One Of Our Hidden Gems – Johnny’s Hickory House BBQ

One Of Our Hidden Gems – Johnny’s Hickory House BBQ

A couple of weeks ago, we released an article from a trip in Little Rock, Arkansas, where our schedule was interrupted by Guy Fieri. Most of you will recognize his name as the host of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It got us to wondering how many restaurants in our own hometown this TV icon has visited. It didn’t take much work to find a trail of his trips on the internet, and low and behold, one of our regular BBQ joints was on the list. Johnny’s Hickory House BBQ was featured in April of 2010, which means they had only been open 33 years by the time Guy made his visit.

It's best to arrive at Johnny's BBQ early if you want to avoid the crowds.

Slow Cooking Takes Time

Johnny’s BBQ opened for business in 1977 with owner Johnny White at the helm. They smoke their meats with hickory, which is an old Kansas City style barbecue tradition. While they have opened an Olathe location, we have never visited it, since the Shawnee Mission spot is so close to our home. Sitting on the corner of Bradmoor and Martway Streets, their exact address is 5959 Broadmoor St. Walking through the door, we are always intrigued by their vast collection of sauces and rubs that line the walls behind the counter. It’s fun trying to see how many we can recognize, but we didn’t come here to just look at bottles.

A One Meat Dinner has plenty of food for one person.

Getting Down to Business at Johnny’s BBQ

Many times we will use Johnny’s BBQ as an early dinner or late lunch option when we are shopping in Mission. We find that if we arrive closer to 5:00 we have less of a crowd to deal with. Of course, while the place is fairly empty when we arrive, we always find it filling up by the time we leave. Part of that could be that they have different daily specials each weekday and on Saturday. The menu is filled with delicious options, with a few denoting signature items that were featured on the TV show. We have our standards that we love to fall back on when just enjoying a casual meal. Crystal really likes their turkey, which she got as the main course of a One Meat Dinner. It comes with sides of fries, beans, and slaw, so she had plenty to fill her up. Of course, they also toss in bread and a pickle, so you can make a sandwich out of it.

It's hard to pass up some fall off the bone tender ribs at Johnny's BBQ in Kansas City.

Getting Sticky with the Ribs

I’m a little more old school barbecue, and not afraid to get my fingers on some good ribs. Johnny’s BBQ always seems to provide a consistent product with just enough pull to keep them on the bone. These tender to the taste sticks of meaty goodness come in short or long ends, full slab, and you can even get baby backs. They are served with bread and a pickle spear, but I decided to toss in a side of rings for some crunch. This ended up being plenty to curb my appetite, while still leaving me some to tease others with the next day at lunchtime.

The authors find themselves smiling at the great meal they enjoyed at Johnny's BBQ.

Giving Away Our Secrets

There are times that I begin writing an article and then wonder if I should keep the place to ourselves. The momentary reluctance is soon washed away with the realization that special places should be shared with others. It’s not like Johnny’s BBQ is hidden away from the view of passerbys, but some of the best treasures are hidden in plain sight. A prime example is the place in Little Rock that we mentioned at the start of this article. Here’s a link to use, if you’d like to read more about The Root Cafe, which we finally got into. The research about Guy Fieri’s visits to Kansas City dredged up some more sites, which we will have to check out for ourselves. Who knows, it may just be the start of a whole series of articles. In the meantime, why not enjoy some delectable barbecue at Johnny’s BBQ.

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Johnny's Hickory House BBQ-Mission, Kansas-barbecue-ribs-onion rings-Diners, Drive ins, and Dives- Guy Fieri

By |2018-12-09T21:17:46+00:00December 14th, 2018|Decent Dining - $$, Kansas City, KC Dining|16 Comments

About the Author:

We are Jeff and Crystal, a Baby Boomer couple who love exploring this big blue marble we all call home. After spending the first portion of our lives together raising a family, the empty-nest syndrome finally caught up with us. This has given us the opportunity to spend more time traveling, and seeking out new destinations. We developed this travel blog with the goal of showing how we “Visit Like A Local”. Our itineraries are designed to get us off the interstates, and into the heart of the places we visit. We believe this will allow our readers to choose a cultural experience, and eventually head home with a real flavor of the places they visit. We hope you are enjoying our website and will consider sharing it with your friends. Please come back often, as we post new articles three times per week.


  1. Bola December 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Those meaty BBQ ribs do look tender and appetising. Thanks for your insight and humble words.

    • Jeff & Crystal December 17, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the article and photos. The food is certainly delicious.

  2. Patti Morrow December 18, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I absolutely love BBQ! Johnny’s Hickory House BBQ looks amazing, especially the ribs. I’ll definitely have to check it out when I’m in the area!

  3. Carol Colborn December 18, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

    We have family in Kansas City (both sides). But we have always been to Joe’s instead if Johnny’s. We will give this one a try. Will he there next October!

    • Jeff & Crystal December 18, 2018 at 9:47 am - Reply

      They have been in the same location for years. I don’t see them going anywhere.

  4. Ursula Maxwell-Lewis December 18, 2018 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Jeff, you are so right. Many of the best places are right around the corner….and those ribs look finger-lickin’ good!

  5. Suzanne Fluhr December 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m leaning closer and closer—and barbecued ribs used to be one of my favorites. It’s interesting to read that Crystal had a turkey platter. Is that also barbecued or at least served with barbecue sauce? Like you, I sometimes have second thoughts about sharing my favorite places, but if we didn’t, we might have to turn in our travel blogger badges, so share away!

    • Jeff & Crystal December 19, 2018 at 5:03 am - Reply

      Suzanne, the turkey is smoked and served with sauce. It is quite delicious, as well.

  6. Karen Warren December 19, 2018 at 5:34 am - Reply

    I tried a barbeque restaurant last time I was in the US. Looks like traditional American fare!

  7. Julie McCool December 19, 2018 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Johnnys BBQ sounds delicious and I’m adding it to my list of places to eat on our next road trip through Kansas City. Those ribs are calling to me.

  8. Marilyn Jones December 22, 2018 at 6:43 am - Reply

    You convinced me!! I’ll have to try Johnny’s BBQ. If it tastes as good as it looks — WOW!

    • Jeff & Crystal December 22, 2018 at 7:00 am - Reply

      We are betting you will love it. Thanks for visiting our website.

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