Single & Celiac

Twenty-something. Gluten-free everything.

KC GF BBQ - my favorite acronyms.


I don't know why it has taken me so long to do this research. But guess what, KC celiac guys and gals!? We can eat our city's claim to fame. Kansas City Barbecue is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about a gluten free dinner. The soft white bread, the complexly layered sauces, the spicy and savory rubs - whoa, baby! The anxiety of trying to figure out what could be safe in those is almost just as bad as the gluten attack that would come from their consumption.

Or at least, I thought.

After a few quick phone calls today here's a bit of info that should be of help the next time you're having a BBQ craving (or if you're just hungry).

Oklahoma Joe's: Or as I like the call it, my new holy grail.

When I first was diagnosed with celiac's disease every research I did on this Kansas City classic was dismal: gluten in the rubs on the meat; gluten in the sauce but only in the restaurant (what?!); gluten contaminating the fryer from the onion rings.

Not exactly ideal.

Until recently, when I couldn't stop questioning, "but why isn't Oklahoma Joe's gluten free?"

So, I gave them a call - why not? And this is what I found: Oklahoma Joe's recently changed all their recipes to accommodate the gluten intolerant. In fact almost all of their menu items are gluten free!

Here are the ones to stay away from:

  • the chicken
  • the gumbo
  • the onion rings
  • the bread (duh)
  • the chili

I know what you're thinking - "but the fries are fried in the same fryer as the onion rings, right?"


I asked the same question and the response? "Well if we did that then the fries wouldn't be gluten free, now would they?"


I almost cried.

So, go to Oklahoma Joe's my gluten free friends. Get their ribs, get their sliced meats, get the baked beans, smother it all in sauce, and even get the fries with the fry seasoning. ALL GOOD!

Gate's BBQ:

So, not as awesome as Oklahoma Joe's, but still pretty darn good.

Gate's gluten free options include their whole menu except these bad boys:

  • no pork
  • no turkey
  • no bread (again, duh)
  • no fries - unfortunately these are contaminated by the onion rings. They are fried in the same fryer.

Zarda BBQ:

When I called Zarda the manager already had their gluten free list directly in front of her. So pro.

Here are the items we gluten-haters can have:

  • the burnt ends
  • all sliced meats
  • the pulled pork
  • all of the sauces
  • the baked beans
  • the potato salad
  • the cheesy potato bake (did you hear that?! this exists and we can eat it!)
  • the cheesy corn bake
  • the cole slaw

Unfortunately, the fries are a no-go here, too. Cross-contamination with the onion rings. But, did you hear about that cheesy potato bake?!

Arthur Bryant's:

I wish I had better news for everyone here, but when I called to see if Arthur Bryant's has gluten free options, they replied with, "I don't know."

You've been warned, celiacs.

Jack Stack BBQ:

These people love the gluten free. They weren't able to give me a list of items over the phone, but they did say that they had many menu items available that are gluten free.

If you dine in just tell your waiter about your needs, and he/she will provide you with a list of all the items on the menu that contain gluten, as well as give notice to the kitchen staff to change their gloves, open new pickle jars, make sure no bread touches the plate, etc.

So, there you have it, KC celiacs. Eat up!

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