The Barbecue Restaurant Anthony Bourdain Couldn't Skip In Kansas City

Even food legends have menus they simply can't skip when rolling through town, and Anthony Bourdain was no exception. In Kansas City, however, where barbecue joints run rampant and cooks attempt to guard recipes used in making flavorful barbecue sauce, landing on a specific restaurant can be challenging. For Bourdain, stops at Joe's Kansas City BBQ became a non-negotiable aspect of his travel plans. His enthusiastic visits inspired other foodies searching for mouthwatering ribs that require extra napkins to enjoy. 

During Bourdain's 2005 A Cook's Tour, Bourdain investigated the proper components of delicious American BBQ, concluding that spices and seasoning, the kind of fuel used, and a chef's know-how must align to produce a proper plate of barbecue. When pilling brisket and pulled pork into his mouth, Bourdain described the servings at Joe's to be the kind of barbecue that Kansas City has dutifully come to expect. "It's the best barbecue in Kansas City, which makes it the best barbecue in the world," Bourdain concluded

A meal stop worth making

Don't let the exterior of Joe's original location fool you. Though the front of the restaurant has retained its original signage, the plates of food waiting inside are anything but common. "You go to this location to experience that authentic 'this is how it started' vibe," writes one Google reviewer. "It reminds you that good food can happen in unexpected places, even in your own backyard."

Joe's and its three other locations serve juicy slabs of ribs, meat that falls off the bone, and pulled pork sandwiches served on toasted buns and accompanied by BBQ beans, potato salad, and cole slaw. The Z-Man sandwich has garnered special attention, as the smothered brisket arrives slathered in barbeque sauce and crowned with crunchy onion rings. Served with a side of fries, you, too, will understand why Bourdain had his heart set on visiting every time he passed by.