Meet Me in St. Louis might have been about the World’s Fair, but we’d argue that they were really just trying to get you to meet up in Mound City for some of the world’s best BBQ. There’s a reason why St. Louis spare ribs are so famous, and it comes down to some pretty tantalising tastes.
And, while the grilled spare ribs might personify the barbecue culture in St. Louis, you’ll find that the entire state of Missouri is home to some pretty fantastic spots where you can enjoy the best BBQ in the country. As a Southern state, however, would you really expect anything less?
The best BBQ in Missouri ranges in style and taste. You’ll find spots serving Memphis dry ribs, BBQ that’s covered in Carolina spices, and even places serving up true Texas-style fare. In short, you’ve got choices. But, here are 25 of Missouri’s best places for BBQ.
Best BBQ In MissouriHow do these rankings work?
Missouri Hick, aside from having a pretty iconic name, is a BBQ restaurant located on the historic Route 66. So, a stop here serves as a foodie destination and a culturally and historically-enriching experience. Order the spicy prime rib Philly sandwich to enjoy a tasty mixture of Southern and East Coast flavours.
Other foodies have described Jack Stack Barbecue as being upscale but still with a soul. And, that really personifies this Kansas City and surrounding area BBQ joint. The atmosphere is upscale but the flavours are nothing short of traditional and authentic. Head here super hungry, prepare to get messy and dive into a combo plate of some of the finest smoked meats in the state.
Pappy’s is notorious for its wood-smoked Memphis-style barbecue. Despite being located in the heart of St. Louis, the Memphis-style nature of their meats here is refreshing and unique. It’s why they’ve even earned the title of having the absolute best ribs in America by the Food Network. Start off with their ribs then work your way through the rest of the menu. You’re going to want to order it all.
We love supporting local and Black Market Barbeque is a locally-owned BBQ spot in Moberly serving up what is easily some of the best BBQ in the region. Their menu is just simple enough to make it easy to sift through the choices. And, really, you can’t go wrong with anything you order. From brisket to burnt ends, it’s all delicious.
Finely prepared meats and mouthwatering pies create a unique, flavourful combination of culinary goodness here. If you love BBQ but can’t end a meal without dessert then definitely check out Big R’s in Joplin. The smell of hickory-smoked BBQ fills the entire area where you can indulge in the best BBQ in Missouri. Then, treat yourself to a pie they’ve made from scratch. It’s real Southern cooking done right.
Lutz’s Famous BBQ truly is famous for its world-class BBQ. They specialise, as they like to put it, in “blue ribbon sauces, fall-off-the-fork meats, and down-home sides.” They’ll smoke just about any kind of meat from pork to poultry and even chicken and fish. So, no matter what you’re after you’ll surely be able to find it here. And, it’ll be oh-so-delicious.
Bubba’s BBQ is where you go if you’re looking to treat yourself to the best ribs in Springfield. Just look at how thick and juicy they are. However, the other BBQ items on their menu are just as tantalising. Order a full slab of baby back ribs and prepare to go on a flavourful journey that’ll take you all the way to foodie heaven and back. You’ll be unable to stop dreaming about these ribs, seriously.
The BBQ plates here are competition quality. And, they’re loaded up with meat that they butcher, smoke and prepare fresh daily. We’d suggest opting for their Combo Plate, which is the best way to sample all of the fine flavours here. It features pork spare ribs, sliced brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and chipotle sausage. There’s no way you’re not leaving here totally satisfied.
Big Daddy’s BBQ is a no-frills spot in Columbia where you can find traditional BBQ plates from a simple menu. Don’t let the simplicity of the menu fool you, however. The meals here are packed with flavour and don’t use gimmicks or fancy ingredients to pump things up. Just check out these pulled pork nachos. If that’s not enough to get you drooling then we don’t know what is.
Ask any local where to find the best BBQ in Missouri and they’ll likely list of Charlotte’s Rib as one of their favourite spots. They specialise in St. Louis-style BBQ. so, whatever you order, make sure to tack on an extra order of their spare ribs. They’re absolutely dripping in flavour, cooked to a crispy perfection yet still juicy enough to really taste the quality of the meat.
The 100% fresh meat they use here acts as a tantalising base on which they build a divine show of expertise in terms of BBQ and tradition. Smokehouse 61 is home to award-winning BBQ, whether it’s their full racks of ribs or their pulled pork and brisket. Do yourself a favour and order the pulled pork nachos. They’re piled high with homemade baked beans, warm melted cheese, pulled pork and BBQ sauce.
Kansas City is all about the low and slow style of BBQ, and few places do it better than Char Bar. This Southern-inspired smokehouse combines a love of great beer and superb entertainment with legendary BBQ and award-winning “Meat Mitch” sauces. From the premium meat to the grilling process and straight through to the sauces, it’s all wonderfully delicious from start to finish.
Texas-stye meats are the star of the show at this Springfield BBQ spot. It all starts with how they source their premium meats. Then, they truly dedicate themselves to smoking them to perfection. The best way to experience the full spectrum of flavours is to order the City Smokestack. It comes with premium brisket, pulled pork, pork belly, and your choice of sausage. Simply delicious.
While Danna’s offers more than just world-class BBQ, it truly is the smoked flavours of their meat and signature Southern sides that have hungry guests coming back time and time again. Whether you sample their Smoked Pork Plate or fill up on their Memphis rolls, you’re going to leave here full and fulfilled. We’re not kidding about the Smoked Pork Plate, by the way. They smoke the pork for 12 to 14 hours over hickory wood.
You don’t even really have to know the exact address of Dexter, the incredible smell of their pit-smoked BBQ will entice you in from miles away. They use fireplace-size logs to create a very distinctive flavour you won’t find anywhere else. Just try their rib dinner to see for yourself. There are also actually six locations all over Missouri, from Jackson to Cape Girardeau.
This family-owned restaurant serves up quality vibes and some of the best BBQ in Missouri. The attention to detail here and the service are both second to none. And, the food is prepared to perfection regardless of what you order. Try the specialty sandwiches, particularly the Mad Hog or Da Bull. The latter comes with smoked pork loin that’s absolutely scrumptious.
Wabash is located inside of an old train depot, which means that it doesn’t get much more local than this. If you’re travelling through Missouri in search of authenticity, this is one of the best places to find it. They offer daily specials for the budget traveller. Mondays, for example, you can get a brisket sandwich for just $8.99. Head here on Tuesdays for their delicious smoked long-end ribs.
Not a fan of St. Louis ribs or are looking for a break from local BBQ? Check out Salt + Smoke where you can get Texas-style served with a side of bourbon, artisan cocktails & craft beer. Check out their cherry-smoked salmon to start off with, which is unique in its preparation and flavours. Then, sample the wonderfully juicy brisket they offer. You won’t be disappointed.
From craft beers to the over 60 varieties of whiskey offered here, Dew Drop Inn is a famous local institution for more than just its wonderful BBQ. The space is perhaps one of the most fun, laidback spaces you’ll find on this list. And, their BBQ offerings are just as unique as the locale itself. Order BBQ pork nachos or opt for the pulled pork tacos. They’re all fantastic, so you really can’t go wrong with anything you order.
Part of the pull of this unique BBQ joint is the sheer experience you get when dining here. The restaurant is located inside of a vintage passenger rail car. Indulge in your surroundings and relax into the unique experience as you dive into some of the best BBQ in the South. Order the pork ribs and prepare to get messy. Then, treat yourself to one of their delicious desserts.
Two words: brisket cheesesteaks. Now, if that doesn’t have you absolutely drooling all over your screen then perhaps the other BBQ offerings here will. From juicy pulled pork to traditional beef brisket, they offer it all up with full flavours and tastes that’ll truly tantalise your senses. While not 100% traditional BBQ, their Cuban Reuben has won numerous awards as well and is well worth a try.
Arthur Bryants BBQ serves easily some of the best BBQ in Missouri, if not the entire country. Here, you’ll be tantalised by their succulent slow-smoked ribs and tender brisket. However, you’ll want to start off with their world-famous burnt ends. They’re delightfully juicy and rich in flavour yet still perfectly charred to a mouthwatering crisp. You’re going to order seconds for sure.
There’s a lot to love at Bogart’s Smokehouse, ensuring you’ll have your fair share of choice when it comes time to order. Their ribs, for example, are dry-rubbed and slow-smoked over apple and cherry woods. However, their sauces and rubs are truly show-stealers. Dig into some ribs and then order some sauces to take home with you; you’ll be craving the flavour we promise.
Tin Kitchen is all about the low and slow style of cooking. Their pecan-
This place earned a spot on our list of the 50 Best Places for BBQ in America. So, it’s easily got some of the best BBQ in Missouri. And, it comes as a result of lots of exploration. The owner’s made it a point to travel to over 300 different BBQ restaurants in the country just to perfect his recipe and style. The result? The brisket at Harp Barbecue is some of the best in the entire country and his sausages would hold up against any you might find in other parts of Missouri.