Home / Travel Guides - Kansas City / Best Restaurants In Kansas City

Best Restaurants in Kansas CityAs the saying goes, life is short; eat dessert first. With this in mind, go straight to the sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls served at Stroud's Oak Ridge Manor , one of Kansas City's best restaurants. Don't ignore the raved-about chicken pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet, though, and have it with mashed potatoes and green beans—it's stick-to-your-ribs goodness like grandma used to make. Forget portion control while you're here; the generous meals come with your choice of homemade chicken noodle soup or garden salad. Chicken-fried steak and pan-fried pork chops also will have you smacking your lips.

Yes, they do serve pot pie at PotPie (both beef with mushrooms and chicken with vegetables). In this cozy room with redbrick walls, the changing menu is written on a blackboard, and the atmosphere is laid-back with a French bistro vibe (with a smidge of gastro pub thrown in for good measure). There's nothing precious here, just basic food made with flair. You'll want to try the spinach and brie tart, garlicky steamed mussels or seared scallops with tomato leek risotto and blueberry sauce.

DeliLux , in the Ameristar Casino , is the place to go for a wide range of light meals and is open from noon-3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon-1 the rest of the week. High rollers and slot machine enthusiasts alike can order budget-minded items like burgers, hot sandwiches (Reubens, Philly cheese steaks and grilled chicken clubs), tacos and nachos, salads, and even Asian dishes like a roast duck rice box or yang chow fried rice with shrimp.

Getting back to barbecue, meat lovers and those on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet will love the selection at Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue - Freight House . A dish called burnt ends is a specialty, but the name is really a misnomer. These chunks of pork, beef or sausage are seared on the outside so that the outer part is a little crispy while keeping the inside melt-in-your-mouth tender. The list of meats goes on and on, but includes barbecued ribs (choose from pork spare or baby back, beef back, crown prime beef or lamb), smoked beef brisket, turkey, pork, ham and Polish sausage, which you can smother with your choice of four sauces. As for sides, servers won't steer you wrong when they suggest the cheesy corn bake or hickory pit baked beans.

"Hi, may I help you?' shouts a friendly Gates Bar-B-Q employee as you walk through the door. Don't be flustered; just march right up to the counter and place your order for some of KC's finest ‘cue. Gates is one of KC's most legendary food places, and it's easy to see why once you sink your teeth into the succulent barbecued ribs, chicken, sausage or mutton. There are only two desserts, both pies: yammer (as in yam) pie (a.k.a. sweet potato pie) and a seasonal variety. As for the barbecue sauce? A sign on the wall says it best: "Please do not use coffee cups for sauce." It's that good.

Ponak's Mexican Kitchen & Bar boasts of having the "world's best margaritas on tap," and it's been voted as one of Kansas City's best Mexican restaurants more than a few times. Test out these claims for yourself with a sampling of recipes inspired by the Sonoran region of Mexico at this cantina started in 1975 by a retired Marine of Croatian heritage. (In case you're wondering, Ponak is not a Mexican name.) Dishes such as quesadillas, burritos, tamales and enchiladas incorporate only the freshest ingredients. Don't expect fancy décor here; the 80's furnishings are comfortable enough, though, and the tropical mural on the wall with its psychedelic fiery sky is a sure conversation piece.

Enter Harry's Bar & Tables through its glass-paned double door, and you enter not just a bar with tables, but an elegant room with a tin ceiling. Locals gather here for martinis, scotch and cigars as well as unusual takes on the usual dishes. The menu regularly changes, but you can expect dishes like pulled pork mac and cheese, Creole onion soup, smoked brisket tacos and strawberry champagne cake. Housed in a charming redbrick building in the Westport area, Harry's also offers a tree-shaded brick patio perfect for people-watching.

Although Kansas City is nowhere near the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, the fish at Bristol Seafood + Steak + Social is flown in daily, so you're guaranteed only the freshest fruits of the sea. The extensive menu features such dishes as lobster bisque, steamed mussels in white wine and garlic, San Francisco-style cioppino and grilled salmon panzanella. Dessert options stray from the norm with choices like apple croustade, orange cream-chocolate tart and banana cream crepe with root beer sorbet. Sunday brunch is simply stupendous: Tables are laden with such dishes as the usual eggs, waffles and bacon and the not-so-usual mesquite grilled Atlantic salmon, lobster mac and cheese and roasted golden beets.

A blue tin bird hovers over the turquoise door at the adorable Blue Bird Bistro , where all dishes are organic, vegetarian, natural, wild-caught and/or cage-free. Inside, small tables set upon a colorful mosaic-tile floor are covered with white cloths and adorned with dainty flowers in a glass jar. Feast on scrumptious breakfast items like ciabatta French toast or sweet potato and granola pancakes; for lunch, tuck into a bison or black bean burger, shrimp bake or bluebird salad with blueberry vinaigrette. Come suppertime, your choices may include house-made beef ravioli, Moroccan stew or pan-seared scallops with honey slaw.

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Kansas City, KS

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Travel Information

City Population

459,787

Elevation

1,005 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in the city of Kansas City is 7.99 percent. The city's lodging tax is 11.98 percent and there is a rental car tax of $4 per day.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(816) 234-5111

Temperature

(816) 540-6021

Hospitals

Research Medical Center, (816) 276-4000; St. Joseph Medical Center, (816) 942-4400; Saint Luke's Hospital, (816) 932-2000; Saint Luke's North Hospital, (816) 891-6000; Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill, (816) 404-1000.

Visitor Information

1321 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64105. Phone:(816)221-5242 or (800)767-7700

Air Travel

Kansas City International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (816) 243-5765 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak station, (816) 421-3622 or (800) 872-7245, is at W. Pershing Road and Main Street.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, is at 1101 Troost Ave. Jefferson Lines also serves Kansas City.

Taxis

Yellow Cab, (816) 471-5000, is the city's major taxi service. Cabs are deregulated, so fares vary widely. Rates are posted on each cab, and you are not required to take the first cab in a line. Up to five people can share a ride for a single fare.

Public Transportation

Ride KC, the metro bus system, serves all of Greater Kansas City except Johnson County. The exact-change fare minimum is $1.50 ($3 for an all-day pass) and varies by distance. For more details and for route information regarding construction, phone (816) 221-0660.

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