Kansas City Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Kansas City

April 14, 2018 Marlin Saiz

Kansas City is the third-largest city in the State of Kansas, the county seat of Wyandotte County, and the third-largest city of the Kansas City metropolitan area. Kansas City, Kansas is abbreviated as "KCK" to differentiate it from Kansas City, Missouri, after which it is named. It is part of a consolidated city-county government known as the "Unified Government". Wyandotte County also includes the independent cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 145,786 residents. It is situated at Kaw Point, which is the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers.
Things to do in Kansas City

1. Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

3002 W 47th Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103-3244 Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Barbecue, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 13 - SGD 20 +1 913-722-3366
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Reviewed By Scott P

Best restaurant in an old gas station. Pulled pork and smoked sausage are my favorites here. The “hog heaven” sandwich is pure bbq happiness.

2. Cafe Provence

3936 W 69th Ter, Prairie Village, KS 66208-2601 Takeout, Television, Highchairs Available, Full Bar, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Free Wifi French, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 41 - SGD 131 +1 913-384-5998
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 171 reviews

Cafe Provence

Café Provence has been honored by Zagat as the best restaurant in Kansas City. It joins the top 46 restaurants in the United States given this honor in their respective cities, such as Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas, Le Bernadin, NYC, Gary Danko, San Francisco and more. Cafe Provence serves progressive French Provençal cuisine served in the warm, inviting atmosphere of a neighborhood bistro.Bienvenue! You can now experience the best in French bistro cuisine a mere stone's throw from the Plaza. Café Provence is the perfect place to eat a little, chat a little, and get back your breath after a shopping raid, beautifully located as it is in the Prairie Village Shopping Center – and so near to the stores. We look forward to seeing you! Cafe Provence ...the food speaks french! À bientôt!

Reviewed By PamelaVanderHeagen - Kansas City

Cafe Provence really has an impeccable reputation throughout Kansas City. After hearing so many wonderful things about the restaurant, I finally had the opportunity to visit myself and now full understand why it one of the city's best. Our group of four had the perfect evening, and plan to make a habit of dining here. First of all, our server, Angus was one of the absolute best host we have ever had. He really went above and beyond to make our dinner outstanding. Although we love wine, we are not as familiar with French selections, yet he directed us to an extraordinary bottle, in fact we ended up having a second. Furthermore, he helped guide us through our menu selections, and we all absoluetly loved what we had. The appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts were all on par with the finest places that we have dined. In addition, the atmosphere is incredibly charming. I regret that it has taken me so long to visit, however it is undoubtedly my new favorite!

3. Q39

1000 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111-3859 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Barbecue, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 816-255-3753
Excellent
73%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Q39

Reviewed By Monica J - Platte City, Missouri, United States

Being from KC I’m pretty particular about my BBQ. This place did not disappoint! It quickly climbed to one of our top places. The food is absolutely delicious! It’s nice that you can make reservations. Everything that we have tried has all been good.

4. Cafe Des Amis

112 Main St, Parkville, MO 64152-3732 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar French, European, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 816-587-6767
Excellent
83%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 119 reviews

Cafe Des Amis

Reviewed By Charles B - Saint Pete Beach, Florida

Cafe Des Amis makes you feel like you're in a European lodge with a romantic atmosphere plus intriguing views of Park University. The food is superbly prepared; the wine list uncommon and delicious, especially Alsatian options in the dry riesling category. From trout to beef and lamb one can't go wrong. Treat yourself and a dear one to a special night.

5. SLAP's BBQ

533 Central Ave, Kansas City, KS 66101-3549 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Barbecue Lunch, Dinner +1 913-213-3736
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 220 reviews

SLAP's BBQ

Slap's BBQ (Squeal Like a Pig) opened in June of 2014 and started with just a few hundred pounds of meat. After running out within a few hours, we knew Slap's was going to be a major success. As the weeks went on, we added more and more meat to the daily production finally reaching our capacity and comfort level a couple months after opening. We sell out every day because we are committed cooking fresh and putting the best BBQ on the plate we can. Slap's BBQ is one of very few restaurants in the City that is actively competing on the KCBS circuit throughout the year. On average we compete in 25-35 contests each season. We do this to stay sharp, relevant, and because we love it. Try our famous ribs and burnt ends that always run out within our first hour, or our imported Texas sausage to get a mouthful of amazing flavor. Although we try to serve as many customers as possible, we're only open until we run out daily so be sure to get here early! For finger lickin' goodness, we'll see you at Slap's!

Reviewed By YouDontOwnMe - Kansas City, Kansas

The burnt ends melted in my mouth. They have a culinary concoction called Baked Potato Casserole that is not to be missed. I want to go back right now just to have that again. The feel of the restaurant was urban rustic. We sat at a community table with a couple and their baby. I wanted to love the cheesy corn and I will likely try it again but I do not know if it can survive in the shadow of that baked potato casserole.

6. Bluestem

900 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111-3147 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Gluten Free Options Drinks, Dinner, Late Night SGD 66 - SGD 66 +1 816-561-1101
Excellent
76%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 202 reviews

Bluestem

Bluestem | Fine Dining in Kansas City Their dream became a reality when chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts opened bluestem in March of 2004. With Chef Colby's Progressive American Cuisine and Chef Megan's new varieties of American desserts, bluestem is dedicated to providing not only a meal, but a truly memorable experience. The restaurant's unadorned elegance, staff dedication and attention to detail allow you to simply settle in and enjoy your stay. Bluestem has received local and national accolades including being named as the James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef Midwest" in 2013 and a 2015, 2016, & 2017 James Beard Semifinalist for "Outstanding Restaurant" for an invigorating marriage of cuisine and hospitality. Chefs Colby and Megan invite you to experience all that bluestem has to offer, from cocktails and snacks in the bar, to a tasting menu in the dining room, or even late night drinks and dessert.

Reviewed By Jim H

This is a great restaurant — what you would expect from a James Beard award-winning chef. Menu is always interesting and creative and food is consistently excellent. Go for the five-course tasting menu (the desserts are always superb and easily worth the calories!). The tasting menu shows the range of what this restaurant can do. You can add paired wines with the tasting courses if you like. Otherwise, an excellent wine list is offered. Service is professional, classy and efficient. Ambience is pleasant and understated. If you like to watch the open kitchen in action, request a table where you can do that. This is easily one of the best restaurants in Kansas City and, even though it’s pricey, it’s a restaurant where you can feel like it was worth it. Highly recommended - edible art is made here.

7. J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood

8901 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66212-1402 (Formerly J. Gilber's Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood) Takeout, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 41 - SGD 79 +1 913-642-8070
Excellent
70%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 444 reviews

J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood

J. Gilbert's is an "upscale casual" steakhouse serving prime-aged beef cooked over a mesquite wood-fired grill. Guests enjoy various cuts of steak, fresh seafood (including award-winning crab cakes) & other house made favorites like the Maytag Bleu potato chips & Chocolate Velvet Cake. The cozy atmosphere includes fire side dining, rich wood, brick & soft lighting where you can enjoy a quiet table or host a large party. The extensive martini & wine list offers the perfect compliment to an excellent meal delivered with attentive service. J. Gilbert's is open for dinner 7 days a week and lunch banquets. Reservations are recommended

Reviewed By ls66611

We go here a lot, Jenny was our server, she was Great!! Ask for her when u get there. We had the smoked salmon appetizer, really recommend it, it was wonderful. Wife had the lobster tail and steak, both were excellent. I had the crab cake and steak, couldn't finish it. Had the chocolate cake for dessert, very decadent. Will definitely go back again.

8. Cafe Gratitude

333 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108-2020 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 13 - SGD 17 +1 816-474-5683
Excellent
73%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 205 reviews

Cafe Gratitude

Reviewed By 230ml - Tempe, Arizona

Had the pleasure today of hitting up a really cool vegan restaurant called Cafe Gratitude. Located in the regentrified section of downtown Kansas City. Nestled among old brick buildings that have been reborn as luxury lofts,it would be very east to drive or walk right by the cafe. Although you can see can sense the up scale new life of a once less lively section of downtown, the area is not pretentious at all.
Upon entry the whole vibe is like being outdoors in a park. I sat at the bar (they serve beer and wine) to pick up my Togo order. I was greeted by Luke, at the bar. Among many things, what impressed most about him was the way he spoke to me about the place..with pride and ownership. This for me, said a lot about the management and also Luke's humane temperament. It was refreshing.
I ordered Magical, Luminous, Warm Hearted and Eternally Youthful. Yes, this is how the food items are listed on the menu. Eternally Youthful was my vanilla milkshake, Warm Hearted is a polenta entree, Luminous is salad with sweet potatoes, quinoa, nuts, avocado among lots of other goodies. And Magical is a homemade veggie burger. Although I hadn't planned to, I ate everything in one sitting. Couldn't stop myself. Great textually and delicious. This will definitely be a place I'll revisit when I return here.
At the bottom of my receipt I noticed a question - What are you grateful for?
Cafe Gratitude offers food for body and mind. Pretty nice!

9. Jack Stack Barbecue - Freight House

101 W 22nd St, Freight House, Kansas City, MO 64108-1954 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Barbecue, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 28 - SGD 39 +1 816-472-7427
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Jack Stack Barbecue - Freight House

Reviewed By DMartin216 - Chicago, Illinois

We made our first visit to KC to celebrate my birthday weekend with barbecue, and I picked Fiorellla’s Jack Stack (Freight House location) for my birthday dinner. I couldn’t have made a better choice. We learned just how wrong we could be when, a mere 24 hours earlier, we had falsely assumed that we had found the best BBQ in KC at some "other" establishment. It was waiting for us all along at Jack Stack.

One of the things that intrigued us most was unique to Jack Stack’s menu—their hickory-smoked lamb ribs. Our server was also trying to talk us into another unique menu item, their Prime Beef Ribs (2 ribs for $39.99), which had my wife intrigued. I felt I needed a moment to confer and asked our server to give us a minute. Yes, they sounded delicious, I argued, but we’ve already strayed from the comparison strategy with the lamb ribs, so we decided that we would each order a two-meat Kansas City Combo ($20.99), my wife’s with beef ribs and burnt ends, and mine with chicken and lamb ribs.

Did you ever taste something for the first time and feel that the world had just changed? We did, and we are now looking to buy a smoker for the lamb ribs that we immediately ordered online after our trip. The ribs were clearly cooked low and slow, the result being meat that was fall-off-the-bone tender and redolent of a lamb stew. They had just a painting of sauce so that the meat could speak for itself, and it spoke volumes. Everything was delicious, but those lamb ribs rocked our world. I apologize to diners at nearby tables for losing all sense of decorum and tucking into those ribs up to our elbows.

And while Jack Stack was one of the larger establishments of our entire BBQ Tour, the service was also amongst the friendliest and most personal. This was the only BBQ joint to invite us back to the kitchen to see their smokers. Their chef carefully explained the entire process to us, with me making copious mental notes. When they learned it was my birthday, a free crème brûlée was somehow waiting at our table when we returned.

Our bill for two was $83 including tip, even with a few cold Boulevard beers (and they had quite the variety to sample—this was my first taste of Tank 7). Not only was Jack Stack perfectly 60th-birthday-appropriate, it was by far the most memorable meal of the trip and an evening we will always recall hungrily. How fitting that this would be our final taste of KC BBQ for the trip.

10. Garozzo's Ristorante

526 Harrison St, Kansas City, MO 64106-1262 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Highchairs Available Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 28 - SGD 39 +1 816-221-2455
Excellent
69%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 365 reviews

Garozzo's Ristorante

Reviewed By Richard H - Kansas City, Missouri

The location, the staff and the food are all good. The portions are unimaginable. The portions are will-feed-a-family-of-four portions. Unfortunately, quantity over quality. The house salad was ok but the dressing was not. Order the dressing on the side. The visit was a late lunch visit for a take away order. Oddly enough the large portions are more than enough incentive to order take away only. No reasonable person would eat the entire portion for a meal. The waiter was friendly enough and helpful enough. I really do like the immediate area and the restaurant is an asset to the immediate area. I would really much prefer smaller portions of higher quality food.

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