Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

Where to get great barbecue, pizza and margaritas in Kansas City

03/12/2014 1:55 PM

05/05/2014 4:28 PM

Thousands of college basketball fans are in Kansas City this week for the Big 12 Tournament.

Those looking for a quick bite between games should skim

Ink’s list of 12 restaurants and bars within half a mile of the Sprint Center. The list includes Johnny’s Tavern, The Dubliner, Anton’s Taproom and The Belfry.

Have more time on your hands? Consider traveling beyond downtown — Kansas City’s culinary scene offers everything from amazing hole-in-the-wall barbecue joints to restaurants run by James Beard Award-winning chefs. Here are a few tasty recommendations culled from our reader polls.

Burnt ends: These Kansas City barbecue delicacies are the charred tips of smoked beef brisket. According to our burnt ends poll, Jack Stack makes the best. Scroll through the comments and you’ll see shout-outs to Big T’s and LC’s on Blue Parkway in south Kansas City and Smokehouse

, which has four locations in the metro area.

Ribs: Oklahoma Joe’s won our ribs poll by a barbecue sauce landslide. The always-packed original location in Kansas City, Kan. recently took the No. 3 spot

on Yelp’s list of “Top 100 places to eat.”

Pizza: Bella Napoli, an authentic Italian pizzeria in Brookside, took the primo spot in our pizza poll, but Minsky’s, Spin! and Waldo Pizza

got a lot of votes, too. If you go to Bella Napoli, order the margherita pie — fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil on a hot and bubbly crust.

Doughnuts: Our doughnut poll was dominated by LaMar’s, a chain with nine locations across the metro area. Fluffy Fresh

in Mission took second place with 546 votes. Superstitious? Give your team the luck of the Irish by ordering a limited-edition kelly green-frosted doughnut from LaMar’s.

Fried chicken: Stroud’s is pretty much synonymous with fried chicken in Kansas City — which is probably why it won our fried chicken poll. For a chef’s spin on fried chicken, check out Rye, owned by James Beard Award winner Colby Garrelts. Rye’s extra-crunchy fried chicken made the cover of Saveur

magazine last year.

Margaritas: Looking to get loco after your team wins? Head to Southwest Boulevard for margaritas at Manny’s, El Patron or Ponak’s. Those three Mexican restaurants fought a hard battle in our margaritas poll

— ultimately, Manny’s took the lime wedge.

Have a great restaurant recommendation for visiting basketball fans? Comment below or tweet


Looking for more Kansas City restaurant recommendations? Email us at, message us on Facebook or tweet @chowtownkc.

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