Kansas City Restaurants

Kansas City is famous the world over for its barbeque. It all started in the early 1920s, when Henry Perry, the "Father of KC Barbeque," began selling barbeque that he'd cooked in an outdoor pit, wrapped in newspaper. Others emulated Perry's style, and the rest is history. Every local has his or her own favorite joint, but the undisputed "Big Three" of KC barbeque are Arthur Bryant's (1727 Brooklyn Ave.), Gate's (3205 Main St.), and Fiorella's Jack Stack(13441 Holmes Rd., near 135th St.). Though Kansas City barbeque is all slow-smoked, usually over hickory wood, each establishment has its own special recipe for meats and sauce. No matter where you go, make sure you try the KC's defining delicacy: burnt ends (the dry, blackened ends of the brisket).

You won't get stellar service, you won't have to dig very deep—prices range from $8 to $15 at all barbeque joints. The American Royal BBQ Contest (www.americanroyal.com) is a two-day festival held in the West Bottoms neighborhood each October. It's the largest amateur competition of its kind in the world, and it's a great way to sample a lot of local flavor in one stop.

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  • 1. Blue Bird Bistro

    $$ | American

    A bright blue facade and yellow door stand as beacons among dignified Victorian homes on this prominent corner just west of downtown. Inside...Read More

  • 2. Cafe Trio

    $$ | European

    Paintings by local artists, bronzed walls, linen tablecloths, and candles set the tone at this intimate midtown restaurant. House specialties...Read More

  • 3. Cascone's

    $$ | Italian

    Celebrity photos line the walls of this Italian restaurant's intimate dining room on the north side of the city. Southern Italian fare dominates...Read More

  • 4. Garozzo's

    $$ | Italian

    A casual dining room with celebrity autographs on the wall offers such dishes as tortellini Gina (stuffed with prosciutto, cheese, and chicken...Read More

  • 5. Grand Street Café

    $$ | European

    This café at the east end of Country Club Plaza has an English setting with a botanical theme. Dishes include fish, steaks, and pork served...Read More

  • 6. La Bodega

    $$ | Crossroads | Spanish

    An authentic tile-studded interior and open-air front patio help set the scene for savoring the hot and cold Spanish tapas served in traditional...Read More

  • 7. Le Fou Frog

    $$ | River Market | French

    The fine dining menu at this come-as-you-are River Market area eatery offers a daily entrée chalkboard and two pages of hors d'oeuvres. The...Read More

  • 8. Lidia's

    $$ | Crossroads | Italian

    Northern Italian cuisine, such as veal with spinach tagliatelle, is the house specialty in classic restaurant operated by Lidia Bastianich,...Read More

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