Arthur Bryant’s original spot makes for great BBQ


It’s amazing how a change in location can change a person’s opinion about a restaurant.

That was the case with our recent visit to Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque in Kansas City.

We had eaten at the location at Legends mall in Kansas City, Kansas. Neither Lisa nor I cared for the food or the BBQ sauce. It just seemed like another BBQ joint.

However, flash forward a few years and we stop at the original location near the 18th and Vine District.

Some co-workers suggested I give Arthur Bryant’s another chance, but visit the original location.

Since we had finished our tour of the 18th and Vine District area, we decided to grab lunch at Arthur Bryant’s.

What a difference!

The original location is in an older building (obviously). Arthur Bryant moved the restaurant to 18th and Brooklyn in the 1920s, after his brother Charlie passed away. Charlie was the founder of the restaurant.

IMG_3860As you walk in, you notice the worn tile floor. It just speaks of an aged eatery.

You stand in line to order. The menu is posted above head, so that adds to the ambiance.

IMG_3808The staff is behind a counter with a framed glass divider separating them from you. But, there are openings where you can see the meat being sliced, and the sides being dished up.

IMG_3831We ordered a combination plate to share. It consisted of 1.5 lbs. of three meats – turkey, pulled pork and burnt ends. We added a side. Man, that was a lot of food. We couldn’t finish it. I told Lisa we need to start bringing a small cooler on trips to put leftovers.

IMG_3857The food is delicious. The burnt ends were awesome. They probably are the best burnt ends I’ve had. The pulled pork was delicious. The turkey was smoked and didn’t need any sauce to enhance its taste.

The sides are great. We had coleslaw. Lisa isn’t a coleslaw fan, but she liked it.

The clientele was diverse – families coming from church, folks in sports attire, couples. There was a group celebrating a sailor’s return or departure. We couldn’t really tell.

Arthur Bryant’s has been popular with celebrities throughout the years. Framed photos of well-known diners hang on the wall. Former President and First Lady Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter autographed a picture displayed.

IMG_3870Actor Danny Glover has visited the location. Larry the Cable Guy has a picture hanging on the wall. It’s a pretty cool feeling that famous people have eaten at the same place like you.

I was impressed with a Kansas City Star newspaper cartoon acknowledging Arthur’s death. Even heaven likes its BBQ.

IMG_3884Arthur Bryant’s has its own line of sauces, too. They offer the original sauce, rich and sassy, and sweet heat. They also have rubs available.

IMG_3882In addition, you can buy a T-shirt to remember your visit.

You can check out their website for their 3 locations in the Kansas City area –

If you are interested in trying Arthur Bryant’s, I suggest you eat at the original location. The food, ambaence and history make the trip worthwhile.