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Kansas City, 72-Hour Vacation

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Here's where to find the best 'cue in all of Kansas City. Then check out our travel article. See Day 1, 2 and 3 in the grey box above! Happy eatin' and travels!

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue: There are four locations for this Jack Fiorella family operation. At its site at 101 W. 22nd St. in the Freight House District, 816-472-7427, Fiorella has built a $40,000 smoker (see photo below). Other locations: 4747 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, 816-531-7427; 13441 Holmes Rd. in South Kansas City, 816-942-9141; and 9520 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, KS, 913-385-7427.

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City
Alain Gayot with Jack Fiorella

You can order everything from ribs to sauces and sides to be shipped; call 877-419-7427 or visit

Arthur Bryant's Barbecue: A legend that draws laborers and celebs. 1727 Brooklyn Ave., 816-231-1123.

Arthur Bryant's Barbecue in Kansas City

Oklahoma Joe: Nestled in a gas station in KCK, this is a local favorite. Gas up, load up and don't forget to pick up one of these award-winning sauces. 3002 W. 47th St., Kansas City, KS, 913-722-3366.

Oklahoma Joe in Kansas City

L.C.'s Bar-B-Q

L.C.'s Bar-B-Q: It's a bit of a drive out of Kansas City on the east side, but this roadside diner gets a consensus from locals for an all-time favorite. Just ten tables fill up L.C. Richardson's shrine of meats cooked gently for a long time. 5800 Blue Pkwy., 816-923-4484.

Gates Bar-B-Q: Another well-known name with several locations. When you enter, expect to be greeted by a staffer shouting, "May I help you?" It's tradition. 3205 Main St., 816-753-0828, and several other locations.

Smokin' Meats, Good Eats

Is Kansas City the barbecue capital? Die-hard barbecue fans will fight to the last bite for their favorites, and Kansas City is no doubt among the top contenders. So what's better about the barbecue here? Local carnivore connoisseurs might admit that often the meat is about the same but that the finishing touches, the smoking, etc., make the difference and, of course, the sauce is really want what separates the clans. Too liquid, too much vinegar, too spicy? Everyone has an opinion. There are sauces for all tastes, and you can have them to go or order by mail—in fact, not just the sauces are for sale. Now you can order you KC barbecue online for your Bellevue kitchen, Mr. Gates—no relationship to the local favorite ribs place. The American Royal BBQ Contest, the first weekend in October, is considered the largest such competition in the world. And, it's open for the public to enjoy. Kansas City has scores of barbecue restaurants. On many menus, you will see "burnt ends," the well-cooked ends of brisket, which are so popular they're served apart now.

(Updated: 06/26/13 RD)

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