You might find this thread helpful. It's not all barbecue but it does have some good info.http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=749678
I also asked a couple of KC-familiar acquaintances what they'd recommend:
"Number one o nmy list would be LC's. Everything's good, but Burnt Ends are the reason to go. Also, top notch Beans and fresh cut Fries. One order of Ends along with an order each of the Fries and Beans is enough to feed two people.
After that, it's a free-for-all. You can go the tourist route with Arthur Bryant's. Once upon a time Bryant's was synonymous with KC 'Que. Now the quality varies day by day. Go on the right day and you'll be in heaven. The wrong day will make you wonder how this joint ever got famous in the first place. Roll the dice and see if you get lucky.
One of our favorites on the Kansas side is Brobeck's Barbecue in Overland Park. Everything Doug cook's is wonderful. I'm especially fond of his Corn Nuggets appetizer.
You hear a lot of people swear that Oklahoma Joe's is the best 'Que in town. I was unimpressed on my first visit more than ten years ago. I thought I'd give them another try this past Christmas. My opinion hasn't changed.
You can try white tablecloth 'Que at Fiorella's Jack Stack. more upscale and definitely more suburban than most other Greasehouses. jack's specialties are Lamb Ribs and Cheesy Corn Bake. Pretty good stuff, but you're paying for that upscale vibe.
At the other end of the spectrum is Rosedale BBQ. This is a Blue Collar, Redneck haven. They're not known for any particular specialty, it's just very good nuts and bolts Barbecue
Gates is the local chain with about a half dozen locations around town. A lot of people see Gates and Bryant's as friendly rivals, representing KC's best. Truth is, ther are lots better places these days. Still, Gates' Brisket is damn good, and they too have some excellent Beans and Fries. Stray from the Brisket and you're on your own.
Another iconic joint is Snead's down in the far south boonies. They've been around forever and do a good all around job. They've had a spotty record for being open, so always call ahead and make sure someone answers the phone.
That's my "what comes to mind" list. There's plenty more, and if anything occurs to me, I'll let you know. I usually post full addresses and phone numbers, but i didn't see this until 2am and I'm just not in the mood to do the research. All theseplaces are listed on the internet and should be easy enoug to find.
Hope your pals have a great trip!"
"It really depends on what they are looking for! If they are just passing through and want to grab a quick bite they may not want to wait in line at Oklahoma Joe's for up to 30 - 45 minutes during the lunch and dinner rush. On the other hand if time is not a consideration then there are a number of good spots slightly outside the metro area that you might want to explore. This is my list of favorite places to go in order
1. Oklahoma Joes - the original location at 47th(County Line) & Mission Rd. Kansas City KS - Great barbecue but be prepared to wait if dining in during lunch and dinner hours - I order Carryout in order to avoid the lines.
2. Arthur Bryant's - the bbq joint that started it all - It can be a little inconsistent but I discovered that if you go outside the lunch and dinner rush you get a higher quality sandwich as they trim the fat a little better - Also the Fries are better
3. Jack Stack - Has a number of locations - very good bbq - We go to this company when we have a family member in town that wants table service. Has a varied menu - my dad loves to go here because he can get a rack of lamb or some smoked salmon.
4. LC's BBQ - A lot of people really talk up his que, but I think it relies to much on the sauce.
If you can find out a few details as to when and where in the city they will be, I can get a little more specific."