The Best of KC



   

#1 Best Movie Theater
 AMC Theatres-Ward Parkway

Since 1920, AMC Theatres has focused on providing the world's most entertaining and enjoyable movie-going experience. AMC’s Ward Parkway is tops thanks to its comfortable, plush leather recliners with cup holders in every screening room, the friendly, movie-loving staff, their bar, MacGuffin’s, where patrons buy drinks which can be brought into theaters, and the variety of films and show times. This luxury brings movie-watching to a whole new level.

8600 Ward Pkwy., Kansas City, Mo.

amctheatres.com

 

#2 Best Performing Arts Venue
 Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

 

The Kauffman Center


The iconic building showcases a diverse and extraordinary assortment of performing arts events. The Kauffman Center is for those of any taste, interest or passion. It is performance home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The center also has a program to help connect youth to high quality performing arts.

1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
kauffmancenter.org

 

#3 Best Live Theater
 Starlight Theater

A Kansas City landmark of entertainment since the 1950s, Starlight Theatre has brought the Heartland hundreds of incredible concerts and fantastic Broadway shows. With community education and outreach programs, and a beautiful landscaped terrace complete with garden and fountain, Starlight continues to prove that "Anything Goes!"

4600 Starlight Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

kcstarlight.com

 

#4 Best Museum
Nelson-Atkins

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art retains over 33,500 works of art. Collections of African, Asian and European art, sculptures, photography, ancient and modern art, and more fill the museum. Additionally, the museum holds classes, discussions and other events. A creative café lounge, Rozzelle Court Restaurant and a gift shop round out the offerings. General admission to the museum is free.

4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.

nelson-atkins.org

 

#5 Best Dance Company

Kansas City Ballet

Combining dance with creativity, this 28-member professional ballet company performs at least three mixed repertory performances per year. Its new stage at the Kauffman Center provides yet another arena for the annual production of the ever-popular "Nutcracker." The company excels in dance training and community education for all ages through its very own KC Ballet School, making it a true dance destination.

500 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

kcballet.org

 

#6 Best Local Actor/Actress
Paul Rudd

 

Paul Rudd

Known best for his low-key and sarcastic wit, Paul Rudd stars in smash films such as "Anchorman," "This Is 40" and "I Love You Man." Despite his Hollywood success, Rudd has said that, at his core, he is a Midwesterner. “I live in New York and spend a lot of time in LA, but people in the Midwest keep me grounded. I’ve been told I’m a pretty polite guy and that’s because of Kansas City.” Rudd frequently returns to KC for events such as Kansas City Improv Festival, Irish Fest, and Chiefs and Royals games.

 


#7 Best Athlete

 Matt Besler (Sporting KC)

 

Matt Besler

Matt Besler is giving Sporting KC fans more than one good reason to “bleed blue.” Team captain for the 2014 season, 27-year-old Besler is the first player from Kansas to be named to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This center back kicked off the year being named KC Sportsman of the Year by the KC Sport Commission, giving fans another reason to cheer for “the famous SKC.”

www.sportingkc.com

 

#8 Best Politician
Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James

 


Mayor Sly James

Born and raised in KC, Sly James was elected mayor in 2011.

He focuses his efforts on education, employment, efficiency and enforcement.  Some of Mayor James’ major accomplishments include implementing a women’s empowerment initiative, collaborating to launch the crime reduction program, KC NoVA, investing in the city’s water and street infrastructure and starting the downtown streetcar system.

 

#9 Best Columnist

Sam Mellinger

Since 2000, Kansas City Star sports writer Mellinger has been giving loyal KC fans the latest scoop about our beloved teams. Mellinger covered high schools, baseball and other sporting events before becoming a Star sports columnist in 2010. Mellinger’s writing hits a home run, winning him a devoted following in the KC metro area along with honors from Kansas and Missouri press associations and from the Associated Press and Headliners for column writing.

kansascity.com

 

#10 Best Annual Fest
Plaza Art Fair

For the past 83 years, the Plaza Art Fair has been a celebration of art and the people of Kansas City. A weekend event showcasing more than 240 artists from across the country, the fair is a top-ranked national art festival featuring exhibits, music, food and workshops. This year’s fair is Sept. 9-21.

4750 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

countryclubplaza.com/event /plaza-art-fair

 


#11 Best Art Space/Gallery

Nelson-Atkins

Three blocks northeast of the Country Club Plaza shopping district, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is just another way Kansas City families can combine education and a good time. Guests may join a variety of free tours throughout the day, or grab a map and explore the museum’s vast collections on their own. Little artists can create their own masterpieces in the Creative Café, or grab a bite at the 15th century Italian-style Rozzelle Court Restaurant.

4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.

nelson-atkins.org

 

#12 Best Sports Team
Sporting KC
 

Founded in 1995, and previously known as the Wizards, Sporting KC is perennially a contender in the MLS Eastern Conference. MLS Cup winners in 2013, it’s no surprise they made our list. Games typically sell out; there are currently 14,000 season-ticket holders and a wait list of more than 3,000. Sporting KC made national news during this year’s FIFA World Cup by providing two players to the U.S. national team.

1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, Kan.

sportingkc.com

 


#13 Best Music Act (Tie)

The Zeros & The Elders

Tied for first are two bands that showcase a rockin’ good time. The Zeros raise the roof as KC’s first new wave and 1980s tribute band. Their state-of-the-art light and sound show will have you on your feet in no time. The Elders entertain with their unique blend of amped-up Celtic folk and American rock music. They offer a high-octane performance with a variety of instruments and contemporary lyrics to create a progressive style rooted in tradition.

thezerosonline.com

eldersmusic.com

 

#14 Best TV Weatherman
Gary Lezak

Chief meteorologist at KSHB, 41 Action News, Lezak contends it is important to get the best weather information to viewers so they can feel safe and confident about what may be coming. We all know this is no easy task with the ever-changing skies of Kansas City, but Lezak is recognized as the most accurate weather forecaster in KC.

 

#14B Best TV Broadcaster
 Mark Clegg

Emmy-winning Clegg is co-anchor at KSHB, 41 Action News at 4, 5, 6, and 10 p.m. In 2005, he launched Business in Action which takes viewers inside the minds of KC's best entrepreneurs. Clegg has a strong commitment to Kansas City. He is a member of Church of the Resurrection, a board member of Kansas City's Rose Brooks Center, and volunteer for Literacy Kansas City and for the ALS Association - Keith Worthington Chapter

Mark Clegg


#15 Best TV News Team

 Fox 4 News

Whether you’re listening for sports updates, weather information or just tuning in for the latest news, the team at Fox 4 News provides KC the most up-to-date intel. With a click of a button, viewers can get a dose of fashion, local happenings and health advice from this prominent news team.

3030 Summit St., Kansas City, Mo.

fox4kc.com

 

#16 Best Radio Station
 96.5 The Buzz

The alternative rock station nabbed the spot at the top radio station this year. Talk segments include Afentra's Big Fat Morning Buzz, Middays With Jeriney, The Church of Lazlo, and Nights with Sam. The station holds annual events such as Buzz Beach Ball, Buzz Under The Stars and Halloweenie Roast.

7000 Squibb Rd., Mission, Kan.

965thebuzz.com

 

#17 Best Butcher

 McGonigle's

 

McGonigle's

KC’s meat connoisseurs head to Ward Parkway for the best slabs of meat, poultry and fish at McGonigle's. The market has been providing the metro with a rich tradition of family and quality service for more than 50 years and has now expanded to provide catering, wine and spirits, grocery, produce, and even BBQ-to-go for the meat-lover on the run. In short, McGonigle's is well-done.

1307 W. 79th St., Kansas City, Mo.

mcgonigles.com

 

#18 Best Wine
Lukas Liquors

The holy grail of vino, this liquor superstore features a generous selection of wines from around the globe. Selling hard-to-find wines and everyday favorites at consistently low prices, the store has aisles and aisles of wine and a friendly and knowledgeable staff, which make it a Kansas City favorite.

7541 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kan.

lukasliquor.com

 


#19 Best Cheese Selection

The Better Cheddar

When looking for the perfect cheese to complement your wine-tasting party or spread on gourmet crackers, look no further than The Better Cheddar. With more than 4,000 items, The Better Cheddar has one of the largest collections of artisanal American cheeses in the country. Kansas City cheese lovers on both sides of the state line can browse selections at stores on the Country Club Plaza and at Prairie Village Shopping Center.

604 W. 48th St., Kansas City, Mo.

thebettercheddar.com

 

#20 Best Ice Cream
 Sheridan’s

Concretes and sundaes and milkshakes, oh my! Frozen custard lovers, new and old, line up at Sheridan’s for a taste of the best. Quality ingredients and top-of-the-line machinery make this shop unique. Founder Jim Sheridan spent eight years researching how to make the best frozen custard before opening his first store. One bite of the smooth, creamy, cold confection and you will know why Sheridan's took top honors.

 

11 Kansas City area locations

sheridansfrozencustard.com

 

#21 Best Gourmet Food Shop

 Dean & Deluca

From oil and vinegar to charcuterie, breads and sweet treats, the shelves of Dean & Deluca offer an unending selection of gourmet foods. Shoppers further delight in Dean & Deluca's catering service, its array of colorful and delicious bakery pastries, and the Midwestern twist the company brings to traditional comfort foods, emanating luxury with a hometown feel.

4700 W.  119th St., Leawood, Kan.

deananddeluca.com

 

#22 Best Bakery for Treats
 Andre’s Bakery

Andre’s is the perfect treat for a special occasion, or any occasion, for that matter. This Swiss bakery offers selections of elegant chocolate candies, tortes, cookies and other specialty items that will satisfy any serious sweet tooth.
 

Kansas City, Mo., and Leawood, Kan.

andreschocolates.com

 

#23 Best Bakery for Bread

 Great Harvest Bread Company

Great Harvest Bread Company knows how to please its loyal customers. Fresh bread is baked daily in a variety of alternating flavors to delight the senses. Cinnamon chip, Swiss cheese and sourdough aromas may fill the store in the same day. The magic of bread-making is on display for customers through bakery tours. Indulge in a carb lover’s dream with a sweet treat like cookies, cinnamon rolls or blondies.

4002 W. 83rd St., Prairie Village, Kan.

bestfreadinkc.com

 

#24 Best Caterer
 Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions

The award-winning Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions provides exceptional food and drink selections, handcrafted from scratch for your event. They coordinate delicious food items for corporate functions, lunches and private meals. Tasty and impeccable, Lon Lane's presentations will always leave your guests satisfied.

6306 Morningside Dr., Kansas City, Mo.
inspiredoccasionskc.com


 

#25 Best Chef

 Michael Smith

Smith’s taste for good food breathed new life into the menu of The American Restaurant in 1994. His fresh and simple style, combined with his extensive French training, garnered him accolades and an eager following. Smith co-founded the bistro Forty Sardines, is the owner of Tapas and Extra Virgin, and consults for SPIN! pizza. He ranks among the nation’s most recognized and respected chefs while managing to stay an active community member with fundraising dinners and local seminars.

michaelsmithkc.com

 

#26 Best Sommelier
 Doug Frost

Frost is one of three individuals in the world to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles. He is a wine master, consultant, the host of "Check Please!" for KC Public TV and the author of three books. Frost is also the wine and spirits consultant for United Airlines.

dougfrost.com
 

#27 Best Pastry Chef

 Carter Holton at Sasha’s Bakery

While a student at St. Thomas Aquinas, Holton worked at Le Fou Frog as a pastry chef, and later returned to reinstate the position after graduating as valedictorian from The Culinary Institute of America. Holton also taught at The Arts Institute International Kansas City and has appeared on and won the Food Network Cake Challenge, as well as received multiple first-place prizes at the Oklahoma State Sugar Show. He currently lives the sweet life working at Sasha’s Baking Co.

105 W. 9th St., Kansas City, Mo.

sashasbakingco.com


#28 Best Day Spa
 Sunlight Day Spa

Sunlight Day Spa

An afternoon at Sunlight Day Spa is like a mini vacation. Enjoy a variety of treatments, including infrared sauna therapy and massage therapy. The spa offers body and skin care treatments, as well as specialty treatments for men. Divine food and wine, along with Sunlight’s peaceful décor and attentive and friendly staff makes this spa KC’s best.
 

7373 W. 107th St., Overland Park, Kan.

sunlightdayspa.com

 

#29 Best Fitness Facility

 Lifetime Fitness

Personal trainers, group fitness classes and sports teams — all this and more is available at Kansas City’s top fitness facility. Lifetime members enjoy a combined fitness, resort and spa atmosphere coupled with 24/7 access to equipment. Specialized programs can be designed by a motivational team member to help with weight loss or other fitness goals. A child center and kid’s summer camps garner “thumbs up” from members.

6800 W. 138th St., Overland Park, Kan.

lifetimefitness.com

 

#30 Best Massage
Ruby Briggs @ Par Exsalonce

Ruby is friendly, professional and efficient. Her massages are the ultimate path to relaxation and help improve clients' function of muscles and joints, increase energy levels and improve circulation. Par Exsalonce provides a relaxing environment in which to unwind and refresh body and mind.
 

11849 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.

parexsalonce.com

 

#31 Best Closet Organizers (Tie)

 California Closets and Eliza Cantlay with Simplicana

Somehow your home’s excess clutter has wound up in the closet, and after years of letting the piles build, California Closets and Eliza Cantlay are here to help KC “keepers” decide what to do with their stuff. California Closets has been in business for three decades creating custom storage solutions for clutter, while Cantlay’s Simplicana specializes in organization and maintenance for all that stuff. These companies tie for helping KC stay organized.

californiaclosets.com

(888) 336-9707

simplicana.com

(913) 815-0008

 

#32 Best Hair Salon
Bijin Salon & Spa

Bijin is a modern and sophisticated salon with industry leaders on staff.  Stylists create the ideal cut for your face shape, lifestyle, image and maintenance goals. Included in your service are a stress-relieving scalp massage, shampoo and a stylish blowout. Get ready to love the new you.
 

6960 Mission Ln., Prairie Village, Kan.

bijinsalon.com

 

#33 Best Landscape and Design Company

Summit Lawn and Landscape

 The Midwest is lucky to have wide open spaces and room to move, but maintaining that space is critical. Summit Lawn and Landscape hires employees with university experience, specialized training and certification in the industry’s leading standards in order to provide the best lawn care, landscape design and lighting for your home. Whether a new patio, a fireplace, tree planting, maintenance or even bringing a kitchen outdoors, Summit offers "peak" lawn care.

12020 Grandview Rd., Grandview, Mo.

summitlawn.com

 

#34 Best Yoga Studio
 Yoga Gallery

Located in historic downtown Overland Park, Yoga Gallery offers more than 30 classes in a beautiful and peaceful studio. The expert teachers lead those of any experience and fitness level in calm and spacious classrooms. A class at Yoga Gallery is a workout that will leave you feeling refreshed.

7941 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, Kan.

yogagallery.com

 

#35 Best Facial/Eyebrows

 Sunlight Day Spa

When out and about you always want to look your best, and an essential part is, well, your face. Not only do people notice a happy smile, but also a great facial and eyebrows will complement your features and add to your natural beauty, providing yet another reason to smile. See what the rest of KC is talking about at Sunlight Day Spa.

7373 W. 107th St., Overland Park, Kan.

sunlightdayspa.com

 

#36 Best Blowout
Parlor Salon

 

Parlor

Kansas City’s first blow-dry and beauty bar helps clients get ready for a special occasion, a night out or just enjoy a bit of relaxation. Appointments to wash, blow-dry and style last about 30 minutes and start at $35. On Thursdays and Fridays, Happy Hour Blowouts let you primp for the weekend, and on Saturdays, shop while enjoying a muffin and sipping mimosas.

Two Kansas City area locations

parlorkc.com

 

#37 Best Tailor

 Kim’s Tailor

When the suit and pants from last year don’t fit quite right or the sundress is just a little too long, there’s no need to throw away when the right alterations can make all the difference. Talented seamstresses at Kim’s Tailor are proficient at repairing your old hoofers or taking in and letting out clothes in just the right places. Kim’s Tailor sews the perfect fit for any occasion. 

4872 W. 119th St., Leawood, Kan.

(913) 451-2727

 

#38 Best Shoe Repair
 Shoe Express in Corinth Square

Located in the friendly neighborhood shopping center at Corinth Square, this shop helps you put your best foot forward. The reliable staff will repair and shine your shoes to perfection. A customer’s satisfaction is their top priority, landing this repair shop a top spot on our list.

4135 Somerset Dr., Prairie Village, Kan.
corinthsquare.com

 

#39 Best Mani/Pedi

 Nathan Kieu @ Solera Salon (OP)

Just like any salon service, when you find that go-to person who best knows you and what you need, you stick with him or her (sometimes through several moves). Here in Kansas City, the finest mani/pedi go-to guru around is found within the new Solera Salon and Spa in Overland Park. In suite 124, Kieu provides his professional services through his own business, “Natural Nails by Nathan Kieu.” Whether you like a bold color or a relaxed shade, you’ll be walking on air by the time you leave.

12020 Blue Valley Pkwy., Overland Park, Kan.

solerasalon.com

 

#40 Best Beer Bar
 The Bier Station

This is the Midwest’s first craft beer tasting bar and bottle shop.

Beer enthusiasts and newbies alike can enjoy some of the 28 continually rotating taps. Or try one of the hundreds of packaged beers.

The relaxed vibe makes it a good place to hang out, have a few snacks and try a few exceptional beers. Whether it's a classic lager, pils or ale, the wide selection ensures there is a perfect cold one for everyone.


120 E. Gregory Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo.
bierstation.com

 

#41 Best Craft Cocktail

 Manifesto

Though the lounge atmosphere is relaxed, Manifesto bar takes its mixology seriously. The labor-intensive approach taken at Manifesto is what has earned it the best craft cocktail honors in KC. The drink menu also features distinguished classics, original recipes and seasonal pleasures. The intimate seating encourages a reservation via text or call, but walk-ins are just as welcome.

1924 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

theriegerkc.com/manifesto

 

#42 Best Place to Eat After Midnight
 Town Topic

Since 1937, Town Topic has been selling some of America’s best hamburgers. Whether ordering an old-fashioned patty melt or a hand-dipped malt, this “town topic” will have you craving it again and again — which isn’t a problem because it’s open 24 hours. 

2021 Broadway St., Kansas City, Mo.

towntopic.com
 

 

#43 Best Karaoke

Red Balloon

No matter what type of voice you’ve got, everyone has a chance to belt out a favorite tune at Kansas City’s best karaoke bar, The Red Balloon. A popular spot for office events, birthdays and other gatherings, this karaoke bar offers up a good time for both professionals and amateurs looking for fun. When not skimming the large songbook, enjoy drinks, play pool and try your arm at darts.

10325 W. 75th St., Shawnee, Kan.

(913) 962-2330

 

#44 Best Live Music
Sprint Center

The Sprint Center is Kansas City’s go-to for sports, concerts, family shows and special events. This year, the arena has scheduled performances by Kings of Leon, Cher, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull.

1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
sprintcenter.com

 

#45 Best Dance Hall

Kanza Hall at One Block South

Dancing the night away is a definite possibility for many resident night owls. Open until 2 a.m., Kanza Hall is equipped with a full bar, booths, pool tables, and of course an awesome dance floor. This music venue focuses on new and old country and rock but is open to all genres. Colored lights illuminate the dance floor and make this a hot spot for every toe-tapper. 

7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kan.

oneblocksouthkc.com

 

#46 Best Hotel Bar
The Rosso at Hotel Sorella

Located on the Country Club Plaza, the sophisticated, upscale hotel features supreme drinking and dining spaces, a full bar, an exciting menu, a large pool terrace and a rooftop inspired by a hill town in Italy. The Rosso is the ideal spot for celebrations, networking and for making or joining friends.

901 W. 48th Pl., Kansas City, Mo.
hotelsorella-countryclubplaza.com

 

#47 Best Bar with a View

 The Oak Room at the InterContinental Hotel

With a comprehensive collection of spirits and a world-class selection of wines, the Oak Room just off the hotel lobby is the perfect cap to your evening of fun. Live music on weekends combined with warm fireplaces, light appetizers and the Country Club Plaza ambience add to the grandeur.

401 Ward Pkwy., Kansas City, Mo.

kansascityic.com

 

#48 Best Bar With Games
Pinstripes

The Italian American bistro in the new Prairiefire complex is the perfect spot for dining and entertainment. Whether you stop by for lunch, dinner or a private party, the bowling and bocce marvel is a destination to stay and play. On weekends, this venue jives with live blues and jazz.

13500 Nall Ave., Overland Park, Kan.

pinstripes.com
 

 

#49 Best Patio

 Gram & Dun

The owners and staff at Gram & Dun make it a welcoming place where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a modern environment on the best patio in town. Lovers of fine dining can relax and enjoy while this American gastropub serves up delicious food, neighborly vibes and the perfect libations to pair with your meal. The best patio in KC offers a view of the magnificent Plaza and lets friends make new friends at this enticing photo-worthy landmark.

600 Ward Pkwy., Kansas City, Mo.

gramanddun.com

 

#50 Best Gay Bar
Missie B’s

Missie B’s is the most popular drag bar and female impersonation spot in KC. With hilarious shows, dancing and affordable drinks, it is a must-go for anyone looking to have a good time out. They also have karaoke nights and a DJ upstairs. Stop by the ATM on your way there because this bar is cash only.

805 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Mo.

missiebs.com

 

#51 Best Bartender

 Berto Santoro at Extra Virgin

The first sip of a well-made drink and the satisfaction of a guest is Santoro’s favorite part of the job. Santoro mixes up concoctions and designs incredible cocktails as the bar manager and head barman at Extra Virgin restaurant in Kansas City, Mo. He enjoys working with barrel-aged cocktails and infusions, finding that making drinks in-house creates a more real and local experience. For a fun night out, sample Santoro’s winning martini and cocktails. 

1900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

extravirginkc.com

 

#52 Best Men’s Clothier, Dressy
Halls

The world-renowned specialty store has always been the first with the best. Halls’ innovative shopping environment and superior customer service earns it the top spot on our list. Specializing in trend-setting designs and carrying exclusive brands, it's a must for men’s shopping.

Opening September 2014 at 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

(816) 274-3908
 

 

#53 Best Men’s Clothier, Casual

 Baldwin Denim

Founded in 2009, Baldwin Denim is a KC-based clothing and lifestyle brand whose modern designs, quality fabrics and American manufacturing make it a hometown winner. Men wanting to look good at a moment’s notice need tread no further than Baldwin Denim for comfortable but stylish denim, knitwear, shirts, shorts and the very dashing “KC Hat” snapback.

340 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo.

baldwindenim.com

 

#54 Best Boutique to Follow on Instagram
StandardStyle

The designer women’s clothing boutique and fashion blog updates its  Instagram daily with the most adorable clothes and trends. You’ll have serious fashion envy looking at the outfits they put together featuring their merchandise from top designers such as Theory, Rag and Bone, Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff and Diane von Furstenberg.
 

451 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo.

standardstyle.com

 

#55 Best Women’s Clothing, Designer Label

 Nordstrom

For a night on the town, many women start at Nordstrom to find the best women’s designer clothing. From contemporary to wedding, plus-size to petite, Nordstrom offers every KC woman the look she wants. The latest arrivals of the fashion world’s creations get even better with designer-specified sales and other deals.

Two Kansas City area locations.

shop.nordstrom.com

 

#56 Best Women’s Clothing, Casual
Trendz

A fun shop that has many boutiques under one roof, Trendz houses one-of-a-kind merchandise from local boutiques that specialize in fashion, accessories, kids, home and gifts, and beauty. Which means you can find a bit of everything for every occasion.

5405 W. 151st St., Overland Park, Kan.
trendzmarket.com

 

#57 Best Modern Furniture Store

 Crate & Barrel

The trendiest furnishings are available at KC’s Crate & Barrel. This favorite retailer combines quality and affordability to create accoutrements that are poised and perfected for every room. Completely remaking any room in the house, designing a new office, or simply changing the mood and feel of any space can be accomplished with C&B’s wide variety of fixtures and designs.

4601 W. 119th St., Leawood, Kan.

crateandbarrel.com

 

#58 Best Gift Shop
StickSisters

Find the finest gifts for any occasion at StickSisters, a cozy chic shop featuring art furnishings and exclusive accents. Exploring the décor, jewelry, handbags, frames and more, you’re bound to find that perfect something for the loved ones in your life. To top it off, outstanding service will ensure your quick return.

5005 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kan.

sticksisters.com

 

#59 Best Shoe Store

 Nordstrom

 

Not exactly a best-kept secret, another reason KC loves Nordstrom is for its entire department dedicated to shoes. With designer label options for women, men, juniors and kids, one can choose from a variety of fashionable colors and styles. Be it athletic shoes for your next workout, slippers for the house, or sandals for the summer, KC’s feet need never go bare with such incredible footwear.

Two Kansas City area locations

shop.nordstrom.com

 

#60 Best Optical Shop
 Brookside Optical

Brookside Optical offers a unique and exciting selection of designer eyeglasses. The knowledgeable staff will help you find the ideal frame to complement your face shape in just the right color. Excellent service and quality product makes this shop KC’s favorite.


Three Kansas City area locations

Brooksideoptical.com

 

#61 Best Baby Gear

 Buy Buy Baby

BBB is KC’s latest fave as everyone and their mother flocks here for the trendiest baby gear. The unique selection of holiday merchandise and other seasonal items, combined with the adorable clothing and accessories for preemies, infants and toddlers, will have your cutie-pie voted best-dressed before you can say “Buy Buy Baby!"

12055 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan.

buybuybaby.com

 

#62 Best Kitchen Gadgets
Sur La Table

The perfect store for those who love to cook, Sur La Table offers cookware, cutlery, dinnerware, bakeware and cool gadgets. The shop even offers cooking classes. For beginners to pros, this shop will meet all your kitchen needs, and the attentive and engaging staff will have you cooking better than ever before.

430 Nichols Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

surlatable.com

 

#63 Best Hardware Store

Nuts and Bolts

This hardware store’s multiple KC locations make it tough to argue your way out of any project or fixer-upper goal you’ve had in mind. It’s not just nuts n’ bolts here; KC residents will also find a lawn care section to help spruce up the finer trimmings of their home or business. This store presents yet another reason to love Kansas City.

Three Kansas City area locations

Shopnutsandbolts.com

 

#64 Best Bedding
Scandia Home & Terrasi European Collections

Scandia Home offers the world’s finest selection of linens, bedding, down goods and organic mattresses. It is the go-to for luxury bedding. The classic,  stylish fabrics will not only transform your room, they will leave you drifting away to dreamland in ultimate comfort.

501 Nichols Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
terrasi.com

 

#65 Best Art Supply

Creative Coldsnow — Art Materials and Framing

Whether you are an engineer, ecologist, artist or designer, chances are you will find what you need at Creative Coldsnow. All Coldsnow employees study art or have art degrees, allowing them to give professional help to their wide array of customers. Family-owned and operated with over 30,000 items in stock, Coldsnow looks forward to serving KC’s art community for generations to come.

808 Westport Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

creativecoldsnow.com

10456 Metcalf Ave.

Overland Park, KS 66212

 

#66 Best Local Coffee Shop

 The Roasterie

To bring the greatest coffee to KC, the bean team traveled the world to find the best beans. Using an exclusive air-roasting process to release the most exquisite flavor from the beans, the end result is arguably the perfect cup of coffee. The downtown plant holds free tours where one can learn about the company’s coffee farming, air-roasting and cupping. The Roasterie also sells tea, coffee mugs, coffee equipment and gifts and its coffee is in espresso bars, coffeehouses, fine restaurants and high-end grocers throughout the city.

1204 W. 27th St., Kansas City, Mo.

theroasterie.com

 

 #67 Best Golf Course

 Ironhorse Golf Club

No two holes are alike at Ironhorse Golf Club, making it one of Kansas City’s most compelling layouts. Golfers must account for water and sand traps on every hole, providing a challenge at every turn. The high slopes and rolling landscape of trees give this course a tough design, adding to the importance of accuracy for duffers.

15400 Mission Rd., Leawood, Kan.

ironhorsegolf.com

 

#68 Best Tennis Facility

Woodside Racquet Club

A club for players of any level, the indoor and outdoor courts make play possible at any time of the year. Those experienced with the racquet can play to their heart’s content, while those with less experience can take lessons from an encouraging professional. After a game, rinse off in the locker room or enjoy the club's many amenities.
 
2000 W. 47th Pl., Westwood, Kan.

clubwoodside.com

 


#69 Best Hiking Trail

Tomahawk Creek Trail

You’ll find KC’s best hiking trail weaving through the suburbs of Overland Park and Leawood. This 12.7-mile trial has plenty to offer. Hikers may come across small wildlife while trekking along the heavily-wooded route. Nearby residents often use this peaceful getaway simply to travel to the commercial centers, athletic fields, parks or two golf courses that the trail passes.

opkansas.org

 

#70 Best Bike Trail

 Indian Creek Trail

 

Indian Creek Trail

This bike and hike trail is the perfect spot for a grueling workout or relaxing evening stroll. Nearly 17 miles long, the path is a spacious 10 feet wide and mile markers are listed every half-mile. The trail is generally flat, apart from a few brief steep grades. Leashed dogs are welcome and all non-motorized bikes are allowed.
 

opkansas.org

 

#71 Best Park for a Family Reunion

 Loose Park

The 75-acre Jacob L. Loose Park provides the perfect setting for a family reunion. Famous as the site for the Battle of Westport, where Confederate forces were routed by Union forces, Loose Park’s picnic shelters, playgrounds, tennis courts and trail are ideal for large family gatherings. Families may stroll through the elegant 1.5-acre rose garden, visit two historical memorials and view a Civil War cannon.

5200 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

kcparks.org

 

#72 Best Swimming Pool

Leawood Aqautic Center

Hot summer days find kids and adults alike can cooling off at Leawood Aquatic Center. The center features five separate swim areas, including a toddler-only pool. The pools are equipped with fountains, waterfalls, slides and diving boards. Aqua fitness classes are available, and an adult swim occurs every hour for 10 minutes. A concession stand is on site, and lifeguards are always on duty.


10601 Lee Blvd., Leawood, Kan.

leawood.org

 

#73 Best Outdoor Theater Venue

 Theatre in the Park (Shawnee Mission Park)

Theatre in the Park is a KC favorite and also the country’s largest outdoor community theater. In a picnic fashion, patrons bring blankets, food and lawn chairs to enjoy the park and scenery before the shows begin. Each year, the performances draw vast crowds from the greater KC area to experience the joy of live theater. Going into its 45th season in 2014, Theatre in the Park is sure to win “best in show” with local aficionados.

7710 Renner Rd., Shawnee, Kan.

theatreinthepark.com

 

#74 Best Doughnut

LaMar’s Donuts

Originally started in Kansas City, today there are 27 LaMar's locations in six states. The recipe hasn’t changed since 1933, and we are sure glad that it hasn’t. The flaky and perfectly soft dough topped with the sweet creamy glaze makes for Kansas City’s best doughnut. With more than 100 varieties available, these handmade and fresh-baked treats are the ultimate indulgence.

Nine Kansas City area locations

lamars.com

 

Editor's Picks

 

#1 Best Community Upgrade

Prairiefire

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and Prairiefire has definitely set things ablaze. Unveiled in May, this 60-acre mixed-used development has it all: villas, a museum, food, movies, shopping, entertainment, our attention, and now yours.

5750 W. 137th St., Overland Park, Kan.

visitprairiefire.com

 

#3 Best National Ranking

KC Tops The List Of High-Tech Cities To Call "Home"

In May, PC Magazine ranked Kansas City as the No. 1 high-tech city you’ll want to call "home" (as if we didn’t already know this!). As the original Google “Fiberhood” and current home to entrepreneurial spaces including KC Start-Up Village, KC is a technology hub and worthy of the hype.

pcmag.com

 

#4 Best Proud Bar Moments in 2014

(A) Port Fonda Among Best Bars In America

Recognized as one of the Best Bars in America in Food & Wine Magazine, and receiving a nod from The New York Times and USA Today, Port Fonda’s rustic décor, authentic Mexican flavors, contemporary twists and impressive list of tequilas and mezcals illustrate why it’s one of our faves.

4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

portfondakc.com

(B) Draft Magazine Ranks The Belfry As One Of The Nation’s Top New Beer Restaurants

As the years churn, Kansas City becomes more and more hailed for its ever-evolving culinary scene. The Belfry, Celina Tio’s third venture, is a restaurant that focuses heavily on beer pairings — 20 taps to choose from — with feel-good food. Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, newbie or an aficionado, there’s a place for you to gather at The Belfry.

1532 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

thebelfrylounge.com

 

#5 Best Latte Artist

Simeon Bricker, The Roasterie

Not just our pick, Simeon Bricker of the Roasterie is the U.S. Coffee Championship’s pick, too, for best latte art. Bricker nabbed first place in the national championship held in Seattle, displaying his precision and skill by artfully crafting a dancer, a phoenix rising from the ashes, and a seven-tiered tulip — all from milk foam.

uscoffeechampionships.org

 

#8 Best Chocolate

Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate

High on Food & Wine Magazine’s list of Best Chocolate in the U.S. is Christopher Elbow’s too-beautiful-to-be-eaten array of delicately and expertly designed chocolates. All hand-painted, the chocolates are smooth, seductive and come in creative flavors such as bananas foster, Russian tea, cherry pistachio, and fresh lemon.

1819 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.

elbowchocolates.com

 

#9 Best Fitness Bootcamp

Plunkett Fitness

Plunkett Fitness’ 3,000-square-foot facility, state-of-the-art equipment and training groups get our heart rates up. Specializing in weight loss, the facility employs weights to raise your metabolism and can customize workouts and nutrition plans just for you. All equipment is provided; all you need is water, a towel and lots of energy.

16140 Foster St., Overland Park, Kan.

plunkettfitness.com

 

#10 Best Toy Store

Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys offers thousands of quality toys and games that educate and entertain. Packed wall to wall, there’s a toy for the architect, scientist, explorer and more in every kid. Not exactly sold on a toy? Kids can try before the parents buy.

5601 W. 135th St. #2230, Overland Park, Kan.

fatbraintoys.com

 

#11 Best Flower Shop  

Sidelines Custom Floral Design, Inc.

 

Sidelines

Add a dash of color to your wedding or brighten any room with Sidelines’ fragrant designs for every occasion and need. Elegant, gorgeous and impeccably coordinated, their custom arrangements are perfect for bouquets or ceremonies and are always freshly made.

511 E. 135th St., Kansas City, Mo.

sidelineskc.com

 

#12 Best Stationery

Hammerpress Letter & Design Studio

 

Hammerpress

A letterpress print shop and design studio that calls the Crossroads Arts District home, Hammerpress makes a name for itself with its beautifully designed products. Ranging from letterpress cards and personalized stationery to show posters and unique prints, you’re sure to find a gift that fits any personality, even if they have to design it from scratch.

110 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

hammerpress.net

 

#13 Best New Sport

Bubble Soccer KC

Launch yourself in all directions with BubSoc, a hilarious take on soccer that involves oversized bubble suits. Surprisingly safe, you won’t be able to resist bursting into fits of laughter as your teammates ricochet off one another as they race down the field. The game is simple; score a goal. But it’s harder than you think! Bounce around with Bubble Soccer KC at pickup games from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday at This Park.

Oak and 47th Streets, Kansas City, Mo.

bubsoc.com

 

#14 Best Frozen Cocktail Bar

Snow & Co.

Made from fresh squeezed juices, handmade syrups and brand-name liquors, Snow & Co.’s artfully crafted cocktails are delicious to the last frozen drop. These arctic libations come in flavors such as Sunshine Boulevard, Purple Rain and Elbow’s Sexual Chocolate, and are offered in a single or double shot.

1815 Wyandotte Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

snowandcompany.com

Best of Happenings 2014

January

Each year since 1974, the Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas holds its annual Snow Ball. An evening of cocktails, formal dining and plenty of dancing, this soiree raises funds to help provide the most basic needs, such as food and utilities to children and families in the community.

catholiccharitieskc.org

 

February

The anticipated arrival of spring has the metro area preparing to bring out the best of our homes and gardens. Special guests and more than 3,000 exhibitors come out to the Johnson County Home and Garden Show to give us tips and tricks on mastering one’s kitchen and creating yard envy.

johnsoncountyhomeshow.com

 

March

A driving force in March, the Greater Kansas City International Auto Show features more than 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and minivans, and provides car enthusiasts with info, demonstrations, plus a peek into the technological advancements of the auto industry.

kcautoshow.com

 

April

Nothing says spring like the KCHBA’s Spring Parade of Homes. Builders roll out the welcome mat at extraordinary homes in the Kansas City area, and homebuyers and consumers follow the trail to learn about the newest trends and innovations in home design.

kchba.org

 

May

The largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest, Celebration at the Station is held at Union Station and brings patriotic classics performed by the Kansas City Symphony followed by an epic fireworks display.

Unionstation.org and kcsymphony.org

 

June

In the wilds of the Kansas City Zoo, the annual Jazzoo event is a fundraiser to benefit the KC Zoo and the Zoo Learning Fund. The event encourages you to bring out your wild side and enjoy food, drinks, and live entertainment.

jazzookc.org

 

July

There’s nothing like the aerial blossoms of fireworks at KC Riverfest and the Star-Spangled Spectacular. Double the celebrations creates double the wow.

kcriverfest.com and starspangledspectacular.org

 

August

The KC Irish Fest in Crown Center Square gives everyone the chance to be a wee bit Irish with entertainment, contests, comedy heritage exhibits and more in celebration of our city’s Irish heritage.

kcirishfest.com

 

September

A three-day celebration of the arts, the Plaza Art Fair features more than 240 artists from across the country. During the fair the Country Club Plaza foffers art, food from local restaurants, live music and community arts organizations. It’s art scene heaven.

countryclubplaza.com

 

October

The seductive sizzle of meat on the grill is the calling card of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue Championship weekend. The main course is more than 500 teams competing for trophies and grand champion titles. Other weekend events include cooking demonstrations, live music, a barbecue trade expo, a petting zoo and face painting for kids.

americanroyal.com

 

November

Every Kansas Citian knows that the Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Thanksgiving night is not only a tradition; it’s an all-day event. One of the oldest traditions in the city, tens of thousands gather for the annual flip of the switch that illuminates the Plaza in holiday cheer until January.

countryclubplaza.com

 

December

No holiday season would be complete without Todd Bolender’s “The Nutcracker” performed by the Kansas City Ballet. Accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, the story of Clara and her nutcracker comes to life and becomes a joyous celebration of winter and its enchantment.

kcballet.org