3205 Main St., Kansas City
HOURS: Daily 10 a.m.–midnight
COST: Most entrées between $10–20
If you’re seeking some of Kansas City ’s best barbecue, you’ve got to head to Gates. To make your first visit less overwhelming, follow these tips. You’ll immediately be greeted with the restaurant employees’ signature opener: “Hi, may I help you?” You probably won’t know what to order, so smile, make eye contact and signal for an extra minute.
The best bet is a sandwich with your favorite meat, served with a heaping helping of fries. If you’re with a larger group, try the mixed plate for a sampling of Gates’ tender meats and a heaping dollop of the restaurant’s famous sauce.
The dining room retains a traditional, old-fashioned feel thanks to a rich color scheme, leather booths, and vintage, belt-powered ceiling fans. It’s a fitting atmosphere for one of Kansas City’s first families of barbecue, and a perfect example of an old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”