NFL Draft 2023: KC’s top restaurants are on display

Chef J BBQ / Photo BY Shawn Brackbill

The 2023 NFL Draft has officially taken over KC and the energy is vibrant. After all, it was only six years ago that coach Andy Reid chose quarterback Patrick Mahomes as a tenth-round pick, a decision that changed the chiefs, and city, forever.

With thousands of visitors descending on the lawns in front of Union Station and around the National WW I Museum and Memorial for the three-day draft event, local food talent has been enlisted to help feed the hungry crowds. Some of KC’s top chefs and restaurants have set up shop as food vendors, with the weekend’s festivities ending with pit masters facing off in a barbecue competition. 

Below is a list of local KC establishments standing as vendors at the NFL Draft and their menus.

Bloom Baking Co.

A bakery serving European-style pastries.

Mission Taco Joint

Serving street tacos like beef, chicken, shrimp, and vegan soft tacos.

Poïó Mexican BBQ

Owner Carlos Mortera just announced the official closing of his restaurant so this will be the last opportunity to try Poïó’s pork carnitas sandwich.

Taco Naco 

A big up and comer along KC’s taco trail serving tacos and nachos. Read more about their second Wesport location here.

Hereford House

A steakhouse that will be serving burgers and hot dogs.


Serving Midwestern comfort foods, like chicken sliders, loaded tater tots and cobbler.

Lulu’s Noodle Shop

A Thai restaurant serving Pad Thai, egg rolls, and crab rangoon.


They’ll be slinging donut boxes and packs of mini donuts that include such favorites as maple long johns and candied bacon.

Buck Tui

A Thai barbecue restaurant serving loaded BBQ fries, brisket rangoon, chili crunch nachos, pulled pork sandwiches and more.

Chef J BBQ 

Ranked No. 2 on our 10 Best BBQ Spots in KC list of 2021. They’ll be serving brisket elotes, barbecue Frito pies, brisket meat platters and more.


A chef-driven barbecue restaurant serving certified Angus beef brisket plates, competition pulled pork plates and more.

Cheesy Street 

A gourmet grilled cheese and loaded Mac n’ Cheese food truck.

Baba’s Pantry

A Palestinian American deli and cafe recognized by Bon Appétit. They’ll be serving chicken wraps, vegan wraps and hummus and pita chips.


An urban eatery serving burgers, wings, cajun buttermilk chicken sandwiches and seasoned fries.

KC Mac N’ Co.

A Mac n’ Cheese concept serving multiple varieties of the dish like honey Serrano and a barbecue-style Cowboy Mac.

The Granfalloon

A restaurant and sports bar serving Southwest chicken wraps, burnt end nachos and brats.

Smoak Craft Barbecue

They’ll be serving brisket tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, sampler dishes as well as other tasty fare.

Jazzy B’s

Specializing in smoked meats, they’ll be serving smoked fried chicken wings, baby back ribs and fries.

Scott’s Kitchen and Catering

A barbecue restaurant serving barbecue bowls, homemade chipotle ghost pepper cheese sausage, burnt end sandwiches and more.


The last day of the draft, Saturday April 29, will focus on KC’s most notable food genre – barbecue. The KC Smoke Show will feature some of KC’s best pitmasters for a  competition and demonstrations on the North Lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The event will be hosted by former Chiefs’ offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. 

Schwartz retired in KC and is a well-known personality in the city’s food scene. His most recent project included a collaboration with the Italian Sausage Company and produced the No. 71, a New York style pastrami and corn beef sandwich on rye bread. The sandwich was so popular it became a permanent Italian Sausage Company menu item. 

Below is a list of the pitmasters and restaurants participating in the KC Smoke Show.

Competition Pitmasters

Chef J BBQ

Smoke N’ Magic

Burnt Finger BBQ

Smoke on Wheels


Scott’s Kitchen and Catering

Slap’s BBQ

Joe’s KC BBQ

Jazzy B’s 

Pitmaster Demonstrations

Wolfepack BBQ


Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue

Gates Bar-B-Q

Chef J BBQ

Jack Stack BBQ

Slap’s BBQ

Buck Tui

Joe’s KC BBQ

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