For all things Kansas City Bar-b-que.

Read below to learn where to find the best burnt ends in Kansas City.

Burnt ends encompass all that is Kansas City people and BBQ—unique, with flair, and that perfect combo of something special. The burnt end comes from the fatty end or smoked brisket point. You’ll find some burnt ends here in cubes, shreds, in sandwiches, chili, and one day soon, we hope ice cream. Check out what KCENDS.com has to offer by way of recipes, reviews, and general Kansas City Awesome.

The ever changing KCends best burnt ends of Kansas City ranking:

1st place: LC's Bar-B-Q - An all around true KC smoked burnt end. LC's truly knows how to make a good burnt end - from the proper cut, to the smoke, to the sauce!

2nd place: Q39 Bar-B-Que - Although fairly new to the KC bar-b-que scene. The professionally trained chef who started Q39 definiately knows what he is doing when it comes to burnt ends.

3rd place: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que - Formorly known as Oklahoma Joe's restaurant, KC Joe's consistently turns out a delightful burnt end at a comparatively reasonable price.

4th place: Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ - I would argue the best atmosphere for KC burnt ends. The burnt ends can be great, but are inconsitent and often times seem like they may be taken from the incorrect cut of meat.

5th place: Gates BBQ Kansas City - It's hard to compare this style of burnt end with others as it is chopped. Although, I prefer a juicy cubed burnt end, the smoked original flavor of Gates burnt end is truly delicious and unique to true smoked meats.

6th place: Rosedale Bar-B-Q - Great service and unique friendly historic diner atmosphere. The meats aren't quite as good as some others, but still great and definately a quality KC BBQ joint.

7th place: Slaps BBQ Kansas City - Don't get me wrong, the burnt ends are good, but just not quite as good as some of the others. Not quite as much marbeling in the meats as some of the others and I wonder if this was actually only the point. Flavor and tenderness is still excellent.

8th place: Arthur Bryant's Barbeque - The one responsible for how Kansas City’s burnt ends became the ultimate barbecued meat. A top list would not be complete without including the burnt end O.G.

Gates BBQ Review

Gates on Emanuel Cleaver Blvd.

After taking in a wonderful Royals MLB baseball game at Kaufmann Stadium, these reviewers thought it was time they visited the original Gates BBQ location off Emmanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. Unfortunately, this Gates location did not hit it out of the park like the Main location. Maybe their pitchers needed rested or someone pulled in from the bullpen, as the food and service did not compare to what Main Street Gates pitches out consistently. The lineup was long, and not because the food was in such demand; it was long because the service was inefficient and each order seemed to take as long as an inning. We waited in line for 30 minutes hoping for some action, and finally, it was our turn up to the (ordering) plate. One reviewer tried the Saturday special: mutton. As a specialty item, we would view this as a closing pitcher, something to really take your breath away. Unfortunately, the dish contained a lot of oil and was very gamey. The other reviewer opted for the beef brisket on bun knowing he is not a huge fan of Gates’s burnt ends. The brisket was dry and disappointing. The building, like an old ballpark, is unique, featuring an old street car and multiple unique rooms that make you feel like you are eating at Grandma’s house. Who knows, we may find our way back to this location someday, but it would be our preference to just hit that homerun straight away and head up to Gates on Main. Service there is outstanding and the meat is consistent. Everyone strikes out sometime, so maybe this was just not the Gates Cleaver location’s day for an out of the park homer.
BBQ- 2/5. Sauce- 4/5, Atmosphere 4/5, Attentiveness- 1/5.
Rosedale Bar-B-Q Review

Rosedale Bar-B-Q

We gave carry out a try at Rosedale Bar-B-Q after searching BBQ on Google maps. Rosedale is a historic legend, operating a fine BBQ restaurant option on the Southwest Boulevard corridor since 1935. Rosedale's location is quaintly appointed and would be an excellent dine in option in a non-COVID world. The unique, cozy diner-like atmosphere makes a customer feel right at home, just as the super friendly and kind staff. The COVID safety measures in place made this reviewer consider dining in, as everyone took careful measures to ensure safety and spacing. Now to the ends: the burnt ends were flavorful, but they did not contain as much marbling and fat as this reviewer prefers. That being said, the sauce was unique and flavorful; there is a smoky sweetness in Rosedale's BBQ sauce that isn't present in most other Kansas City BBQ establishments. One dip of an end in the sauce, and you completely forget about the lack of marbling. Our review team includes a gluten sensitive individual; Rosedale accommodates that dietary need and provides crispy and salty gluten-free French fries that are a must whether you are gluten-free or not. There is stiff competition in KC for BBQ. If looking only for the best meats, this might not rate number one. But, looking at the restaurant comprehensively-- considering the sides, environment, great service, and kind employees, it moves right up near the top. Also, consider their claim that they are “the oldest major barbecue restaurant continuously owned and operated by the same family” (Rosedale BBQ website). This kind of long standing tradition ensures a tasty meal—and one that has been recognized by the Travel Channel, New Yorker, and many more. If you want good food, great service, and to support a unique small business restaurant slightly off the beaten path, this is your place. We will definitely be back!
BBQ- 4/5. Sauce- 5++/5, Atmosphere 5+/5, Attentiveness- 5+/5.
LC's Bar-B-Q Review

LC's Bar-B-Q

So that’s what Steven Tyler was Singing about: “Amazing” LC’s BBQ meats

Just when you think you have KC BBQ figured out, the top 5 list all settled and pinned down, something like LC’s BBQ comes in and shakes up your entire taste profile for BBQ. LC’s BBQ is a quiet unassuming little BBQ shack on the East side. As you pull up, one thing you will notice are all of the cars surrounding the facility. The instant you walk in the door, you’ll know why. The large, two door smoker opens by the two counter workers, and wafts of that sweet gray smoke billow out. Like an illusion, the master smoker unearths a point from the bowels of the smoke encrusted racks, and the sight of all that succulent meat is enough to start those salivary glands to pumping. We ordered a mixed plate to sample some of the meat, entrusting the LC’s employee to the choice of two meats (we know, we know, BBQ Tourist move--- but we’re not sorry). He selected the sausage and turkey to accompany the rack of ribs. It also comes with a large order of thick-cut, steak style fries. To keep our reviewing consistent, or at least that’s what we tell ourselves, we ordered a pound each of burnt ends and turkey. So, we’ll start with the “beef butter.” These are old school burnt ends, chopped off the point and with a char so interesting and pungent, you’ll be tasting it in your mouth hours after you eat. Each morsel is a bit different, but all feature the char bark that is so characteristic of burnt ends; these ends are amped up a whole other level because of that amazing LC’s smoker. The turkey is good, and both meats by the pound come slathered in sauce and with bread as the standard style. The biggest surprise was the mixed plate. At first, this reviewer was unsure about the choice of sausage--- as she is neither a fan of sausage or ribs, both of which feature prominently in this selection. However, cover this reviewer in LC’s BBQ, as she was wrong. The sausage is arguably the best meat here, it has an amazing texture and flavor and all of that LC’s smoky goodness packed in mixed with the LC’s sauce gold. The ribs are fall off the bone tender, covered in that sweet/tangy/peppery sauce, which is needed to offset the char of the smoke and elevates the whole rib meat to another level of BBQ goodness. As you walk around the restaurant, you’ll realize you made a good choice in coming to LC’s. The 8 x 10 signed portrait of Aerosmith rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the restaurant proclaiming “Nuthin’ but bones” and “your ribs are stickin to ours” makes you realize you are in fine company with your BBQ choice of the day. The service was speedy, and, often you’ll find the eponymous founder of LC’s seated in the corner of the restaurant ensuring quality and service. You can bet LC’s is going to shake up the top 5 list here at KCENDS.com for sure.
BBQ- 5/5. Sauce- 5/5, Atmosphere 5/5, Attentiveness- 5/5.
Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que Review

The Q39 Review that Wasn’t - back to Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

These reviewers wished to try Q39 in Midtown—but it was so busy, the pickup times were hours away. Also, there wasn’t the option to get just the meats--- although their menu does feature both a pork belly and burnt end appetizer. But, by 4 p.m., both were sold out, so we aborted this mission and went to a solid stand by, Joe’s BBQ.
So, Q39 Midtown review: BBQ- ?/5. Sauce- ?/5, Atmosphere ?/5, Attentiveness- ?/5.

Now, on to the good stuff. Joe’s BBQ is a consistent option for great burnt ends. We ordered both turkey and burnt end loose meats, dirty rice, and their BBQ baked beans. You can count on Joe’s for a succulent burnt end—the meat to fat ratio is on point. Examine our review’s accompanying photos—it’s hard not to drool when you see the texture on that meat. The turkey is not as thick cut as Arthur Bryant’s, but it is well flavored, and almost has the texture of a deli meat. It is great as a sandwich option or to add in to soups later. For a treat, mix the dirty rice and the BBQ baked beans. Thank us later. The Joe’s BBQ sauce is hands down the best in the metro. It has a ketchup like consistency, a little tang, a little vinegar, and all of the goodness. Don’t miss out on Joe’s BBQ mayo—it takes those luscious burnt ends to a next level. Joe’s is doing a great job with delivery/pickup in the age of COVID. Download their app, order online, and you can track your meal’s progress. When you schedule a pickup time, don’t expect to wait. We ordered for 6 p.m., and we were back on the road by 5:58 p.m. For a great meal every time, you can’t go wrong with Joe’s. Joe’s was started by a team of competition BBQ folks, and you can taste the passion that goes in to the meat. The original barbecue team, called the Slaughterhouse Five, has our vote as Vonnegut fans. If you hit up the 47th Avenue and Mission road address, you will be able to see the BBQ stand/gas station. Originally named Oklahoma Joe’s, Joe’s BBQ name changed once Jeff and Joy Stehney bought out their partners to become sole owners of the establishment.
BBQ- 5/5. Sauce- 5/5, Atmosphere 5/5, Attentiveness- 5/5.
Gates Bar-B-Q Review

Gates Bar-B-Q

I was delighted to stop at the O.G. of barbecue today, dining outdoors at Gates BBQ. What a treat this place is. From the jazz music playing to the staff, well-appointed in their professional Gates work uniform, to the ordering stand—this place screams old-school barbecue joint with class. It’s easy to see why they have been in business since 1946. When you come up to the order line, we first noticed how well they addressed COVID concerns by having ample distance in the queue. When we were asked, “Hi! May I help you?” – we were ready—placing an order for a Mixed Plate and burnt end sandwich. The employees at Gates are well-trained and efficient. The single order and money taker worked so quickly; she was placing orders with the kitchen, ringing up people, serving drinks, getting pickles and fries, and all with a smile on her face. That’s one thing about Gates we had to come back to—from the hosts, to the bartenders, to the cleanliness of the kitchen, Gates knows how to run a restaurant. The Mixed Plate is easily enough meal for 2, but was this one reviewer’s order. She agreed with Tech 9, this is the order to get. It features ample ham, beef brisket, 3 ribs, a pile o’ fries, pickles, and as much bread as you can fill in on top of that. Before we even get to the ‘cue, these pickles are hands down the best you can find in KC. The chips are thick cut, crisp, and have a great vinegar consistency that cuts the meat in a delightful way. Now to the ‘cue: the ham is succulent and sweet. The brisket’s lines of fat were pronounced and added texture and flavor to the beef. The ribs are on the bone and heavily sauced. The char of the smoke comes through the thick crust of the rib meat brilliantly. Throughout the meal, we noted that this was THE PLACE for a true barbecue meal. If you want to take someone out to try a sampling of BBQ, the Mixed Plate would be a great option. The burnt end sandwich is different than other burnt ends in the area. The burnt ends are diced with cleavers to be small little morsels of goodness mixed up with sauce. There’s great char, a little low on our meat to fat ratio, but still quite tasty. The varied texture provides a lot of opportunity for sauce to sink in. All of the meats at Gates come pre-sauced, and the sauce there is definitely outstanding. It has a red pepper, pepper, and perhaps chipotle flavor that sparks the meat’s flavor and smoke in a delightful combustion. Overall, an outstanding restaurant from the old school bbq category.
BBQ- 4/5. Sauce- 4/5, Atmosphere 5/5, Attentiveness- 5/5.
Slaps BBQ Review

Slap's BBQ

Slap’s feels like the old school barbecue stand down on the corner. The building is attractively appointed with ample outdoor seating and a huge patio. We went utilitarian here, ordering “just the meats” of burnt ends and turkey, and a side of tasty sweet potato and regular fries. The take out window is through the patio area, and we didn’t have to wait at all. The burnt ends are ok—the fat to meat ratio is little fat, lots o’ meat. It tastes more like a brisket middle cubed than a point. They do well on their smoke, so these are still a tasty piece of meat, but the ratio is going to keep them rated below our other top candidates. The Slap’s sauce is truly unique. It has more of a marinade consistency and has a high vinegar taste. If you like pickles, this sauce is one you’d like. We recommend getting the spicy and sweet sauces and mixing them. Slap’s excels in their turkey category. The smoked turkey was thickly cut, juicy, tender, and would be fantastic on a sandwich or just alone. When ordering the meats, be prepared for the extra sides of jalapenos and pickles and bread—it comes as part of the selection!
BBQ- 3/5. Sauce- 3/5, Atmosphere- 4/5, Attentiveness- 4/5.
Arthur Bryant's Review

Arthur Bryant’s BBQ

I really really wanted to like Bryants. It has been praised by everyone from a favorite Nebraska English professor to President Obama. Steven Spielberg ate there twice, Harrison Ford, and the great Calvin Trillin proclaimed it the best restaurant in America (see our History of Burnt Ends page). They are the O.G. of burnt ends, so in staying true to our namesake, we ordered a pound of burnt ends, burnt end sandwich and fry, and smoked turkey. The burnt ends were—o.k. Just o.k. And, perhaps this is just a matter of the O.G. being outshined by the new up and comers. Perhaps it is just this reviewer’s choice as well. The ends were a bit more charred than say Joe’s or Q39 and involve a significant amount of sauce. The fat to meat ratio was more meat than fat. The smoked turkey, without sauce, is some of the best turkey we’ve had in town. The fries, I am told by my co-reviewer, are by far the best fries at a BBQ joint. In any other year than 2020, I’d love the atmosphere, the counter order, the busy-ness, and the energy. I’m reviewing during COVID, though, so for me, this busy-ness was too much—by design, the wrap around line forces you to be in less than 6 foot of distance, and perhaps we caught it at a popular time/day (although it was 4 p.m. on Friday?), but the line was super long to have to wait that close to people. You need to go so you can say you went to the original burnt end spot—and if saucy ends are your jam, this is the spot for them.
BBQ- 3/5. Sauce- 2/5, Atmosphere (the lack of distancing and wait time was problematic) 1/5, Attentiveness- 3.5/5.

Q39 Overland Park

For this reviewer, these burnt ends are number one. The ends are cubed to perfection, with nearly square morsel containing a premier fat to meat ratio. While other restaurants mix their point and brisket to create a hybrid end, this is the real deal. Order the burnt end appetizer for a small plate to share with someone—or don’t, and eat it yourself. You’ll still be wanting more of their burnt ends, so order the burnt end sandwich called Mr. Burns. It features burnt ends, chipotle barbecue sauce, pepper jack cheese, onion straws, and a toasted bun. This is the burnt end sandwich that ties Joe’s Z-Man sandwich as the KC Ends number one rated sandwich. While the meat is definitely on point, the sauces were hit or miss for this reviewer. The employees are super helpful and won’t let your soda remain undrained. The dining space is a little Cheesecake Factory like in that the tables are super close together. But, dining late afternoon mitigated a crowd.
BBQ- 5+/5, Sauce- 2/5, Atmosphere- 3/5, Attentiveness- 5/5

Gates BBQ

The atmosphere is the number one reason you go to the place to get asked, “Hi! May I help you?” Have your order ready when you walk in—the pressure will get to you at the line when there are so many people stacked up behind you for some that Gates goodness. You can’t go wrong with the KC Mixed Plate. If it is good enough for Tech 9, it is good enough for us. The loaf of white bread and endless pickles make this a place to go to fill up for a reasonable cost. The meat is good, sauce is good, and the atmosphere is an authentic experience.
BBQ- 4/5. Sauce- 4/5, Atmosphere 5/5, Attentiveness- 5/5.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack - 2 locations in the Crossroads and the Plaza

This is a classic, sit-down BBQ restaurant to take the family to eat. The casseroles, sides, drinks, and dessert options are outstanding, and the service is always great. When it is busy, the room can be loud—which maybe our extroverts like, but can be a little distracting for those of us that don’t get out much. The burnt ends can be hit or miss here—sometimes they are outstanding, other times, it appears like the burnt ends served are just brisket cooked up like burnt ends. Don’t get this reviewer wrong, they are still good, but they don’t have that melt in your mouth feel that Q39 or Joe’s provide consistently. We would recommend this for the family dining spot.
BBQ- 4/5. Sauce- 4/5, Atmosphere- 4/5, Attentiveness- 5/5.

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

So, in light of COVID, we have only driven through Joe’s, but every time is consistently awesome. Order “just the meats” and get a pound (or two) of their burnt ends. These were recently ranked our number one burnt end until Q39 overtook. The serving size for Joe’s is great. The Z-Man sandwich is one of our top two KC BBQ sandwiches. You can order it many different ways, and all are excellent. The succulent meat has that perfect fat to meat ratio. And, the Joe’s BBQ sauce is our number one choice. It has a rich KC BBQ taste and pairs perfectly with their succulent ends. The drive through is efficient, their app works great, and it provides you updates on the status of the food. In regard to atmosphere, we only have the drive through to go by—while everyone is friendly, we have concerns about the protection of the upside-down face shields. All in all, great BBQ, and we are excited to dine in post COVID.
BBQ- 5+/5. Sauce- 5+/5, Atmosphere (the shields really dinged them here) 1/5, Attentiveness- 5/5.
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