As Seen in KC: Local Eats on the National Stage
Ask any barbecue lover, not just here but almost anywhere in the world, and they’ll tell you that Kansas City is the place to find the best barbecued bovine. But the city’s culinary palate is much richer and broader than its finger-licking ’cue, encompassing culinary adventures deeply rooted in its Midwestern food and drink culture. Ranging from simple, homemade comfort food fare at charming neighborhood cafés, to high-end multi-course culinary indulgences, you are sure to find it here.
On more than one occasion the city has taken center stage on your favorite foodie programs like Food Network and Travel Channel. Two of the most well-known are seeker of the savory Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and jet setting restaurateur Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations; when they visited KC they left no samples un-sampled and no plate unclean. But where do such refined palates find adventure? More places than you think!
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – Grinders: Guy Fieri raved about the Bengal Tiger, a tandoori chicken pizza inspired by the flavors of Northwest India that he called “funklicious.”
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – Johnny’s Bar-B-Q: Smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage and “one of the most righteous barbecue rubs I’ve ever had” as described by Fieri.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – YJ’s Snack Bar: For the show’s “World of Flavors” episode, Guy Fieri sampled several items inspired by the chef’s worldly travels—including dirty rice, Thai-spiced chicken and fresh fish wrapped in banana leaves.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – The Brick: “For the “Wings, Dogs and Claws” episode, Guy Fieri stopped by this live music outpost to experience The Oklahoma—a hot dog battered with Boulevard Beer, deep fried and then wrapped in bacon.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – Happy Gillis Cafe: This visit to KC brought him to this soup ‘n sandwich joint in Columbus Park. Here, he watched the husband-wife team put twists on authentic lunch and brunch favorites.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – Swagger: Guy was a fan of the Suribachi Burger (a tempura-fried burger with chili sauce and wasabi coleslaw) and the Dead Texan, a mammoth burger that uses two grilled cheese sandwiches in lieu of buns.”
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives – Woodyard Bar-B-Que: This no-frills joint was featured in an all-barbecue episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” For something different, try the savory wings.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - LC’s Bar-B-Q: With its barbecue pit positioned right behind the counter, Anthony Bourdain praised this joint for its laidback, no-frills vibe.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue: He used words like “family-friendly” and “excellent” to describe this torchbearer of KC’s modern barbecue movement. If you’re real hungry, try the Flintstone-sized crown prime beef ribs.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – Savoy Grill: Anthony was a fan of the Savoy’s turn-of-the-century decor and juicy steaks. Ask to sit in Harry Truman’s booth, just as Bourdain did in 2012.
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue & Catering: One of Anthony Bourdain’s 13 Places to Eat at Before You Die, the flagship is located inside a gas station in Kansas City, Kan. Famous for its pulled pork, ribs, fries and spicy slaw!
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – The Cigar Box: In his 2012 episode, this was Anthony Bourdain’s bar of choice for a nightcap of bourbon and entertaining karaoke.
Want to go on your own “As Seen in KC” adventure? Here’s a map so you may systematically eat your way around Kansas City. Remember to bring extra napkins!