PLANNING A GUYS WEEKEND? HERE'S A RECOMMENDED GUIDE OF PLACES TO EXPERIENCE!
Article by Mindy Hargesheimer
Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer
If it's a Guys Getaway TO KC you're looking to plan, or a Guys Weekend within your hometown of Kansas City, this metro has you and your buds covered! These are my personal recommendations based on firsthand experiences with my husband, family and guy pals. While it may not cover the entire gamut of individual tastes, interests, and styles, this is a GREAT foundation for building out a day trip or weekend agenda for the group to experience some of the best Kansas City has to offer. You can also keep up with and check @kansascitybucketlist for ongoing recommendations and local insights!
From bachelor parties to birthdays, pro sports stadium tours, brewery checklists and more; whatever the case may be, KC is a Mecca for all things food, drink, sports, and more!
So, here is my personal list of can't-miss experiences to peruse for a guys getaway to and all around Kansas City!
Big fans of The Big Biscuitfor their delicious and diverse breakfast menu and crazy good big biscuits (the motto "go big or go home" applies perfectly here) try a wide variety of options, from the richest and stickiest Griddle Dishes, like Chicken and Waffles and Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, to their Big Healthy Options; the Lean and Green Egg White Scramble is my jam. "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy!" (Multiple Locations)
With one of the Plaza's best rooftop decks, O'Dowd's serves up delectable Sunday brunch dishes, like their Cream Cheese & Berry Stuffed, Custard Dipped French Toast w/ Berry Jam. If savory is more your 'jam,' opt for colorful and veggie-topped Eggs Benedict, Chili Lime Aioli Egg Breakfast Sandwich, Herb Hollandaise Corned Beef Hash, or Brown Butter Chicken & Waffles complemented by Roasted Jalapeño Syrup! (Plaza)
With a weekend brunch and a sunny and inviting patio, dive into libation selections before stepping into the smokin' and savory world of their recurring Sunday brunch buffet. Bottomless Bloodys, Old Fashioneds, devour bbq bites, including Burnt End Mac & Cheese, Smoked Salmon, Pulled Pork, Bourbon Baked Beans, Deviled Eggs, Jalapeño Cheddar Grits & Creamy Corn Bake, and a Chocolate Fountain accented dessert table! (Shawnee)
Otherwise known as Atomic Provisions, Denver Biscuit Co is 1 of 4 concepts and known for their freshly baked buttermilk biscuit sandwiches layered with sausage or mushroom gravy and ALL the savory fixin's. Giant Cinnamon Roll? Utter sweetness. The amazing transformation of a Westport space is the brainchild of ‘rado-founded DBC that carries a storied history of an entrepreneurial foodie and beer lover at heart with AMPLE space to eat, drink, watch, cheer, and savor ALL the goodness of an urban bar and restaurant setting! (Westport)
What is Kansas City without the iconic 1930s aircrafthovering above The Roasterie factory? This plane signifies The Roasterie's method of unleashing the quality of its direct traded coffee beans by way of "air-roasting;" this creates a "smoother, mellower, tastier" flavor profile than traditional roasting. One of the first local coffee makerson the scene, they have over 2,400 blends, some of which are proprietary for clients like Sporting KC! (Multiple Locations)
What. Is. KC. Without. Boulevard?! Visit the Beer Hall, and experience the Rec Deck on the cityscape-viewable 4th floor. 5 deck shuffleboard courts, 2 shuffleboard tabletops, foosball, an outpouring of bar snacks to order, and your favorite beer on tap, and take a tour, which of course includes multiple beer tastings and a detailed look at the overall conceptual experience of Boulevard. Learn about fermentation, the brewery lab, staff sensory critiques, and a lot, lot more! (Westside)
MCB opened following the success of the original pub next door (50+ beers and the best mac ‘n' cheese menu around) and has a buzzing, inviting atmosphere amongst the dark, cozy interior. The pizzas are a must, the soft pretzel bread and beer cheese are dynamite, and the craft beers (flagship beers include Belgian Blond, Abbey, City Saison and Hardway IPA) made in the adjacent brewery are one of a kind. The Taproom’s patio also offers up live music with an outdoor fireplace! (Martin City)
KC's one-and-only locally owned German Bierhalle and Biergarten, KCBC brews up authentic German-style lagers and ales from 100% Germany-based ingredients. World Beer Cup award-winning, and KC’s largest locally owned brewery, they also serve up traditional Bavarian-style pretzels, sausages, and charcuterie boards and food specials like Gulasch, Schnitzel, and Spatzle. Drink any 1 of 4 year-round biers on tap, seasonal, and special series releases! (Waldo)
Once the prime Kansas City steakhouse, the Golden Ox opened in 1949 to serve everyone from "ranching cowboys to Presidential candidates." Stockyards Brewing has concocted some of our favorite craft-style beers; from its brunch stout brewed with cold brew, to their West Bottoms IPA, Fox Trotter Scottish, to "The Spirit Cowboy," aka Smoked Imperial Pilsner, they've got your palate covered. Check their calendar for Bluegrass Sundays or bundle with one of the great Genessee Street restaurant options! (West Bottoms)
7 food concepts and 2 bars across 3 floors make up this food hall. The 18,000-square-foot renovated warehouse greets patrons with a style and design that feels like the urban chic living room you always dreamt of occupying. Mural-clad with a downtown view from the covered deck that is impressive by both day and night, the environment is comfortable, while at the same time elevating you into a globally inspired journey. Eat, drink, or play in a competitive match of 2nd story shuffleboard; complete with stadium-style seating for viewership! (Crossroads)
KCK Taco Trail
1) Eat Tacos 2) Check-In & 3) Get Rewards with the KCK Taco Trail. Over 50 local taco joints are on the mobile Taco Trail Pass thanks to the amazing Visit Kansas City, KS who conceived a brilliant way for you to dive into ALL the authentic recipes. Each chef pulls through family recipes, south of the border flavors, and homemade sauces, marinated meats and veggies, and dishes you won't find anywhere else around the city. The Taco Trail Pass is free to sign up for, all within an app, and awards you with some fun swag! (Kansas City, KS)
If you can't get to the islands, you can still eat the cuisine right here in KC. Ride the wave of island flavors at this fast-casual spot with plates like Huli Huli Teriyaki Chicken w. White Rice and Macaroni Salad, Slow Roasted Kalua Pork w. Pineapple and Mixed Veggies, Sweet & Spicy Chicken with a Lava Hot Kick, Pacific Island Salad, Spam Musubi, and of course, Dole Whip! (Multiple Locations)
The first-ever deli in our city and a corner landmark for 100+ years, Milwaukee Delicatessen Co. on 9th and Baltimore is there for you to try all of the reputable and “classic” dishes, such as pizza slices twice the size of your head, sandwiches like corned beef Reuben, pastrami, chicken salad, and meatball, sides like German potato salad, and baked goods. Cocktails are served from the original 1881 bar, including 20+ beers on tap and over 100 whiskeys! (Downtown)
An amazing chicken and waffles concept, plates are made from scratch daily and include hand-rolled waffle cones or bubble wrap waffles filled with over 1,000 ways to eat it, like the Chick-in Maple Waffle, Canadian Buffalo Waffle, or the KC BBQ Waffle, all complemented by sauces, cheeses, and syrups. Pair your chick-in waffle with Loaded Fries, like Poutine, Nashville Hot, or Buffalo Cheese Fries! (Westport)
A true WOW-factor destination in KC's East Bottoms district; part museum honoring Rieger's 130-year history and part entertainment venue that simply compares to nothing else around (only distillery with a functioning floor-to-floor slide?!). Rieger's 3-story experience navigates you from underground Jazz Club to 2nd-story Cocktail and Beer Lounge, Private Tasting Room to Glass-Enclosed Barrel Room where you can sip on cocktails, an exclusive beer collaboration, bites and weekend brunch! (Electric Park)
Spirits people should be headed to this dark, rich and Prohibition-inspired distillery just oozing with speakeasy spirits. One-of-a-kind illustrations of prominent and historic KC figures, luxe tufted couches, a cozy fireplace, and yes, a goat, bring the Pendergast Lounge together behind the beautiful Tasting Room with distillery tour views. It provides one of the coziest, storytelling destinations about town to sip locally distilled gin, bourbon, and vodka! (Crossroads)
Bull Creek Distillery by far is one of South KC's most sprawling and gorgeous destinations complete with their own distilled bourbon and Pilsner style beer. And let’s recognize the fact that they have a local fav appetizer around town: "Bull Creek Bulls." Grab your friends and fam, try a Bull Creek Old Fashioned or perhaps “Home Wrecker” seems more your style, play some yard games under the Spring Hill Sky, and check the rotating calendar for live music to soak up an amazing day or night along the banks of Bull Creek! (Spring Hill, KS)
West Bottoms Whiskey Co. | West Bottoms
"West Bottoms Whiskey Co. is located in the heart of the West Bottoms warehouse district of Kansas City. The warehouses, rail yards, and proximity to the river represents all the industry, innovation, and experimentation from which Kansas City has grown. Join us for craft whiskey cocktails in our parlor, make a reservation for a private tour, or reserve our loft area for a small group."
Q39's team, led by the championship-winning Executive Chef Rob Magee, boils down to daily grill prep that takes hours of attention, and very early mornings to serve up the mass fans. Teeing up some of the best Kansas City lunch and dinner on the scene, Q39 utilizes wood-fired grilling to perfect their quality barbeque recipes, all prepared in KC's 1st-area open kitchens. Every menu selection is made daily from scratch, and the bbq sauces and rubs are unique to Q39 as well! (Overland Park + Midtown)
Known for their famous "The Z-Man," built to indulge in slow-smoked beef brisket, smoked provolone cheese, topped with two crispy onion rings, all on a toasted Kaiser roll (which you can also choose from chicken, pork, and mushroom), Joe's was formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's, and their Original Gas Station location is where it's at for an authentic, road trip pit stop type experience. KC is not KC without the story and experience of Joe's award-winning smoked BBQ! (KCK, Olathe, Overland Park)
Local craft beer, championship BBQ, and the most intensely garnished Bloody Mary around; feast on masterpieces, like the stunning "Beast Board," equipped with 10 lbs of meat, baked beans, slaw, and deliciously seasoned fries. Pair that with any one of their satiating beers or their epically embellished Bloody Mary. Family owned and operated, the interior is industrially cozy and the menu is witty and stocked with ridiculously good options! (Lee's Summit)
Woodyard's lay of the land is rustic, homey, and pastoral. After being drawn to Woodyard's bright yellow signage, your eyes then divert to the collage of famous appearances it has landed over the years, from Anthony Bourdain to Guy Fieri and Andrew Zimmern all taking notice. And for obvious reasons; the ambiance is unique with its outdoor pit and relaxed deck seating, and the classic BBQ favorites are a piece of the Kansas City tradition in supporting all of our local Pit Masters' creations! (Kansas City, KS)
Co-owned by multi-award-winning brothers, and amongst the few restauranteurs here who continue to compete, Slap's opened in 2014 in Strawberry Hill where the daily line for this super casual establishment is long for good reason (P.S. They operate by making as much as they can and close when they run out, so don't wait!). They of course offer all the meaty favorites you'd die for (just go for the $24 sampler plate), with a spicy and sweet sauce to choose from and some major delish sides to accompany (bacon mac 'n cheese, NOW PLZ!)! (Kansas City, KS)
Pair pickleball with some of KC's BEST wood-fired rotisserie chicken and munchies, and your day has landed on KC experiential perfection. Grab some booze and paddle your way through a few rounds of pickleball or a competitive game of bags or battleship, aka yard games. Whether you set up shop inside, outside, or up top amongst the outdoor bar that overlooks North KC, this two-story, indoor/outdoor venue also neighbors some pretty fantastic libation-related businesses! (North KC)
Climb up and rappel down 40-foot walls to Kansas City ground inside RoKC. Locally Established by an Army veteran, Community Oriented by giving back to compassionate organizations, and World-Class in their multi-location composition of climbing, bouldering, and training; RoKC Climbing Gym is a phenomenal way to work out, bond, burn calories, flex new muscles, and get out of a workout rut by actually having FUN during a multi-hour session! (Downtown, North KC and Olathe)
At KC Slingshot we share your obsession with driving. We exist to provide you with an exciting, exhilarating, worry free experience. We want to provide an affordable way for you to get in on the fun. Whether it be a weekend cruise with your friends or test driving a Slingshot before you purchase your own, we are here to help you get on the road.
Throw some axes, drink some beer, and feast on incredible food like B&T's Chipotle Honey Sauce served alongside the Fried Chicken & Brioche Waffles, Chimichurri Hanger Steak, Fried Chicken atop a Brioche Bun, a Fried Portobello Sammie, and exceptional Sea Salt Fry sides and a Wedge Salad for the win. Don't miss their Liege Dessert Waffle w. your choice of Blueberry Maple or Honey Mallow Dipping Sauce to dip your Belgian Pearl Sugar Brioche Waffle in! (Leawood + Downtown)
Golf | Multiple Locations
With a wealth of public (and private) golf courses around the metro, grab the guys, the clubs, and venture out for 9 or 18 holes. Whether it is @topgolf or @tshotzkc for some technology-enabled games or some good old-fashioned courses, the metro has you covered.
The CBE is two floors honoring college basketball legends by name and the history behind this significant sport, with activities that replicate the look and feel from your favorite players' point of view. From free throw shooting, passing, beat the clock, three-point shooting, and dunking; every court activity is measured to match the height, distance, and fanbase proximity to give the ultimate sense of the legends you've rallied for. Complete with an ESPN sports desk “televising” real-time footage of your play-by-play; it's one for the books! (Downtown)
Learn the art of the craft with one hour in the air as you take off the Kilo Charlie runway and fly north and south of the metro! Soak up the sun rays, sunset, and Midwest views from above where you’ll get an up close and personal view of New Century, KS to North KC and back; you’ll even learn how to LAND the PLANE!
A comfortably contemporary restaurant hovering at the forefront of a beautiful Lenexa-based golf course is a KC drinking and dining opportunity. "Modern Farmhouse" embodies fresh and timeless ingredients amplified with new-age flavor traits. Cap off your round of golf with a round of cocktails, like the Farmhouse Whiskey Punch or an Aviation Martini, and enjoy the views of the original Silo that was preserved to complement the gorgeous modern amenities added to Canyon Farms Golf Club's private property! (Lenexa)
A 4-F+B-concept known as Atomic Provisions, saddle up to the bar for beers on tap and cocktails and stay for the 26" Pizza. With AMPLE space to eat, drink, watch, cheer, and savor ALL the goodness of an urban bar and restaurant setting, Atomic Provisions and Fat Sully's is a feasting mecca. New York-style slices made for folding in half, choose from red or white sauce and a recommended cap at 5 toppings for your table’s “Big-Ass Pizza.” DON’T MISS: Garlic Knots w. Creamy Mozzarella + Pesto + Red Sauce! (Westport)
Stock Hill is a step into a Cosmopolitan break from our Midwestern comfort zone. Named one of the 31 BEST Steakhouses 3 years in a row, Stock Hill's mouthwatering, hand-selected, wet-aged cuts of steak with exquisite starters and desserts are not to be missed. Take your pick, like the 16oz Bone-In Ribeye, 6oz Filet Mignon, King Salmon, Roasted Chicken, or Cheese Tortelli, and appetizers, desserts, and a Social Hour that are to die for! (Plaza)
"In the premier league of cities:" Gordon Ramsay's words on bringing his restaurant concept to Kansas City. Revel in the likes of Truffle Egg Emulsion Steak Tartare, Kurobuta Pork Belly - Burnt Ends Style, Lump Crab Cake, Truffle Butter Fingerling Potatoes, 4-cheese Mac & Cheese, and Gordon's signature Roasted Beef Wellington. With a rich and gorgeous ambiance, inclusive of a colossal UK flag in the restaurant's main dining room, the attention to detail in this casino-side restaurant is a great culinary experience! (North KC)
Whether it is brunch, lunch, or dinner, Chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts, James Beard-nominated and award-winning co-chefs have a strong bond with local farmers, in which their Midwestern menu ebbs and flows daily dependent on the availability of ingredients and the ability to cook to their optimal natural flavors. Likewise, Rye is known for its whole baked pies and sweet baked goods. And, if you're truly craving rye, scan the bar for their selection of rye whiskeys, and perhaps the house cocktail, "The Old Square!" (Plaza and Leawood)
If you're looking for traditional ground beef tacos or enchiladas, this isn't your joint. But if you're on the lookout for Baja-style street tacos, burritos and tortas made up of bbq duck, pork belly carnitas, slow-roasted brisket and pork shoulder, house-made chorizo, IPA battered shrimp or wood-fire grilled portobello mushroom, then you're in the perfect spot. Mixologist Jenn Tosatto describes the concept of MTJ; "escapism," and the combination of crafted cocktails and Mexicali kitchen flavors are amazing! (Plaza and Crossroads)
You'll be blown away by the stadium and the overwhelming international and energetic vibe all around Children's Mercy Park and our MLS team. Whether in the stands or the die-hard fan-favorite, The Cauldron, SKC is a team that has a clearly devout fanbase and a gorgeous and sleek soccer stadium that rivals stadiums around the globe. KC is lucky to have some fantastic professional sports teams to stand behind with stunning stadiums to boot! (Kansas City, KS)
Escape the "strange days" we live in and just live your best (beer) life. Located adjacent to the City Market, Strange Days Brewing opened by 3 pals with a love for hops, who stumbled upon a great find in a locale that was once the first brewery ever in KC during the prohibition era: Muehlebach Brewery & Schlitz. Join locals cheering on the day's games at hand while enjoying a flight or pint. With vintage decor and a loft-like feel. explore beer flavors like bananas, apples, peaches, sea salt, coriander, cocoa nibs, lime, and Peruvian chiles! (River Market)
One of the best South KC rooftops for a night or day-drinking experience, opt for the "Milwaukee Hangover Breakfast Bloody Mary” complete with 2 shots of vodka, a slider, beef jerky, shrimp, bacon, cheese, peppers, a pickle, and MORE. Grab classic bar bites and dishes with plenty of beers on tap and cocktails to cheer on your alma mater or pro team of choice! (Overland Park)
Soak up the blue and white vibes of Kauffman Stadium where the Royals took the 2015 title of World Series Champions. Adjacent to Arrowhead Stadium, with some of the best tailgating and park amenities around, you can equally enjoy the concession stands at an entirely different epicurean level! (East KC)
A 3rd-generation, family-owned and operated corner pub dating back to 1947, nothing beats a good, classic Irish bar, and Kelly's is complete with the original charm one would hope for and the vintage wall decor to prove it. Located in the heart of Westport, Kelly's is a timeless staple on the Kansas City bar and sports-watching scene. It's a dive complete with pool, darts, late-night pizza and a rooftop to soak up the Midtown party scene! (Westport)
Located in South KC, Fireside Cigar brings to Johnson County residents a one of a kind Cigar Lounge founded by cigar aficionados who have worked as seasoned reps in the industry. Serving as both a high-end lounge perfect for game day, working, social or solo time, Fireside is part retail shop and part lounge experience.
With a live DJ, fan are always in full effect, and the food is fantastic. Set up shop in a corner booth or bar-side and order up daily beer specials and pizza. 50+ big-screen TVs, two levels of bars, palpitating house music, and an exterior Chiefs mural for the best of 'em, Westport Ale House is no doubt one of the liveliest sports bars around KC that delivers on an authentic sports fan atmosphere! (Westport)
An incredible way to watch a game, sit at a high-top table amidst the patio pergola, with premium reserved seating with great views of the largest LED screen in KC. With two levels of restaurants, bars, and nightspots, KC Live! is home to a multitude of options for fun following a game, including featuring a full-concert stage where the country’s most premier musicians and bands perform weekly during the summer and for special events throughout the year! (Downtown)
The Ship is an amazing one-of-a-kind dive bar in the burgeoning West Bottoms. There is quite the treasured history behind this ultimately reconstructed establishment, deep with roots and interiors dating back to the Prohibition era in 1935. Grab a beer or whiskey and coke and soak up the amazing daily and nightly live music! (West Bottoms)
Not to be confused by the name, this red-hued jazz lounge is a two-level escape into the musical past. With intricate aesthetics of chandeliers, tiled ceilings, booths, and a bar for the best of them, GLL is a must-hit live music destination with live jazz every night! (Crossroads)
Shipping containers are all the rage for hanging out in, on top of, and around, and this hot spot in North KC hosts the multi-colored 18-container destination to eat, drink, and catch live music at; it's the latest incubator for new concepts in KC, and an outdoor food an music hall. With an alfresco platform for musicians and social gatherings and a variety of delicious eats, and drinks, the Iron District is a great base for a modern-day, industrialized experience! (North KC)
Ulah brings to KC's scene a lifestyle store for the multi-dimensional, style-conscious man who transfers from corporate to camping, modern to rustic. A gorgeous store, a fun, social environment, a wealth of amazing options, and two business owners with impressive, professionally creative backgrounds, Ulah is a midwest meets west-coast vibe-in' store elevating KC to premier style-status. (Westwood)
With well over 200 local makers selling their apparel and creations, the spirit of Kansas City is alive and contagious as you walk the kiosks of t-shirts, bbq sauces, beard balms, spirits, leather goods, and more. Want to feel like a true Kansas Citian? Snag your own Charlie Hustle t-shirt with the KC Heart or pop into their boutique store a mere 4 blocks down the street for Midwest metro and college love! (Plaza)
Julep is cosmopolitan and boasts many characteristics unique to them. Offering "whiskey locker memberships," purchase one of your own and have direct communication with Julep's partners about bringing aboard and storing spirits of your choice; then watch as your savvy bartender whips up custom cocktails on demand. We officially found our favorite Irish coffee around town, and the $12 bottomless brunch mimosas hit the spot with combinations of grapefruit, pineapple, cranberry, and orange juices! (Westport)
When it comes to luxurious ambiance and beautifully crafted cocktails, this is one of KC's finest. The Monarch's gray modern space boasts a cocktail list that is wildly impressive to the palate. Sip on the likes of sugar-rimmed, smoke-filled whiskey concoctions before moving onto cold brew coffee, vanilla bourbon creations. The Parlour Room offers a private bartender by reservation only, and the chic street-level terrace is a seasonal vibe you can't miss! (Plaza)
South KC's most elevated and rich cocktail lounge within the gorgeous grounds of Park Place is Verdigris; the “younger, sexy brother due to his Gatsby vibe” bar to The Monarch Bar on the Plaza. Shareable small plates, like Smoked Popcorn, Roasted Garlic + Chili Gnocchi, and Italian Grilled cheese matched with light, rich, and classic cocktails, such as the Rockafeller Spritz, Polynesian, or The Green Lion make this experience one not to miss in the heart of Johnson County! (Leawood)
James Beard Semi-Finalist and a perfect culinary storm of Steak Tartare and the unexpected and wildly good Cheeseburger and Fry combo; it's arguably one of the richest, most beautiful interiors complete with its eye-capturing raven mural. Don't Miss: Seaweed Donuts and 'Milk and Cookies!' (Crossroads)
Mindy Hargesheimer - “Every Day Is On My Bucket List;” a mantra I live by, and the basis for my passion for ALL things ‘EXPERIENTIAL!’
As an avid explorer, I take every opportunity to experience my surroundings, and when I can't travel the globe, I love to travel my way around Kansas City and beyond, crossing each and every destination off of my bucket list, and documenting...