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KC Grocery Stores, Restaurant Recommendations, Jazz?

Hi All,

We're about to visit Kansas City for the second time, and could use some recommendations.

First off, we love to visit grocery stores when we're out of town because we don't have a great selection where we're from due to stringent liquor laws. Where do the foodies shop in KC? We visited the Better Cheddar when we were these last and enjoyed it, but would also like to scout out some bigger stores (i.e. Whole Foods.)

Next, what are some must-vist restaurants? The last time we were here we ate at Jack Stack's (good,) Lydia's (disappointing,) and the Classic Cup Cafe (surprisingly good.) After reading the boards, I'm thinking we need to try Le Fou Frog, and OK Joes. Any other suggestions?

Finally, we're looking for things to do while we're there. What are some good Jazz spots? Any other suggestions on things to do?


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  1. You might look at BB's Lawnside BBQ. for food and a good night of music and fun.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Smavo

      Hit up the Crossroads district again and go to Grinders for dinner and drinks!!!! www.grinderspizza.com

    2. I recommend La Bodega. Go at happy hour (2-6 M-F or 2-4 Sat) and have half priced tapas and drinks, including their pretty stellar sangria.

      1. JanaBerry,

        I highly recommend visiting Costintinos Markets (http://www.cosentinos.com/). These grocery stores are nothing short of beautiful. There's one location in Brookside and a new one downtown. The one downtown just opened in 09. While in Brookside, stop by Bella Napoli...it's an Italian grocer/cafe.

        I would also recommend trying Aixois (http://www.aixois.com/) -- it's a French bistro (also in the Brookside area). For BBQ try Gates!!

        For good jazz I like the 18th& Vine district. You could spend an afternoon at the American Jazz Museum and then listen to live jazz (sometimes free, sometimes pay a cover) at the Blue Room. Not sure what's going on currently, but also see who's playing at the Gem Theatre. There's an upscale restaurant right across the street called Harpers (I haven't eaten there, but hear it's good).

        Enjoy your visit to KC! Hope I got my response in time for your trip. Report back and let us know where you went.

        4 Replies
        1. re: deeinkc

          Harper's in the Jazz District is closed.

          1. re: deeinkc

            I've heard good report on the hot lunches served at Cosentino's downtown. I haven't been myself, but a couple friends who work just east of Troost say it's reasonably priced, fresh food in a pleasant atmosphere.

            1. re: amyzan

              I don't mind the salad bar, but I've had bad luck with their hot case. Their pizza is seemingly almost always old (and quite bland), and I was less than impressed with their chicken and their macaroni and cheese.

              1. re: jhojati

                Yeah, these recs came shortly after Cosentino's opened downtown, and I wondered if they'd stay on top of their game. But, I do think the choices for my friends on that side of town are somewhat limited. They go down to You Say Tomato sometimes, but Cosentino's is a bit more convenient. ETA: I also tried Kansas City Cafe at their and a hound's rec, but it's been a while. So, I don't know that this is timely, but KCC's food was quite good and at that time, the lunch specials were reasonably priced.

          2. I heard an advertisement on the radio the other day for Gaslight Grill on 135th between Roe and Nall. They said they play live jazz. I've never been but it may be worth a shot

            1. Have you been to the City Market?
              The farmers aren't there now but there are lots of interesting places.

              1 Reply
              1. re: wekick

                Check out the middle eastern market on the west side, 2 or 3 doors down from the coffee shop. They sell bulk spices for $1 a scoop. Fresh and an excellent value. I highly recommend the Cajun spice mix, no salt at all.

              2. I second Costentino's downtown. It's so far from me, but I have to get there at least once a month. Last time I was on a Reuben binge, and got the most incredibly perfect corned beef. They always have things like Meyers lemons (in season), creme fraiche which I can't find anywhere else, and a dazzling array of ready-to-eat foods, most of which are quite good.

                I also second Gates BBQ. I love Jack Stack, it's a nice dining experience and the sides can't be beat, but when I just want to grub on the meat, it's Gates for me.

                Also, not an eatery, but Pryde's of Old Westport is the coolest kitchen store I've ever seen, and they have a lot of reasonable prices. And downstairs is a pie shop that sometimes even has gooseberry pie!

                Our weather has been crummy, but hope you enjoy (or enjoyed) your visit.

                1. Bar B Que; Bryant's BBQ 22nd and Brooklyn,(midtown) Vinager base... Smoke House, 64th and N. Oak Tfwy. (North of the river). Sweet tomato base. Both are great.