Together, the original KC barbecue joints established distinctive tastes, talents and flair that laid the groundwork for an unprecedented, eclectic barbecue culture that’s recognized on a global scale.
Kansas City’s barbecue craze can be traced back to Henry Perry, who in the early 1920s started barbecuing in an outdoor pit adjacent to his streetcar barn, serving slabs of food wrapped in newspaper.
Perry’s ‘cue became so popular that fans began imitating his technique and style to create their own unique recipes.
The Second Wave
By the ‘30s and ‘40s, Kansas City had earned a reputation as a renowned stockyard and meat-packing city, making it the ideal migration destination for pitmasters in search of work.
This boom time paved the way for a second wave of barbecue pioneers, including the families of Bryant, Gates, Boyd, Harris, Fiorella and Thompson—three of which are familiar names still emblazoned on thriving restaurants today.
Now, Kansas City barbecue enthusiasts can satisfy their cravings at more than 100 mouth-watering restaurants dotted around the metro. There’s even the Kansas City Barbeque Society, an organization dedicated to promoting and sustaining the cuisine worldwide.