- Chloe Hay
Often defined as the Midwest’s barbecue capital, Kansas City in Missouri, may be best known for its succulent steaks, but it is also home to several innovative restaurants too. From superfoods to seafood, there isn’t a cuisine this city doesn’t cater for and the array of restaurants just keeps growing. To give you even more choice, here is an updated version of our previous guide to eating out in Kansas City.
For those who give the beer menu as much thought as the food menu, Beer Kitchen in the heart of Westport’s entertainment district is just the restaurant. Choose between an array of salads, flatbreads, starters and snacks, all-day breakfasts, burgers, grilled sandwiches and winter warmers before finding the perfect beer to match. With a huge selection of bottled beers as well as a good choice of tap beers, diners can pick by the name, the style or the brewery as all are detailed on the menu. True beer aficionados can even go that step further and order a main course that features beer as one of its leading ingredients by choosing the 100% American beer burger stuffed with burnt ends.
Beer Kitchen, 435 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 389 4180
Recently refurbished, Bluestem is a gem of a restaurant run by a husband and wife duo and situated in the heart of historic Old Westport. With a cuisine described as ‘progressive American’, the menu is packed full of playful, innovative combinations of ingredients that result in colourful, artfully presented, healthy plates of food. Try the smoked mackerel with red grapefruit, sunchokes and quinoa; or opt for a selection of succulent meats with a choice of homemade sides. Dessert is as much the focus at Bluestem as the starters and entrees, as one of the owners is an accomplished pastry chef, so be sure to leave room to sample some of the heavenly treats on offer.
Bluestem, 900 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 561 1101
Supporting local farmers, sustainable agriculture and using only environmentally friendly products, Cafe Gratitude is about as eco-friendly as a restaurant can get. Complete with solar panels on the roof, the tables are made from reclaimed wood, the lights from wine bottles and the menu dishes are all organic and plant based. With a huge focus on both health and sustainability, breakfast dishes include homemade gluten-free banana bread, baked gluten-free granola with fresh fruit and almond milk, and onion flatbread with cashew cream cheese. Make that extra difference by ordering the shredded kale, brown rice, black beans and garlic tahini sauce lunch option for which all profits will be donated to charity.
Cafe Gratitude, 333 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 474 5683
Located within the Kemper Museum, Café Sebastienne is the ideal lunch spot for art loving cultural tourists and locals alike. The menu is eclectic, New American cuisine and often features speciality dishes such as sumac-spiced wild swordfish and succulent Akaushi beef alongside the usual cafe staples of spinach and brie omelette and BLT sandwiches. Dishes on offer here do change seasonally in keeping with the rotation of the art exhibitions, ensuring that visitors never bore of exploring the artworks or sampling the food. Pay a visit to the museum to enjoy pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst and Romare Bearden amongst many others.
Fogo de Chao
Bringing traditional Brazilian cooking methods to the Midwest, Fogo de Chao is an authentic churrascaria,in which a huge selection of delicious cuts of meat are roasted over an open fire pit, giving them an unbeatable taste and flavour. Open for both lunch and dinner, diners are given a two sided card which they place green side up when they wish for a waiter to serve them more meat and red side up when they are taking a break. A choice of 16 different meats are served tableside including prime cuts of top sirloin, ribs, chicken, pork loin, sausage and lamb. Meats are accompanied by a choice of sides and vegetables from the self-service salad bar and a separate seafood menu is available for non-meat eaters.
Fogo de Chao, 222 W 47th Street, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 214 932 6088
Gram & Dun
Taking American classics and giving them unique and innovative twists, dinner at Gram & Dun is a great alternative to the customary visit to a Midwestern greasy spoon. Serving up tasty plates of jerk pheasant, chicken and waffles and burnt end mac ‘n’ cheese, individually the flavours are all well known but the fusion of them together is certain to be a new experience. A prime gastro-pub in design, Gram & Dun is located in the hip neighbourhood of Brookside and stands out from the rest with its bespoke wooden beams, metallic elements and statement pieces of furniture.
Gram & Dun on the Plaza, Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 389 2900
Describing its focus as ‘Novel American Cuisine’, chefs at Novel Restaurant have taken influences from Southeast Asian, Caribbean, South American, Middle Eastern and Western European cooking to create a menu of unusual and exciting dishes. Starters at this little restaurant are far from the norm, options include duck neck dumpling, hamachi crudo and pighead pie. But the main courses tend to be much more mainstream as choices include grilled lamb, roasted chicken and wild salmon. Take a few friends and order a selection of unusual starters to sample before tucking into a trustworthy entree. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Novel Restaurant, 815 W 17th Street, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 221 0785
The Capital Grille
The place to go for both succulent steaks and creative seafood options, The Capital Grille is a fine dining venue situated in the heart of the Country Club Plaza. Order either the cold shellfish platter or prosciutto wrapped mozzarella with vine ripe tomatoes to start before choosing between the Chilean sea bass with heirloom tomatoes and a saffron tomato broth or the lamb rib chops for a truly delicious main course. Share a portion of parmesan truffle fries and a plate of roasted wild mushrooms and every one is sure to leave the restaurant perfectly full and immensely satisfied, already dreaming of their return visit.
The Capital Grille, 4740 Jefferson Street, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 531 8345
Having passed through many hands since opening in 1992, it seems fair to say that The Majestic is at its best right now. Situated within the Fitzpatrick Saloon building, the restaurant boasts an original bar from the 19th century giving the room an important and historic feel. In keeping with the original decor of the place, the chefs pride themselves on cooking local Kansas City steaks dressed in their delicious, homemade sauces. In addition to the great food on offer, The Majestic is also a popular jazz venue where diners can expect to have the pleasure of watching live performances whilst they eat each evening.
The Majestic, 931 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 221 1888
An artisan design boutique, antique shop and top restaurant all in one, Webster House has become somewhat of an institution in Kansas City over the years. Located next to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Webster House is situated within a beautiful, Romanesque building dating back to 1885, oozing charm and elegance. The farm-to-table philosophy takes prominence here and diners can be certain that each dish has been created using only seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and produce. Try the savoury grilled black Angus steak with port, walnuts and Roquefort butter or simply order a plate of seasonal vegetables served with a choice of different meats for a delicious and wholesome meal.
Webster House, Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, MO, USA, +1 816 221 4713