City: Kansas City, Kan.
Address: 3002 West 47th Ave.
Picking just one restaurant from the Barbecue Belt is like Sophie’s Choice: The Meat Edition, but Kansas City’s Oklahoma Joe’s national infamy gave it a rib up on the competition. The barbecue joint has years of awards and accolades including Reserve Grand Champion at the World Brisket Open and first-place almost-everything including lamb, sausage, and pork at the American Royal.
If you want some winning pork, you just have to hit up one of Oklahoma Joe’s many locations for a Flintstones-style full slab of ribs, the Pig Salad made with pulled pork, and meat-by-the-pound including smoked turkey, which is somewhat of a rarity on barbecue menus. Kansas is like a barbecue crossroads and that’s reflected in the cuts of meat chosen for Oklahoma Joe’s ribs (St. Louis-style) and Southern-style sauces. Are you still not convinced? Well, Anthony Bourdain says that Oklahoma Joe’s is one of the thirteen places to eat before you die…or diet.