You can still eat out while staying in these delicious Kansas City hotels
The Reserve is located in the new Ambassador Hotel.
For locals and travelers alike, hotel restaurants and bars are not always at the top of culinary agendas. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t be, though.
As with most things, not all hotel restaurants are created equally, so we’re here to give you the heads-up for the next time when you’re dining out Kansas City. Hotel dining options can offer convenience with three daily services (and sometimes room service). In this case, they can also offer some delicious dining options.
- Chaz on the Plaza, The Raphael Hotel
Chaz on the Plaza is the signature restaurant of The Raphael Hotel and is considered to be "one of Kansas City’s most romantic" dining locations. Embodying "the unique culture, history, and spirit of Kansas City," the restaurant creates menus inspired by "heartland tastes and bounty." They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The Berkshire loin chop with celery root, sweet potato ragù, goat cheese-stuffed arancini, and bourbon date sauce stands out on the dinner menu.
- Reserve, Ambassador Hotel
Located within the city’s new Ambassador Hotel, Reserve serves a "locally sourced seasonal menu perfectly complemented by signature cocktails and an impressive wine list." They’re open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. We’re eyeing their classic and hearty coq au vin, a pan-seared chicken breast lightly braised in red wine with mushrooms and herbed potatoes.
- Providence New American Kitchen, Hilton President Kansas City
Recently remodeled and redesigned, Providence New American Kitchen appeals to classic American dining nostalgia. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, and the dining room (which reopened in October 2012) "creates a warm atmosphere incorporating reclaimed wood and colorful art prints depicting the nation’s history." They’re open daily for lunch and dinner. We’re especially excited by their iconic dry-aged Kansas City strip with fingerling potatoes and an arugula salad.
The best restaurants in Kansas City right now
You can&rsquot go to Kansas City and skip out on BBQ and Joe&rsquos is your very best bet for it. We recommend getting the two-meat BBQ dinner with brisket and ribs to be able to taste a little bit of everything. In the mood for a sandwich? Order the Z-Man: a stack of brisket, smoke provolone and onion rings on a Kaiser roll. Beware: you&rsquore going to be very full.
2. Corvino Supper Club
Winning a James Beard award is no small feat, but it&rsquos no surprise that chef Colby Garrelts Bluestem took home the honor in 2013. The restaurant offers three different tasting menus, ranging from three courses to seven and that&rsquos exactly what you want to order. Every course will blow you away with its delicate mix of simplicity and complexity. The menu changes often, so it&rsquos worth paying a visit every few months.
4. EJ's Urban Eatery
EJ's is the home of a trademark white BBQ sauce that's to die for. You may have seen it featured on Queer Eye , and yes, each drizzle of that cream-colored liquid gold is as good on your tongue as it looks in HD. Make sure to get there early enough to grab the brisket before it runs out, and don't forget the absolute murderer's row of options they present for weekend brunch.
5. Il Lazzarone
There are few things more beautiful than a freshly baked pizza from Il Lazzarone&rsquos hand-built wood-fired ovens, which hail straight from Naples, Italy. Each pie cooks for just over 60 seconds, so you won&rsquot have to wait long from the time you order to the time you&rsquore digging into maybe the best pizza of your life. We recommend starting with the classic Margherita.
In a former railroad house just north of Kansas City's historic Union Station, Lidia's evokes the warmth of an old Italian farmhouse. The blown-glass chandeliers set the tone for the Northern Italian menu, presented by Emmy award-winning PBS TV show chef Lidia Bastianich. You can play this one however you want. Go for the $65 ribeye or you could choose to get unlimited portions of the day's pasta trio. I suggest you do the later.
7. Pirate's Bone Burgers
A vegan greasy spoon. That's pretty cutting edge, right? Faux cheese fries and burgers made from beets sound like a prank but we assure you that it is very well worth adding to your dining list, amidst all the very real meats.
Speaking of meats. Most sandwich shops pride themselves on their huge menus, but not Pigwich. Here, less is more. Choose between five standards, including the namesake Pigwich, plus the daily special. Nursing a Saturday morning hangover with their porchetta sandwich is a pro KC eater move.
9. The Rieger
The Rieger has been a part of Kansas City in one form or another since 1915. Today, it&rsquos a bastion of classic dishes and fantastic cocktails. The menu changes seasonally, but you can rely on freshly made pastas and modern updates to classic dishes, like a braised rabbit and pork chops. Meat eaters take note: they often have a porchetta big enough for the table to share. Get it.
A ten-course tasting menu for $55. No, that&rsquos not a typo. Affordable, local ingredients join a killer cocktail program to boot, plus all freshwater fish &ndash hence the name. This is a must-try for foodies and owner and head chef Calvin Davis was just nominated in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category by the James Beard Foundation.
If there&rsquos one thing Midwestern restaurants do well, it&rsquos serving food you want to eat in a nice but comfortable setting, and Rye is a shining example of that. Enjoy a cocktail while you snack on BBQ rub dusted pork rinds follow it up with burnt ends and sourdough toast or half of the famous fried chicken. Every city needs a Rye, but only Kansas City has one.
With so many BBQ joints in town, Q39 had to find a way to separate itself from the pack. The solution? Serve great BBQ, but add chef-driven apps, sides and entrées cooked over wood fire. The smoked fried chicken with chipotle BBQ will make your knees shake and the pork belly and sausage corn dogs will make you weep with joy.
13. Artego Pizza
The KC answer to Chicago-style is a delicious wood-fired crust and lots of BBQ. As it is right next door to Q39, the two share some traits, despite filling much different needs. Come for the signature pizzas&mdashwe recommend The Stockyard with added cream.
14. Gram & Dun
If you&rsquore looking for an impressive spot to take guests to for dinner or a spellbinding brunch, head to Gram & Dun. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and the food is chef-driven but approachable, with dishes like loaded baked potato gnocchi and coffee-crusted ribeye. When the weather is nice, make sure to ask for a seat on the patio &ndash it might very well be the best in town.
15. Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout
Happy Gillis calls itself a cozy café and hangout, and we&rsquore inclined to agree &ndash though it&rsquos much more than that. Everyone in Kansas City knows it&rsquos the spot to go for casual and delicious breakfast treats, salads and sandwiches. Go with a friend, snag an order of biscuits and gravy and the drool-worthy breakfast sandwich. Be ready to wait in line if you go on a weekend&hellip it&rsquos worth it, promise.
16. Town Topic Hamburgers
Every city has that one diner/burger joint that&rsquos been around since the dawn of time. In Kansas City, that is Town Topic Hamburgers. Step into this time machine and head back to the quaint 1950s for all your classic favorites: eggs and hashbrowns, chili, hot dogs, milkshakes and, obviously, hamburgers. Smashed thin and cooked until crispy, you&rsquore probably going to want a double or triple cheeseburger. Don&rsquot worry, no one will judge you.
Kansas City's Most Iconic Restaurants That Aren't Around Anymore
In December, an often-called iconic Kansas City steakhouse shut its doors.
The Golden Ox Restaurant & Lounge, which was one of the oldest restaurants in Kansas City, will see new life next fall under new ownership.
But what makes a Kansas City restaurant iconic? It depends on who you ask.
"People have very diverse reasons for loving a restaurant," food critic Charles Ferruzza told host Gina Kaufmann last week on Central Standard.
"It could be food, it could be place they got engaged — it could be anything," he said.
Ferruzza says "iconic" means that it has to be around for 50 years or more.
Sometimes, restaurants appeal to certain communities, Kansas City historian Monroe Dodd told Kaufmann. Or they appeal to our childhood sense of nostalgia.
“If there is a place you went with your family when you were a kid for an occasion … you weren’t going there to celebrate the food as much as you were to celebrate being together,” Dodd said. “I think that’s how a lot of restaurants here got to be iconic."
Here are Ferruzza's and Dodd's picks for the most iconic Kansas City restaurants that aren't around anymore:
The Golden Ox (West Bottoms)
Ferruzza: The Golden Ox had been around such a long, long time. In fact, it was the last restaurant in West Bottoms for a long time. Even though the quality of the food was really inconsistent at the end . there was something about eating in that time capsule.
It’s a very distinctive part of Kansas City history because the Stockyards are long gone. It was like the last relic of a very important chapter in Kansas City’s life.
Dodd: I can remember going there from time to time, usually at lunch, back in the '80s, maybe early '90s, and being surrounded by men in white short-sleeve shirts and ties . They represented an earlier sort of image of that area: Guys that did business in the Stockyards.
The Savoy Grill (Downtown)
Ferruzza: People liked the fact that it was there, even though many of them stopped going there. Now that it’s not open, people are realizing that if you love a restaurant, you have to support a restaurant.
The Peppercorn Duck Club (Downtown, in the former Hyatt Regency at 23rd and McGee)
Ferruzza: I have a great nostalgia for it. It was very, very popular when I moved here in 1984 . I liked it because it was Kansas City’s first restaurant with a chocolate dessert bar. I liked it for that reason only.
Putsch’s (Various locations)
Ferruzza: When they closed all of them — I think the Plaza Putsch’s was last to close — I went into a deep depression even though I had not eaten there for several years … I loved it because when I first moved to Kansas City, I was so poor — I worked at a newspaper — and Putsch’s Cafeteria was one of the few places I could afford to eat. I have a great nostalgia for it.
EBT (South Kansas City, at I-435 and State Line Road)
Ferruzza: I loved EBT. EBT was really the last relic of a truly fancy restaurant in Kansas City. It was a special event restaurant … I liked the fact it was sort of a tribute — almost a living tribute — to a department store that nobody remembers anymore.
Dodd: I never shopped at Emery Bird Thayer, but I remember it in the late ‘60s as a really grand place in those days of locally-owned department stores. And I know that a lot of people think of EBT as just the best dad gum place to go shop in the whole city there was a tearoom there.
The image of the old Emery Bird Thayer store as the best of all the department stores in town had a lot to do with propelling that restaurant.
Four Winds Restaurant at the Municipal Air Terminal (Downtown)
Dodd: Part of its greatness was that you could look out and see this amazing thing: Propeller airplanes taking off in the ‘50s … It’s a place you didn’t forget whatever the food is like.
The Westport Room (at Union Station)
Ferruzza: I think the most talked-about restaurant in my 30 years in Kansas City -- which was closed well before I moved here -- is The Westport Room. Everyone went there. It was a very fancy restaurant, I understand.
Some friends of mine of a certain age say they knew their boyfriend was serious about them when they took them to the Westport Room.
Dodd: It had a dish called Maciel's Chicken. A gong would ring or some sort of bell when they brought it out. (It was named after Joe Maciel, the restaurant's personable maitre d', added Ferruzza).
It was thought highly of. If you had an income to do it, if your parents had the income to do it, you would meet w your friends there, even as a teenager, because it meant something.
New York Bakery & Delicatessen (70th and Troost)
Kaufmann: A place that takes on meaning for a specific community … for me, (it) was iconic because I grew up Jewish in the 1980s. So going to a synagogue down the street, going there every single weekend, the way people there talked, the way the pickles tasted, the fact that you could get a cow tongue sandwich even though they were totally out of vogue in the 1980s, that the cream cheese came in giant slabs and not delicate shmeers … this is all part of what made me feel like part of a community.
Jennie’s Restaurant (Columbus Park)
Dodd: I think the Italian community in what used to be called the North End – now it’s called the Northeast area – had several iconic restaurants. They were community restaurants serving food the way people were used to having it served.
Harry Starkers (Plaza), Hotel Muehlebach (Downtown), Skies (Downtown, in the former Hyatt Regency at 23rd and McGee), Benton’s (Crown Center).
Best hotels in Kansas City
1. The Raphael
The Raphael may very well be the classiest hotel in Kansas City the hotel was named one of Travel + Leisure&rsquos 500 World&rsquos Best Hotels for a reason. Step inside and you&rsquoll feel like you&rsquove been transported to London, with pastoral colored rooms and brightly patterned upholstery. The hotel&rsquos restaurant, Chaz on the Plaza, features live bands nightly, ranging from jazz to rock. Should you decide you need a new outfit for one of the gigs or a special dinner, you&rsquore steps away from the iconic Country Club Plaza for copious amounts of retail therapy.
Kansas City BBQ
It's easy to go hog wild in Kansas City, MO, where you'll find some of the world's best barbecue joints. Casual roadside stops and white-tablecloth restaurants turn out platters of hickory-smoked ribs, tender brisket and succulent pulled pork while competing for the title of best Kansas City BBQ. Bring a big appetite, and set off on a barbecue showdown, sampling the decadent smoky dishes at these top Kansas City barbecue restaurants.
Battle of the BBQ: Memphis vs. Kansas City Edition 01:00
Memphis and Kansas City are both passionate about their barbecue, but which city does it better?
Arthur Bryant's was first opened in the early 1920s by the namesake's brother Charlie, but Arthur was the one to make the important decision to move the restaurant to 18th and Brooklyn streets near the Municipal Stadium. Major league baseball players and hungry fans made Arthur Bryant's an essential BBQ stop on the way to or from a game. Today, there are 2 other restaurants in the line-up, all serving the legendary slow-smoked ribs with Original or Rich & Spicy sauce that prompted author Calvin Trillin to declare this Kansas City stalwart the best restaurant in the country.
Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue
Barbecue fanatics take their place in line at Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue, a gas station-turned-BBQ-emporium for tender ribs, tasty sandwiches and award-winning sauces. Sandwiches range from the standard brisket, smoked ham and smoked turkey to unique combos like the Hog Heaven, a delightful union of pulled pork and sliced sausage piled high on a bun.
B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ
Enjoy your barbecue with a side of blues at B.B.'s Lawnside BBQ which hosts live blues music every night of the week. Diners can enjoy jam sessions and touring bands for a small cover charge while indulging in the Pulled Porker sandwich, a pit-smoked Italian sausage sandwich with sweet red peppers or a slab of ribs served alongside battered fries or Big Bertha's onion rings. Appetizers add an unusual twist to the menu with buffalo shrimp, slow-smoked chicken wings and a soup starring the burnt ends tucked into a hearty vegetable soup. But the wackiest addition to the menu is the Bar-B-Que Sundae, a 3-layered concoction of hickory-smoked pit beans, creamy coleslaw and juicy pulled pork served in a mason jar with a pickle and extra BBQ sauce on top.
Winslows BBQ has been a Kansas City staple since 1971 with its characteristic dry-rub barbecued brisket and ribs. All of the menu items are served without sauce so you can customize for your own spicy, smoky and sweet desires. The Pig Out platter is a hearty combo of ribs, pork, ham and sausage with fries and a side of your choice including beans, coleslaw, potato salad or corn casserole.
Danny Edwards comes from a great line of grill masters. His dad opened his first BBQ shop during the Great Depression and moved it to Kansas City in 1938. Since getting into the business himself, Danny has moved around a bit, but 2 things have stayed the same -- his family's beloved recipes and the pink concrete pig that greets visitors outside. Danny woos diners with first-rate, hand-cut smoked meats and BBQ classics including a Southern-style pulled-pork sandwich and a platter of burnt ends, the highly desirable crispy smoked edges from a beef brisket.
Gates Bar-B-Q makes a mean barbecue, but the restaurant's true legacy is its sauce, which has been sold in grocery stores since the 1970s. Today the sauce line-up includes the original sauce as well as variations including mild, sweet and mild and extra-hot. There are 6 locations throughout the Midwest, including some outside of Kansas City, where diners can indulge in smoked 'cue doused in sweet and smoky goodness.
Horsefeather Social offers unrivaled views of downtown Kansas City alongside perfectly crafted cocktails and culinary creations. This modern, outdoor space provides comfortable seating and an open event lawn for guests and Kansas Citians alike. Horsefeather Social is open seasonally.
Butter & Cream Infused Mashed Potatoes – 7.00
Sautéed Julienne Snow Peas & Shiitake Mushrooms – 7.00
Grilled Asparagus – 7.00
Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms – 7.00
Sautéed Spinach & Roma Tomatoes – 7.00
Israeli CousCous with Roasted Vegetables – 7.00
Blistered Balsamic Brussel Sprouts – 7.00
Spaghetti Squash – 7.00
Reserve Restaurant & Lounge
Boutique lodging in Kansas City, Missouri's downtown area, the Ambassador Hotel Kansas City, Autograph Collection houses the classy Reserve Restaurant and Lounge. Dine amid cream-colored upholstery and tufted booths that complement high ceilings and 1920's architectural details. In 2017, Yelp named this restaurant among its Top 50 Places to Eat in Kansas City. Perfectly cooked salmon, amazing truffle fries, and filets, accompanied by sauteed winter greens, apple-wood smoked bacon and red wine reduction, are fall offerings. Order a custom Cheese Flight, featuring your choice of cheeses, savor fresh mussels, or for a culinary twist, try a Grand Reserve Burger topped with an egg. Tasty signature cocktails showcase locally produced liquors, by purveyors that include J. Rieger Kansas City and Tom's Town selections. Friendly service and live jazz are other perks of dining here.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Reserve Restaurant and Lounge deftly defies the stereotype that hotel restaurants aren't typically worth bragging about.
Lisa's expert tip: Seasonal food and wine pairings are available too, at three courses for $45 or five courses for $65. Add wine pairing for $30 or $40. In late fall, menu itmes included Bruschetta, and grilled Octopus, plus Wild Boar Sausage Bolognese, Prime New York Strip and Chocolate Pots de Creme.
The 10 Best Restaurants In Kansas, Superb Local Flavor
From fine-dining restaurants to nationally historic haunts, Kansas boasts a wealth of bars, restaurants and gastro pubs to suit everybody’s tastes. Spanning Kansas City to Wichita, and everything in between, this foodie’s guide takes you through unmissable spots in Kansas’ culinary repertoire.
4 Olives Wine Bar
4 Olives Wine Bar is serious about good wine. Serving as both decoration and menu, the restaurant’s collection of over 800 bottles of wine are kept in a large glass cave in the centre of the dining room, creating an arresting, dramatic centrepiece. Each of these 800 wines, many available by the glass, is then matched to a specific item on the menu, creating perfect harmony between food and drink. Highlights from the menu include the bacon-wrapped Medjool dates stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and the seared scallops with shiitake broth. For those who want a lighter meal or a more traditional wine accompaniment, the menu also offers an impressive array of cheeses and charcuterie which can be mixed and matched according to taste.
Kate Taylor has been entertaining us with her seasonally-inspired vegetarian recipes, and photos of her precious pup Cookie for some time now and has even been a guest editor to the pages of FoodieCrush magazine.
We love that her blog is a goldmine of healthy, diet-friendly recipes, and vibrant, sun-drenched food photography. Kate’s originally from Oklahoma, but moved to Kansas City for a change of pace and scenery. She’s drawn to its beauty, its affordability, and the fact that it’s just the right size. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s not too far from home.
When Kate’s not cooking, blogging, or spending time with Cookie, she enjoys exploring different parts of the city — from the Crossroads, to the River Market, to the Plaza and more!
Photo: Classic Cup Cafe
Classic Cup Cafe on the Plaza has a lovely French café-like atmosphere and tons of outdoor patio seating when the weather’s nice. I love their veggie omelets.
Photo: Eden Alley Cafe
For a casual lunch, I love Eden Alley Cafe for hearty but fresh vegetarian options. Also, if you’re in the mood for a salad, The Mixx makes the best salads in town!
Kansas City has tons of fantastic bars, so this is a tough call. Julep is a newish bar in Westport that has a great atmosphere and offers $5 Manhattans and old fashioneds at happy hour. Sold!
Photo: Gram & Dun
The Rieger has an amazing traditional-meets-contemporary atmosphere (it’s built into an old hotel and has an open kitchen) and they have a fantastic, locally sourced menu. I also love Gram & Dun (on the Plaza) — they have the best patio!
Photo: Coffe Girl’s Cafe
I like to meet up with Ali (Gimme Some Oven) at Quay Coffee in her neighborhood, the Rivermarket. I also love Coffee Girl’s Cafe in Waldo — it’s my office outside of home!
This post was compiled and written by FoodieCrush contributor Hayley Putnam. Follow Hayley and her foodie tastes and other flights of fancy on Pinterest and Instagram.
Kirby lives in Brooklyn, by way of Chicago. When she’s not drawing, she can be found doing other’s makeup, watching movies, cooking meals with five ingredients or less, and dancing! Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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