Missouri is famous for barbecue.
The slow-smoked barbecue of Kansas City, known for being very saucy, tends to get the most attention — and rightfully so: Kansas City has more than 100 barbecue restaurants. But travelers will discover delicious barbecue across the state, from beef to chicken to pork — and even fish.
In St. Louis, make a visit to Pappy’s Smokehouse, a popular spot that specializes in pork that’s slow-cooked and topped with a sweet, tomato-based sauce. Bogart’s Smokehouse, named one of the best barbecue restaurants in St. Louis, is known for its smoked prime rib. Sugarfire Smoke House is a must for any traveler. Along with traditional barbecue favorites, Sugarfire offers a Portobello mushroom sandwich. The mushroom is marinated in tangy, sweet balsamic vinaigrette and smoked for a decadent, vegetarian-friendly entrée.
Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis specializes in pork that's slow-cooked and topped with a sweet, tomato-based sauce.
True barbecue fans won’t want to pass up Kansas City. Gates Bar-B-Q, which has six locations in Kansas City, has been serving original Kansas City-style barbecue for nearly 60 years. Legendary Arthur Bryant’s is considered to be the most famous barbecue restaurant in America. The restaurant specializes in “burnt ends,” the crispy, flavorful end pieces of smoked beef brisket. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, with four Kansas City locations, is a perfect spot for barbecue fans seeking several choices. Order The Sampler for a taste of barbecue chicken, spare ribs and burnt ends, served with creamy coleslaw.
Head to Kansas City for some of Missouri's best barbecue, high-end dining and innovative cocktails.
Elsewhere in Missouri
Outside of Missouri’s biggest cities, barbecue-seekers will find dishes worth traveling for. Como Smoke and Fire in Columbia features a wide menu, including hearty chili and smoked items (imagine wood-fired salmon and smoked turkey). Lutz’s BBQ in Jefferson City is an award-winning barbecue restaurant. Along with smoked meat, diners will want to try the house-made, spiral-cut potato chips — offered with a dozen seasoning options, from parmesan cheese to spicy Cajun accents.
In Branson, don’t miss Danna’s Bar-B-Que & Burger Shop, known for its inviting atmosphere and irresistible food. Even the small town of Dexter has noteworthy barbecue, in the form of slow-smoked meat at Dexter Bar-B-Que. At Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant and Lounge in Cape Girardeau, meat is slow-smoked over hickory and charcoal and served with fresh rolls and strawberry-honey butter.
In Springfield, at award-winning Whole Hog Café, order a Whole Hog Plate of ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, pork loin, sausage or burnt ends. Don’t forget a side of corn, tossed with burnt ends and melted cheese.
Lutz's BBQ in Jefferson City serves barbecue with these house-made, spiral-cut potato chips.