Top 10 Restaurants In Independence, Missouri

Culture Trip

The charming city of Independence, Missouri is not only a place steeped in history, but is also home to a growing dining scene too. Here’s our list of the top 10 restaurants in Independence.

Photo of the 1859 Independence, Missouri Jail and Museum

1. Café Verona

Restaurant, Italian

With bold flavors, and modern interpretations of traditional dishes, Café Verona promises to transport guests to the romance of Italy. Located on historic Independence Square, the restaurant’s interior features a dramatic replica of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus while warm tones and rich woodwork complete the restaurant’s inviting ambiance. A well-stocked bar makes the perfect setting for a pre-dinner drink. Try a starter of crab-stuffed risotto balls with spinach and roasted red pepper aioli followed by a comforting plate of mac and cheese available with additional grilled chicken breast, lobster or rib eye steak.

2. Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn

Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

Located in a historical building dating back to 1907 that formerly housed the town’s drugstore, Ophelia’s offers guests an eclectic American menu infused with global flavors. For visitors, there is a stylish and cozy inn situated directly above the restaurant. Headed by executive chef Bobby Stearns who crafts inventive dishes like lobster and crab crepe with bourbon cream sauce and mains like Chilean sea bass with roasted corn polenta, sautéed spinach and a citrus buerre blanc, this place is not to be missed.

3. V’s Italiano Ristorante

V’s Italiano Ristorante

A visit to Independence wouldn’t be complete without a meal at V’s Italiano Ristorante—one of the town’s most long-standing restaurants. Established in 1971 by the Totta family, V’s comprises an inviting dining room, elegant lounge area and charming garden patio complete with its own waterfall. Widely regarded as one of the best Italian restaurants in the Kansas City metropolitan area, menu highlights include classic Italian dishes like osso bucco—a tender, 12-ounce veal shank roasted in its own rich stock and served with seasonal vegetables and tomato.
V’s Italiano Ristorante, 10819 East Highway 40, Independence, MO, USA, +1 816 353 1241

Mostaccioli della casa | Courtesy V's Italiano RistoranteMostaccioli della casa | Courtesy V’s Italiano Ristorante

4. A Little BBQ Joint

Restaurant, BBQ

For an area that specializes in barbecue fare, fans of the style certainly won’t have a hard time finding a barbecue joint. But Independence’s A Little BBQ Joint still manages to stand out from the crowd. The family owned restaurant has mouthwatering dishes and a laid-back, casual vibe complemented by a quirky, retro interior furnished with classic car parts. The menu features all you would expect of a barbecue joint like pulled pork, brisket and ribs, served alongside daily specials like smoked meatloaf. Local diners looking for a more relaxed Thanksgiving this year can even bring in their own turkeys to be smoked by the restaurant’s expert barbecue chefs.

5. Clinton’s Soda Fountain

Clinton’s Soda Fountain

A fixture on the town’s picturesque Independence Square, Clinton’s Soda Fountain is like stepping back in time to the halcyon days of small town America with its nostalgic decor and historic building. Though Clinton’s Soda Fountain opened in 1988, its building dates back to the 1800s. Legend has it that a young Harry S Truman worked in the property back when it was pharmacy and soda fountain. Serving up sodas, sundaes and other ice cream-based dishes, Clinton’s is perfect for a sweet treat in homey, retro surroundings. Try a speciality sundae like the nutty turtle—butter pecan ice cream layered with fudge, caramel and pecans.
Clinton’s Soda Fountain, 100 West Maple Avenue, Independence, MO, USA, +1 816 833 2046

6. The Court House Exchange

Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub

A cozy basement level pub and restaurant with a casual, lively ambiance and trendy clientele, the focus at The Court House Exchange is on burgers and beers. Guests can choose from a number of signature burgers such as the black n’ blue—a Cajun-flavored burger topped with creamy blue cheese, lettuce and tomato in a toasted Kaiser bun. There are also comfort food classics like golden brown deep-fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. For dessert try the popular bread pudding with caramel sauce and don’t forget to try one of the Court House’s local microbrew beers.

7. Square Pizza

Square Pizza

Square Pizza is a classic pizza joint down on Independence Square that specializes in delicious square-shaped pizzas with all the right features—a delicate crust baked to perfection, homemade sauce and fresh and tasty toppings. It is decked out with a casual, retro interior—think black and white tiled floors, classic booth seating and an airy, chatter-filled ambience. Square Pizza is perfect for a family meal, a fun date or laid-back meal with friends. Options include three cheese, meat lover or BBQ chicken or visitors can create their own from scratch. Guests looking for something else can opt for calzones, sandwiches and salads.
Square Pizza, 208 West Maple Avenue, Independence, MO, USA, +1 816 461 2929

8. Eat Up Dog

Restaurant, American, Fast Food

A small, casual and cool venue in downtown Independence, Eat Up Dog is a specialty hot dog joint with a classic diner-style interior that prides itself on serving up delicious, grilled-to-order hot dogs. Guests can relax in one of Eat Up Dog’s retro booths or take a seat at its diner counter while chowing down on classic options like the Chicago dog—a sausage topped with pickle, tomato, relish, sport peppers, mustard, celery and salt in a poppy seed bun—or specialty dogs like the Hawaiian, which comes with ham, potato chips, mozzarella cheese, pineapple sauce and pink sauce.

9. Vivilore

Vivilore

Vivilore’s location is reason enough to visit—residing in a beautiful redbrick building, an intricate stained glass sign welcomes diners into its classy, elegant interior while a charming courtyard garden plays host to al fresco dining on balmy summer evenings. That isn’t to say that Vivilore’s upscale, modern American menu is any less delightful. There are dishes like the smoked salmon bruschetta appetizer with pickled onions, goat cheese, capers and herby cream cheese and entrées including the rib eye steak with sautéed red cabbage and apples, BBQ sauce and twice-baked potato. The experience doesn’t end there though— alongside fine dining, Vivilore also features an on-site shop full of fine art and hand-picked antiques for guests to explore.
Vivilore, 10815 East Winner Road, Independence, MO, USA, +1 816 836 2222

10. Dixon’s Famous Chili

Restaurant, American

Originally established in 1919, Dixon’s Famous Chilli has the honor of being the longest-running family-run restaurant in the Kansas City area and the winner of awards including Pitch’s Best Chili. Dixon’s chili is served the proper Kansas City style: available in one of three ways – ground beef comes with either meaty juices, a soupy bean broth or dry. Guests then top it off with a number of fixings like ketchup, sour cream, grated cheese and jalapeño relish. A variety of burgers and hot dogs are also available alongside other chili-based dishes like tamales, tacos and burritos.

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