Chow Town

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

Q39 and Slaps BBQ make Zagat’s list of 'Hottest BBQ Joints' in the U.S.

07/17/2014 12:11 PM

07/17/2014 12:27 PM

Usually, when a national food website publishes a list of great barbecue restaurants, the editors spotlight well-established Kansas City barbecue spots such as Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, Jack Stack and Oklahoma Joe’s.

But this week, Zagat took a different approach by naming two local ‘cue newcomers, Q39 and Slaps BBQ, to its list of the “Hottest BBQ Joints Across the U.S.”

According to Zagat, Q39, which was featured in Ink’s spring/summer dining guide, puts a “fancy” spin on Kansas City barbecue with its “urban-rustic” decor and craft cocktail menu. Zagat recommends Q39’s Burnt End Burger and brisket sandwich; I’m partial to the No Jackin’ Around pulled pork sandwich and wings.

Zagat also commended Slaps BBQ, which opened last month at 553 Central Ave. in Kansas City, Kan., for smoking “killer ribs and burnt ends, plus delicacies like corn bake oozing with cheesy goodness.”

Other “hot” barbecue joints on Zagat’s list include Horse Thief BBQ in L.A., Reverend’s BBQ in Portland, Ore., Green Street Smoked Meats in Chicago and Pecan Lodge in Dallas. View the full list here.

If you ask me, Zagat missed a few hot (and also fairly new-ish) barbecue spots in the Kansas City area. Among them:

The Rub Bar-B-Que in Olathe, which dares to put burnt ends in burritos and invent one-of-a-kind menu items like the Hillbilly Bowl.

Plowboys BBQ in Blue Springs, home of mouthwatering pulled pork nachos.

Jon Russell’s Kansas City Barbeque, where they douse melt-in-your-mouth burnt ends sandwiches with crazy-good blueberry-habanero sauce. Jon Russell’s now has four locations in Overland Park, Lenexa and Kansas City.

Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes bar and dining guides for Ink magazine. Contact her via email at or tweet @sarah_gish.

Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service