By: Aaron Blackwell
May 4, 2016
Dry rubbed, smothered in sauce, slow smoked, or gorgeously grilled, barbecue in the Show Me State is nothing less than perfection—and these spots are living proof. To create this list, Yelp ranked local (non-chain) Missouri businesses categorized as “BBQ” on Yelp, based on number of reviews and star rating.
1) Bogart’s Smokehouse – St. Louis
If you’re from St. Louis and you haven’t eaten Bogart’s we won’t tell anyone as long as you go try it … right now. No. 1 in STL and No. 18 in the US for 2016, this crowd favorite isn’t a surprise to BBQ fanatics. We’d tell you what to order, but it doesn’t matter—they prepare everything with passion (but we’re partial to the ribs.)
2) Gobble STOP Smokehouse – Creve Coeur
You’ve heard of the big players in town, but chances are you’ve skipped skipped over No. 2, Gobble STOP. Small but mighty, they boast the best BBQ turkey in the area. Order some BBQ turkey tips or turkey wings, and forget all your worries.
3) Adam’s Smokehouse – St. Louis
Adam’s Smokehouse was born from the brilliance of a former Pappy’s Smokehouse alum. They do it all, but make sure to try their garlic smoked salami while you’re there. Get saucy with the Carolina Vinegar, Cranberry Cayenne and Sweet Jane sauces.
4) City Butcher and Barbecue – Springfield
This Austin, Texas-inspired BBQ shop does much more than just Texas-style BBQ — City Butcher doubles as an artisan butcher shop. Get your beef brisket to go with some hand-made sausages to grill up on the weekend.
5) Pappy’s Smokehouse – St. Louis
If you know St. Louis, then you know Pappy’s. This top-dog serves some of the best Memphis-style BBQ in STL. Go hungry and order The Big Ben – A full slab of ribs, a beef brisket and pork sandwich, 1/4 Chicken, and four sides.
6) Q39 – Kansas City
Q39 is newer to the KC BBQ scene, and it quickly climbed the ranks as the #1 BBQ spot in KCMO. Boasting excellent smoked meats, house-made sauces, and a cool atmosphere to boot, there’s no question to why Q39 is a destination.
7) Jack Stack Barbecue – Martin City/Kansas City
With several locations around KC, Jack Stack in Martin City is where it all began. This classic, wood-lined restaurant is a perfect window into the culinary vastness of the Kansas City BBQ scene.
8) Danna’s Bar-B-Que and Burger Shop – Branson
Danna’s is a family-run joint that proudly and perfectly smokes their meats. Try their ol’ fashioned smoked pork plate or splurge on their BBQ nachos.
9) Andre’s Ribs – St. Louis
If it has “ribs” in the name then you can probably guess what you should order. Andre’s slow cooks and dry rubs all their ribs to tender perfection. If you aren’t in the mood for ribs and want to taste a St. Louis classic, then snag a pork steak.
10) The Shaved Duck – St. Louis
The Shaved Duck is the perfect BBQ restaurant if you’re looking for top-notch table service with some world-class food. Order the smothered fries topped with pulled rib, pork meat, and cheese sauce. You’ll never go hungry again.
11) Vernon’s BBQ & Catering – St. Louis
Vernon’s prides itself in quality BBQ, whether you’re eating it at their brick-and-mortar or at a catered event. Everyone knows that having unforgettable sides separates the boys from the men, and the tequilla lime green beans and Aunt Jan’s burnt end beans pair well with a full order of pulled pork.
12) Sugarfire Smoke House – St. Louis
Sugarfire is a major player in Missouri BBQ with six locations in Missouri. They do BBQ well, and they do it big. Order the Meat Daddy and you’ll have enough food for your next three meals.
13) Back Rack BBQ & Catering – North Kansas City
Isn’t it funny how it only takes a few seconds to devour meat that’s smoked for over 12 hours? Back Rack BBQ serves its delectable smoked meats straight from their truck.
14) Roper’s Ribs – St. Louis
Roper’s has some of the best BBQ around, and if your taste buds are a fan, you can purchase their dry rub for your home cooking. Try the “Traveler’s Special” and you’ll get to sample a bit of everything.
15) A Little BBQ Joint – Independence
Don’t let the name fool you — Little BBQ Joint packs a big taste. Pro tip: you can add three ribs to any order … the perfect add-on.
16) Shotgun Pete’s BBQ Shack – Columbia
Columbia locals know Shotgun Pete’s as their resident BBQ experts. After you decide between the pulled pork BBQ sandwiches and the hickory-smoked spare ribs, you’ll have to choose from one of their six homemade sauces. Good luck with that.
17) Spare No Rib -St. Louis
Spare No Rib is not your typical BBQ spot and deviates from the traditional status quo — it’s the perfect marriage of Mexican and BBQ. This is your new go-to when you’re craving a half rack of ribs with a quality margarita.
18) Char Bar – Kansas City
The only thing that rivals the smoked meats and extensive menu at Char Bar is their spacious patio; bocce, bags and beers make this spot feel like an ongoing tailgate party, and you’re invited.
19) Danny’s Edward’s Boulevard BBQ – Kansas City
The history is strong at Danny Edwards, where this family-run spot dates back to the 1930′s. Some things never change, as locals love grabbing lunch at this KC classic.
20) Smoking Barrels BBQ – St. Louis
If you haven’t figured it out by now, locals love their BBQ smoked. Follow the smells to Smoking Barrels and try their smoked-to-perfection pulled pork.
21) Dalie’s Smokehouse – Valley Park
Dalie’s is the lovechild of Bogart’s and Pappy’s you read about earlier on the list. You no longer have to drive to the city to try highly rated BBQ! Dine in and you can get a local beer or glass of wine with your half rack of ribs.
22) Salt+Smoke, BBQ Bourbon and Beer – University City
Salt+Smoke is known for their craft cocktails and bourbon list as much as their tasty BBQ. Try their smoked wings for something different, and pair it with one of their barrel-aged cocktails.
23) Dempsey’s BBQ – Concordia
When it comes to off the beaten path, Dempsey’s is a top dog. This family run BBQ destination proudly serves up some of the best dry rubbed ribs and brisket in the area.
24) Back Porch B-B-Q – Kansas City
Making it in the KC BBQ scene is a tough business and Back Porch is earning their seat. Yelpers love the hospitality as much as the food. When you’re at Back Porch, you’re at home.
25) Elbow Inn & BBQ Pit – Saint Robert
Elbow Inn & BBQ Pit is a Route 66 gem that offers a taste of America off the beaten path — only in Missouri can you get a rib dinner on the road. Bookmark this one for your next road trip.
Honorary Mention: Joe’s Kansas City BBQ – Kansas City, Kansas