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. 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. (Note: the restaurant was closed by a fire but has now reopened). (2-18-17)

Rheinland–208 N. Main St. (German) Open daily (closed Sun night and Mon night).  Rouladen, sauerbraten, currywurst, black forest cake are recommended. Reviewers are disappointed with the jaegerschnitzel. (2-28-17)

Kansas City, KS

Bonito Michoacan–1150 Minnesota Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 7 am to 10 pm.  Tacos al pastor and a number of other types of tacos (but probably pastor is best). Has Mexican sodas. (2-28-17)

El Pollo Rey–901 Kansas Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Mexican style chicken. (2-28-17)

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. (2-28-17)

Slap’s BBQ–553 Central Ave. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun evening).  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). (7-14-18)

Vietnam Cafe–2200 W. 39th Ave. (Vietnamese) 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. (7-14-18)

Kansas City, MO

Andre’s–5018 Main St. (Swiss) Open 7 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Authentic Swiss lunches and pastries are the specialty (this looks like a deli). (7-14-18)

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). (7-14-18)

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). (8-6-17)

Blue Nile–20 E. 5th St. (Ethiopian) Closed Sun dinner.  Traditional Ethiopian food. (2-28-17)

Browne’s Irish Marketplace–3300 Pennsylvania Ave. (Irish) Open 9 am to 4 pm (closed Sun).  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). (5-13-17)

Cafe Europa–323 E. 55th St. (Modern European) Open Daily.  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.). (2-28-17)

Garozzo’s–526 Harrison St. (Italian) Open daily except Sat & Sun lunch.  KC old style Italian (this is supposedly the best one in town). Chicken spiedini is a favorite. (2-28-17)

Grunauer–101 W. 22nd St. (Austrian) Open Daily.  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. (7-14-18)

Hien Vuong–417 Main St. (Vietnamese) Open daily except Tue dinner.  If you want authentic Asian in KCMO, come here or Vietnam Cafe (otherwise the closest is at Overland Park & Shawnee KS). (2-28-17)

iPho Tower–3623 Broadway St. (Vietnamese) Open daily 11:30 am to 10 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.). (5-13-17)

Island Spice–10 W. 39th St. (Jamaican) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Authentic Jamaican food. Curry chicken, jerk chicken, brown gravy chicken, etc. are popular. (5-13-17)

Krokstrom Klubb–3601 Broadway (Scandinavian) Dinner Tue-Sun; lunch Fri-Sun; brunch Sun (starting 10 am).  In a nutshell, this is Scandinavian food that Americans will really like (not the stereotype of lutefisk used in the Prairie Home Companion comedy skits). (2-28-17)

LC’s BBQ–5800 Blue Pkwy. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Burnt ends, ribs. (2-28-17)

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. (5-13-17)

Pot Pie–904 Westport Rd. (American) Closed Sun & Mon; closed Sat lunch.  Upscale food at lower prices than similar restaurants. Chicken pot pie is very good, but the menu includes many other great choices. (2-28-17)

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). (5-13-17)

Shio Ramen–3605 Broadway (Japanese) Lunch Wed-Fri; dinner Tue-Sat.  Ramen is rated highly (has 5 kinds). Note: Sama Zama is also highly rated but it seems to be more expensive and only serves one type of ramen (you can get it regular or spicy). (5-13-17)

Stroud’s–5410 NE Oak Ridge Rd. (American) Dinner daily; lunch Fri-Sun.  Fried chicken is famous here. Also try the cinnamon rolls. (2-28-17)

Sweet Siam Thai–4130 Pennsylvania Ave. (Thai) Closed Mon.  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. (5-13-17)

Taj Palace–1706 W. 39th St. (Indian) Closed Tue dinner.  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). (2-28-17)

Vietnam Cafe–522 Campbell St. (Vietnamese) Open daily except 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. (3-2-17)

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:

  • Swoon Cookie–1668 Jefferson (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)
  • FuD–813 W. 17th (Vegan)
  • Novel–815 W. 17th (Seasonal–Dinner only–prob. the most expensive rest. in the area)

Lenexa, KS

KC Grill & Kabob–8611 Hauser Ct. (Persian) Open daily except Mon evening.  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). (3-2-17)

Olathe, KS

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). (3-2-17)

Spin Pizza–14230 W. 119th St. (Pizza) Open Daily.  Wood fired European style pizza. (3-2-17)

Overland Park, KS

ABC Cafe–10001 W. 87th St. (Chinese) Closes at 10:30 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. (7-14-18)

El Porton–4671 Indian Creek Pkwy. (Ecuadoran) Closed Sun & closed Mon evening.  Good reviews, and is not as expensive as other Latin American restaurants of comparable quality. Menu includes dishes from several South American countries. (3-2-17)

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. (7-14-18)

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). (7-14-18)

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). (7-14-18)

Sichuan Dynasty–7206 W. 119th St. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  Authentic Sichuan style cuisine. (7-14-18)

Taste of Africa–11240 W. 135th St. (East African) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it is authentic and delicious (but main dishes are limited to a few items such as chicken, beef, goat stew, vegetarian, etc.). (3-2-17)

Prairie Village, KS

Cacao–5200 W. 95th St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Upscale Mexican food with authentic Yucatan style dishes. (7-23-17)

Shawnee, KS

Casa Latina–11200 Johnson Dr. (Colombian) Open Daily.  Reviews say the food is delicious, and the empanadas are not to be missed. For me, though, it would also be that Colombian restaurants are not all that common in the US (they also serve Peruvian food). (3-2-17)

Lao Cafe–6433 Quivira Rd. (Lao) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Good and authentic Lao food, but it is a small place that just opened in 2016 (so not many people know about it). Note: Yelp reports its address as 3928 Quivira Rd., but it is located between 63rd and 65th St. (so I think 6433 is correct). (7-14-18)

Pine and Bamboo Garden–10915 Shawnee Mission Parkway (Chinese) Open Daily.  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 (Yelp now says it is only on Sat & Sun). (7-14-18)



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.



Gil’s Thrilling (and Filling) Blog (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Kansas)

Yelp (Missouri)

Zomato (Kansas City)



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