Join the Aarcher Institute in the “Heart of America” for barbecue, live music and jazz, casinos, museums, fountains, trains, baseball, and nationally recognized cuisine.
Barbecue and Steak
Kansas City is most famous for its steak and barbecue, along with the typical array of Southern cuisine. During the heyday of the Kansas City Stockyards, the city was known for its Kansas City steaks or Kansas City strip steaks. The most famous of its steakhouses is the Golden Ox in the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange in the West Bottoms stockyards. These stockyards were second only to those of Chicago in size, but they never recovered from the Great Flood of 1951 and eventually closed. Founded in 1938, Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse in the Martin City neighborhood was also well known.
The Kansas City Strip cut of steak is similar to the New York Strip cut, and is sometimes referred to just as a strip steak. Along with Texas, Memphis, North and South Carolina, Kansas City is lauded as a “world capital of barbecue.” More than 90 barbecue restaurants operate in the metropolitan area. The American Royal each fall hosts what it claims is the world’s biggest barbecue contest.
Classic Kansas City-style barbecue was an inner-city phenomenon that evolved from the pit of Henry Perry, a migrant from Memphis who is generally credited with opening the city’s first barbecue stand in 1921, and blossomed in the 18th and Vine neighborhood. Arthur Bryant’s took over the Perry restaurant and added sugar to his sauce to sweeten the recipe a bit. In 1946 one of Perry’s cooks, George W. Gates, opened Gates Bar-B-Q, later Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q when his son Ollie joined the family business. Bryant’s and Gates are the two definitive Kansas City barbecue restaurants; native Kansas Citian and essayist Calvin Trillin famously called Bryant’s “the single best restaurant in the world” in an essay he wrote for Playboy magazine in the 1960s. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue is also well regarded. In 1977, Rich Davis, a psychiatrist, test-marketed his own concoction called K.C. Soul Style Barbecue Sauce. He renamed it KC Masterpiece, and in 1986, he sold the recipe to the Kingsford division of Clorox. Davis retained rights to operate restaurants using the name and sauce, whose recipe popularized the use of molasses as a sweetener in Kansas City-style barbecue sauces. In 2009, Kansas City appeared on Newsmax magazine’s list of the “Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns,” a piece written by CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. In determining his ranking, Greenberg cited the city’s barbecue, among other factors.
Live music venues are found throughout the city, with the highest concentration in the Westport entertainment district centered on Broadway and Westport Road near the Country Club Plaza, as well as the 18th & Vine area (jazz music).
Cradle of distinctive Kansas City styled jazz and the home of American Jazz Museum, located in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.
Kansas City Royals baseball games are scheduled at the Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City from March through September. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.
Kansas City has several James Beard Award-winning/nominated chefs and restaurants. Winning chefs include Michael Smith, Celina Tio, Colby Garrelts, Debbie Gold, Jonathan Justus and Martin Heuser. A majority of the Beard Award-winning restaurants are in the Crossroads district, downtown and in Westport.
Come see all Kansas City has to offer!