Restaurant Guide–Kansas City

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Kansas | Missouri


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Independence, MO

Gates BBQ–10440 E. US 40 Hwy. (BBQ) Open Daily. Many of its fans consider it to be “the world’s best barbecue.” Gil’s favorites are ribs and chicken. Some say the service is not as good here as at the other Gates locations (which usually translates into people having to wait a long time for things). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Thai Kitchen–19321 E. US 40 Hwy. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Seems to be the best Thai restaurant on the east side of KC. Curries are very popular. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Kansas City, KS

Bonito Michoacan–1150 Minnesota Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 7 am to 10 pm (store hours).  Tacos al pastor and a number of other types of tacos (but probably pastor is best). Has barbacoa, gorditas, Mexican sodas (in other words, it is more than just tacos). Not a restaurant but you can order at the counter and eat at the tables. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

El Pollo Rey–901 Kansas Ave. (Mexican) Open daily (lunch only Sun & Mon).  Mexican style chicken. (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Joe’s Kansas City BBQ (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s)–3002 W. 47th Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  Ribs, brisket, chicken (Bill Hensley’s blog rates Billy Sims as having better ribs). Gil says the pulled pork is best–the rest is disappointing overall. Most people say the burnt ends are excellent. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Noodle Bar–10940 Parallel Pkwy. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun & Mon; closes 7 pm weekdays.  Very good reviews. Serves pho, ramen, pad thai, and other types of Asian cuisine. All of them seem to be good, even though this is not usually the case when they do not stick to one cuisine. (Takeout only 9-3-21)

Slap’s BBQ–553 Central Ave. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 7 pm.  A very highly rated restaurant with locals, but seems to be under the radar on the national barbecue lists. Brisket, pulled pork, and burnt ends are recommended (some are disappointed with the ribs). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Vietnam Cafe–2200 W. 39th Ave. (Vietnamese) Open to 7:30 pm (closed Mon).  Recent reviews say it has gone downhill but is still good for certain items. Lemongrass chicken and bun (vermicelli bowl) are recommended. This is a branch of Vietnam Cafe in KCMO. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Kansas City, MO

Andre’s–5018 Main St. (Swiss) Open 7 am to 5:30 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Authentic Swiss lunches and pastries are the specialty (this looks like a deli). Chocolates are popular for dessert or for takeout. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Arthur Bryant’s–1727 Brooklyn Ave. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Ribs, burnt ends. Gil likes burnt ends, pork sandwich, and baked beans (this is Gil’s favorite BBQ). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

BB’s Lawnside BBQ–1205 E. 85th St. (BBQ) Closed Mon.  This is a very highly rated, but not the highest rated barbecue restaurant in KC. When I ate there, though, it made quite an impression on me, and I am even more surprised that it is still around (I won’t tell you how many years later). To me you can’t do much better than this place. Burnt ends are especially popular but everything seems to be good (according to reviewers). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Blue Nile–20 E. 5th St. (Ethiopian) Closed Sun dinner; closed Tue.  Traditional Ethiopian food. (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

Browne’s Irish Marketplace–3300 Pennsylvania Ave. (Irish) Open 9 am to 3 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Unlike Irish pubs, this focuses on being a restaurant and sandwich shop, with a wide variety of Irish food. Has been operating since 1900 (so they must be doing something right). (Takeout only 10-9-21)

Cacao–1046 W. 103rd St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Upscale Mexican food with authentic Yucatan style dishes. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Cafe Europa–323 E. 55th St. (Modern European) Open 10 am to 7 pm (closed Sun).  Does not specialize in authentic food from any particular country, but reviewers say the food is really good. Not to miss is the dessert (such as lemon cake, key lime pie, pecan pie, etc.). (Outdoor seating is available; otherwise takeout only 8-20-21)

Fannie’s West African Cuisine–4105 Troost Ave. (Nigerian) Open 11 am to 7 pm–1 to 5 on Sun (closed Mon).  Small restaurant and food is made from scratch. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Garozzo’s–526 Harrison St. (Italian) Open daily except Sun lunch.  KC old style Italian (this is supposedly the best one in town). Chicken spiedini is a favorite. (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

Grunauer–101 W. 22nd St. (Austrian) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  German food served Austrian style, with other German dishes also available (reviewers say all of it is good–or at least most of the reviewers). I know German food is not cheap, but this is not overpriced–just fairly priced (it definitely looks upscale though). I think some of the negative reviews may be because Austrian food is a little different, and may not be what many expect when they get German food, although some say the only negative was the service. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Hien Vuong–417 Main St. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue.  Some say if you want authentic Asian in KCMO, come here or Vietnam Cafe (otherwise the closest is at Overland Park & Shawnee KS). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

iPho Tower–3623 Broadway St. (Vietnamese) Open daily 11:30 am to 8 pm.  This seems to be an exception to the belief that the only good Vietnamese is downtown. Reviewers say the broth of the pho is very flavorful, and they give you a good choice (chicken, vegetarian, etc.). (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

Island Spice–10 W. 39th St. (Jamaican) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Authentic Jamaican food. Curry chicken, jerk chicken, brown gravy chicken, etc. are popular. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

LC’s BBQ–5800 Blue Pkwy. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Burnt ends, ribs. Said to be one of the best BBQ places in KC, and may have an edge over the others because of the sauce. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Mesob–3600 Broadway Blvd. (Ethiopian) Dinner only (closed Mon).  An African and Caribbean fusion restaurant which reviewers say works perfectly to give you great food. (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

Olive Cafe–9530 James A. Reed Rd. (Middle Eastern) Open daily except Sun evening. Some say this is the best Middle Eastern food in KC. Is in a small building with a grocery store & restaurant. Lunch buffet is very popular because you can try a number of dishes (and reviewers say they are all good). Note: during the pandemic the buffet has been discontinued. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Pot Pie–904 Westport Rd. (American) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Upscale food at lower prices than similar restaurants. Chicken pot pie is very good, but the menu includes many other great choices. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Q39–1000 W. 39th St. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Serves KC barbecue that rivals or may even be better than in the more well known places (most reviewers seem to think it is better). Brisket, burnt ends, and ribs are popular (these three come on the combo plate). (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Seva–8674 NE Flintrock Rd. (Indian) Open daily (closed from 2 to 4:30 pm).  Every dish is prepared to your personal taste. Reviewers also say they get the spice level right (not too spicy or too timid). Has a buffet that commenters say is pretty good. Mostly seems to be the standard north Indian dishes for vegetarian items, but has an extensive menu of meat items that go well beyond the standard items. (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

Stroud’s–5410 NE Oak Ridge Rd. (American) Dinner daily; lunch Fri & Sun only.  Fried chicken is famous here. Also try the cinnamon rolls. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Sweet Siam Thai–4130 Pennsylvania Ave. (Thai) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  This may be the best Thai rest. in KCMO. The spice levels are predetermined, so you get the best blend of flavors according to the chef’s experience. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Taj Palace–1706 W. 39th St. (Indian) Closed Tue (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Looks like the type of Indian food I like (authentic food from family recipes). For the best results, though, order from the menu (don’t get the buffet). Does not have a thali dinner (except dinners for two people). (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

The Farmhouse–300 Delaware St. (New American) Breakfast & lunch Wed-Sun; dinner Fri & Sat.  Farm to table restaurant that does not look too expensive. Reviewers seem to particularly like breakfast (opens at 8 am weekdays and 9 am weekends). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Vietnam Cafe–522 Campbell St. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue; closed Sun evening.  Reviewers from Vietnam say this tastes like home (so it is not Americanized). Menu is full of items that you probably won’t find other places. Also in KCK. (Dining room is open 7-29-20)

Note: W. 17th & Summit St. is the center of a cluster of interesting looking restaurants for those looking for “New American” (organic, farm to table, etc.) and other high quality (but not necessarily very expensive) places to eat. These are ones I have found (updated 7-29-20):

  • Swoon Cookie–now moved to 924 E. 5th (Cookie shop)
  • The Westside Local–1663 Summit (Farm to table)
  • Los Alamos–1667 Summit (Mexican–authentic and somewhat upscale)
  • Chez Elle–1713 Summit (Crepes)
  • Blue Bird Bistro–1700 Summit (Farm to table)
  • Fervere–1702 Summit (Artisan bakery)
  • Goat Hill Coffee & Soda–811 W. 17th (Coffee, baked goods, Italian soda)
  • Novel–now moved to 1927 McGee St. (Seasonal–Dinner only–prob. the most expensive rest. in the area)

Lenexa, KS

Aso Sushi–8615 Hauser Ct. (Japanese) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  One of the few Japanese restaurants that seems to have a traditional menu (not just sushi or hibachi). Not a very extensive menu but has salmon teriyaki, tempura udon, etc. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

KC Grill & Kabob–8611 Hauser Ct. (Persian) Open daily except Sun evening & Mon.  Persian restaurant that specializes in kabobs, but apparently many other Iranian dishes are served on the buffet (buffet served Thur, Fri, Sat & Sun from 4 pm to closing). (Dining room is open but there is no buffet 6-27-20)

Lanna Thai–7775 Quivira Rd. (Thai) Closed Tue.  Serves food from northern Thailand (the Chiang Mai region). Has very good reviews. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Olathe, KS

Aoyama Ramen–14960 W. 119th St. (Japanese) Closed Mon.  Specializes in tonkotsu ramen, but has several kinds. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Carmen’s Cocina–15926 S. Mur-Len Rd. (Mexican) Open 7 am to 2 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Fresh tasting and made from scratch. Has a flavor that people from the Southwest like as well as the locals. People particularly like the breakfast items. (Dining room is open 9-9-21)

Chapala–105 S. Clairborne Rd. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Authentic Mexican that serves upscale food like mole (this is not a street food restaurant, although I think you can order that if you want). (Temporarily closed 10-9-21)

Hong Kong Star–918 Old 56 Highway (Chinese) Open 11 am to 9:30 pm (closed Tue).  Authentic Cantonese food that gets very good reviews. Hot pot is recommended. (Dining room is open 9-9-21)

Spin Pizza–14230 W. 119th St. (Pizza) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Wood fired European style pizza. (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Thai Rice by Rizutto–1103 E. Santa Fe St. (Thai) Open noon to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  This is the ultimate small family owned Thai restaurant serving Thai style food. Pad thai, curry, and fried rice are popular. Ginger stir fry is possibly the best item. The down side of the restaurant is that the hours are erratic. Reviewers strongly recommend that you call the restaurant and find out if they are open before you go. (Dining room is open 9-9-21)

Yuva Eats–14967 W. 119th St. (Nepalese) Open daily except Mon lunch.  Food looks authentic, although restaurant says it is a “Progressive Nepalese Indian Kitchen.” In any case, it looks good. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Overland Park, KS

ABC Cafe–10001 W. 87th St. (Chinese) Closes at 9:45 pm (closed Tue & Wed).  Authentic Cantonese menu–hot pot, congee, etc. Made to order dim sum (siu mai is recommended). Dim sum is served all day until closing. It has recently surpassed Pine & Bamboo for dim sum and Jen Jen’s for menu items in the opinion of many Yelpers. It is said that the reason it’s open late is that the employees of the other Chinese restaurants come here to eat after they get off work. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Anousone–7315 W. 80th St. (Lao). Located in the Strang Hall food court (has Japanese food as well as 4 non-Asian food stalls). Chef has Lao food as the base, but also has fusion dishes. Google Maps gives it five stars (with 20 reviews) so whatever they are doing, customers like it. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Desi Bites–8542 W. 133rd St. (Indian) Dinner Tue-Sun; lunch Sat & Sun (closed Mon).  This is a Midwest chain with a restaurant in Oklahoma City (which I really like and is the reason I added it to the list). The KC restaurant gets mixed reviews but the food I tried tasted authentic. In OKC people recommend some items more than others (and that may be a reason for the mixed reviews here). Some good items in OKC are dal makhani and ginger paneer. There are so many items on the menu that I am sure there are other good choices. (Dining room is open 9-9-21)

Jack Stack Barbecue–9520 Metcalf Ave. (BBQ) Open Daily.  One of KC’s legendary barbecue restaurants, but the one here is supposedly better than the one in Kansas City. Ribs and burnt ends are recommended. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Jen Jen’s–9066 Metcalf Ave. (Chinese) Open 5 pm to Midnight (closed Mon).  Authentic upscale Hong Kong style food that reviewers say is authentic. Good for a special occasion (when you want something authentic). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Pad Thai–14319 Metcalf Ave. (Thai) Open Daily.  Several reviewers say this is the best Thai restaurant in the KC area. It looks upscale, and while some people may like it mainly because of the setting, the food seems to be the real deal. People especially like the curry (red, yellow, or pad prik king). (Dining room is open 9-3-21)

Sichuan Dynasty–7206 W. 119th St. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Authentic Sichuan style cuisine. (Dining room is open 6-27-20)

Taste of Africa–11240 W. 135th St. (East African) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon); lunch on Sat.  Reviewers say it is authentic and delicious (but main dishes are limited to a few items such as chicken, beef, goat stew, vegetarian, etc.). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

Thai Place–9359 W. 87th St. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Good reviews, and they say the spice level is appropriate for real Thai food. Menu has interesting items such as basil stir fry (available on the lunch specials) and phad phet (on the dinner menu). (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Wiener Kitchen–9645 W. 87th St. (Sausages) Breakfast & lunch only (open Wed-Sat only).  Artisanal sausages that are made using local ingredients. Reviewers say this is a destination restaurant (not fine dining but very flavorful with interesting hot dogs and sausages that you will not find elsewhere). (Dining room is open 9-9-21)

Yafa Cafe–13475 Switzer Rd. (Mediterranean) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Very good reviews. Reviewers say kabobs, falafel, and hummus are some of the best anywhere. (Dining room is open 9-9-21)

Shawnee, KS

Hawaiian Bros Island Grill–11600 Shawnee Mission Parkway (Hawaiian) Open Daily.  Hawaiian plate lunches and soft serve ice cream. Has 9 locations in the KC area. (Dining room is open 10-9-21)

Pine and Bamboo Garden–10915 Shawnee Mission Parkway (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Although many people order the Americanized Chinese food, the Chinese menu is what sets this restaurant apart from others (specializes in Cantonese food). Has dim sum until 3 pm (2:30 pm on Sat & Sun). (Dining room is open 8-20-21)

 

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Gil’s Thrilling (and Filling) Blog

KansasTravel.org

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Kansas)

Yelp (Missouri)

Zomato (Kansas City)

 

 

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