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The Best Restaurants in Kansas City

CITY LIFESTYLE'S TOP PICKS FOR 2020

Article by City Lifestyle

Photography by bady abbas on Unsplash

Looking for quality food and dining in the Kansas City area?

It’s not easy identifying the best local companies, even if you’ve lived in the same city your whole life.

Don’t worry, we got you covered! We tapped into Kansas City's BEST foodies in Kansas City for their can't miss picks!

Using metrics from major local directories like Google, Yelp and social channels, we’ve created an algorithm that tracks the top businesses in the KC area. Of course, businesses are more than just their online presence. That’s why we’ve also worked with our local networks to factor in offline characteristics like local reputation, quality of services and other anecdotal evidence.

Find and support your favorite local restaurants with this exclusive guide today, and follow @clkansascity for our hyper-local content inspiration!

Corvino Supper Club | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Crossroads

Corvino is a supper club and tasting room that is an incredibly beautiful, tantalizing place to celebrate your next special occasion. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, a graduation, or simply enjoying a unique night on the town with your special someone, Corvino is the ideal choice in Kansas City. Make a reservation today, and you’ll be so thrilled you gave Corvino a try. It’s the perfect place to bring a date or share an intimate dinner party with loved ones. Corvino has taken extensive COVID-19 measures to help diners feel safe and comfortable returning to their restaurant.

The Antler Room | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Hospital Hill

Recommended By: KC_Local

Wish you could try cuisine inspired by many different parts of the world while still relying almost entire on local ingredients? Come to The Antler Room to make that wish come true. The Antler Room offers unique small plates inspired by the cuisine of many different parts of the world. Their menu is always changing, so it doesn’t matter how many times you go to The Antler Room; your experience will always be differently interesting. The Antler Room is a great neighborhood spot that will quickly become your go-to restaurant for a special evening out.

The Restaurant at 1900 | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Mission Woods

Recommended By: Habetchually Hungry

The Restaurant at 1900 is a great place to have a highly interesting meal prepared by a James Beard 2020 Semifinalist Best Chef: Midwest, Linda Duerr. You never know what surprises await at Restaurant at 1900 because Chef Duerr is continuously reinventing specials based on the availability of certain local ingredients as well as her own creative culinary inspiration. Chef Duerr is from New England, and her cuisine is influenced from that part of the country as well as Italian and French culinary styles.

Fox + Pearl | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Westside

The menu at Fox and Pearl changes seasonally, so you will have to make a reservation here at least every three months. Located on Summit Street in the Westside, Fox and Pearl offers a fascinating take on contemporary American food and drinks that patrons love to explore. Fox and Pearl has a limited menu for guests to choose from because each dish is thoughtfully prepared to meet the highest quality standards. It can be exhausting to page through an extensive menu, and at Fox and Pearl, choosing your meal is so much simpler and more fun. Let your stress melt away when you come to dine (or get takeout) from Fox and Pearl.

Rye | American Cuisine

Neighborhoods: Mission Farms + Country Club Plaza

Recommended By: Tasting Kansas City, KCbySari and Jami Nato

Read Sari's Review: Where to Impress Your Visitors

Rye is an incredibly popular restaurant with locations in Mission Farms and the Country Club Plaza. Chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts take great pride in being from the Midwest and cooking in way that honors Midwestern heritage. Menu favorites often include smoked pork chops, steaks, fried chicken, seasonal vegetables, fresh seasonal pies, Parker House rolls, and so much more. Your belly is going to be supremely satisfied when you choose to dine at Rye, whether it's for brunch, lunch or dinner. Top Kansas City restaurant Rye is a great place to enjoy a special meal with those you love while taking great pride and celebrating Midwest culinary traditions. 

Bluestem | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Old Westport

Bluestem in Westport is the perfect combination of cozy rustic and luxurious. It is the creation of Colby and Megan Garrelts, both James Beard semifinalists and highly awarded chefs and owners. At Bluestem, you can be sure to experience a unique offering of flavors within the American cuisine that you will not be soon to forget. Dessert is an absolute must when you dine here, so make sure you save some room!

Q39 | Barbecue

Neighborhoods: Midtown + Overland Park

Are you looking for some delicious food and drinks right here in Kansas City? Q39 is a great choice with two locations, one in Overland Park and one in Midtown. They have an incredible selection of starters, salads, specialty sandwiches, brisket burgers, wood-fired plates, barbecue lunch plates, and more. They have a great little kids menu and a few desserts to choose from. Bring your spouse, bring the kids—heck, bring the whole family! Because of COVID-19 restrictions, parties are limited to groups of 8, and they are properly following social distancing measures there. Q39 is the ideal place to grab a quick bite or to celebrate a special occasion. 

Jarocho | Mexican Cuisine

Neighborhoods: Armourdale + Martin City

Recommended By: Kansas City Foodie Finds

Looking for authentic Mexican seafood served in a festive ambiance? Jarocho is the ideal choice for anyone in Kansas City who's looking to spice up their usual routine. Who says you can't get good seafood in the Midwest? If you come to one of Jarocho's two locations, you certainly can. The menu features seafood cocktails, ceviches, whole fish specials, Mexican caldos (savory soups), and specialties. Try one of their specialty dishes and you'll be dreaming about it for months to come. Jarocho is open for takeout, curbside pickup, and dine-in.

Vietnam Cafe | Vietnamese Cuisine

Neighborhood: Columbus Park

Fall is setting in, and winter will be here before you know it. Pho is the perfect soup to ease all your winter woes. If you've never had it before, come to Vietnam Cafe. They have a bunch of different kinds of pho (rice noodle soup) to choose from, including beef, chicken, meatballs, seafood, and others. There's something for everyone at Vietnam Cafe—soups, fried noodles, steamed rice, fried rice, beef dishes, shrimp dishes, vegetarian meals, and specials. Don't forget to complete your meal with a deliciously sweet Vietnamese iced coffee, hot tea, or soda. 

Third Street Social | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Lee's Summit

Recommended By: Mark Alford

Third Street Social is the perfect place to come for a memorable evening out in Lee's Summit, or simply a delectable evening at home with the family. Third Street Social now offers some to-go family packs that are incredibly delicious and affordable. Everyone in your family will be thrilled when you order dinner from Third Street Social. Don't forget the sangria! Third Street Social offers red or white full quart sangrias for just $19.95 each. Yum! It's the perfect way to treat yourself after a long week. 

La Bodega | Tapas

Additional Neighborhoods: Westside + Leawood

Recommended By: Molly Buchanan

La Bodega is the perfect place to come to relax and enjoy a lingering Saturday or Sunday brunch with your special sweetie or a few close friends. It's a tapas lounge restaurant located in the Westside neighborhood on Southwest Boulevard. For your convenience, you can order ahead right from your phone, and dine-in and curbside pickup are available. La Bodega is also a great spot to spend your happy hour. Blow off some steam, sip some sangria, order an app or two, and simply enjoy hanging out at La Bodega. 

Gram + Dun | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Country Club Plaza

Recommended By: Mindy Hargesheimer

Read Mindy's Review: What to Order at Gram + Dun

Gram & Dun is now accepting reservations! They have lots of measures in place to keep staff and patrons safe and healthy. Their motto is "sophisticated, soulful, and crafted." They offer an incredibly interesting menu with traditional favorites with a twist of flair. Their beef fat fries are always a favorite, which customers can order with a flight of their specialty sauces. Gram & Dun is a great spot to enjoy an elevated brunch that will really please your palate. Don't forget to pair your meal with one of their interesting specialty cocktails; you'll be so glad you did. 

Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio | Mexican Cuisine

Neighborhood: Armourdale

Recommended By: AllTheYumsKC

In Spanish, "carniceria" means butcher or meat counter, and "tortilleria" means tortilla factory or store. On Sundays, Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio offers menudo (a special savory soup featuring beef intestines), barbacoa (delicious special pork meat), and tamales (everybody knows what tamales are and that they are delicious). The folks at Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio make their own tortillas, which makes their tacos and burritos extra delicious. There are a variety of meats to choose from, including chicarron (fried pork), asada (beef), tripa (tripe), and more. Give this place a try, and you'll be back again soon. 

Blue Koi | Chinese Cuisine

Neighborhoods: 39th Street + Leawood

Recommended By: Habetchually Hungry

Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings offers all kinds of fantastic Chinese dishes including Chinese-style pot roast, noodle soups, and dumplings. This little place offers all of the traditional comfort foods that you know and love that will fill your belly and warm your soul. They offer takeout, delivery, curbside pickup, and contactless payment systems. They even offer boba tea in a variety of flavors, so don't forget to add that to complete your meal. Yum! Now that the weather is starting to turn a bit cooler, it's the perfect time to place an order for some Chinese comfort food from Blue Koi in either Leawood or Midtown. Your belly will be warm and a smile will be on your face after sampling the delicious food from Blue Koi, and you'll look forward to coming back for more soon! 

The Mad Greek | Mediterranean Cuisine

Neighborhood: Lawrence

Recommended By: Alexandra (Allie) Hicks

Read Allie's Review: The Mad Greek + Their Remarkable Eats

As of June 1, The Mad Greek has reopened for dining in! Their amazing family meals are still available for carryout and curbside pickup. The Mad Greek is located in downtown Lawrence, Kansas, and since its inception in 1988, it has quickly become a staple in this community for locals and visitors alike. The Mad Greek is a great source for high-quality Mediterranean food. There's something for everyone at The Mad Greek! The Mad Greek is a neighborhood favorite for many in Lawrence and KC. If you're tired of the usual pizza and burgers takeout rotation, the perfect way to mix is up is with some sumptuous Greek food from The Mad Greek. Place your order today, and it will quickly become your go-to place for delicious Greek cuisine. 

El Patron | Mexican Cuisine

Neighborhood: Westside South

Recommended By: Miss KC Foodie

El Patron is conveniently located right on Southwest Boulevard in the heart of Kansas City. It's a great spot that features award-winning cuisine and drinks in an upscale setting. El Patron takes great pride in providing thoughtful dishes featuring traditional family recipes, prepared using the freshest ingredients. El Patron's goal is to offer the best possible, most authentic Mexican dining experience for local Kansas Citians and tourists alike. For a festive Friday night celebration or a memorable at-home dining experience, El Patron is your best choice in Kansas City. Your tastebuds will start having a real fiesta anytime you order some tacos, flautas, tamales, burritos, enchiladas, or anything else from El Patron. Don't forget to pair your meal with a delicious Mexican soda or beer for the ultimate explosion of authentic Mexican flavor, without even leaving Kansas City. 

The Rockhill Grille | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Crossroads

Recommended By: Brittany Burdick and Shanley Cox

Read Brittany's Review: The Rockhill Grille

Rockhill Grille is a great place to catch a special TGIF lunch with some coworkers. Popular lunch choices are the chicken salad sandwich, BLT, and prime rib sandwiches. Rockhill Grille now offers indoor and outdoor seating as well as carryout service. Rockhill Grille has a gorgeous patio where you'll love to linger with your special someone. It's a great place to celebrate a special occasion or simply treat yourself after an incredibly busy week. These days, everybody is stressed out, with remote working and virtual learning still happening for many of us, and the Rockhill Grille is the ideal spot to chill out and enjoy spectacular downtown views. 

Happy Gillis | Cafe

Neighborhood: Columbus Park

The motto of this neighborhood restaurant is "cozy. craft. cuisine." This motto matches what they do perfectly because their ambiance is so comfortable and welcoming. The menu features a familiar, delicious rotation of sandwiches, salads, and specials, and many Kansas Citians come back to Happy Gillis over and over again. 

Extra Virgin | Tapas

Neighborhood: Crossroads

Recommended By: Small Girl Big Eatz and Veggie Bellie

Extra Virgin is a special restaurant. When you order food for in-person dining or carryout, you will never be disappointed. Extra Virgin has an eclectic menu that's fun to simply read through and imagine all of the different flavors of the dishes. The only challenging part is picking just a few to try. Stop by for a memorable meal on the patio or order carryout from Extra Virgin today. 

Le Fou Frog | French Cuisine

Neighborhood: River Market

The motto of Le Fou Frog is: "fine cuisine in a fun-filled atmosphere!!!" Located in Kansas City's River Market, Le Fou Frog offers an interesting lineup of cuisine inspired by culinary traditions of France and New York. If you're interested in trying some elegant food in a relaxed, unpretentious setting, Le Fou Frog is a great choice. You will always feel like a special guest whenever you choose to dine at Le Fou Frog.

Stock Hill | Steak

Neighborhood: South Plaza

Stock Hill is a Kansas City steakhouse that delivers an incredible dining experience. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been to Stock Hill once or dozens of times; you’ll always have a memorable time. This Kansas City neighborhood favorite is now offering a fall feast three-course menu for just $50 per person. Stock Hill is open for in-person dining, as well as to-go and curbside pickup service. For the past four years, including 2020, Thrillist has named Stock Hill one of the top 31 steakhouses in the U.S., so don’t hesitate to make a reservation there today.

The Milwaukee Delicatessen Co. | Pizza

Neighborhood: Library District

Recommended By: KCCheeses

Just tell your friends and family to meet you at the Deli! The Milwaukee Delicatessen Co. is the perfect spot to spend a fantastic afternoon or evening with those you love. They have fantastic pizza, sandwiches, salads, snacks and sides, drinks, and specials from the bar to always keep you entertained and well-nourished. The Milwaukee Delicatessen Co. is nicely tucked away from the incessant noise of downtown Kansas City, but it’s still super easy to find, just one block west from the Library Streetcar stop. Stop on by!

Westport Cafe | French Cuisine

Neighborhood: Old Westport

Westport Cafe is a beautiful bistro offering modern French food and cocktails that will always delight you. It’s the perfect spot to meet up with a few co-workers after an arduous day at work, or to pick up a takeout order on your way home to meet your spouse and kids on a regular Tuesday night. Westport Cafe is now open from 4 p.m.-midnight, Tuesday through Sunday. Plenty of people, especially those who are high-risk, aren’t comfortable dining out yet, and that’s no problem; you can still order online for takeout and enjoy your delicious French food from the comfort of a nearby park or your home. Make a reservation or place an order today.

Jack Stack Barbecue | Barbecue

Additional Neighborhoods: Country Club Plaza, Martin City, Downtown, Overland Park + Lee's Summit

Recommended By: Julie Burton

Read Julie's Review: Fiorella's Jack Stack

Jack Stack Barbecue is the perfect place to satisfy your craving for delectable barbecue in Kansas City. They are currently offering a fall sale. If you spend over $115 for your virtual or in-person event, you’ll automatically receive a slab of pork spare ribs FREE. This offer expires on Sept. 30, so don’t hesitate to place your order now. Jack Stack BBQ offers all your traditional favorites including ribs, sausage, burnt ends, chicken wings, chopped meats, and sliced brisket. Order for just your immediate family or for a whole crowd of folks with Jack Stack’s easy ordering options. Yum!

Cafe des Amis | French Cuisine

Neighborhood: Parkville

Cafe de Amis is a French bistro located in historic downtown Parkville, just north of downtown Kansas City. For a romantic, delicious night on the town, there is no better choice than Cafe de Amis. Chef Ingrid Hanriot has assembled an incredible lineup of traditional and contemporary French dishes that you and your special sweetheart will love giving a try. Now that cooler weather has finally arrived, it’s the perfect time to grab your sweater and head to the dazzling outdoor seating area at Cafe de Amis. It’s an experience you’ll never forget and love to repeat again and again in years to come.

Waldo Thai | Thai Cuisine

Neighborhood: Waldo

Waldo Thai is a great place to come for an interesting, flavorful culinary experience right here in Kansas City. Waldo Thai offers plenty of delectable, shareable dishes, and their menu is coded in a way that makes vegan and gluten-free options easy to find. Have you ever tried Lanna cuisine? Waldo Thai is the perfect place to get these shareable dishes that are going to stimulate your senses and inspire you to start planning a trip to Thailand. Their curries, salads, soups, and specials are always memorable, and they offer a special family takeout meal each week, so don’t forget to check their website before ordering.

Coco Bolos | Mexican Cuisine

Neighborhood: Prairiefire

Recommended By: WellnessfortheWin

Looking for a Mexican cantina that’s more interesting than the usual options? Coco Bolos is the best choice in the Overland Park area of Kansas City. It’s still open for curbside to-go and delivery service—even sangria, margaritas, beer, and wine are available to-go. Everybody loves good Mexican food, and Coco Bolos is the ideal spot in Kansas City to get your fix of top-notch burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, chimichangas, quesadillas, tacos, and so much more.

Burritos La Chiquita | Mexican Cuisine

Neighborhood: Kensington

Recommended By: 1DapperLatino

Located right on Minnesota Avenue in KCK, Burritos La Chiquita is a favorite burrito place among locals and visitors alike. If anyone asks where to get the best burritos in Kansas City, Burritos La Chiquita is a great choice. Burritos La Chiquita uses only very high-quality ingredients in their burritos, including authentic Mexican cheese. When you have a craving for burritos, don’t hesitate to place your order at Burritos La Chiquita!

Novel | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: East Crossroads

Novel is located on McGee Street in the East Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City. The setting is absolutely gorgeous, with a long tile mosaic, an open kitchen where diners can watch the staff work their culinary magic, an outdoor patio with native trees, and beautiful wood accents. As soon as you walk into Novel, all your cares and stress will fade away. Let Chef Ryan Brazeal and Pastry Chef Jessica Armstrong take you on a culinary journey you’ll never forget, with contemporary cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients. Make your reservation today.

Osteria il Centro | Italian Cuisine

Neighborhood: South Plaza

Recommended By: Habetchually Hungry

Osteria Il Centro is the best place for Italian cuisine in Kansas City. For over 25 years, Osteria Il Centro has been a neighborhood staple that people love to come to with their friends and family members for pasta, meat, fish, and vegetable cuisine. All food is offered with an excellent wine pairing suggestion for the best possible dining experience. Osteria Il Centro is the perfect upscale, comfortable restaurant to relax in after a taxing week. Everybody loves the food, ambiance, and service at Osteria Il Centro.

POI-Ō

Neighborhood: Westside

Recommended By: Gina Bullard

Delight your tastebuds with some wood-fired chicken, adobo pork ribs, kimchi fried rice, and lemon roasted potatoes. POI-Ō is conveniently located just west of I-35 at the corner of 25th Street and Southwest Boulevard. For your convenience, feel free to order online for carryout or delivery. Need to feed an entire family? POI-Ō offers great family meal deals to feed your particular crowd. Check out the reviews on Yelp and go ahead, give POI-Ō a try today—you won’t regret it!

Farina | Italian Cuisine

Neighborhood: Crossroads

Recommended By: Lauren Lane and Katie Van Luchene

Did you know that there is a restaurant in Kansas City that is the professional home of a James Beard chef? That’s right; Farina's chef, Michael Smith, is a James Beard Award winner. You don’t have to go to a major city to experience a special culinary experience. In fact, you can have one right here in your neighborhood, at Farina. This restaurant specializes in handcrafted Italian food. As soon as you take a bite of any item on the menu, your taste buds will do a happy dance, and you will look forward to the day you can come back again.

The Campground

Neighborhood: West Bottoms

For an unpretentious dining experience in Kansas City that will leave your belly and spirit completely satisfied, The Campground is a wise choice. The Campground is now open for outdoor seating (guests must be masked unless seated at a table). Guests are invited to build their own board based on the incredible meat and cheese options available, and don’t forget to pick out one of their scrumptious signature cocktails. Small plates, entrees, and dessert complete your meal, and you will look forward to your next dining experience at The Campground.

The Savoy | American Cuisine

Neighborhood: Library District

The motto of The Savoy is “Approachable, Shareable, and Build Around Seasonal Ingredients.” That sums up what The Savoy stands for perfectly. The Savoy is super active on Instagram, and the chef even posts videos explaining new menu items. Check out a video or two to get your tastebuds dancing, and get ready to have an incredible dining experience at The Savoy, located inside the 21c Museum Hotel.

Sancho Streetside | Latin Cuisine

Neighborhood: Shawnee

Wish you could find some wood-fire grilled Latin street food right in Kansas City? Good news; just come to Sancho Streetside! Sancho Streetside has a thoughtful menu that will make your tastebuds say BAM every time you eat there. This Mexican-inspired restaurant and taco truck is a favorite of many Kansas City locals and visitors. The menu features nachos, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, and even carryout house-made margaritas. Join them for Taco Tuesday, when each taco is just $2.50.

Sayachi Sushi | Sushi

Neighborhood: Brookside

Recommended By: Anna Petrow

Sayachi is a special sushi restaurant located in the Brookside Plaza in Kansas City. Sayachi is now open for indoor dining as well as curbside pickup. Sayachi offers a simple menu of appetizers, sushi entrees, bento box options, and soul-satisfying ramen noodles, making it a great place to get your sushi fix at lunch or dinnertime. Give Sayachi a try, and it will quickly become your go-to spot for sushi in Kansas City. You don’t need to go all the way to Japan for expertly prepared, incredibly fresh sushi; just go to Sayachi.

Billie's Grocery | Cafe

Neighborhood: North Hyde Park

Recommended By: Gina Bullard

Everybody knows that dining out often isn’t a healthy lifestyle choice—or is it? When you come to Billie’s Grocery to eat, you won’t have to worry about packing on the pounds or going without an incredibly flavorful meal. There, you can have both! Billie’s Grocery has a nice offering of whole-food menu options that will please your palate and your waistline. Order takeout or delivery from Billie’s Grocery today.

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