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Oct 13, 2013 06:02 PM

Things that Kansas City does better than NYC?!?

Hello, 2-3 of us live in NYC and are thinking about a foodie trip to Kansas City during the long weekend in January! A large part of why we chose KC is the amazing time we had stuffing ourselves with BBQ in Austin and Lockhart ( and since KC is also considered to be a mecca for BBQ, this seemed like the logical next destination :)

KC experts, in addition to BBQ, what else does it do better than NYC? We plan to come down for about 4-5 days and frankly, we'll need a break in the middle from all that delicious BBQ.

We'll have a car so driving to nearby cities is also something that we can consider if it's for something truly delicious!

Thank you!

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  1. It's been several years since I've been to NYC, but I never found street tacos like the ones at El Camino Real in Kansas City, KS.

    Also, you might want to check out the beers at Free State Brewery in Lawrence.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chileheadmike

      I'm not sure how many years is several, but Tulcingo Del Valle on 10th Ave in NYC beats El Camino Real in every category, and I have had superior tacos from random trucks in Washington Heights and Astoria. I vastly prefer the tacos from the Carniceria on 6th Ave in Topeka. I don't recall the name, if there is one, but it's the one furthest West, across from a little tortilleria. Their tacos are as good as any I've had in NY, LA, or anywhere. I don't know that I'd recommend it as trip-worthy on a 5 day food safari, but if you're out that way...

      1. re: daleyshow

        BBQ I think is your thing here. It doesn't get better than LC's, OK Joe's, Jack Stack (lamb ribs). You cannot get this quality anyplace else, I don't think.

        I assume in a place as populous as nyc, there is excellent mexican food, but if not, KC is a good place for it. KCK to be exact. On Central, smoky grilled chickens at El Pollo Rey are wonderful. Also birrerria michoacano nearby for birria made with various creatures. very good. El camino real on 7th & minnesota for mexico-city style marinated rotisserie grilled pork tacos with pineapple.

        I think we have the typical midwestern excellent locavore places, but these are going to be more special in the summer (tomatoes, other local garden ingredients).

        People here cook at home, a lot. it's something that transplants have mentioned to me as notable. I just won second place in my UU church chili cookoff, and I am here to tell you this is glory. ;) Even better, they ate it all - haha, second place and no leftovers trumps first place and a half-full crock pot, as I crowed to the winner (in fun, a great cook he is). I've been having a protracted email conversation with other contestants about how we made broth, which chiles we used, and where we got the ingredients. People BBQ at home too, but the bbq restaurants are definitely special here.

    2. check out Bier Station while you're here - it's a a great craft beer spot with tons of bottles/can and an ever changing tap list updated here:

      their food menu is small but strong - sausages/brats made locally from Affare as well bread/pretzels made locally by Farm to Market. They have a nice charcuterie selection and they also serve wine.

      1. Jenny Vergara is about their leading foodie. Check out her blog, just scroll down past the cooking recipes.

        1. BBQ aside, I dont think there is anything in KC that is better/tastier than NYC.

          That being said, food is cheaper, here. I believe that the growing seasons are not the same, so places that are using local produce will have access to different crops. But that probably won't effect you if you come in January.

          Here are a few places that might be interesting:

          Local Pig: butcher/food truck (interesting location)

          Gennesse Royale Bistro

          (tasty breakfasts/ lunches/ Friday drinks/ walk into livestock exchange building across the street for a straight out of Coen brothers film experience


          Lil Freshie

          Superlative snow cones, and tasty food. Tiny & tasteful.


          Lunch menu/ yummy desserts/ fabulous geriatric people watching

          Oddly Correct

          Nano-roaster coffee

          1. What KC does better (or at least differently) than NYC is down home and traditional dining. I always take out-of-towners to Stroud's. Calvin Trillin's recommendation of Jess and Jim's Steakhouse was good enough to get me to make the trip the first time. Peachtree Buffet for Sunday brunch is fun for good soul food and after-church hat watching. Oh, and on another note, I still haven't had a better burger than the Kobe at Blanc, and I have had a lot of NYC hamburgers.

            1 Reply
            1. re: daleyshow

              you nyc-ers might enjoy Rye. It's the midwestern comfort food project of the chef who has created arguably the best fine dining place here (blue stem in westport). it's in leawood, a southern suburb. I've not eaten there, but it has good reviews from my friends - they say the fried chicken is amazing.