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Kansas City dominates Travel + Leisure’s survey of ‘America’s Best Cities for Barbecue’

Travel + Leisure readers ranked Kansas City No. 1 in a survey of America’s best cities for barbecue. The travel magazine mentioned Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, home of the Z-Man sandwich.
Travel + Leisure readers ranked Kansas City No. 1 in a survey of America’s best cities for barbecue. The travel magazine mentioned Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, home of the Z-Man sandwich. The Kansas City Star

The New York Times isn’t the only national publication giving Kansas City’s dining scene some love this month.

Travel + Leisure readers recently ranked Kansas City No. 1 in a survey of “America’s Best Cities for Barbecue.” The City of Fountains (and burnt ends) beat Memphis, Nashville and Austin, Texas, to take the survey’s top spot.

According to Travel + Leisure, Kansas City’s “sweet, tomato-y sauce” and burnt ends help it smoke the competition. The travel magazine gave shout-outs to famous local barbecue joints (Arthur Bryant’s, Gates Bar-B-Q, Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que) as well as newcomers Q39, which recently added new menu items, and Char Bar.

Side note: Char Bar’s beer garden is featured on the cover of Ink’s Spring/Summer Dining Guide, out today, and the Westport barbecue hot spot’s Burnt Heaven sandwich is featured inside.

In another recent feature, Travel + Leisure highlighted “Eight spots proving Kansas City belongs on any cool person’s bucket list.” The slideshow featured photos of the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, Manifesto, Oddly Correct, the Belfry, Local Pig, Boulevard Brewing Co., Urban Provisions and Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que.

Joe’s has become a bit of a media darling: Last month, Thrillist included the locally owned barbecue chain’s Z-Man on its list of “50 sandwiches to eat before you die.” The burnt end sandwich at LC’s Bar-B-Q also made the cut.

Also in April: Travel + Leisure ranked Kansas City fourth on its list of America’s “Most Cultured” cities.

Is there a list of most-listed cities in America? If so, Kansas City is a contender for the top spot.

Contact Sarah Gish by emailing sgish@kcstar.com or tweeting @sarah_gish.

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