Kansas City Barbecue Tour: 1 Bus, 4 Restaurants, and Many, Many Meats

Ask any Kansas City resident what the best barbecue in the city is and you will undoubtably get a myriad of answers. There are over 100 barbecue restaurants in Kansas City. So what is a visitor to do? Leave it up to the pros. Book a tour with Kansas City Barbecue tours, taking you to both popular and hidden gems of the barbecue restaurants in the city.

The Kansas City Barbecue tour is run by husband and wife team Bethanie and Karl Schemel. With a love of barbecue and experience in guided tours, it was the perfect combination to start Kansas City Barbecue Tours. On the tour, you’ll learn the entire history behind the rise of barbecue in Kansas City and Bethanie will share the truths and debunk myths, all while you’re being bused around in a comfortable coach to each of the barbecue destinations.

Ribs, sausage and baked beans are a must at Arthur Bryant’s

Our tour started with one of the most well-know KC barbecue spots, Arthur Bryant’s. Here, sample ribs and their unique sausage, served sliced like ham. Decide if you like the original sauce or one of the other varieties. Me? I’m a fan of the rich and spicy. Don’t overlook the beans, with slow-cooked brisket in them.

Up next is the hidden gem of the tour. We won’t give the name away. It is certainly a dive of a restaurant if ever there was one. Here the speciality is burnt ends with a side of snarkyness. It’s part of the experience, so play along. Although the burn ends were a bit fatty, the cumin-laced sauce was the best sauce of the trip.

Smoked with Pecan wood in an outdoor smoker

Off to a unique spot with a rare outdoor smoker. Here, they also sell all different kinds of wood for smoking. However, they like to use Pecan as it is ideal for all meats and preferred over Hickory as it is less smoky than Hickory. Try the ribs and their Burnt Ends Chili at this destination.

Lastly, we finish our tour at another barbecue legend, Gates Bar B.Q. Here, they offer up a sample of just about everything: Ribs, Brisket, Turkey. While the sauce is tasty, it doesn’t quite beat Arthur Bryant’s in our book. Or is it that we’ve gotten completely stuffed over the last 3 hours? Try the tour and find out for yourself. Cost is $65 per person.

A platter of ribs, turkey, and brisket at Gates’ Bar B.Q.

Disclosure: Our visit was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Tourism.