Love barbecue and steak? Well, you’ve come to the right city! Barbecue is the unofficial cuisine of Kansas City, and Overland Park is home to several delicious barbecue restaurants that offer a mix of classic barbecue dishes and inventive updates of traditional barbecue staples. Overland Park is also home to several renowned steakhouses, thanks in part to its close proximity to Kansas City, fondly referred to as “Cowtown” because of the city’s booming stockyards industry in the early 1900s.
First things first—let’s talk barbecue. For a fine dining barbecue experience, head to Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, which operates several Kansas City locations, including one in Overland Park. The burnt ends—a Kansas City signature dish—are incredible. Save room for the side dishes, too, including the addictive cheesy corn and the melt-in-your-mouth barbecue baked beans.
At Overland Park’s Brobecks Barbeque, meats are prepared with a specialty rub and served without sauce—a unique twist on the traditionally saucy KC barbecue. Ribs are always a good idea, or try the daily lunch special—a sandwich with one or two meats, a side and a drink.
In the span of local barbecue, Q39 is a newer kid on the block. Yet thanks to consistent crowds drawn by the restaurant’s created-from-scratch menu by classically trained chef Rob Magee (who, prior to opening Q39, worked the competitive barbecue circuit), Q39 recently opened an Overland Park location. You can’t go wrong with a competition BBQ dinner plate, served with the restaurant’s signature apple coleslaw and your choice of beans or potato salad. Or try a brisket burger—it’s just as amazing as it sounds!
Other must-try barbecue joints include the original Kansas City trifecta: Gates Bar-B-Q, where you’ll be greeted with a hearty “Hi, may I help you?”; Arthur Bryant’s, where the Kansas City barbecue tradition began; and Joe’s KC, which, in addition to operating out of the original gas station location in Kansas City, Kan., also has sit-down restaurants in Leawood and Olathe. If you go to the gas station, be prepared to wait—but it’s worth it!
If you’re craving a classic steak dinner, J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood in Overland Park is a perennial favorite. The restaurant specializes in Midwestern-raised, USDA prime-aged black Angus beef that’s perfectly cooked over an open wood fire grill. The extensive sides menu includes classics like Yukon mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus alongside more inventive options like roasted carrots with honey sriracha butter and crystallized mint or a spicy zucchini bake. And if you can, save room for dessert. Try the seven-layer coconut cake, a towering treat!
Wood-fired steaks are also the specialty at J. Alexanders, located in Overland Park. The upscale ambiance is the perfect accompaniment to a wide-ranging menu that includes steaks, prime rib, burgers and specialties like rotisserie chicken, grilled pork tenderloin and grilled salmon. Featured selections rotate regularly, including dishes like seafood czarina or grilled fish with mango papaya salsa.