Spoiler alert: Kansas City’s best restaurants offer more than mouth-watering BBQ (though you shouldn’t miss it).
Places To Eat In Kansas
When you think of Kansas City, the first thing that usually comes to mind is great BBQ. And, if that’s true, you’ll be happy to know that KC offers more (so) than burnt ends and chops. In fact, this Midwestern city has a thriving culinary scene, giving visitors the chance to taste flavors from Italy, Ethiopia, Mexico and more. So, if you ever want to swing by, consider one of the best restaurants in Kansas City listed below. Apologize in advance if you need to take a long nap between meals: you need it.
Quirky Bars & Unique Restaurants In Kansas City
You can’t go to Kansas City without BBQ, and Joe’s is your best bet for the good stuff. We recommend getting the two-meat BBQ dinner with brisket and ribs. In the mood for a sandwich? Order the Z-Man: brisket, smoked provolone and a stack of onion rings on a Kaiser roll. Caution: You will
Calling all foodies: Don’t miss Corvino. The theatrical restaurant offers two concepts: sit in the main dining room (AKA the supper club) and order from several shareable plates, or steal a seat in the small tasting room, where the kitchen becomes your theater. Watch the team create an unforgettable meal right before your eyes. Wine pairings are also available for an additional cost.
Few things are more beautiful than pizza baked fresh from Il Lazzarone’s hand-built, wood-fired ovens straight from Naples, Italy. Each pie cooks in less than 90 seconds, so you won’t have to wait long from the time you order to pick up the best pizza of your life. Options abound, from the classic margherita to the crepe (mozzarella, applewood smoked bacon, balsamic glaze, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt).
Pitmaster Mitch Benjamin brings his smoke and magic — as well as his award-winning sauces — to the heart of historic Westport. Most of Char Bar’s sandwiches and platters feature heaps of different meats, so it’s a prime spot for a quick stop-in that lets you sample a little bit of everything. If you only have a few minutes, we highly recommend the Chard Bits and Grits appetizer. You can even buy bottles of their signature sauces to share with friends back home (or stock up on them for yourself).
Places To Eat In Kansas City If You Need A Break From Bbq
If you’re looking for an impressive place to take guests to dinner or a spellbinding brunch, head to Gram & Dunn. The restaurant is gorgeous and the food is chef-driven but approachable, with dishes like loaded potato gnocchi and coffee-crusted ribeye. When the weather’s nice, be sure to ask for a seat on the patio — it might be the best in town.
Located in a former railroad house just north of Kansas City’s historic Union Station, Lydia’s evokes the warmth of an old Italian farmhouse. Blown-glass chandeliers set the tone for the Northern Italian menu presented by Emmy Award-winning PBS TV show chef Lydia Bastianich. You can play it up however you want, though we recommend going for the grilled bone-in ribeye or unlimited portions of the pasta trio.
Most sandwich shops pride themselves on their huge (and often intimidating) menus, but not Pigwich. The short-but-mighty menu includes cheesesteaks, cornflake fried chicken, burgers, banh mi, and, of course, the eponymous pigwich (pork, provolone cheese, slaw, bbq sauce). Whatever you choose, know that there are no wrong choices: just remember to come hungry.
The best way to describe Mickey’s Hideaway is to have a faux-speak-easy menu that’s hard to fit into just one genre. Home to an award-winning bartender, you know the boozy drinks hit the spot. Entrees range from Korean short rib fries to fish tacos to jackfruit masala. Hot tip: Come on a Thursday night to hear live music.
Casual Dining In Union Station
If there’s one thing Midwestern restaurants do well, it’s serving the food you want to eat in a classy but comfortable setting — and Rice’s is a shining example of that. Enjoy a cocktail while you eat BBQ-rub-dusted pork rinds, then order grilled ends and sourdough toast or a half order of their famous fried chicken.
With so many BBQ joints in town, Q39 had to find a way to stand out from the pack. The solution? Serve up the ultimate BBQ with chef-driven additions of apps, sides and wood-fired entrees. The smoked and grilled chicken served with chipotle BBQ will make your knees shake, while the pork belly and sausage corn dogs will make you weep with joy.
Finding sustainably sourced seafood isn’t easy in landlocked Kansas City, but Jack’s Fish House is undeniably the best option. While the calamari, mussels, pastas and steaks are next-level here, the fresh oysters are the real stars of the show. Other highlights include Mississippi catfish, blue crab pasta, jumbo lump crab cakes and seafood chowder.
Every city has a diner/burger joint that has been around since the beginning of time, and in Kansas City it’s town topic is hamburgers. Visiting this 24-hour joint 75 years ago feels like taking a step back in time to the 50s. Expect all the nostalgic classics like chili hot dogs, hot cakes, milkshakes, floats and hamburgers. Thinly sliced and cooked until crisp, you’ll probably want a double or triple cheeseburger. (Don’t worry, no one will judge you.)
Where To Eat In Kansas City For Foodies
Billed as a purveyor of global cuisine and emancipation, this downtown KC spot has a unique European slant that sets it apart from anything else in the region. Here, martinis pair well with everything, including oysters, crab cakes, mussels and more. Also, Voltaire is a short walk from Lemonade(e) Park – one of the best live music venues in the city. (Here, you can also enjoy food and drinks from Voltaire.)
Happy Gillis calls itself a cozy cafe and hangout, and we’re inclined to agree — but it’s more than that. Everyone in Kansas City knows this is the place to go for simple but delicious breakfast treats, salads and sandwiches. Go with a friend and grab an order of biscuits and gravy and a mouth-watering breakfast sandwich. Be prepared to wait in line if you go on the weekend—though it’s worth it (promise).
Led by acclaimed chef Todd Schulte, Earl’s is a premier destination for fresh seafood. The neighborhood joint — which opened in May 2022 — is best known for its raw bar, which features Maine Oyster Co. There is a rotating selection of oysters. Other highlights include Ipswich clam dip, seasonal crudo (changes daily) chowder and ‘po boys. Also worth noting is the extensive wine list and innovative cocktail menu.
This cozy, family-owned and operated Italian hotspot has been around for 30 years and counting. Diners can choose from an array of hearty appetizers and entrees, including stuffed artichoke, fried calamari, eggplant parm, meatballs, lasagna and more. While the food is incredible, the intimate atmosphere is second to none. Plus, don’t miss owner Michael Garrozzo’s private label Garrozzo Cellars Chianti Classico.
Nine Great Places To Eat In Wichita As Suggested By Locals
Located in KC’s historic Stockyards District, this campground has a unique rustic-chic aesthetic. Start with anchovies and chips, crudités or mushroom tempura; Alternatively, build your own charcuterie board. Save room for one of the mains, including the open-faced BLT, fried chicken sandwich and smashburger. The eclectic wine selection will delight any oenophile, while the mocktail menu is also impressive.
Located in the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange building, this old-school steakhouse has been around since 1949. The upscale eatery is known for its delicious chops, including Kansas City strip, bone-in ribeye and porthouse. Or, if you don’t eat meat, consider one of the other dishes like escargot, mahi mahi or ravioli. Don’t miss the restaurant’s famous baked potatoes, creamed spinach, lobster mac or veggie salads.
Led by Chef Vaughan Good — a 2020 James Beard Foundation semi-finalist — this neighborhood epitomizes farm-to-table cuisine. Featuring a seasonally changing menu, the restaurant offers contemporary American fare that also caters to picky palettes. Current offerings range from fried green tomatoes to foie gras sausage to smoked jerk chicken. Don’t forget to save room for dessert with lemon curd tarts, smoked walnut chocolate chip cookies and corn panna cottas. Afterwards, head downstairs to the cocktail room for a drink or two while you listen to live music.
Kitty’s Cafe is a mom-and-pop establishment loved by locals and travelers alike. The cash-only joint dates back to 1951 and is known for its pork tenderloin sandwiches. These crunchy sandwiches are smoked in the kitty
Best Breakfasts In Kansas City That Will Make You A Morning Person
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