In collaboration with this mission, we’ve compiled Food & Wine’s list of the best KC BBQ restaurants

RJ’s Bob-Be-Cue Shack in downtown Mission is one of the best places to find barbecue in the KC area, according to a new listing published by Food and Wine Magazine. Photo courtesy Juliana Garcia.

RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack is one of the best places to find barbecue in Kansas City, according to Food and Wine Magazine’s new list.

where is it? Downtown Mission, 5835 Lamar Ave, just off Johnson Drive, across from CVS Pharmacy.

Owner’s response: This isn’t the first time owner Bob Palmgren’s small restaurant has captured national attention. Guy Fieri of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” has visited his twice. (His autographed portrait hangs on one of his RJ’s brick walls inside.)

  • Still, Palmgren, a classically trained French chef, is honored to make this latest list.
  • Palmgren credits his barbecue restaurant with several national awards for its focus on good food and his staff.
  • In nearly 20 years in business, he said the best compliments aren’t awards or names in magazines, but when customers come back to RJ’s.
GUy Fieri RJ's
Guy Fieri’s visits to RJ’s for diners, drive-ins and dives are commemorated on the walls of the barbecue joint. Photo courtesy Juliana Garcia.

Important Quote: “If you stay in business long enough and stay focused on what’s really good, you’ll get small accomplishments like being one of Kansas City’s Top 8,” says Palmgren. “He thinks there are about 120 barbecue restaurants in Kansas City. It’s great to be in that area.”

Magazine recommendations: Food and Wine Magazine mentioned RJ’s charred pieces, fried catfish platter, and pulled pork Po’Boy.

  • The magazine encourages customers to try RJ’s side as well, including Cajun rice, fried okra, and Bob-Be-Que beans.
  • But Palmgren says jalapeno sausage (Fieri’s favourite), ribs, and corned beef sandwiches are among the favorites.
  • “But Burnt End is king in Kansas City,” said Palmgren. “We make burnt ends hash, burnt ends sandwiches, and pork belly burnt ends.”
RJ ribs
Kalbi is a popular menu item with customers, Palmgren said.Photo courtesy Juliana Garcia

Who else made the list? Below are other BBQ joints on the Food and Wine list.

  • Q39, Westport location (but also Overland Park location)
  • Joe’s Kansas City on County Line Road
  • Arthur Bryant
  • Gates Bar-BQ
  • Slap BBQ at KCK
  • Fioela’s Jack Stack Barbecue
  • LC BBQ

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