Kansas City/Parkville - breakfast, lunch, drinks/music recs?
My wife and I will be in KC for 4 dinners, 4 breakfasts, and 3 lunches this Thurs 8/27 through Mon 8/31. We will be staying at the Q hotel on Westport. We will have a car and are fine with driving around; that said, we like going to a cool neighborhood and exploring.
We have never been to KC before, and are basically coming to check out a place we've never been, eat some barbecue, and catch some music. We will be spending an afternoon in Parkville - probably, we'll be looking for lunch (but maybe dinner).
DINNER: I'd guess we've got dinners pretty much lined out: I'm thinking Bryant's, Bluestem, Strouds, and probably LC's - we want barbecue twice, since it's KC's specialty, right? (And we can only afford one fine dining night. For that matter, if we scrap anything, it'd probably be Bluestem - there's plenty of fine dining near home that we haven't tried.)
LUNCH: We've been told the farmer's market near downtown is very nice to check out, I've seen good recs for Lulu's Thai, and...? We want to hit up that sweet looking Fresher than Fresh snocone place, too.
BREAKFAST: Totally at a loss here. Good homestyle food (biscuits & gravy & such) is certainly fine, but anything that breaks the mold, so to speak, would be nice. We can get bacon & eggs anywhere, but I'm sure there's someplace with some more local flavor, right? If nothing else, local bakeries are perfectly acceptable. :D Ideas include Classic Cup, and I've seen recs for Eggctr and Woodswether Cafe but there don't seem to be menus online for either of those.
DRINKS/MUSIC: The Blue Room seems to come highly recommended, and we're open to anything else. It'd be great if there was somewhere within walking distance, but if not, that's why they invented cabs. Nonsmoking would be wonderful, but I realize that's probably a stretch. Are there any KC specialty drinks to try?
SHOPPING: Obviously, we're right by the Plaza, but it seems like a fair amount of that is stuff that we've got here in Indy. We'd be way more interested in bohemian/artsy areas with vintage stores, art, etc. (Think Lincoln Park in Chicago - that sort of thing.)
Are any of the places in Westport worth checking out? There's a list here: http://www.westportkc.com/ , and I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on those places.
Is there anywhere in Parkville that's can't-miss? We've been told that it's a nice place to spend a lazy afternoon walking trails, and any recs on that would be welcome as well.
As always, I want to thank the CHOW community in advance for the assistance. Last year at this time, y'all pretty much planned our honeymoon (Portland & Seattle) out for us, and we had the Best. Trip. Ever. So thanks again for that, too. :D
A couple of different suggestions. Pryde's Old Westport is located at 41st and Westport Road, a couple of blocks east of Broadway. An interesting stop for a home chef. I would also suggest visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, just east of the Plaza. The museum has a restaurant located inside. It is a fun place for a couple to stroll the sculpture garden while holding hands and talking before visiting the museum to absorb some of history's inspiration. This is not the only Museum in this area.
As someone else has mentioned, the area on 39th street east of State Line has some funky shops and restaurants. My favorite restaurant, Blue Koi, is located here; asian dumplings and noodles.
Kansas City has much to offer, I hope you enjoy your visit.
I'm not a fan of Lulu's all that much, either. Pad thai was so-so, and their tom ka kai (or tom ga gai) soup left a funny feeling in my stomach, and I generally love that type of soup. In Westport, avoid one80, and I second blanc burgers. I also think McCoy's is a great place to sit on their patio if it is nice (they have a great mac 'n cheese and also some great microbrews). Also in Westport is a great ice cream shop (Murray's), as well as another good patio at Harry's Bar and Tables. I haven't been to the Foundry, but their patio also looks pretty nice, and it is attached to McCoy's. If you're looking to get rowdy, try Ernie Biggs. You'll have some (but not many) unique stores in Westport as well (Bunker, and there is a hat place next to Murray's that my wife has been wanting to go into). If you're out late, and feel the need to eat, Chubby's is right around Westport (although I wouldn't say the food is the best, it does the trick).
Parkville has quite a few fun, funky shops - antiques, furnishings, clothing. Best restaurant in Parkville is Cafe Des Amis, by far - very good French food, cozy atmosphere and great deck. They do lunch and dinner - lunch is a good way to get in the "fine dining" experience without spending too much money. If you are wine drinkers, check out Wines by Jennifer, just up the street from Cafe Des Amis. They have lots of fun wines and do a wine tasting all the time for about $10 - usually they pour 5 to 6 wines. They also have wine by the glass and light cheese platters, etc. - you can sit on the deck or the front porch. They also have art showings.
If you are looking for funky stores and art, check out the Crossroads district. On the south side of downtown, the district has lots of art galleries and interesting stores, as well as a few good restaurants. For dinner, 1924 Main does a great, very reasonable fixed price menu - I think its 3 course for $25 or $30 And while it may not be quite the fine dining experience that bluestem is, I think the food is outstanding. Pizza Bella has really good pizza and great appetizers. Extra Virgin is a great spot for tapas, with really interesting selections and a good happy hour (1/2 price tapas, good drink specials) - and if you go for lunch on Friday, the happy hour prices apply. Lulu's is in the same general area and is good, but not something special that I would go out of my way for.
The market is great on Saturday mornings, but more fun if you are looking to buy produce. I highly recommend Succotash in the market for breakfast - it is very funky and the service may be a bit slow, but their pear pancakes are awesome.
Have fun in KC!
Westport - Blanc Burgers and Bottles (gourmet ish burgers/sodas/beers, shakes) I like that place for lunch. Westport also has a First Watch (easy breakfast), Corner Cafe (standard diner breakfast). You could go a bit further from your hotel and hit up Mama Bell's (or Bell Street Mama's..) ..it's been on Diners, Drive In's - they have crazy eggs. Also standard fare.
Classic Cup is okay - gets most of it's business b/c it's on the Plaza.
I LOVE the brunch (sat only) at Eden Alley Cafe on the Plaza. It's in the basement of Unity Temple - all vegetarian, but very yummy (they have eggs, though).
Lulu's Thai is okay. That being said, I have not found *the best* Thai in KC yet...so who knows.
Funky place - YJ's Snack Bar, in the crossroads/gallery area has lunch, dinner..it's very quirky but fun.
The Farmer's market downtown is fun - very busy. There are a couple of places to eat at the very hipstery Succotash cafe. Service is kind of random, get their super early for breakfast/lunch.
I've only been to Blustem for happy hour..maybe you shoudl try that. Sit in the bar and eat some tasty appetizers for muhc cheaper than dinner.
Shopping - hate to say it, but the Plaza is kind of the main place. If you are into antiques, try 47th & State Line - heavy antique neighborhood....the KU Med area (39th & State Line) has some fun cafes, and a few odd shops. Brookside (63rd and Brookside Blvd) - 2 miles North of Plaza has lots of cute locally owned shops (clothes, galleries, etc).
Parkville has lots of little shops. Wines by Jennifer is a favorite of mine - wine shop in a house. Also, a French restaurant- cannot think of the name now!