Kansas City's Best New Cheap Eats

39 budget-friendly bites to satisfy your cravings morning, noon and night.

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Dessert, Happy Hour, Late Night and Healthy Cheap Eats




Unicorn Ice Cream Westport Cheap Eats 435 Mag

Westport Ice Cream bakery / Clare Maples

   Unicorn Ice Cream

   Westport Ice Cream Bakery

   Cool down this summer with a huge scoop of frozen heaven from the newest darling of the ice cream scene. The small-batch, locally sourced, handcrafted ice cream from Westport Ice Cream Bakery commands respect from even the pickiest of ice cream devotees. With a rotating roster of crave-worthy flavors, you can try something experimental like the trendy Unicorn, a dangerously sweet treat with a pretty lavender hue. $3.93 per scoop. 4120 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 14, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 214-8887, icecreamkc.com


   Brioche Cinnamon Roll


   Along with the new and improved cinnamon roll, the newly opened Brioche in the Crossroads Arts District offers artisan classics like a variety of croissants, Danish, sticky buns, scones, pain au chocolat and more. Putting a new spin on traditional baked cinnamon flavored pastries, Brioche’s signature cinnamon roll has layers upon layers of flaky, golden pastry sweetened with a simple mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. $4. 2000 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 389-7512, briochekc.com


   Colossal Cookies

   Eileen's Colossal Cookies

   Forget the hassle of a frosted cake and go with a dozen cookies from Eileen’s Colossal Cookies for events. A dozen plain cookies is $5.25, but if you to jazz it up with a dozen frosted the cost is just $5.75. Sprinkled cookies are only 50 cents apiece at the discounted dozen price of $6. 925 W. Liberty Drive, Liberty, Mo., (816) 429-5150, eileenscookies.com

Insomnia Cookies Cheap Eats 435 Magazine

Insomnia Cookies 

   Dessert Delivery

   Insomnia Cookies

   Tossing and turning in bed because that sweet tooth won’t let you rest? One of two Insomnia Cookies locations can deliver a variety of sweet treats to your door into the wee hours of the morning. With one in Westport and the newest in the Power & Light District, the delivery area is limited to the Kansas City downtown and midtown areas. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and browse a glorious assortment of cookies, ice cream, brownies, cookie sandwiches and more. Deliveries available until 3 a.m. include jumbo deluxe cookies for $3 each and cookies and brownies for only $1.50. Two area locations, (877) 632-6654, insomniacookies.com 




Hot Popper Blue Sushi Sake Grill Cheap Eats 435 Magazine

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

   Hot Popper

   Blue Sushi Sake Grill

   There’s a rare occurrence in the world of happy hours where instead of a few lackluster menu items and dramatically reduced lunch portions, you find yourself with a wealth of options. Such is available at Westwood’s fast-casual sushi haven, Blue Sushi Sake Grill. We recommend the Hot Popper, an ode to jalapeño poppers that’s as vibrantly green as it is delicious. Diffuse the heat with a refreshing cucumber-infused Samurai Saketini.  $5.50. 4705 Rainbow Blvd., Westwood, Kan., (913) 236-6100, bluesushisakegrill.com


   Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps

   Boru Ramen Bar

Bōru’s happy hour menu is the best way to experience the eatery’s Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese influences with bites like togarashi fried chicken and steamed pork belly baos ($4 and $5, respectively) and the bulgogi lettuce wraps, which are stacked with shaved rib-eye, house-made kimchi and spicy gochujang. For an enhanced spice, take on the chili-infused vodka and ginger beer cocktail, Fist of Fury. $6. 500 W. 75th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 541-3651, boruramen.com         


   Tater Tots

   The Rockhill Grille

   You can’t help but feel important inside this upscale American grill. After all, it’s lush and rustic with a glimmer of elegance, features beautiful views of downtown KC and is named for The Kansas City Star co-founder William Rockhill Nelson. Happy hour is offered daily, touting $2 off of draft beer, wine, cocktails and appetizers (sorry, folks: the deal excludes the irresistible pig wings). Midweek refuge can be found in the Local Water, made with J. Rieger & Co. gin, earl gray tea and elderflower tonic. Pair it with golden brown and gooey jalapeño cheese-filled house-made tater tots for a delicious after-work pick-me-up. $6. 2000 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 389-5800, therockhillgrille.com


   Tuna Tartare

   Stock Hill

   Here, happy hour is sophisticatedly known as “social hour,” and it won’t be hard to see why: elegant small bites like tuna tartare, made up of sushi rice “tots” daintily topped with salmon roe and spicy aioli complement the seductive ambiance of the self-proclaimed modern steakhouse. Indulge in the expertly crafted cocktails — we recommend the colorful Loose Park Swizzle — and the live music available three nights a week. The best part? You won’t break the bank while looking swank. $8. 4800 Main St., Suite G-001, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 895-8400, stockhillkc.com


   East Coast/ West Coast Oysters

  Eddie V's Prime Seafood

   Kansas City might be landlocked, but thanks to luxury seafood chain Eddie V’s and its freshly flown-in Atlantic and Pacific catches, you’re none the wiser for the length of your visit. Journeying across the country is just an order away with East and West Coast half-shell oysters, which are served on ice with cocktail and mignonette sauces. Enjoy them in the comfort of the swank lounge as you sway to the sounds of nightly live jazz — you deserve it. $2 to $3. 700 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 531-2537, eddiev.com




Trago Bar and Tapas

Trago Bar & Tapas / Anna Petrow

   Ceviche de Camaron 

   Trago Bar & Tapas

   While KC’s newest tapas bar isn’t strictly Spanish, its menu is sure to entertain the taste buds with flavors from Guatemala, Cuba and Costa Rica. Inspired by recipes passed down by owner Kandi Kerns’ late grandmother, dishes like ceviche de camarón (shrimp ceviche) will transport you to the tropics. Poached shrimp is marinated in orange and lime juices and combined with diced red onion, tomato, jalapeno and fresh cilantro atop a bed of fresh guacamole, $9. Pair it with a glass of sangria ($6) and good company on the cozy patio, and you’re in for a memorable night. Open until 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 9261 NE 83rd St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 429-8950, tragokc.com


   Denver Breakfast Burrito

   Neighborhood Cafe Waldo

   Lucky for you, the Waldo location of Neighborhood Café is open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays to cater to your late-night cravings. Breakfast is served all day, so take your pick from eggs Benedict, breakfast skillets, biscuits and gravy, three-egg omelets, waffles and more. Entrees like burgers, sandwiches and wraps are also up for grabs, but we recommend the Country Breakfast Burrito (ham, egg, green pepper, onion, cheese and hashbrowns) for your Saturday night fourth meal. $4.99. 7531 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 701-6981, neighborhoodcafe.com


   Pizza Slice

   Papa Keno's Westport

   Papa Keno’s is famous for its big-as-your-face pizza slices, and the Westport location will serve them to you until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Build your own slice with additional toppings for 69 cents each, or order one of the specialties, like the Mama Keno (roma tomato, spinach, feta, romano, roasted garlic), for $5.99 a slice. Everything is made to order, but once you’re served a box with a piping hot, cheesy slice inside, you’ll realize it was worth the wait. 415 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 599-4704, papakenoswestport.com


   Shirakawa Bowl

   Komatsu Ramen

   Westport’s Komatsu Ramen boasts one of the largest ramen shops with the most extensive menu in Kansas City. Choose from nearly 30 different bowls of ramen, like the Handa (smoked brisket, corn, butter, black garlic aioli, enoki mushrooms, scallions, egg) or the Shirakawa (pork belly, spinach, enoki mushrooms, cabbage, ginger, egg), all priced at just $10. Open until midnight on Sundays, 1:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 3951 Broadway Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 469-5336, komatsuramen.co


   Street Tacos

   La Terraza Mexican Bar & Grill

   La Terraza, a hidden gem in Shawnee, serves just nine different menu items, but the flavor and quality of the dishes certainly beat a midnight run to Taco Bell. The street tacos come in your choice of chicken, steak, pork or ground beef for just $1.50 each. Upgrade to shrimp for $1 more. The tacos are double wrapped and topped with the traditional onion and cilantro. Trust us: you’ll work up a hefty appetite after grooving on the dance floor to live music all night. Open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. 10923 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee, Kan., facebook.com/TerrazaShawnee


   Chicken Shawarma 

   Haha's Pizza Hub

   Haha’s in Midtown is the perfect ending to a Friday night out. While it may be tempting to order a slice of pizza, we recommend the chicken shawarma: tender slices of meat with lettuce, tomato and special sauce wrapped in a warm pita for $6.99. Open until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. 3834 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 709-1001




eat fit go cheap eats kansas city

eat fit go


   Just because money is tight doesn't mean you're stuck eating greasy burgers and fries. With the rise of lighter grab-and-go options there's no shortage of convenient and delicious meals that won't sabotage your diet or your budget. 

   Muscle Maker Grill focuses on creating healthier versions of classic dishes without sacrificing flavor, such as barbecue chicken wraps ($.8.49) and Cajun chicken and penne ($9.99). Choose from low-carb meals, vegetarian dishes, salads, sandwiches and more. No time for meal prep? Order MMG’s Lean Meal Plan, starting at $39.99 for five meals. 14967 W. 119th St., Olathe, Kan., (913) 538-5253, musclemakergrill.com

   Snap a pic and dig into the Instagrammable Acai Bowl ($7.99 to $12.99) at Protein House. Dubbed the best, healthiest breakfast for its main ingredient, the superfood acai berry, Protein House has five varieties with toppings like pineapple, bananas, coconut flakes, strawberries and more. Protein House has everything from bison burgers to and breakfast burritos to vegan salads and protein smoothies to keep your fitness goals on track. 1345 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 205-8484, protein-house.com   

   Known for helping those with auto-immune disease by reducing inflammation, the Paleo diet is a lifestyle plan that’s here to stay. The pre-prepared meals and juices by Evolve Paleo Chef can take the guesswork out of the complex dietary restrictions for people with health complications. With an assortment of paleo meals a la carte, the stress and confusion of “is this paleo?” is erased. A la carte options range from $1.50 to $11. Meal plans start at $99. Two area locations, evolvepaleochef.com

   If you don’t have the time to cook healthy, balanced meals, stop by Eat Fit Go for its chef-driven, health-conscious selections. Eat a light lunch on-location, take your meal to go, or get an entire week’s worth of food with the Perfect Week Plan: five breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and protein bars for $149. Choose from delicious meals such as breakfast tacos, chicken enchiladas, teriyaki salmon and more. Four area locations, eatfitgo.com