When you hear Kansas City, chances are the first thing you think of is BBQ. Outside of that, Kansas City (or Kansas/Missouri) are some of the of the most under- appreciated places in the US by foodies. However, their food scene is plentiful and you can find just about any cuisine you’re looking for from hole in the walls to upscale dining and swanky restaurants. There is something for everyone. During our weekend trip to Kansas City, I sought out some of Kansas City’s best dishes and treats and trust me, they have a ton delicious finds and we didn’t get to try nearly as much as we wanted. So, without further ado, here are 6 Must Try Restaurants in Kansas City.
Char Bar Midtown
Char Bar, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO
Starting with the most obvious choice. You simply can’t go to Kansas City without partaking in BBQ. As a fun fact, Kansas City has the most BBQ restaurants per capita. More than any other city in the United States. Needless to say, it was hard to choose which BBQ joint we should go to. Plenty of people recommend their favorites but we chose the Char Bar for its excellent reviews and outdoor seating vibes.
The Char Bar DID. NOT. DISAPPOINT. It’s crazy how good our food was and their sweet sauce is to die for. I enjoyed the pulled pork butt sandwich and BBQ dusted fries and my husband got the three-chicken wing/ 3 rib bones platter. It was perfectly tender and flavorful. This place should not be missed!
Beignet, 3959 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111
The last thing I would have thought to try in Kansas City was Beignets. As a Cajun girl, I was kind of against it but my poor husband had never tasted them before so we took the opportunity. We walked from our hotel (Hotel Phillips in the Light and Power District) to the Kansas City farmers market to find the restaurant. If theme restaurants are your thing, you’ll love it. It basically looked like we walked into a voodoo priestess dungeon. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that they sell Cafe Du Monde’s Original Beignets mix so I figured that they were the real deal. I’m happy to report that their beignets are just as good as my childhood remembers and they make KILLER Cajun food.
From gumbo to jambalaya and anything else you can think of. We ordered their Cajun fried Boudin Balls with Creole and Remoulade sauce. It’s so good we could have easily ordered the entire menu. They also make their organic lemonades and flavor teas in house. As a tip, you MUST mix the mint tea and organic lemonade together. It’s the best Arnold Palmer you’ve ever had. I highly recommend stopping in to dine here.
Pad Thai KC
Overland Park Pad-Thai Restaurant, 14319 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66223
We love a good Asian dish and Thai cuisine is our favorite. I was on a hunt for a good Thai restaurant when I found out about this swanky little authentic Thai restaurant in a Kansas City suburb, Overland Park. It’s no shock that the Thai fried rice was amazing but our shock came from their famous Thai basil wings. The waiter let us know that people came far and wide for their wings and holy smokes were they good!
My husband is a self- proclaimed wing connoisseur and we agree that these were the best wings we ever had. Aside from the food, the small restaurant is gorgeous. They have a very nicely decorated interior and if weather permits, the outdoor dining area was very peaceful and enjoyable. This location is just a few minutes outside of the city and I highly recommend visiting.
Taco Republic, 500 County Line Rd, Kansas City, KS 66103
The foodie in me is ALWAYS looking for a good taco and truly no food Guide is complete without a taco joint present. So, we found a super cute spot called Taco Republic that looks trendy but they sell the most DELICIOUS Street taco combinations and homemade chips. For their meals, you can pick any 3 tacos you want to receive a free side of beans and rice.
I chose the Papi which is a beef taco with steak, corn, onions/peppers and chimichurri sauce. My second was the Jorge pork taco with blackened Shrimp and crispy pork belly topped with chipotle, cotija cheese and avocado. This was BY FAR my favorite on the menu and I highly recommend. Finally, I got the Camerones which is a chipotle marinated shrimp with pickled onions, slaw and cilantro lime aioli.
Strawberry Hill Povitica
Strawberry Hill Povitica, 7226 W Frontage Rd, Merriam, KS 66203
Kansas City is surprisingly rich is European culture. In fact, KC natives will tell you that the most important stop in the area is Strawberry Hill to pick up Povitica bread. Povitica is an Eastern European style sweet bread and it comes in a ton of amazing flavors from the original Walnut to Strawberry and Coffee Cake.
The KC suburb of Merriam is the home of the Strawberry Hill Bakery where you can learn about the family’s history and watch them make the bread first hand. The best part is that there are over 16 flavors to sample… and you should sample them all. Our favorite two ended up being the Cinnamon Apple and Coffee Cake with chunks of delicious cheesecake. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a stop that you’ll want to make.
Ice Cream Bae
Ice Cream Bae, 306 W 47th St, Kansas City, MO 64112
Cereal lovers listen up. This trendy little ice cream shop has taken the best part of a bowl of cereal (the milk and cereal bits) and turned it into ice cream and milkshakes to die for. After scrolling on Instagram and coming across their crunch berry shake, we hopped in the car to get one. As trendy as the name sounds, you can guess that this little ice cream and milkshake shop is Instagram worthy.
Each of their menu items are styled for the perfect picture and they do not disappoint. Some of their other famous options are their macaron ice cream sandwiches, Not your Average S’more Ice Cream, and all your favorite cereals. The best part about this place is that it’s a part of the Kansas City Marketplace where you can purchase locally crafted and designed apparel and art. So, stop by, grab a shake and browse around.
Some of the places that we didn’t get to try on our list were: The Famous Joes KC BBQ at the Original Gas Station location, Succotash Kansas City, Jax fish house, Extra virgin and Mother Clucker.
So, have you been to Kansas City? We would love to hear about your favorite restaurants.