Must-Visit Restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri… That Aren’t Barbecue

Server with Amara aperitifs at Lazia, one of the best restaurants in Kansas City

Yes. Kansas City barbecue is indeed amazing. But it’s not everything, y’all. My recent trip with Visit Missouri didn’t just show us all the best Missouri wineries and distilleries, it showed us a ton of delicious places to eat, too. So, if you’re in town and want a break from all that is barbecue, be sure to check out these must-visit restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri. (Plus a couple of non-restaurant spots to just grab some great grub.) You’ll thank me later.


Where to Stay When You Visit

Now, I’m never too good for a hostel, but in my older years, I become more flashpacker and less backpacker. Once you get a taste of the finer things, it’s hard to go back. And, if you can swing it, why not treat yo’self? So, where’s the best place to stay in KC, Missouri?

Hands down—Crossroads Hotel. I loved it. It’s a whole vibe. Located in the industrial arts district of Kansas City, Missouri, this hotel has everything you could ask for and more. The rooms are super clean and the beds are really comfortable. The mini bar is beyond stocked and the toiletries are definitely worth stealing. Not to mention the little things—like solid water pressure in the shower and an actual bath mat instead of just a floor towel.

It boasts two incredible restaurants and a rooftop bar (all of which are listed here because… they were ridonculous). Great service, great ambience, and totally up my alley. Five stars, would stay again.

Photo Credit: Crossroads Hotel (wide-angle hotel room shot)

The Farmhouse, One Of The Best Restaurants In Kansas City For Brekkie Or Brunch

It goes without saying that, when asked if we wanted the “Mimosa Tower,” I was the first, most vocal, and most enthusiastic to reply with a resounding “yes.” And, while my fellow lady bloggers paused for a hot second, I’d like to think we ultimately got the day started off just. right. Also worth a mention is that The Farmhouse does cranberry, grapefruit, and hibiscus rose mimosas in addition to your standard orange.

The Farmhouse sources everything locally, all the way down to their coffee roast. It’s hearty, good, simple, fresh food that 1000% hits the spot and jumpstarts your morning. A disclaimer that their menu changes often, but dang—I hope they never get rid of those gigantor cinnamon rolls.

XR Café, One Of The Best Restaurants In Kansas City For Lunch

After coming off a red-eye and checking into the hotel before the rest of the group, there’s only one thing to do—grab a beer and grab some grub. So I did—at XR Café right in the Crossroads Hotel.

Minus the fact that the serving sizes were nothing short of massive, the food itself was incredible. Like—I ate-an-entire-salad-by-choice incredible. And could’ve had more. (Feta, candied walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette, in case you were wondering.) I also went for the underwhelmingly titled “ham sandwich,” which simply doesn’t do this deliciousness justice. Smoked ham with fig preserve on Havarti focaccia deserves an extra special title, like… “The Heavenly Hammy.”

Photo Credit: XR Café (dining & bar shot)

River Market’s City Market & Chinatown Food Market For International Cuisine

Sample international nibbles galore at the region’s largest farmers market at River Market’s City Market every Saturday and Sunday. Just jump off the free streetcar route and wander nearly 150 stalls of produce, flowers, baked goods, and local crafts. Cruise around the bagilliondy neighborhood cafes, restaurants, and shops, too.

Right across the street, you’ll find the Chinatown Food Market packed with fresh meats, seafood (even jellyfish!), and all the legit Asian spices you could ever imagine. Stock up and feast!

Lazia, One Of The Best Restaurants In Kansas City For Italian Fine-Dining

What can be said about Lazia, honestly? It was probably one of the most ridiculously awesome meals I’ve ever had in my entire life. Literally.

A twelve-course meal with an incredible wine selection. Kansas City Amaro aperitifs and a self-proclaimed Mozzarella Madam who pulled buffalo cheese right there in front of us. Enjoy it all in a historical bank vault, the wine room, or in the general dining area while taking in the sweet, sweet sounds of hip hop all night long. (Yes, you read correctly—a hip hop soundtrack in an Italian restaurant. …It was awesome.)

The Golden Ox, One Of The Best Restaurants In Kansas City For Steak

“Did someone order the 56-ounce steak?” *Raises hand!* The Golden Ox’s “Drover” was a mouthwatering 56 ounces of Midwest Angus, bone-in Ribeye. (Of course we shared.) And the selection of comfort-food sides and cocktails seriously couldn’t be beat. Not to mention the service; we had excellent service.

Cooler still is that the Golden Ox is located in the historic Kansas City Livestock Exchange building, which is basically worth a tour unto itself. (See the photo below of the actual Livestock Exchange in its heyday.) Lined down the hallway walls, you’ll find decades of original Golden Ox menus and find yourself examining the complexities of inflation and the American economy.

Christopher Elbow Chocolates For Dessert

You know, I asked Christopher Elbow himself if he needed an intern to tour the world in search of the best chocolates, but was met with a very unfortunate “no.” But that’s only because they’ve already got it covered. They source ethically-grown, sustainable cacao from local farms in places like Belize, Vietnam, and Haiti. And then they create magnificent little edible pieces of artwork out of it. Exactly as their tagline goes, “Almost too pretty to eat… almost.”

Percheron Rooftop Bar, One Of The Best Restaurants In Kansas City For A Nightcap

Percheron was actually named after the Pabst Brewery World Champion horse breed. And the Crossroads Hotel housing the Percheron Rooftop Bar is, well, the actual original Pabst Brewery building. So a seemingly bizarre-o name to all of us KC tourists is in fact yet another reference to Kansas City’s stoopid rich historical roots.

Condé Nast Traveler named Percheron one of the “10 Best Rooftop Bars In The US.” And with its iconic city views, coastal fare, and live music, it’s no wonder. It is open seasonally, so do check the hours is you’re traveling during a shoulder season. But if you can hit this KC hot-spot for a nightcap (or a whole evening out, this is a judge-free zone), you won’t regret it.

Photo Credit: Percheron Rooftop Bar

Get Your Fix At These Must-Visit Restaurants In Kansas City

You’ll never hear me say that you shouldn’t stuff your face with endless barbecue when visiting KC. But you’d also seriously be missing out if you didn’t hit up these incredible restaurants in Kansas City. These joints are top-notch cuisine in every sense of the phrase, and you do not want to pass them up.

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Cheers, Jordan