Kansas City Barbecue and More

6 STOPS | 28 MILES | 1 hr

Even before Calvin Trillin declared Arthur Bryant’s to be “possibly the single best restaurant in the world” in a 1974 Playboy magazine article, Kansas City was famous for barbecue. It still is, rightfully so, but in addition to its superb smoke-cooked meats, the Paris of the Plains is home to what may be the single best fried chicken restaurant in this world or any other (Stroud’s), as well as grand, classic soul food (at Niecie’s) and — are you ready for this? — one of our favorite vegetarian restaurants anywhere.



Does Stroud's of Kansas City serve the best fried chicken anywhere? With from-scratch fixins, too, from soup and mashed potatoes to sweet cinnamon rolls.


Arthur Bryant’s

Good as Arthur Bryant's ribs and brisket are, what makes the legendary Kansas City BBQ restaurant unique is its gritty, red-orange sauce.

Must Eats

Eden Alley

Kansas City's superb vegetarian restaurant, Eden Alley is a big, open dining room (& outdoor patio) staffed with people for whom The Right Food is a mission.


Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Even sauceless, Joe's pork is fantastic:, radiant with smoke flavor. Best dish is the Smokie Joe sandwich, which combines pork, beef, and zesty sauce.


Woodyard Bar-B-Que

Woodyard's BBQ burnt ends are available in a sandwich or as the topping for chili. One of Kansas City’s best smoke-house restaurants.



A St. Louis soul food best, Niecie's is a 3-meal-a-day gathering place for regulars and visitors. Chicken & waffles is a specialty. As are pig ear sandwiches.