The Best of the Best: Kansas City Food & Drink

From Veggie Poke Bowls to Steaks Bigger Than Your Head, Here's How to Make Sure Every Bite is the Best

(page 1 of 7)



PORT FONDA Is there anything more glorious or crowd-pleasing than a pitcher of cold, refreshing, sweet-and-tart margaritas? Only when someone else is making it for you — with premium ingredients, of course. Westport’s Port Fonda offers a handful of variations on this tried-and-true classic (as seen here), but it’s the Roselle margarita — a ménage à trois between reposado tequila, orange liqueur and hibiscus — that has our hearts. One sip of this pink-drink and you’ll never go back.


Port Fonda Margarita




La Bodega Maybe it’s a little odd that the best mojito in town can be found at a Spanish tapas restaurant, but what can we say? We can’t argue with perfection. La Bodega’s mojito stays true to the traditional recipe: mint muddled with sugar and lime wedges, topped with rum and soda. What are you waiting for? Havana is calling.

Best Fancy “Cue”


Jack Stack Sometimes you want to eat your barbecue with actual utensils and use plates instead of butcher paper because sometimes the barbecue is so delicious it deserves the fine-dining treatment. Jack Stack shows Kansas City barbecue the respect it deserves by showcasing it in restaurants that are elegant and staffed with attentive servers ready to share the love of great barbecue. Almost as good as the meats are the selection of sides ­— cheesy corn bake anyone?




Best Hangover Cure Restaurant


ABC Café If you’re not looking for it, ABC Café — nestled into a small Overland Park strip-mall — is easy to miss. Husband-and-wife team Jackie Lee and Cindy Cheung opened their shop in 2010, intending to fill the traditional dim sum and Cantonese cuisine-sized gap in the local dining scene. Mercifully, their excellent menu — which boasts wontons, steamed buns, dumplings and all the usual suspects, in addition to spicy XO chicken wings and fried shrimp-and-cream-cheese rolls — is also the perfect cure for the critically hungover. Your dollar goes a long way here; prepare to feast for less than $20, and service is quick and efficient, so you’re back on the couch in no time.



Ibis Bakery Is there anything better than the pure, simple pleasure you get out of a freshly baked loaf of bread? Ibis Bakery — with locations in Lenexa and the Crossroads — ensures that particular joy on a daily basis. This is artisan bread, baked the old-fashioned way. Grab a standard country bread, a seeded baguette or a fresh-milled rosemary heirloom polenta loaf — you can’t go wrong.


Ibis Bakery Bread

bread-ibis bakery, photo by katie currid

Best Burnt Ends


Joe’s Kansas City The burnt end is a temperamental diva. You have to handle it with care or else you’re going to get cubed beef jerky. Joe’s burnt ends have just the right crispy-goodness-on-the-outside to juicy-inner-core ratio that is pure Kansas City taste-bud nirvana