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These Are Actually the Best Barbecue Restaurants in Kansas City (Don’t Hate Us!)

Arthur Bryant’s is part of barbecue folklore in Kansas City, dating back in the early 1900s when the young Arthur Bryant ran a lunch cart in downtown Kansas City. The current location has been open since 1949 and hasn’t seen many interior design updates since then. 

The Original barbecue sauce has an aggressive wallop with lots of vinegar and paprika, which pairs well with big flavors like the savory sausage. For a more gentle seasoning, try the Rich & Spicy sauce, which has just a tingle of heat.

Burnt ends are a mainstay on any KC barbecue menu, and they became famous at Arthur Bryant’s, where cooks would chop off the “burnt ends” of slabs of brisket and give them away for free. These little morsels became so popular they ended up on every menu in town. The problem is: Supply is always limited.

To keep up with demand, many KC barbecue restaurants serve burnt ends that are imposters: cubes of regular brisket, with two strips of meat and a fatty center, similar to pork belly, that are still tasty. But for the true burnt ends experience, try Arthur Bryant’s 3 B Sandwich, with chunks of actual “brisket-tip burnt ends,” marbled and juicy, and covered in delicately charred spice rub. The 3 B is served on a bun, but leave the bread aside to soak up the grease and eat the big bites of meat with a fork. Consume this more than once a year and your heart may never recover. But it would be a glorious way to go.

1727 Brooklyn Ave.;