9 Bites of Kansas City Slideshow


Burnt Ends

Where to go: Danny Edwards Boulevard BBQ

After taking the briskets off the pit in the morning, Danny Edwards splits them and takes the lean part to slice for sandwiches. Then he takes the tops and cuts off the fat, seasons the meat, and puts it back in the pit. After a time, it’s chopped for the burnt ends. Unlike other barbecue joints, these are not fatty leftovers gussied up to avoid waste, but crisp and tender morsels of goodness.

Chicken Spiedini

Where to go: Garozzo’s Italian Ristorante

Another meat dish invented in Kansas City is the chicken spiedini, a savory Italian shish kebab. The dish was invented at the restaurant, which still serves the local staple. The chicken is marinated, rolled in Italian breadcrumbs, skewered, and grilled. 

Kansas City Strip

Where to go: Jess and Jim’s

Another BBQ classic, the strip is the cut of meat Kansas City is famous for. This cut of meat uses the short loin, and does not have any tenderloin, resulting is a particularly tender piece of meat. Because of its roots in Kansas City, it is served at almost all of the city’s 100-plus BBQ joints. 


Where to go: Taqueria Mexico

Kansas City is home to Southwest Boulevard, a strip filled with authentic Mexican cuisine. One of the most notable is Taqueria Mexico with their signature dish, molcajete. The dish is a combination of various kinds of meat (chicken, steak, shrimp, and sausage) smothered in a house-made spicy sauce. 


Where to go: Minsky’s

Named one of Travel and Leisure’s top cities for pizza, Kansas City is home to some seriously delicious and gourmet pizza joints. A traditional local spot is Minsky’s, who prides itself on their slogan "Gourmet, and going to stay that way!" Whatever your favorite pizza topping may be, this place will deliver. 


Where to go: Port Fonda

What started as a dish served out of Patrick Ryan's food truck has become a featured menu item at his brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name. Ryan, who cooked with Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill and Topolabampo in Chicago, learned a thing or two from his mentor about making authentic Mexican sauces.

Baked Beans

Where to go: Jack Stack

Even those who disagree about where to get the best ribs or brisket would be hard-pressed to find better baked beans anywhere than at Jack Stack Barbecue. Smoky and chock-full of big chunks of brisket, these are the gold standard.

Shrimp and Grits


Where to go: Rye  

James Beard Award-winning chef Colby Garrelts has riffed on a Southern classic, making it uniquely Midwestern. Using grits from a local farmer, he serves a slightly different rendition of the dish at both the upscale Bluestem, as well as at Rye, his more casual eatery.

Brussel Sprouts

Where to go: Pizzabella

Pizzabella's delicious dish pairs Brussels sprouts with pancetta, cranberries, almonds, and a vinaigrette. Once you take a bite, prepare to join the ranks of the converted, for even those who typically disdain this cabbage-like vegetable find that this dish is quite addictive.