Kansas City, MO City Guide {update}

Today’s Kansas City City Guide comes to us from Kansas City resident Rachel Porter. Rachel has lived in Kansas city with her two children and husband for the past five years and loves learning about this midwestern metropolis every chance she gets. Along with her sister Chelsea, Rachel has put together this week’s guide to shopping, dining and playing in Kansas City.  Thanks ladies for sharing your city with us! –Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump…

Kansas City City Guide

I’ve been a part of the Kansas City area since high school. But it wasn’t till after I came back from college that my love for the city grew. My husband and I have lived in the urban core of Kansas City for five years now, and can’t imagine life anywhere else.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of what Kansas City has to offer. In fact, I had to stop writing down names of great places KC has to offer so I wouldn’t overwhelm you with my long list. Locals, feel free to add rec’s in the comments. Visitors, I hope visiting Kansas City makes you feel loved and welcome as a part of the community as we have over the years. There’s so much fun local stuff to see and do. Enjoy!

Check out the Google Map with the below listings!

Midtown

Shopping
Donna’s Dress Shop – An amazing combo of things new and vintage. A great little place for a new dress or accessory.

Vinyl Rennaisance- A record shop with some sass. TONS of different vinyl to chose from and if they don’t have what you’re looking for, they can order it for you!

Bunker- A clothing, shoe and accessory shop with some attitude. Great finds for casual wear and carries all the latest trendy shoes and accessories.

Prydes- Known as “the hardware store for cooks” this kitchen/home store has been around forever. Upon entering you will be offered iced tea while you shop and search through the tons of kitchen appliances, supplies and accessories. They also have an incredible pie shop in the basement.

Kansas City City Guide
Restaurants
Room 39- SWOON. The best breakfast in the city. They use local in season ingredients and everything I have tried I have fell in love with. The atmosphere is also really cute and great for a coffee or breakfast date. Also open for lunch and dinner.

Beer Kitchen- A great local joint serving up lunch and dinner with any beer you can think of. They have a wide selection of drinks, and even incorporate ales into some of their entrees. Yum.

Pot Pie- If it’s not obvious, this is what you should order as your entrée. The best pot pie I’ve had, it comes out hot and bubbly and oh so good. It’s also situated in a very cute and cozy space in the city.

Port Fonda- What used to be a food truck has quickly turned into a Kansas City love of many. Now situated in their own restaurant space they offer very unique and delicious rustic Mexican food.

Coffee
Oddly Correct- True to it’s name, this is the place to go if you want to take your time to have one of the best cups of coffee in the city. True story: I did not like black coffee until this place. They pour their hearts and souls into making the best cup for you using a pour over method.

 

Westside

Shopping/Drinks
Little Freshie- What originally started off as snow cones served in a trailer, has turned into its own store. Serving up awesome homemade snowcones, sodas, as well as cute stationary and other house warming gifts, this is a place not to miss.

Boulevard Brewing Company- our local brewers that serve up the best beer this side of the Mississippi ; ) They offer tours daily of their facility and their tasting room looks like a debonair bar out of the 1940’s. Yum yum.

Fervere- Handcrafted bread made daily. Oh my goodness. I haven’t met a bread here I didn’t love. They always offer free samples and trust me, you’ll be thinking of ways you can buy and use more than one loaf at a time. Check website for hours, as they’re open early and often sell out.

Restaurants
Westside Local- Serving up fresh local food from their garden out back or one of their great vendors, this place is always sure to please. Plus I think they have the best pint of fries in town.

Bluebird Bistro- Can we say Anthropologie in a restaurant? This little place used to be an old drug store and they now spend their time serving up fresh and often organic cuisine. Sunday Brunch here is a must!

Chez Elle Creperie- Serving a wide variety of sweet and savory crepes, this place is a must. They have every combination you can think of and each crepe is made to order.

 

Brookside

Shopping
Frankly Basic- This women’s store is a part of a row of shops that have been around since the early 1900’s. Great if you’re looking for a new accessory or dress.

Crestwood Flowers- The most adorable flower shop I’ve visited. Opened in 1932 and going strong ever since. They have every variety you could want.

J’Adore- A classic French inspired boutique that sells everything from furniture, to bath accessories and plants. Want something but don’t see it? Ask the owner or one of the staff, they’re great about getting in exactly what you are looking for.

Lauren Alexandra- The cutest baby boutique in the city. They offer baby clothes, furniture, diaper bags and other accessories. The best place to go for a gift for someone you know that’s expecting.

Restaurants
Aixois- A French Restaurant that serves some delicious traditional French cuisine; crepes, snails, etc. Don’t worry. They also have great burgers and salads if you prefer the more tame side of things. They also have a cute little coffee bar open daily if you want a quick cup.

Café Europa- A cute restaurant serving up local eats as well as a small selection of baked goods. Great Sunday Brunch as well! Their French toast for brunch is amazing.

Julian- You gotta love this place and the Chef. Chef Tio has been a part of some recent Food Network competitions and has cooked right alongside Michael Simon. Delicious meals with a creative twist.

Kansas City City Guide

Coffee
The Roasterie- A loud and bustling coffee shop that’s been going strong for 20 years.  A great place to meet a crowd of friends for some coffee or tea. Try the “crunched for time” mocha. You won’t be disappointed.

Play
Loose Park- One of our biggest parks in the city, it reminds me of being in Europe. There’s a huge walking trail around the perimeter of the park, as well as a rose garden complete with giant fountain, a playground and a splash park. A great outdoor option if you wanna be outside.

Kansas City City Guide

Westwood
*This part of the city is tiny, but so darn cute. This is why I only have two places listed in this neighborhood, but it didn’t feel right to not include these two gems.

Restaurant
Oklahoma Joe’s- Truly an experience. Set inside a gas station, this BBQ joint has won too many awards to mention. One of the best BBQ’s in KC, once you visit here you’ll come back for more every time you’re in KC. Promise.

Coffee
Hi Hat Coffee- Don’t blink or you’ll miss this little guy. Situated inside an old 1940’s gas station, this coffee shop has charm and some cute outdoor seating to boot.

The Plaza

Restaurants
Gram and Dun- A great local place to grab a bite to eat. Excellent cocktails and outdoor seating in the summer.

Bo Lings- If you’re craving Chinese, this is the place to be.

Blanc Burgers and Bottles- They serve gourmet burgers with beer battered onion rings or fries. A great stop if you’re a burger lover. They also have a wide selection of beer to choose from.

Shopping
Zoom- a local toy store that has everything a kid can imagine. Be sure to check it out if you have kids or need a gift for one.

Panache Chocolatier- handcrafted chocolates and much more to treat yourself (or someone else) to!

Three Dog Bakery- the place to buy your puppy a treat (or cute little sweater) while you’ve been away.

Baldwin Denim- A Kansas City based clothing store that prides itself on quality made denim for men (and now women too!) American made and modern simple designs make this place a great resource for that perfect pair of jeans.

Play
The Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery- Even the lawn of this Art Gallery is Beautiful. A great place for a quiet afternoon of art. New exhibits every season. Or if you prefer a more active afternoon, perhaps a game of Frisbee golf on the front lawn?

Coffee
Latte Land- A great place to grab a latte while shopping. There are 2 locations on the Plaza as well.

 

Hotels

The Raphael- one of Kansas City’s boutique hotels, they offer outstanding service and are centrally located right at the Country Club Plaza.

The President- once known as the hotel in Kansas City any incumbent President would stay in, hence the name ;) Located downtown this hotel is regal, elegant and hosts some amazing old photos of the hotel and our Presidents from the 20’s and 30’s

 

Notable Locals

  • Amy Seeley- a fun, whimsical musical artist that lives and works in KC.
  • Paul Rudd- an actor I’m sure we all know. We actually went to the same high school, but at different times of course.

Kim

Oh! My former city!

I will add this store from the northland (Parkville, specifically): Nine Lives. It’s right on the main drag of downtown and has a great mix of vintage and re-worked furniture and accessories. Lots of architectural salvage as well. I have a table from there that I am constantly getting compliments on.

meg

this is wonderful!! thank you so much for this.. i can’t wait to follow the links.

Lara

Thank you so much for this! I am a Kansas City native currently living in Atlanta and I miss KC so much! Hopefully over the holidays I can get to a bunch of these places.

Thanks for giving this great town some notice!

Ron

My hometown, too! I’m amazed at the crossroads area, and even river market. Makes me very happy that such awesome things are going on in KC.

Rachael Sudlow

In Lawrence, also check out the Lawrence Arts Center for great work in the gallery & a ton of cool stuff (Including my jewelry!) in the gift shop!

kc*designer

Glad to see K.C. is getting some attention in the design world. Nice work Kate!

Leigh

Grace, I love the idea of being able to have a nicely bound copy of the guides so you can have it in hand on a trip.

I can’t believe I’d never heard of Blurb before. I am DEFINITELY going to use this the next time I need to print out my portfolio!

Betsy

Thanks so much for putting bon bon atelier on the list, we read this blog everday and love our fellow design junkies! Oh, and we’ll have a shopping cart on the website soon!

shanna

I just moved to KCMO from Chicago. I’ve experienced extreme culture shock, mostly related to the fact that because everything here is so spread out, a car is a must!

But I’m finding that I love this city, too. I so appreciate this great guide. Thanks to First Fridays, I’ve visited many of the Crossroads stores, but I’m anxious to check out everything else.

Sara

Ahh, Kansas City! Yes, unfortunately the transportation system leaves something to be desired. Since I moved away to Portland, OR, so much revitalization has been happening, like the city market and the crossroads, even some stuff in the west bottoms besides haunted houses. I am not suprised that there wasn’t mention of the midtown/Westport area, but there is still some good dining and plenty of music venues to check out there. I’ll be back one day!

Emily

Thank you so much for posting about KC! I lived there for most of my life and didn’t realize, until I left, what a great place it is. You’ve mentioned some areas I never got to visit, so I’m planning to do so over the holidays. And, it’s nice to see the little city getting some attention!

Florida-expat

Moved here from Tampa…so excited to be in a city with such a great design culture and so many places to shop!!!! Nothing like where I’m from! Thanks for the shout-out, DS!

Lizzie

I was so excited to see KC on here and then Lawrence at the end! I currently go to school at KU in Lawrence and live on Mass St. and love all the places you mentioned, (I live 2 stores down from Blue Heron and go in there at least twice a week!) It is also very fun to get out to KC every once in awhile and explore the design scene. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the places on your list I haven’t been to yet!

abby

Wow, I really wish I had seen this before I spent two long, lonely days in Kansas City! It sounds like it has great stuff.

Emily

Go Kate! Great guide. I would like to second the awesomeness of the Yarn Barn & Sara’s Fabric.

Guy Michael Davis

Im a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. I have lived all around the country, and have not yet experienced anything like this town. The art/design scene is very strong and close knit. Thanks for the survey, Im dying to get back.

Ann Marie

There is a great shop 0n 54th street called willow. It is a combo florist and cool vintage furniture shop.
I think the Block Gallery is also a must see if you can get the hours right.
I love this city. It was an awesome place to go for art school!

Kallie

I have been to 90% of these stores. Kate is right, They are all AMAZING! I encourage everyone to Shop Inde!

L

Kate – awesome list – many of my favorites and some I didn’t know existed. I can’t wait to come home for Xmas and check them all out!

Katie Parker

Kansas City is one of the best places to live and make art – part of that is the Kansas City Art Institute brings an amazing wealth of talent to the city each and every year. If you have not been to KC you are really missing out!

shelby

This is just what I needed to see as I am gearing up to head home to KC for the holidays. I am currently a interior design student at SCAD in Savannah and I would love to move back to KC to work after school. There is just so much going on these days I get incredibly excited at the thought of being a part of it.

Marisa

Grace, I know there isn’t much in Houston, but I sure would appreciate a Houston Style Guide.. I am dying here. I have gone to some places but I am hungry to find some cool design shops.

I am sure you get requests for plenty of cities but I thought I would throw H-town in the ring. ;)

Jodie

Thank you so much for this wonderful feature on Kansas City! I currently live in KC, and work in Lawrence…it’s great to see many of my favorite places featured.

Anne Canfield

Please be my guest an add a link from your Kansas City Art Institute reference (thank you!) to the college’s Web site: http://www.kcai.edu

Thank you!

Prêt à Voyager

Totally great! I grew up in Kansas City for 8 years, and there is much to be discovered. My first art classes were at the Nelson-Atkins. And I loved touring the Hallmark Visitor’s Center. . . Need to give a quick shout out to Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Brookside (I still crave it to this day).

http://www.foosfabulousfrozencustard.com

and the best ribs ever at Arthur Bryant’s : a complete dive (at least it was when I was growing up), but the ribs wrapped in Wonder bread, douced in their amazing sauce with fries and wrapped in brown paper is pure heaven:

http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com

James Lopez

Nice article, It’s good to hear positive feed about our creative city… As a long time resident and gallery owner I believe this city has something to offer.. Please stop by and get cultured…=)

Casey

The Nelson-Atkins Museum was designed by BNIM Architects, in Kansas City. They have firm in Houston, which I was apart of 2 years ago. When we went to Kansas City for a business trip, we were able to tour the museum, before it was finished. It is beautiful, so excited to see it is getting the recognition it deserves!!
Casey

Ames Hall

check out Fortner Hall Artisan Textiles in the Crossroads at 1919 Wyandotte St. (former location of Hammerpress) for beautiful handwoven organic blankets made from naturally colored merino wool.

completely anonymous

I was quite surprised to see an article here about the design scene in Kansas City, and perhaps even more surprised to see who the author was. After living in the area for 8 years, it is good to see a bit of postive coverage for the oasis on the plains of Lawrence, KS. Good article Kate.

Dana

YAY! So happy to see all the fun places mentioned! As a KU grad and River Market resident, it’s just great to see all these places I love get mentioned somewhere. Nicely done, as always.

katie e.

hooray! i’m thrilled to see this, and even happier to see my workplace blazoned across the top of the post.

lush

we moved here from san francisco. at first i’ll admit it was a HUGE culture shock. kate is dead on about what it’s like getting around here, but kansas city has been wonderful to me. i still pinch myself and can’t believe i work at the nelson, and i now finally have the chance to fully pursue my creative work. great article kate.

j. walla

I’ve been in KC for 2 years now. And there is cool stuff here. I live downtown. There is a lot of activity now the Sprint Center up and running. Can’t wait for teh shop to open in the Power & Light district!

Marty

Another favorite for family dining is Stroud’s. With a unique sweatshirt noting they “We choke our own chickens.” Perhaps not politically correct but a lot of comfort food at a reasonable price!

http://www.stroudsrestaurant.com/

Pam Barone

Hooray, so nice to see a KC overview. I live in midtown & work in Johnson county & get around by bus a lot. but the comments are true, this is a CAR town. Check out Eclectics at 70th & Oak, just down the street from Stuff, everything in the store is handmade. Also Bergamot & Ivy on West 43rd for some fabulous floral and home decor. Well, really, West 43rd has a row of local shops that are all wonderful, & then there’s the local places along West 39th…you can see a lot of cool independent design places riding the bus in kc….happy new year.

Kathy

Having lived the first 28 yrs of my life in KC, this article made me SO homesick! To those of you lucky enough to live there, appreciate it!!! I have lived all over the country and KC is just unique… will be there in a few weeks and will check out the new shopping! Thanks!

Alisha

I love Kansas City! I have to add one though-The Re-Runs Warehouse. It’s amazing!!! Re-runs has boutique shops located elsewhere, but this is the warehouse. It’s only open on Saturdays from 10am-4pm, located in West Bottoms. It’s all amazing vintage stuff, but insanely cheap. I bought a vintage blue 1960’s wool dress (totally Jackie-O) and it was $15! The place has also outfitted several major movies. I can’t rave about it enough!

Joanne

Moving to Kansas City in August from Manhattan! Anybody want to be my crafty friend?

KC Resident

Skip Leawood/Johnson County, Briarcliff Village and of all places – Lawrence KS (wtf?) -which isn’t even in the MSA and visit real KC neighborhoods of interest like the City Market, Crown Center and Westport.

Steven Hoober

There are so many other good places, I won’t bother. Just want to ask how the entire city of Prairie Village, and some other stuff like Mission got lodged into the Brookside category?

Nick

A nice list, but a little generic. It would be progressive if the list reflected some of the more substantial things that are going on in neighborhoods throughout the city, such as east crossroads, the west side, the north end, and the west bottoms.

grace

nick

please feel free to leave any shops/stores/museums/spaces you feel should be added to the list- we’re always happy to update the list to reflect great local resources.

it sounds like you know some great spots so please do share.

grace

Marion

Ahhh.

Being a KC native in New York right now is hard. Thank god I have things like this to provide substantial proof that I do come from a legitimately cool city :)

Dana

Correction on someone else’s post: The astonishingly gorgeous new Bloch Building addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was designed by Steven Holl. BNIM was just the local architect-of-record.

Heather Bowen Ray

Here are few West Bottoms resources (in response to the comments by Nick and Grace):

Hobbs Building – has open studios occasionally
http://www.hobbsbuilding.com/

Dolphin Gallery – re-opening the gallery September 12, now open for custom framing
http://www.thedolphingallery.com/

Livestock Exchange Building (interesting history/architecture)
http://www.livestockexchangebldg.com/

Good JuJu (vintage finds)
http://www.goodjujukc.com/

And has no one mentioned Vintiques? They are now located in the River Market with better hours: http://www.vintiqueskc.com

Butch Adam

I think a great cafe to check out in the Crossroads is YJ’s, I’m sure some of my friends say it’s over rated, but only during First Fridays, every other un bothered day, it’s just an awesome place to hang out.

Besides, it’s right next door to Peggy Noland, Spool and Birdies, all amazing stores ran really awesome ladies. Totally check it.

Jill

I’ve lived in KC most of my life, but there are some amazing places on your list that I have never seen! I have the misfortune of being so unobservant. Thanks for setting the agenda for my weekend! (and a shout out to west 39th st- don’t forget about us!)

sarah

great kc guide! of course, a few years in, there’s a TON more out in the joco area (yes, i live there!) like the entirely new shopping centre at 119 and roe, with z gallerie, another apple store (fun fact, kc is the only city (maybe besides nyc) with two apple stores), several boutiques, like mitzy’s london, and some trendy new eateries – jp’s wine bar and north, which bills itself as modern italian and is superb.

town center, across the street has also expanded a bit, especially with the new park place on the backside with the outdoor skating rink.

but overall, i agree that most of kc’s charm is up in westport, brookside, and the plaza … and now you have to add the p&l for nights out onto the list! great job!

maggie heitland

Yes it is all true! Moved here from Detroit is ’67 thinking this place to be a cow town. Amazing how it has changed.

Jaclyn

Yeah. I love KC & Lawrence. Moved here from Hong Kong (on the other side of the globe) and it was such a cultural shock for me, but I can’t image leaving this place.
Anyway, there are a lot more places opened up around KC today, like the Legend shopping district. It’s seriously cool. The Power and Light district is already a popular night-time hangout area; it’s close to the crossroad district, so after a Frist Friday, enjoy the evening at P&L.

Mark

A few corrections. It sounds like this article was written by a suburbanite who doesn’t know much about the actual city.

1. The Crossroads District is at 18th and Grand.

2. The urban core is very walkable – Downtown, Crossroads, Midtown, Westport, Plaza, Brookside, etc.

3. There is good transit in the urban core. The MAX bus runs frequently from the River all the way to Waldo.

Melissa

The ‘original’ Crossroads District was centered around 19th and Baltimore and the galleries there in the late 1990’s. Since then about anything from 18th to 22nd (North and South) and Grand to Broadway (East and West) pretty well counts as the Crossroads…and it continues to push beyond those borders.

For those folks who DO decide to venture to Prairie Village (I’d have to agree that it certainly ISN’T Brookside, though it’s not terribly far) check out the Bloomsbury Bistro inside of the Mission Road Antique Mall. You can get a fresh, fabulous lunch while hunting down the priceless collectibles. (Shameless plug for the chef/owner, my friend, Cari Jo Cavalcante.)

Lastly. 39th street from Southwest Trafficway to State Line is a fun stroll with great restaurants and some cool shops. Go to Fric & Frac. It’s been THE neighborhood anchor for ALMOST 40 years. Great food (burgers, sandwiches) and a really good time.

lauren

this is a beautiful representation of my hometown and still current residence. i am going to art school now, and while i had plans to graduate and move away, kansas city is just too good. it is definitely changing daily and has had an amazing revival so it’s worth a trip. it’s sad how overlooked we are here in the midwest! we don’t live in teepees and aren’t on the set of the wizard of oz.

anyway. you should also check out spivey’s in westport. http://www.spiveysbooks.com/
this little shop features an amazing collection of old books, maps, city plans, and art prints. it’s in an absolutely beautiful building as well.

lauren

also anyone looking for some nice vintage housewares (lamps, dishes, trays, etc.) should look at boomerang on 39th and pennsylvania because they have an amazing collection. they specialize in russel wright.

amanda

a recent addition to try in westport is mash handmade (at 39th and pennsylvania, next to boomerang)…handmade home accessories by local and national artists…www.mashhandmade.com

Claire

I have lived in Kansas City/Johnson County my whole life and I’m so glad you showed the awesome places we have here!

sarah

don’t forget pryde’s in westport!!! FANTASTIC kitchen store selling everything you could imagine and everything you never knew you needed in a kitchen.

would a dining guide to kc be appreciated? there are so many new local places around now, from downtown to the suburbs.

christine

I just moved to Kansas City from the Northeast — from what I hear from everyone, a LOT has changed here, especially in the downtown area, where I currently reside in a beautiful loft in the old Kansas City Gentleman’s Club. This calls for an update!

Still, I am glad I found this post — I’ve only been here for a year and I am pleasantly surprised that there are so many new things to discover.

Jana

Love this tribute to my beloved Kansas City! Just had breakfast at Succotash this morning and it was wonderful as usual, with its funky charm and fantastic servers.

LeAnne

A very nice guide for the downtown/midtown/central portion of the city.

The restaurants do seem to slant heavily to the coffee shop, brewery, trendy upscale set, which is a shame because there are some amazing sushi, vietnamese, and other ethnic restaurants in those areas (Vietnam Cafe, Hien Vuong, Domo, Kabuki, Kona, Sung Son, Jerusalem Cafe all come to mind).

I was glad to see the other guide listed Pryde’s Old Westport because that is one of the best places to go for kitchen wares and pie.

However, the other guide failed to mention Oklahoma Joe’s in the list of KC’s best bbq, so that’s a huge oversight.

Thanks for giving me some new places to add to my list of places to go.

Heather

For shopping, go to
– Birdies (116 West 18th Street) for fantastic one-of-a-kind ladies’ underwear and nightwear

– Halls (at the Plaza or Crown Center) It’s an amazing department store with high-end clothing, accessories and shoes. Wonderful sales.

– Donna’s Dress Shop (1410 W 39 St) for vintage and new clothing.

For eats, there are so many great places in Kansas City, it would be absolutely criminal for you to visit any chain. My favorite place for affordable, yet delightful food is:

El Porton (4671 Indian Creek Parkway) A family-owned Latin American Bistro. http://www.elportoncafe.com

jamie

Kansas City is an amazing city – artistically robust with a great food culture, yet super accessible and unpretentious. It’s great to have this updated review that includes many of our gems.

jamie

It’s a misconception that visitors to KC need a car to get around. The MAX bus system runs all the way through the urban core.

It runs from the River Market to Brookside/Waldo with stops downtown (like at our beautiful new performing arts center & walking distance to power & light district), the Crossroads (with walking distance to the Westside), Crowne Center (near the amazing WWI museum), the Kemper and Nelson art museums (walking distance to Westport) and the Plaza.

Rebecca

Vietnam Cafe in Columbus Park is amazing! Over the past few years I’ve managed to try just about everything on the menu but the $6 bowl of amazing chicken pho is mind-blowing!

Lynnae

Yay KC! Really good to see this updated list. I live in the Crossroads and I can’t imagine a better spot in the city! Also, check out my very favorite wine shop in town, Cellar Rat Wine Merchants. They specialize in providing incredible options in the $10-$25 range. Unpretentious, helpful, and totally hip! Shout out to Ryan and the crew!

Also, I can’t tell you how happy I am that Manifesto is back open. The very best cocktails, anywhere!

PS. JP’s Wine Bar is now closed at both locations. Main St. is now Tannin Wine Bar, and the 119 location is the second location for La Bodega.

sarah

SO HAPPY to see the update! i’m going to include Nara, a trendy sushi restaurant in the Crossroads. It’s been voted the Best Sushi in KC, and is also Zagat rated.

Emily

Much of this list is quite similar to the popular series “Eat Shop (Kansas City)”. I highly recommend the book. Also, you don’t have to text the owner at Manifesto in order to drink and be merry. Come early in the week. While lowering yourself down the stairs, conjure up images of Buffalo Bill’s basement in Silence of the Lambs. “It rubs the lotion on its skin”!

Paula

I think it should be mentioned that Liberty Belle, Urban Mining and Good Juju are only open first Friday and that weekend. Dharma Gallery is new to the Westport area. Another recently opened is Thistle Vintage Studio 329 Southwest Blvd. in the Crossroads. It is also open the first Thursday-Sunday of each month. All of these places are so much fun. We try to hit as many as we can every month.

Anna

I loved this! I moved recently after 6 years in Kansas City, and oh, I miss it! I second Edens Alley for vegetarian food, and Waldo Pizza is the best pizza in Kansas City. It’s amazing.

Candice

I can’t believe no one has mentioned Peggy Noland! One of the most unique places I have ever been.

Someone should add it if they get the chance! I sight to see!

Dittony

Moving to KC this summer and trying to decide where to live – Brookside or Hyde Park. Would like to be able to walk to bars, restaurants and shopping

Beth

Speaking of Urban Mining, I found a really great Eames exec. office chair last weekend. It was a total surprise, as I’d been looking for one, but couldn’t afford it. The lady at the booth who sold it was so cool. I think she is an angel from heaven and she brought the chair with her!

Karen T

I’m glad to see this great list and also the link Rachel provided.

But I have to say no list on Brookside is complete unless it includes a mention of Stuff. http://www.pursuegoodstuff.com/
This shop owned by two awesome sisters is THE cooolest place for unique gifts – STUFF..and lots of it.

Add their commitment to the community and all of the great causes they support with Diva Day, Wings of hope, etc and you have THE perfect shop!

Jill

nice! I have lived in KC for a total of 20 years and you have nearly mentioned everything worth mentioning! The only places I would add are Record Bar (great music here), Buzzard Beach (best dive ever), Po’s Dumplings (best chinese food ever), Aladdin Cafe, Eden Alley (best vegetarian restaurant ever), and the crossroads district for First Fridays if you don’t mind crowds.

stephanie

oh gosh! wish i knew about these places when I spent half a year bored out of my mind in kansas city! thank the lord i found some of these places through word of mouth & google–but it kind of makes me want to go back!

Susie

My daughter lived there for a year. She purchasewd me a necklace from Artistic Works by LULU…..I am trying to contact the store????Anyone know where it is?

Jordan Rae

I LOVE KC! Born and raised and I now live in OKC. Let me tell you how much I miss KC!!! It seriously is one underestimated piece of magic!! Thanks for sharing about the gem! I love First Fridays. Some interesting people!!!

Kansas Jewelry

Has anyone heard of jewellery by Morgan Kansas Town Missouri? I was setting up on visiting the shop but I am not sure about it. Does anyone know everything?!

coveted home

- Urban Dwellings Design: By far, one of the most well-curated retail spaces in town, the sisters who own this shop have made it feel like you are stepping into a friends home when you arrive. They also offer custom interior design services, write for the local newspaper and keep an informative and inspiring blog. 412 Delaware St, KCMO 64105.

**this store has moved! We are now the Coveted Home, located in the Corinth Shops in Prairie Village, KS at 83rd and Mission!! We still offer design services and we have a great selection of unique home accessories and furnishings! We would love to see you in at some point :)

Eileen 2

Did I miss Blackwells flea market/anqitue store in the list above? Visited there in person about a year ago. Wonderful place. McCoy pottery, old wall phones, room filled with pots & pans, and colorful bundt cake pans. Lots of clear glassware, too. That was a year ago, tho. Could be diff. items in the thop now. Prices were so low, I was sort of embarrassed at cash register, but the low total.

Hoping to go back next month!

Steph

We just moved from KCMO to NY, but please add these places to your list.

Hammerpress, First Fridays (especially the West Bottoms area for antiquing), Christopher Elbow Chocolate, 5B & Co. (candles), Arthur Bryants (barbeque), Architectural Salvage, Coterie Theater (childrens theater), Grunauer’s (for beers and brats), Foo’s (amazing ice cream). The list is endless and doesn’t even touch on the areas just outside the city line. It’s really a Midwestern hidden gem.

Shana Norris

Thanks Rachel & Chelsea. We’re about 1.5 hours away from KC, but are there fairly often since it’s the closest city to us.

Desiree

GLACE’ ICE CREAM!! 51st and Main, just south of the Plaza. It’s Christopher Elbow’s micro-creamerie. OMG.

Laura

if you are looking for a bicycle Leawood Bicycles is the best place to shop! Family owned business has been there for 20 years now. The owner takes time with each customer to make sure you get the perfect bike for you. No better way to get around KC then by your own two wheels! http://www.leawoodbicycles.com – there are bike lanes everywhere and plenty of beautiful trails to explore!

Marie

Basically what others have said – the only thing listed in the “Brookside” part that’s IN Brookside is that Coffee shop.

Also – GLACE’!!!!!!

jennif

A couple of other places not to miss:
South of the Plaza
Glace Artisan Ice Cream (Christopher Elbow is a local chocolatier; this is his foray into ice cream…): http://www.glaceicecream.com/
Spin Pizza, right next door to Glace: http://www.spinpizza.com/

Westport
Murray’s Ice Cream: https://www.facebook.com/murraysicecreams
Tea Drops: https://www.facebook.com/TeaDropsKC

And the Nelson-Atkins restaurant now offers table service dinner on Friday nights, with local produce: http://www.nelson-atkins.org/welcome/Restaurants.cfm

Karen

I take it Loose Park is safer than it was in the 80s.

Arthur Bryant’s is the best BBQ on the planet! Yes, the original location is a bit of a dive, if by dive you mean working class. I’ve been told there are other locations that are a bit more sanitized, but I’ve only been to the original one.

Susan

I grew up in KC, and I’d like to add the jazz/blues scene around 18th and Vine and/or Paseo, or really located throughout the city. I’d also like to mention the beyond description burnt end BBQ sandwiches at Gates Barbeque, or anything at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque, especially the ribs and brisket. I’m salivating at the mere thought! And KC is the City of Fountains, with more fountains per capita than any other city in the US. It’s a beautiful place to visit with tons to do! Go KC!

cocurrant

LCs BBQ (on blue Pkwy) is the best in the city!! Even though its a bit further away, Its the only BBQ place I take visitors to. Its not touristy like Gates or Arthur Bryants and gives a complete KC experience!
Kitty’s Cafe on 31st deserves a great shout out for their burgers as well!

cocurrant

816 bicycle collective !!! 816bike.org
I lived in kc for years and never needed a car. These people have a wonderful and unique thing going that should not be overlooked!!

Melanie

There are so many new things happening all over Kansas City! I love this town so much that I moved back after living in Chicago. There are some amazing shops opening soon in the old Arts Incubator space on West 18th Street between Wyandotte and Baltimore. Of course Birdie’s lingerie is there, and now Hadley Johnson has a boutique, Peggy Noland, and YJ’s coffee shop has been there for as long as I can remember. However, hopefully by the end of the summer, there will also be an orchid shop, jewelry boutique (with jewelry made by local designer Coki Bijoux), and other amazing shops.
There is also the best antique/vintage shopping in the city in the River Market area by the name of River Market Antique Mall. 3 floors plus a basement full of amazing finds (my home is full of items found there) and they also have a location located at 600 Central (which is also the name of the place) that’s not as big but still has a great selection of antiques and vintage.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Kansas City during one of the 1st Friday weekends, there are many other great antique/vintage shops that are open (as well as the huge selection of galleries and shops that are open in the Crossroads on the 1st Friday of every month). Some of my favorites include Urban Mining (just off Main Street and 39th) and other great spaces located in the West Bottoms such as Liberty Bell, Good Juju, and Bella Patina.

Shana

Don’t forget the jam sessions at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, Piropos, and the River Market

M.B.

You are missing all of the River Market area, specifically an amazing coffee shop called Quay Coffee check out here http://quaycoffee.com/ They also house this really great vending machine called Easy, Tiger. Has amazing cards and on the cheap! cardsforawesomepeople.com

Heather

Deanna Rose Farmstead, the Kansas City Zoo and Crown Center are great if you’ve got little ones.

I’ll reiterate what others have said – the WWI Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are a MUST. They’re world-renowned and truly incredible.

If you’re here for a First Friday, check it out. It’s quite a deal in KC. ART, live music, street vendors, wine, etc. Kansas City is home to some fantastic artists indeed.

S.N.

Where’s Waldo on this list?! Waldo is a great neighborhood just south of Brookside – the heart of it being 75th and Wornall. Easy bus access, bicycle friendly (the Trolley Track Trail), and plenty of parking too. Check out:

One More Cup – organic fair/direct trade coffee from 4 area roasters, Shatto milk, lots of local products, smoothies, baked goods, Nutty Girl sandwiches http://www.onemorecupkc.com

Bier Station – large selection of taps and bottles, some food, plus the only place in town where you can enjoy one of their bottles there, or grab some to-go http://www.bierstation.com

Waldo Pizza – some of the best pizza in town! lots of topping choices, and a fantastic beer selection
http://www.waldopizza.net

Plus numerous other restaurants, bars, yoga studios, bicycle shops, and more!

Shannon

If you like craft cocktails, KC is your kind of place. Drinks at Westport Cafe & Bar, The Rieger, Manifesto, Affaire or Extra Virgin can’t be beat! Dinner at these restaurants is good, too!

Sarah

I have to second the recommendation for Oddly Correct. It’s a fantastic hole-in-the-wall coffee shop and they do it right! The City Market is a fantastic way to spend a Saturday as well!

Lila

This list is cool, but there’s so many great places missing from it!

Let me add one that just opened in the West Bottoms. A beautiful bar called Voltaire.

http://voltairekc.com/

So far, Pigwich is my favorite food truck in Kansas City:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/pigwich-kansas-city

I just moved here from NYC 6 months ago for a job. If you are carless (like I am at the moment) you are best living close to a MAX stop because it runs the most.

Karmen

I’m a KC native, but currently live in Southern California. I’m glad to see so many exciting places on the list. I can’t wait to check some of these places out when I eventually get back out that way. Also, Gates BBQ is a must!!!

Carole

I’m reading the comments and feeling the love for my old home town. No place quite like it. If you haven’t been to the Steamship Arabia museum, it’s a must see. Some guys who ran an air-conditioning repair company excavated a buried steamship from the 1800’s and did it beautifully. And the Nelson-Atkins will take your breath away. The miniature portrait gallery alone…..I grew up in Merriam but my mom still lives off of Ward Parkway. I miss it every day.

Kate

I have to second the Waldo recommendations above, and add that the Classic Cookie has the best cookies in town. Though I haven’t been yet, I’m also hearing great things about Louie’s Wine Dive. If you have kids — or are young at heart — you should also check out Brookside’s Reading Reptile bookstore. It’s a magical place.

Chad

Yes! I’m so proud of my little westside neighborhood hitting the map! Here’s a couple more places in the west side that are worth checking out!

The Calico Beard and Mercantile – An adorable new salon and vintage clothing shop.
The Westside Storey – An equally adorable Antique shop with a unique collection and some work by local designers.

http://thecalicobeard.com/mercantile/
http://www.thewestsidestorey.com/

Carlos

Its called the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, not gallery. Wow, what a terrible mistake!

Chuck

Good list, for sure, but I do really wonder how you left off all of downtown???

I mean Happy Gillis, Garozzo’s, Vietnam Cafe, Harry’s Country Club, Le Fou Frog, Beignet, Manifesto, The Reiger, Michael Smith, Extra Virgin, La Bodega, Grunaeur, Genessee Royale, Succotash, Pierponts, River Market Antique Mall, just to name a few are begging to be on this list.

Megh

Great list, thanks! Just moved to KC from Chicago, and very appreciative of all the great suggestions!

My studio is in the West Bottoms, in the Live Stock Exchange building, where there are some awesome vintage and sunny studios. Highly recommend! Eat at the Genessee Royale Bistro across the street, it is marvelous.

allison cloud

Absolutely love this list and all other suggestions left in the comments. So much to be proud of in this awesome city my family and I call home. My big city friends who visit inevitably say, “hey, Kansas City is cool! Who knew?” Love this community!!!

Lo

Korma Sutra is the best Indian food you will have in KC. It’s located in Westport. Downtown has city market, city market coffeehouse, Bloom Bakery that has amazing bread and desserts, the Majestic for steak dinner and live jazz piano. They also have a good brunch. Happy Gillis cafe has great lunch sandwiches. It’s different but always good. Staff isn’t that friendly but whatev.

AJ

As a recent-ish transplant to KC, I’ve really grown to love and appreciate this town…forgive the long post, but wanted to include links for the inquisitive…

Please update the guide under the Plaza for The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (thanks!)…also, here is Port Fonda’s weblink: http://portfondakc.com/…amazing blood orange margaritas!

Also a shout out to UMKC (University of Missouri – Kansas City) – very important to supporting the local arts scene – both with programs like Artist INC http://www.artistinckc.com, the fantastic KCUR http://www.kcur.org/, the Toy and Miniature Museum http://www.toyandminiaturemuseum.org/, and in its educational programs – especially the Conservatory http://conservatory.umkc.edu/ and the awesome (but dreadfully overlooked) Art & Art History http://info.umkc.edu/art and Comm Studies departments (film in there as well) http://cas.umkc.edu/communication_studies

A few additions to suggested:

East Bottoms –
Local Pig http://www.thelocalpig.com/ I saw someone suggest the Pigwich Sandwich Truck, which parks back behind Alex Pope’s charcuterie…amazing sausages and stuffed dates.

Knuckleheads http://www.knuckleheadskc.com/ Great live music (including old local Guy Forsyth), great fried pickles

Brookside –
Reading Reptile http://www.readingreptile.com Amazing bookstore geared to kids, but also wonderful for adults…the bakery in the store has cupcakes based on different fairytales and are delicious

Crossroads –
Hammerpress http://hammerpress.net/ Awesome letterpress studio with a sense of humor and collaborates heavily with lots of other area businesses (like Little Freshie, Oddly Correct, Local Pig)

Black Bamboo http://www.black-bamboo.com/ Right next door is this home decor store that is full of amazing furniture and accessories.

Plaza –

Cafe Sebastienne – inside the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art http://www.kemperart.org/cafe/ is absolutely delicious…I especially like their brunch
Outside City Limits –
Justus Drugstore (Smithville) – http://www.drugstorerestaurant.com/justus.php?id=1 Chef Jonathan Justus is an amazing storyteller and innovative chef…well worth the trip up north of the river!

General Happenings –
Middle of the Map Fest http://www.middleofthemapfest.com/ Year one was in 2011 and it has gotten bigger and better every year since. Of special note to those interested in the arts, The Forum is an awesome meeting of the minds!

Design People of Note:
Walt Disney – worked at Hallmark and had his first studio here, where the story is he befriended a little mouse in the building, and inspiration struck
Tad Carpenter http://tadcarpenter.com/ – I always love when I see my coastal friends posting his work on pinterest :)

RB

Good start, but I am surprised that The Crossroads District, River Market, & West Bottoms are not on the list, as they are definitely noteworthy… so many lovely shops, restaurants, etc.

Crossroads- Food & Drinks: Manifesto, Rieger Hotel, Michael Smith, Pizza Bella, Extra Virgin, La Bodega, Affaire, Grunauer
Music: Green Lady Lounge, Mutual Musicians Foundation (east of Crossroads)
Coffee: Yj’s
Shops: Hammerpress, Birdies (lingerie), Peggy Noland (Fashion), Hadley Johnson (Fashion), Black Bamboo (Home), Christopher Elbow (Chocolate), Badseed market (Produce) Cellar Rat (Wine)

Events: First Fridays

Rivermarket: Food & Drinks: The Farmhouse, Le Fou Frog, Vietnam Cafe, Happy Gillis
Bakery: Bloom Bakery, Baby Cakes
Coffee: Quay Coffee
Shops: River Market Antique & their sister store 600 Central a little further south
Events: Weekend Farmer’s Markets

West Bottoms:
Food & Drinks: Voltaire, Genesse Royale
Winery: Amigoni Urban Winery
Events/Shops: First Friday Antique Shops- Featuring warehouse after warehouse of antiques and home decor- Bella Patina & Good JuJu, etc. Lots of food trucks also show up for the event.

The list of course could even go on from there……

Grace

Great places listed here!
For the Bunker, check out the basement for (sometimes) great shoes on sale. And yes, you’re allowed down there :)
Other places if anyone is interested:
Po’s Dumpling Bar- Great food overall and they offer some “different” dishes you might not have tried before.
Mudpie- A house-turned-bakery-slash-coffeehouse with such a creative atmosphere. The entire house is still accessible, with a playroom for kids upstairs. Everything is vegan and delicious. Located on 39th.
Word has it that the Google Fiber employees (the office is located just down the street) loved Mudpie so much, it was the “guinea pig” and first outside establishment to host Google Fiber. Cool, huh?
Prospero’s- A great used bookshop just down the stret from Mudpie that boasts two stories, a leaning tower of books to the ceiling–if you’re adventurous, try pushing it over–clear panels in the floorboards, vinyl in the basement, AND the owner is so sweet and welcoming!

Drake White

Have been to Kansas city many times. Cascone’s at 3737 North Oak Traffic way is one of my favorite Italian restaurants ever.

alena

I would love to go to Kansas! I haven’t been to much of the states. I have made it my goal to visit each state. Kansas look like a great place to visit.

Alena |

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