Exploring KCMO.

July 28, 2017 2:25 pm
Happy Friday! I don’t know what took so long to discover the true gem that Kansas City is, but I’m glad I finally got around to it. This year I’ve visited this unique little city more times than any other. Each time there’s something new to do or to explore. Just last weekend we had a blast celebrating Cacy’s 30th birthday there, despite the unfortunate event that has left my car in a tow yard, we didn’t let that get us down.
 
Having visited so often, I’ve begun to familiarize myself with the neighborhoods of KC. Each one is different and has its own personality. The uniqueness of each have something special to offer. Because I’ve been asked a few times where I like to hang out, I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots.

Coffee

If you thought I’d start this list with anything other than coffee you don’t know me very well. I love a good cuppa Joe, everywhere and anywhere, almost any time of day. Steaming hot, cold brew, with a leaf in the foam, you name it, I want it. There are a few sweet spots I’ve had the pleasure of tasting their house brew and a couple on my list for next time.

  • Goat Hill Coffee & Soda
    Goat Hill is in the quaint Westside neighborhood. Get yourself a pour over and head down to Westside Storey to mosey around.
  • Colony
    NKC’s liquid chill spot. Grab coffee or local craft beer depending on the time of day. Soon they’ll be a brewery, taproom and kitchen, too.
  • Oddly Correct
    Great beans and a warm atmosphere. If you want to get shit done come here.
  • Monarch Coffee
    They just opened in July, but I think it’s safe to say they may be the most Instagram’d coffeeshop in all of KC. It’s easy to see why.
  • Post Coffee Co
    This place is on my list to check out the next time I’m in town so I’ll keep you posted.

Food

I just love to eat, and fortunately for me, so does my husband. I’m a bit more adventurous than him, but together we’ve experienced some pretty delightful meals in this town.

  • Doughnut Lounge
    They have so, so much more than doughnuts, including cocktails later in the day. The biscuits and gravy is plentiful, and the shakshouka spicy.
  • Sundry Market & Kitchen
    Their food is a must try. Everything is made from scratch with ingredients from local farmers. If you can get in, come here for brunch on Sunday.
  • Port Fonda
    Such good Mexican food can be found here, right in the heart of the Old Westport neighborhood. I will forever recommend the carnitas caseras cazuelas.
  • The Mixx
    If you’re looking for something fresh, this is the spot. Their meals are made from scratch and preservative-free. They also have a fantastic selection of food, fresh pressed juice, and wellness shots (like Turmeric Tonic).
  • Happy Gillis
    I want to recommend this place based off the sheer number of times it’s been recommended to me. But, alas, I’ve yet to make it here. Fingers crossed for next time!

Photo taken by Amanda Rucker.

Drinks

While I’ve limited my alcohol intake significantly this year, I still go out on occasion to enjoy a drink. Whether that’s appreciating a cold beer or sipping on a slinky cocktail, go here for the dranks.

  • Ça Va
    Please come here with your best girlfriend for happy hour. Drink Prosecco and have oysters on the half shell. I’ve done this and can say it’s completely amazing.
  • Manifesto
    Hidden in the basement of The Reiger, get ready for the first place that truly feels like a speakeasy. Stone walls, dim lights, no phones, and unique cocktails. It’s a great place to hang out with your gal pal to talk about life and love.
  • P.S. Speakeasy
    It’s definitely a modern day speakeasy, but the old world charm still shines through. It’s fun to get here, the entrance isn’t marked so get ready to go sleuthing!
  • Tom’s Town Distilling Co
    1920’s art deco lives on and is living strong at Tom’s. It’s KC’s first legal distillery since the Prohibition. And being the preservationist I am, I ogle over the original tin ceiling.
  • Tapcade
    This place was recommended by our Airbnb host last weekend. At first we weren’t going to go, but after the car accident (everybody’s fine!) and dealing with the paperwork and process to finagle a rental car out of state to get home, we were ready for a beer. They have tons of arcade games from pinball to Mario and serve “Mystery Beers” from local brewers for just $3.00 a pint. This was a perfect place to unwind.

Treats

What would life be without treats? I’m always one to scope out ice cream wherever we go and KC was of no exception.

  • Betty Rae’s Ice Cream
    This place came recommended to me on my last trip by a fellow Instagram friend and it did not disappoint. They have creamy flavors and a variety of ways to eat them.
  • 1900 Barker Bakery and Café
    Fresh, quaint, and oh so delicious, come here for their homemade bread and try not to die from the carb lust.
  • Glacé
    The genuine test of an ice creamery is their vanilla. Go here, get it, and a scoop of their signature Fleur de Sel Caramel. If you’re disappointed something might be wrong with your tastebuds.

Shopping

While I don’t do a ton of shopping as I have more than I need now, I am a fan of perusing shoppes. Ocassionally I’ll pick up a great smelling candle and quality goods.

  • Hand & Land
    Delicious, natural, and simple small batch products like lotion, body wash, and home cleaners are sold here. I have quite a few friends who choose to keep the extra junk in most body products out of their own, this is the place for them.
  • Tyler Kingston Wood + Supply Co.
    I had followed these folks on Instagram for nearly a year and always missed getting to their shop until just this month! Come here for unique home goods, midwest clothing, or a fantastic vintage rug for a great price (that will ship free!). When you’re done, walk down the block to Colony for a drink if you’d like.
  • Golden & Pine
    This place has textiles galore. The patterns are wonderful and everything I’ve seen is really high quality. They sell goods from my friend Emily of The Object Enthusiast (we miss you in Omaha!).
  • Dear Society
    An awesome collection of vintage and modern clothing for men, women and the kiddos. I bought a rose mineral bath soak here once and nearly melted in the tub.

Experience KC

  • Nelson Atkins Museum + Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
    As a designer it’s not hard for me to recommend these two incredible, neighboring museums. Make a day of it and be sure to explore the grounds!
  • River Market
    Well known for its Asian markets, River Market has a ton of shops for local and hard to find ingredients. It’s also home to my favorite antique shop in town, the River Market Antiques.
  • Old Westport
    There is a lot to eat and drink in this area, but the highlight is all the great music—including a dueling piano bar.
  • Historic West Bottoms
    Come here during the First Friday of the month—it’s a big deal. All the shops are open from collecting goods all month, and there’s good food and music.
  • Crossroads Arts District
    There are tons of great shops like Birdies Panties, Oracle and Hammerpress here. Not to forget the delicious food, either. It’s easy to spend all day here.
  • WWI Museum
    Their collection is absolutely stunning. Buy a two-day pass for $16 and go to the top to see a great view of the city.
  • Union Station
    On my list to explore next, KC’s Union Station was built in 1914 and has towering 95-foot ceilings. It was restored in the 90s and now hosts permanent and traveling exhibits. I’m hoping to see the Mummies of the World exhibition before it leaves.
  • Loose Park
    From what I hear, those who are serious about Pokémon Go (not me, and not really Cacy) parks are the place to find Pikachu. I’m interested in exploring these 75-acres to learn about the history of the Battle of Westport from the Civil War.

So there you have it, my list of recommendations for the beautiful Kansas City area. If you’re in Omaha or Lincoln, it’s easy to hop in the car after work on a Friday and arrive in time for dinner and drinks. But I’d really urge you to take a three day weekend to slink around, you won’t regret it.

If you’ve been and there’s a place I haven’t listed, please comment to tell me where to go next!

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