only go to the originals - 47th and Mission for OK Joe's, 18th and Brooklyn for AB's. Those are the only ones that matter.

If you feel like Mexican, Real Jalisco in Blue Springs is awesome, and El Camino Real in KC, KS has been getting a lot of love recently. These aren't Tex-Mex, but actual Mexican.

Grinder's Pizza is some tasty pizza and an interesting atmosphere, and Art of Pizza is just some damned good East-coast style pizza.

For more upscale, I highly recommend Room 39, Michael Smith (there's a Groupon for it today), the Rieger Exchange, or Extra Virgin.

For breakfast/brunch, my recommendations from the previous thread still stand, and I'd add Nica's 320 on SW Blvd.
posted by jferg at 7:39 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Oh, and Blanc Burgers and bottles has some tasty, tasty burgers, but IMHO avoid the truffle fries, as good as they sound.
posted by jferg at 7:40 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Oh, yeah, Michael Smith and Extra Virgin (Michael Smith owns both, I think) are both really fantastic.

I like Lulus for ramen-y dishes. It's in the Crossroads, near the train station.
posted by dismas at 7:41 AM on March 2, 2012

Oh, and if you want a cool place to go for drinks, check out Manifesto.
posted by jferg at 7:50 AM on March 2, 2012

Definitely go to the original Bryant's, as mentioned above. Not mentioned: Burnt ends. Get the burnt ends.
posted by ronofthedead at 7:57 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, keep in mind that tonight is First Fridays in the Crossroads which means that all of the galleries will be open later, but also that restaurants and bars in the area (of the above: Michael Smith, Extra Virgin, Lulus, maybe some others) will probably be crowded (then again, if it's still doing this sleet nonsense tonight there might not be too many people).
posted by dismas at 8:03 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't visit or pass through KC without stopping at Gates BBQ. Ever.
posted by COD at 8:06 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Gates is pretty good, but I hate their service. They do have a tasty bbq sauce, which luckily you can buy at supermarkets.

Oklahoma Joe's is tasty, my boss gets a giant meat tray from them occasionally during potlucks at work; I've never been to an actual restaurant-type location though.

I've heard decent things about Jack Stack, but never personally been there because it's always packed.

As far as non-BBQ places, there's Jess & Jim's steakhouse which a lot of my coworkers like. I'm not a huge fan because they pan-fry their steaks and I'm a charcoal kind of guy, but I realize that not everyone is like that.

Aside from that, I used to be a huge fan of Sushi Gin. They have very tasty salad dressing and really good tempura. They also have a habit of playing whole Beatles albums. Unfortunately they've gotten on a Groupon kick in the last year or so, so the place is now constantly packed, is loud, and the service has turned to complete crap. Still though, if you can get there during a period when it's not infested by grouponers, it's a pretty decent place I think. The sushi isn't anything fancy, but I do like their super-white tuna (escolar) and they have a lot of $1 nigiri.
posted by Bonky Moon at 8:36 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: It's not BBQ, but Kansas City has Missouri's only Flying Saucer, which is a must-visit if you're a beer-lover-- 200 beers on their menu, in constant rotation, about 60 of which are on tap. Join the UFO club!
posted by Sunburnt at 10:56 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: That's my brunch thread and I can heartily second both Eden Alley and Bluebird Bistro - but neither of them are even close to BBQ joints.

I actually am from Kansas City and Arthur Bryant's is sort of considered The Place to Go for BBQ.
posted by something something at 10:59 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: I don't know much about Kansas City, but I can personally attest to the glory of Oklahoma Joe's.
posted by sportbucket at 11:20 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Love Jack's Stack. I prefer Arthur Bryant's to Gates'. See also:

BB's Lawnside BBQ (http://bbslawnsidebbq.com/)

And for non-barbecue but otherwise quintessentially KC food:

Strouds (http://www.stroudsrestaurant.com/)
posted by deCadmus at 11:46 AM on March 2, 2012

Best answer: Paul's has the best onion rings I've ever had, if you're in the mood for that kind of eating.
posted by eruonna at 1:29 PM on March 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all! We had Oklahoma Joe's BBQ, which was AWESOME and my favorite of the three that I've tried so far. Still never been to Bryant's (my boyfriend has) so we'll have to stop next time we're in town. We went to OK Joe's Saturday for lunch and made the wise decision to eat a light breakfast and get there right after opening (11 a.m.). The line was out the door and into the parking lot by the time we left around 11:40.

We were in town to go to a couple of shows at Knuckleheads, which was quite an experience. I'd love to go there in the summer when you can sit on the Caboose in their crazyass courtyard. Fun shows, great people. We saw Samantha Fish and Trampled Underfoot - two great local acts (and a secret surprise show from Chicago blues group Nick Moss on Friday night who was playing in the Retro Room. He wasn't even on the billing, yet he ended up being my favorite act of the night.). I'm not even a huge blues fan but the venue, the crowd, and the enthusiasm of the acts made the shows memorable and enjoyable. My friend met a guy at Knuckleheads who owns Smokin' Joe's BBQ in Olathe, and apparently they have pretty good BBQ and awesome rib specials on Weds/Sun. It was out of our way on the drive back, otherwise we would have stopped on the way out of town to get some ribs for the road.

We ended up at the Flying Saucer twice (once for dinner, second time just for beers). Flying Saucer had decent food and OMG AMAZING pretzels. As a soft-pretzel connoisseur (I often make them at home), they were some of the best soft pretzels I've had anywhere that is not my kitchen.

Hoping to try some of the more upscale restaurants sometime when it is just me and my boyfriend. There were six of us in all this weekend and I didn't really plan ahead for reservations at anywhere fancy. We had a great weekend and we will definitely be back now that we feel like we know the city a bit better!
posted by sararah at 7:27 AM on March 6, 2012

Yay! Glad you enjoyed it here!
posted by dismas at 8:05 AM on March 6, 2012

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