An explanation for our gastronomic guide, Eat Leafcan be found here.
Kansas City may be most nationally recognized for its number of fountains and the distinct style of barbecue that bears its name, but these days it’s equally recognized for its foodie scene and focus on cooking. from farm to table. Downtown, James Beard Award-winning chefs whip up fine dining, as well as more casual pop-ups and food trucks serving everything from quesabirria tacos to cloud crust pizza. Our suburbs in every direction are home to Mom-and-Pop shops proudly serving international cuisine from faraway countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. As a Midwestern town, Kansas City also prides itself on never having met a stranger, and it shows in their overall hospitality.
hold the meat
A mission of caring for others and the planet is what drives Chef Philip and Jonelle Jones’ 100% plant-based restaurant, serving a mouth-watering selection of vegan dishes that go far beyond the salad bowl. Located within walking distance of one of Kansas City’s most popular barbecue restaurants, Kind Food offers meat alternatives using the highest quality alternatives and fresh vegetables to recreate delicious canteen dishes like Buffalo. Chick’n Nachos, Rooben, a version of a Reuben sandwich. made with Dr. Goldfarb’s Unreal Vegan Deli “Beef” and a worthy BBQ sandwich of jackfruit and sweet potato, topped with crunchy coleslaw and pickles on a local Farm to Market brioche bun.
If it ain’t broke
With over 100 barbecue restaurants operating in Kansas City, everyone has a different favorite to recommend. Almost all of them are dignified (otherwise they wouldn’t stay in business in this competitive barbecue town) and serve the town’s signature dish, seared beef briskets, and LC’s Bar-BQ is no exception. Located off the beaten path, but on the way to Kansas City sports stadiums (so plan your meals accordingly), LC’s Granddaughter is the one keeping the three-tier smoker full of ribs, whole briskets, butts of pork and ham. these days, and she’s ready to cut rib tips and burnt ends or slice some of that smoked meat on sandwiches stacked on a paper-lined plastic tray. Order fries, coleslaw, baked beans and an ice-cold beer and you’ll see why Kansas City has its own regional style of barbecue to its name.
In an effort to provide the Kansas City community with healthy food hacks, Ruby Jean’s, named after owner’s late grandmother, Chris Goode, has now expanded to three locations spanning Kansas City suburbs to to its urban core. Knowing that they compete with fast food drive-thrus, Ruby Jean’s was designed to fuel your body with good food fast. It’s the place to buy fresh cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juices, smoothies, performance protein shakes and wellness shots in rotating seasonal flavors, as well as acai bowls. , avocado toast, scrambled eggs, a blackened chicken sandwich, salmon sliders, and a quinoa and vegetable salad. . Use their 11-minute grab-and-go parking spots for the fastest way to grab a quick meal and go.
See and be seen
Two unique dining experiences under one roof make Chef Michael and Christina Corvino’s elegant Crossroads restaurant a place where local dignitaries mingle with elite sports stars and off-duty chefs chat with local musicians. The supperclub is for those ready to party and the tasting room is for those ready to join in. With live music playing nightly on the supperclub side, patrons can enjoy a craft cocktail or bottle of wine with a few small plates like their seaweed fritters with trout roe and cream, red snapper tostada or fried rice with shrimp. The smaller, quieter, and more intimate Tasting Room is a show stopper for culinary engagement offering a 10-course tasting menu overlooking the open kitchen for just a handful of people every night.
For more than 85 years, Town Topic on Broadway Boulevard with its famous neon sign has been where night owls, drunken revelers and early risers line up to sit on a tiny chrome bar stool. at the counter for smashing burgers or breakfast plates. Open 24/7, Town Topic will gladly pack yours to go, but you won’t get farther than your car until you’ve pulled out a fries, an onion ring, or a tater tot from your grease-stained white paper bag. Kinda -known secret is that Town Topic serves both Golden Boy shakes and pies, ask for a “pie shake” and they’ll toss a slice of pie in chocolate or vanilla ice cream for such a good treat that you will wonder why you did not think of it sooner.
start Me Up
Columbus Park is a place most visitors to Kansas City may never get to see, and that’s a shame because it’s just minutes from downtown and is home to Happy Gillis which serves up a new farm-to-table approach to breakfast and lunch dishes. in an ever-rotating selection inspired by all that’s in season. Their sausage or mushroom cookies and gravy with a cup of coffee can’t be beat, as well as their chorizo, egg, cheese and bean breakfast burrito, overnight oats, toast with smoked salmon and the classic breakfast plate including two Campo Lindo farm fresh eggs (cooked any style), 2 slices of Webster City bacon and two slices of toast or a biscuit with butter and homemade jam. This is where the locals start their day, and you shouldn’t hesitate to do so too.
The hot spot
When two Kansas City food and drink veterans come together to open a tiny little seafood bar with a big outdoor patio in the heart of Kansas City’s family-friendly Brookside neighborhood, it’s worth noting. The brainchild of Todd Schulte and Cory Dannehl, Earl’s Premier received rave reviews as soon as it hit open waters for an ice-cold gin and tonic, oyster or shrimp Po’ Boy sandwiches, mussels and steamed fries with spicy chorizo and tomato, and a fantastic cheeseburger for earthlings for whom freshly shucked oysters leave them cold. It’s the best of intellectual meets intellectual in a laid back, friendly place, so small that reservations are almost impossible to get on weekends unless you book in advance.
under the radar
Tucked away in the Waldo district, at the end of a shopping mall, is Waldo Thai, a gem of a restaurant and bar where chef Pam Liberda and her team prepare unique northern Thai dishes. Known as Lanna Food, they offer dishes filled with deeply satisfying flavors like Khao Tod Nam Sod to share, a crispy seasoned rice salad with cured pork sausages that you eat like lettuce wraps. For your entree, don’t hesitate to try Gaem Moo Phad Phed, a spicy red curry dish with sautéed pork cheeks, onion, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, shallot served with sticky jasmine rice. The bar program here is exceptional, created by bar manager Darrell Loo, who combines the light and sweet, salty and funky flavors found in Chef Pam’s food into wild and wonderful cocktails he creates using flavors and traditional Thai ingredients.