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One dinner in Kansas City?


My husband and I are travelling to Kansas City for just one night in May. Any recommendations or favorite restaurants that shouldn't be missed? We're looking for something non-touristy and, of course fresh and delicious! A little local flavor would be fun too.

Thanks in advance....

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      1. i second Bluestem. Michael Smith's also - good location downtown.

        1. Lots of recs for Bluestem, which is generally understood to be one of the top two or three best restos in KC. It can be a little spendy for dinner -- do you have a price-point in mind?

          1. M. Smith and Bluestem will give you great meals, no doubt. But they are similar to many good, chef owned restaurants in any big city. if I was taking you'd I'd go to PotPie. meals are great and the food and atmosphere/service is nice, simple, midwestern. If you're looking for a good and fun meal, with people watching, noise and boozey fun- try La Bodega. Enjoy your time in KC

            1 Reply
            1. re: goroe

              I'm not that big of a fan of PotPie...it was good not great and the location doesn't help. Bluestem is next door but the food is great which makes up for locale. In the PotPie vibe I'd recommend Carmen's (though it's Italian) or Bluebird Bistro. Actually, my all time favorite is Joe D's in Brookside IF (and a BIG IF) the weather is good for patio dining.

            2. Wow, thank you! I will look into these great recommendations. Price is not so much an issue...just looking for a great meal that will give me a sense of Kansas City culture. Also, we are staying out near the plaza (this means nothing to me yet, as I've never visited the city before). Are all of the restaurants do-able from that area?

              5 Replies
              1. re: stephrad

                All recs are relatively close to the Plaza. I haven't tried it since the change, but someone mentioned that Starker's on the Plaza recently hired a chef from Bluestem...It was really good before, I bet that it is great now!

                If you get a chance, La Bodega is a fun and great place for tapas.

                1. re: amy_rc

                  Great, thanks again! Looking forward to checking out Kansas City!

                  1. re: amy_rc

                    I have heard great things about Starker's recently as well. Another that doesn't get mentioned much, but I think is pretty outstanding is Cafe Trio'. I will agree with the others on Bluestem.... if I had a gun to my head and had to pick one place to eat tomorrow night in Kansas City, that would probably be where I'd go.

                    1. re: clclark2000

                      I like Cafe Trio, but at that price point I really, really like Avenues Bistro.

                2. Isn't it a sin to visit Kansas City and not eat at Arthur Bryants?
                  I know it could be considered touristy, but I've eaten BBQ all over this land and nothing compares. Where else do you find a blue-collar construction worker sitting next to a mulit-million dollar Wall Street manager enjoying a slab of ribs?

                  What about The American Restaurant? I know that the chef there won a Beard award last year did she not?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Db Cooper

                    In fact, she did! I don't know how much local flavor it has, though. I'll be curious as to what others have to say - I've never been but have wanted to do.

                    1. re: Db Cooper

                      Well maybe not enjoying a slab of ribs but definitely a brisket sandwich on an egg roll at D'Bronx.

                      1. re: Db Cooper

                        I have to say that I didn't find Arthur Bryant's that great. I think Quick's 7th St. BBQ (Cheyenne Avenue, KC, KS) is much better. If you had more time, you should try Jalisco in the Argentine for real Mexican.

                      2. When I go to KC I have to do BBQ. It is why God created KC. There are plenty of famous/touristy places to go that are great but if its true local flavoure with the best Q in the world here are my suggestions. With out question the best Q in KC is at LC's Bar-B-Q 5800 Blue Parkway KC not to far from the stadium. Its a majore dive hole in the wall with awards from Gourmet Mag, Food and Wine hanging on the wall and well deserved. Warning you will feel like your car will be missing when you leave but the food is worth it. If your looking for more than BBQ try BB'S Lawnside BBQ 1205 E 85th St. its great bbq and great music in a very rustic locals setting. If its a weekend go early it fills up with locals.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: GaryH

                          You'll get no argument from me on LC's.

                          The truth is that BBQ generally comes down to your tastes. Some of us like it sour and tangy and Arthur's fits that bill. Others like it smokey and sweet and that's more LC's. It's really all your preference.

                        2. Looking for regional flavor? Nix the white table cloth venues and go gorge at Stroud's! Down home cooking that is still my favorite, must-visit place when I get back to my home town. Fun, rustic, historic plantation house setting too. Yes, I'll also enjoy the high end places when I visit but first I have to get Stroud's, Margarita's and several BBQ joints through my fork before I hit the Michael Smith's, etc.
                          And check Lidia's while you are at it. Agree that Joe D's is an ambiance-laden favorite.

                          Sorry to respectfully disagree about La Bodega but can't rank them very high after eating for a few years at Emilio's in Chicago...no comparison. Also need to borrow your grandpa's hearing aids if you actually expect to hold a conversation. Don't forget a gas mask too to handle the smoke but I understand that will be going away soon due to new law.

                          1. Grand St. Cafe, just to the east of the plaza.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: rob64113

                              We ate at Bluestem and LOVED it. Actually ate in the bar because we weren't up for a long production and it was perfect. Wines were fantastic, steak frites incredible...but the truffle fries were by far my favorite part of the meal. Anyway, thanks again for all of the fantastic recommendations. Now I have quite a list of places for our next trip...

                              1. re: stephrad

                                I'm going to see Wicked with a group of 12 ladies on Thursday evening. Would the bar at Bluestem be appropriate for a group this size? What do their happy hour specials look like on Thursdays?
                                I've eaten at Bluestem, but never spent time in the bar so I'm not too sure about it.

                                1. re: amy_rc

                                  12 is a pretty big group for that space, but it's also not usually very full. I'd call and ask to see what they can do for you.

                                  Their happy hour is ridiculous. The whole lounge menu is half price, meaning the aforementioned steak frites would be like 8 bucks. Cocktails are $7, which is also a great deal for the quality, if a little pricey in absolute terms.