Another CYHTPG: Kansas City, Here She Comes

Oooo! Lookie here, a Disher sends her plea:

We are headed to Kansas City for a tournament and will be staying downtown.  Does anyone have a favorite restaurant? I keep hearing about the food and don’t want to end up at chains.

This one’s right in my wheelhouse, folks. I was born and raised in KC. My suggestions:

Michael Smith’s (James Beard award winner, nominated in 2009)

bluestem (best meal I’ve ever had in KC, another JB nom)

1924 Main and Chef Burger (Chef Burger is in the new Power and Light district, a fun area to hang out in)

The Bristol (also in Power and Light, and OMG, the biscuits!!!)

Lidia’s Kansas City (Lidia Bastianich outpost in Union Station. So good).

Jack’s Stack (BBQ, baby. there’s one in Union Station, near you).

The Plaza is currently overrun with chains, but it’s still worth checking out. The American Restaurant in Crowne Center is also a favorite of many, but I found the dining room outdated and too formal for my taste).

I’ll let others get into the BBQ debate, if they wish (Arthur Bryants, Gates, and Oklahoma Joes are favorites). Any other suggestions?


  • Bethany

    The last time I was at The Plaza, we tried a place called Baja600. I don’t think it was a chain, and the food was really good. Nice patio, too.

  • rascalndallas

    I, too, was born and raised in KC… for the BBQ experience I would absolutely recommend Gates, and go there prepared to be yelled at. Also, if you want a classic KC steakburger and fries, head to Winsteads, just off the Country Club Plaza. And finally, I’m going to have to agree with the Lidia’s nomination, great food, ambiance, and service… I take my mom there every year for her birthday. Don’t forget to enjoy the all the fountains!

  • Ed

    I was recently in KC for a few days, and ate at the Jack Stack in CC Plaza, thought it was outstanding. There is also a pretty hip and happenin’ bar in CC Plaza called reVerse.

  • Second bluestem. We’ve had 2 unbelievable meals there. Reminds me of Lola.

  • June

    I was in Kansas City three times last year on food stories. I enthusiastically second Sarah’s votes on bluestem and Michael Smith. I was wowed by Jack Stack in the Freight House and I loved loved loved Arthur Bryant’s. Blue Bird Bistro is so wonderful because the owner sources a magnificent amount of product from within 100 miles, and the food’s amazing. JP Wine Bar and Coffee House is really special, and La Fou Frog is the best little neighborhood bistro you can hope for. Room 39 does a lovely breakfast, and the best steak place in town is Plaza III.

  • BradT

    I also lived in KC for a while when I was a kid. I truly love Gates BBQ. I always sat at the counter with my dad. But my favorite day was Sunday because the parentals took us all to Winsteads in the convertible. Great memories. There was also a wonderful Italian place called Gaetano’s. Anybody know if it’s still there?

  • I lived in KC for many years when I worked for GE…too bad the Plaza has gone “chain”. Isn’t there a steakhouse called Plaza III still there – they had the absolute coldest beer I’ve ever had. Also – check out 75th Street Brewery…I used to live down the street.

    On barbecue, one thing I don’t get in Texas…why doesn’t every place have Burnt Ends?? This is brisket country no? They are a staple in KC and they are awesome…once a brisket is done, they take the fattier portion off and throw it in the smoker for another four hours or so. It’s served cut into cubes that fall apart/melt. Hayward’s Pit Barbecue in Overland Park @ College/Antioch was a favorite of ours.


    Wow- Thanks so much for the suggestions. I plan to hit several of the BarBQ spots (BURNT ENDS- yum). Lidia’s and one of the steakhouses will be our dinner choices. Can’t wait!

  • Finn

    As another former KC resident, I would second (or third) the recommendation of Jack’s Stack–great bbq, some of the best baked beans in the world. Gates is good and cheap (recommendation though, ask for lean beef on the sandwich) and the atmosphere is “different”. Hayword’s has gone downhill in my opinion, and probably would not be worth the drive out south. Plaza III is a great steak house, and has a signature steak soup that is amazing. Closer to downtown is Hereford House for steak, and as far as other BBQ joints are concerned, Oklahoma Joe’s, Rosedale, and Snead’s (although it is way out south) are all very good. Jack’s Stack is the high end of the spectrum (actual tablecloths, etc.), while Bryant’s and Gates downtown are on the more casual side. However you slice it, you can’t go wrong with KC bbq.

  • Don’t forget the oldies

    JJ’s Restaurant – 48th and Belleview – former WS Grand Award Winner

    The Peanut – 50th and Main – Best BLT ever

    Garozzo’s – N. edge of Downtown – Outstanding Italian in campy setting

    BTW – Hereford House is no mas I belive.

  • sezc

    Aixois hands down.

  • AT

    Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ for pulled pork
    Plaza III Steakhouse- you can’t beat the location, it is the quintessential KC spot on the Plaza
    Bristol- better than any seafood spot in Dallas

  • went2KC

    Was totally impressed with KC! The Power and Light District is what the Victory area in Dallas could be – with a MIX of reasonable restaurants/bars. We ate at The Bristol- some of our group ate there twice….. I agree that it is on pair with west coast spots and way better than anything we have in Dallas (love the biscuits also but don’t forget the asparagus risotto and lobster mac/cheese- both sides that accompany anything you order!~) Also loved the new grocery store downtown- kind of a cross between Eatzi’s, Whole Foods and Dean and Deluca. We also managed to squeeze in Jack Stacks- yum. Loved the Burnt ends but wanted to smuggle some of the beans in my suitcase! All in all, a great experience was had by all – we were there for a tournament downtown. KC did what Dallas is going to need to learn to do-
    Have reasonable lodging, as well as good, interesting food (also well priced), shuttles and alot of fun diversions- hard to beat. We all came away with a great impression of the city

    • Sarah Eveans

      I’m so glad you had a good time! Thanks to all the Dishers who helped with recs. Wish I was going home for Easter to eat. Also, do you remember the name of the new grocery? I haven’t heard about that.

  • went2KC

    Costtinos- or something like that. We ended up there everyday for either breakfast or lunch. You will have to check it out! Thanks for all your help… I am still dreaming about the biscuits and risotto from The Bristol.