Breakfast Is Served



Last fall we asked 435 magazine Facebook fans, “What’s your favorite breakfast spot in Kansas City?” Judging by the overwhelming response, one thing was clear — people are passionate about a good breakfast spread and Kansas City has no shortage of mouth-watering options. Seven months in the making and mountains of biscuits, dozens of stacks of pancakes and at least 10 pounds later, we bring you our most favorite places to rise and shine!

 

Rye
Colby and Megan Garrelts have done it again. After tremendous success with Bluestem in Westport, the James Beard Award-nominated chefs have moved south, investing several years of planning into a comfort food concept they call “progressive American.” Based on the consistent crowds, their plan seems to be paying off.

The ambiance at the new Mission Farms location thoughtfully carries through with the concept of the down-home dining of your childhood. Distressed wood, ambient lighting, blue-and-white checkered table cloths, mason jar glassware and old-fashioned dinnerware all set the stage for the memorable culinary delights created by this dynamic couple.

Many local ingredients are sourced, including produce from their own family farm. Rye’s eggs Benedict is simply the finest in KC. It’s tricky to get hollandaise sauce just right, and they do it extraordinarily well. The farm-fresh bacon, gently poached egg atop a perfectly crisped English muffin makes it an unbeatable dish. The house special was a farm-fresh omelet: a comforting dish of Salmon, cream cheese and capers served alongside diced fried potatoes prepared with sautéed onions and green pepper — exactly like my grandmother used to make.

Megan’s talent as one of Kansas City’s finest pastry chefs is on display at the pastry table that takes center stage in the middle of the dining room. It is a feast for the carboholic featuring muffins, scones and an assortment of beautiful breakfast pastry heaven.

Rye
10551 Mission Road
Leawood, Kan.
(913) 642-5800
ryekc.com

4 Most Bountiful Buffets

The Bristol
There are several stations throughout the restaurant during Sunday brunch: the carving station, where you’ll find outstanding prime rib and a horseradish cream preparation; an omelet station with a chef ready to serve your preferences; and a made-to-order Belgian waffle station that comes with the traditional maple service and the Bristol’s famous creamy honey butter. There’s also a cold seafood display featuring the best variety of fresh seafood in Kansas City. You’ll find several tables stocked with many of the restaurant’s favorite dinner menu items such as the lobster mac and cheese, crab soufflé and more than a dozen other items.
Cost: $23 per person, $13 for kids 12 and younger
The Bristol
51 E. 14th St.
Kansas City, Mo.


5400 W. 119th St.
Leawood, Kan.
(913) 663-5777
bristolseafoodgrill.com

Gaslight Grill
Many breakfast buffets serve roast barron of beef carved to order, but you won’t find that at the Gaslight Grill. Owner Dick Hawk is proud to serve only the finest prime rib. The buffet is extensive, including good-sized peel-and-eat shrimp. Smoothies made with fresh pineapple, watermelon, orange juice and grape puree then run through a seive are a huge hit with both adults and kids. There is a full-service omelet and waffle bar and freshly prepared eggs Benedict served at your table for a small upcharge.
Gaslight Grill
5020 W. 137th St. 
Leawood, Kan.
(913) 897-3540

gaslightgrill.com

Paulo & Bill
This Italian bistro just off Interstate 435 in Shawnee is a neighborhood favorite for brunch. Owner Jim Marks has created a buffet chock-full of traditional favorites including carved prime rib and ham, customized waffles and pancakes, and biscuits and gravy. But what makes this place unique are the Italian classics such as the signature smoked provolone scalloped potatoes, cilantro shrimp salad and chicken piccata. Plus, kids and adults alike enjoy the flowing chocolate fountain stocked with plenty of dipping tidbits.
16501 Midland Drive
Shawnee, Kan.
(913) 962-9900
pauloandbill.com

Nick & Jake’s
This popular neighborhood establishment usually has a waitlist most Sundays. It’s easy to see why, beginning with an over-the-top sweets bar. We counted 18 desserts including fresh-baked cinnamon rolls slathered with sweet cream icing and pull-apart bread pudding served with fresh berries. There is an impressive line-up of fresh baked cookies, muffins and brownies, and a wide variety of seasonal fruits. The peeled shrimp is unlimited and the Southwest-style eggs Benedict have a nice kick. You’ll also find chicken fried steak, fresh breads, smoked salmon, hot wings and French toast.
Cost: $18, includes a non-alcoholic beverage,
          so a very good value comparatively.
Tip: try a Bloody Mary, Greyhound or mimosa —
          all guaranteed to make you smile.
Nick & Jake’s
6830 W. 135th St.
Overland Park, Kan.
(913) 681-8535
nickandjakes.com

 

119th  Street Diner
39th Street Bevco's fairly new 119th Street Diner (opened in 2012) is fast becoming a Johnson County breakfast favorite. With a plentiful menu featuring 19 different types of eggs Benedict, this colorful diner wants to win your heart with its something-for-everyone breakfast fare.

Now in its second year of business and open early (7 a.m.), the cheery eatery has earned a rightful spot at the top of our list, too. The bacon is delectably crisp, the coffee well-balanced and the service outstanding. Try the eggs framboise — a combination of sour-cream pancakes, poached eggs and a creamy hollandaise sauce drizzled with raspberry puree; an interesting preparation that works very well.

119th Street Diner
14178 W. 119th St.
Olathe, Kan.
(913) 261-8188
119thstreetdiner.com

 

Westport Cafe
We love the complimentary bellini mimosa, Bloody Mary, coffee or soft drink with every breakfast. What’s not to love about that friendly gesture? Tip: don’t pass on the cocktail as the Westport Café does cocktails very well.

The servers in this French-inspired bistro are friendly and happy to explain options and make recommendations. The menu is simple, as in not so many options that it’s hard to choose, but rather, sophisticated with innovative brunch items such as the Norwegian Benedict or the sinfully delicious brioche French toast with lavender cream — so rich and satisfying.

If you’re into a lazy Sunday with delicious gourmet food, this historic Westport eatery is worth your consideration. Brunch is served seven days a week. Do try the mini scones or take home a few to savor later. They are pastry perfection.

Westport Cafe
419 Westport Road
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 931-4740
westportcafeandbar.com

 

First Watch
Drive by one of 11 First Watch locations on a weekend morning and you’ll likely see a crowd gathering outside. Don’t let that deter you; seating usually occurs within 10 to 15 minutes because the efficiencies of this beloved breakfast and lunch eatery are impressive. It’s a go-to spot for healthier fare, as well as your classic two-scrambled-eggs-and-toast platter.

The most popular healthy food item, the Tri-Athlete, is an egg-white omelet made with vegetables, kicked up a notch with mild salsa on top and served alongside mixed fruit and dry English muffin. The Health-Nut pancakes feature whole-wheat flour. Bubba’s Benny is eggs atop biscuits and turkey sausage gravy — not terribly healthy but still a savory favorite.

Multigrain pancakes can be customized with a variety of additions such as blueberries, bananas, nuts and chocolate chips.

Voted No. 1 by 435 magazine readers in 2012, this tried-and-true favorite continues to satisfy and a new location was recently opened at 151st and Metcalf.

First Watch
11 locations throughout Kansas City
firstwatch.com

 

Eggtc.
The unpretentious, breakfast-only spot can get pretty crowded on the weekend so be prepared for a short 10- to 15-minute wait. 

But, once you’re seated, you’ll see why so many others want to be there, too. With extraordinary food and eager service staff, Eggtc. is a remarkable Kansas City breakfast treasure. The eggs Benedict (regular and Florentine) is served atop an Entemann’s English muffin — in my mind, there is no finer muffin. Don’t expect fancy décor but excellent food in plentiful quantity at reasonable prices.
 

Eggtc.
5107 Main St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 561-0116


7182 Renner Road
Shawnee, Kan.
(913) 631-4400
eggtckc.com

Morning Pastries

Looking for a quick, portable breakfast option? You can’t go wrong with one of these popular pastries.

Kolache Factory’s Sausage,
Egg and Cheese Kolache

The Kolache Factory has many breakfast options, but the sausage, egg and cheese kolaches are the highlight. The Slavic pillows of soft, doughy pastry filled with a generous portion of sausage, egg and cheese nestled in the center are addictive. These unique morning eye-openers are perfectly crisp on the exterior with a soft, flaky interior. If you find yourself on the run, Kolache’s team is fast, and the kolaches satisfying and delicious.

Andre’s Confiserie
Suisse’s Apple Puff Pastry

Andre’s has maintained a distinguished reputation throughout the bakery industry for more than 57 years. Andre’s apple puff pastry is a heavenly morning treat and a great example of a well-developed recipe. This pastry starts with tenderly cooked apples surrounded by flaky cinnamon puff pastry. It is not tooth-achingly sweet but a high-quality confectioner’s dream.

Best Regards Bakery’s Cinnamon Roll
Any of Best Regards Bakery’s sweet morning pastries will satisfy, but the signature house-made cinnamon roll is one of the best options. It is buttery with cinnamon sprinkled between layers of dough that are coiled up. The treat is then smothered with gooey sweet icing. It goes perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee and plenty of napkins.

Dean & Deluca’s Blueberry Muffin
The blueberry muffin from Dean & Deluca is a crave-worthy, oversized treat. It’s perfectly sweet, not too crumbly and has a generous quantity of blueberries. Pair it with house-blend coffee and the most fascinating people-watching in Johnson County, and your day is off to a delightful start.

Parisi’s Goat Cheese and Fig Croissant
If you are a fan of flaky breakfast pastries with a French flare, look no further than the goat cheese and fig croissant at Parisi. A huge triangle of crisp, buttery dough folded over sweet and savory filling in the shape of an elongated crescent results in a satisfying pasty that’s just the right balance.
 

The Beer Kitchen
Casual sports-themed bar meets gourmet food is the order of the day at the Beer Kitchen. Would you like a Bloody Mary with your omelet? This is the perfect place for that. On any given Sunday, you’ll find a packed house of jersey-wearing regulars gazing at dozens of big screens throughout. Don’t let the atmosphere fool you. 

There is serious cooking going on in this kitchen.We recommend the bread pudding French toast — a combination of cinnamon brioche fried slightly crisp, covered in bourbon syrup and sprinkled with salted pecans and apple wood bacon. Green eggs and ham, red velvet waffles and the signature eight-hour corned beef hash are also top menu items here. Bring a hearty appetite, as portions are extra large.

The Beer Kitchen
435 Westport Road
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 389-4180
beerkitchenkc.com

 

The  Farmhouse
The Farmhouse fits right into the hip River Market community with its earthy-meets-artsy look and feel. It is kitty-corner from the City Market, which works well into a lazy Sunday morning agenda that begins with an amazing breakfast followed by a stroll through the iconic square.

Owner and head chef Michael Foust has developed a farm-to-table foodie’s dream come true with inventive selections that change so often he doesn’t even try to print a menu.

Instead you’ll find jumbo chalkboards in several locations with fresh menu-of-the-day options. Foust is proud to serve locally farmed, in-house butchering and green-centered, whole-foods cooking. Chemicals are forbidden in this pristine environment, so no artificial sweeteners here where coffee is freshly pressed at your table.

The relatively young restaurant (opened in 2009) has something to soothe the hungry soul with love and thoughtfulness infused into every morsel of food. We tried bruleéd (broiled with sugar on top) grapefruit as an appetizer followed by pork Scotch egg, which is a sausage stuffed with duck egg, battered and fried with hollandaise sauce. Other interesting items were pumpkin flapjacks and traditional corned beef hash, and steak and eggs served with grits.

The Farmhouse
300 Delaware St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 569-6032
eatatthefarmhouse.com

 

Room 39
The focus is American fare that is seasonal, fresh and locally farmed. Boasting savory coffee that’s served in a variety of fashions from espresso to straight up, this charming café takes its service to the level of an art form combined with food that will knock your socks off. Room 39 is an obscure gem in the landscape of Kansas City; both locations are modestly sized and understated.

The inventive menu includes the establishment’s most popular dish: bacon and hash. Also popular are the goat-cheese pancakes and salmon scramble — all rave-worthy.  Be sure to spend a little time at the elegant bar manned by one of the friendliest bartenders in town. Enjoy a “hair of the dog” craft cocktail prepared by an entertaining and knowledgeable mixologist.

Room 39
10561 Mission Road
Leawood, Kan.
(913) 648-7639


1719 W. 39th St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 753-3939
rm39.com

The Big Biscuit
A large sign hanging over the bar reads “Biscuits are good. Big biscuits are better.” and that slogan is the river that runs through this place. Just about every dish on the menu is served in large portions and usually with a giant-sized biscuit on the side, if not as the main ingredient. The Big Biscuit Ben-Yay is a good-sized plate piled high with sliced jumbo biscuits dipped in French toast batter, fried to a perfectly crispy outside, fluffy-on-the-inside perfection, then drizzled with heavenly caramel sauce and a dusting of powdered sugar with a handful of pecans tossed on top — decadent and divine.

There is nothing pretentious about this casual spot. You will find a pleasant wait staff and breakfast like you’d expect from a southern-style restaurant. Our welcoming server, Will, who generally mans the breakfast bar of the Prairie Village location, welcomed us with a great big smile. We soon learned he is as passionate about Big Biscuits food as he is about sports. Lucky for Will, there are plenty of big screens to keep up with Sunday games. He strongly recommends newcomers try the “Mayberry” as a good sampling of what The Big Biscuit does best: biscuits, gravy, cheesy scrambled eggs with sausage and your choice of potatoes in a variety of preparations.

The Big Biscuit
Four locations throughout Kansas City
bigbiscuitrestaurant.com

Pig & Finch
Kansas City’s newest gastropub, Pig & Finch, has completely remodeled the space formerly known as Trezo Vino in Park Place. Perfectly situated at the busiest corner of the shopping district, this stately eatery provides an upscale breakfast experience in its elegant old English pub environment. Similar to its sister, 801 Chop House across the way, owner Jimmy Lynch has once again created the elegance that dark wood interiors with ambient lighting, granite counter tops and top-notch service delivers.

The focus here is on quality. From the thickest cuts of bacon, to farm-fresh ingredients and gourmet-style American food, this little pub rocks a delicious breakfast just as they do a great dinner. Try the signature brunch dish, which is two strips of generous bacon portions, two hearty sausage patties, eggs served to your liking and traditional comfort-food fried potatoes. Also recommended are the crabmeat omelet and Belgian nut waffle, and not to miss are the sinfully scrumptious fried doughnut holes. Dunked in the aromatic coffee, or a cup of piping hot tea, it’s like having dessert with your breakfast.

Pig & Finch
11570 Ash St.
Leawood, Kan.
(913) 322-7444
pigandfinch.com

 

HIPSTER HOTSPOTS

When taking a tour of the best breakfast spots in the city,
be sure to visit these trendy eateries that cater to the hippest of foodies.

You Say Tomato

You Say Tomato has earned a reputation for being a breakfast foodie mecca thanks to its artisan comfort foods menu crafted from purely local ingredients in an off-the-beaten path location. The vibe is low-key with the homey atmosphere of your grandmother’s kitchen circa 1960. With a cozy dining room space adjoined by a kitschy organic, local foods market and unlimited, self-serve Parisi coffee, it is easy to see why this place is revered by so many.

As you enter the understated establishment at the corner of 28th and Holmes streets, you’ll want to carefully study the whiteboard menu and prepare to order at the counter. You’ll find wait staff friendly and willing to assist.

The menu is compact and changes frequently but is reliably tasty. 

You Say Tomato
2801 Holmes St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 756-5097
ystkc.com

Succotash
The perky aquamarine-painted chairs, retro barstools and funky art give this place an alternative diner feel. The menu is varied and includes traditional, vegetarian and vegan items. Most popular are the inventive crab claw or wild mushroom Benedicts, but the lemon poppy seed French toast is a must-try, and you can’t go wrong ordering the wild mushroom omelet. You’ll find serving sizes are plentiful, with gluten-free pancakes that cover a 14-inch plate.

Do try a cotton candy cappuccino for a sweet variation on an old favorite.

Tip: the service at Succotash can be hit or miss, but that doesn’t prevent this colorful breakfast and brunch spot from packing them in on any given weekend. You can predictably expect a 20-minute wait, give or take.

All items are sourced locally and there is a full-service juice bar featuring healthy drinks such as the popular emerald green Lawnmower made with cucumbers, apples, spinach, parsley and lime.
Succotash
2601 Holmes St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 421-2807
succotashkc.com

Blue Bird Bistro
This farm-to-table restaurant boasts an all-organic, all-natural, sustainable, local menu. Eggs come from cage-free Campo Lindo Farms, the bacon is all-natural, the sausage is house-made and the drinking water is house-purified. Favorites include: ciabatta French toast served with pecan butter, the inventive sweet potato and granola pancakes served with pure maple syrup are also popular. The house-baked biscuits and gravy made with organic cream gravy with mushrooms and herbs are a flavor sensation, and you will find all portion sizes are perfect.

Though the charming two-story property at the corner of 17th and Summit streets is a converted residence, it fits the bill as a chic addition to its popular Westside locale.
Do expect a relaxed atmosphere with wait times that tend to be slightly longer. Plan to stay awhile and savor the full experience of this urban treasure. It’s not a place for those in a hurry to get somewhere else.

Blue Bird Bistro
1700 Summit St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 221-7559
bluebirdbistro.com

 

BEST COFFEE

Parisi Café
Randy Robbins, barista
Coffee philosophy: We try to be extremely intentional in everything we do here. We hand-brew our own coffee using French presses and pour-over techniques. There are no automated processes here. We pull shots manually and make all our own syrups and sauces paying attention to every detail in the making.

Favorite brew: Pour-over Ethiopian coffee. With pour-over coffee you can control a lot of the variables and brewing process. You can isolate the temperature and get the exact flavor characteristics you want from your coffee.

Trends: The movement is toward European coffee – smaller cups, less sweet additions with a focus on tasty espressos and such. People are beginning to seek straight coffee, with less interruption such as a cappuccino or latte without additives. Coffee is even more complex than wine and tasting coffee intentionally allows you to find hundreds of different flavor characteristic notes.

Take Five Coffee Bar
Brian james, barista
Philosophy: We make every drink just as good as the last and as good as the next. Each drink is made individually. We grind espresso freshly for each cup; it’s not pre-ground and we steam our milk individually. Every cup is made exactly to order, just the way you want.
Favorite Drink: Americano – Two shots of espresso and hot water.
Trends: Manual brewing methods such as pour-overs are becoming popular. We use ceramic cones and grind the coffee specifically for the size beverage you are ordering. We brew it right in front of you, one cup at a time. This brewing process has allowed more single-origin beans to come on the market. We’re selling more products from Kenya, Guatemala and Mexico. These are very different from the blends you buy in grocery stores.
Scooters
David Sanders, barista
Philosophy: The coffee philosophy is pretty simple at Scooters. It’s actually a sign on the door. “Amazing people, amazing drinks, amazingly fast.”
Favorite Drink: Iced latte, unflavored. I like the flavor of our espresso, so I don’t like to mess that up with a lot of sweeteners.
Trends: As the weather warms up we are seeing a lot more people ordering our iced drinks and a lot more of the blenders, which is sort of an ice cream-based, sweet coffee drink.
The Roasterie
Patrick Cook, barista
Philosophy: (Owner) Danny O’Neill’s philosophy is finding the best beans in the world and roasting them the best way possible, which is air-roasting and then getting them to the customer as quickly as possible so they don’t get stale. As for my personal philosophy, there are so many steps and factors that go into making a cup of coffee, so I focus on picking one of those steps and work on it every day until I feel it’s perfect.
Favorite Drink: The Tri Hita Karana from Bali. I bought a bunch of it for making pour-overs at home. The slower process makes a little milder extraction, which is better for the fruitier beans.
Trends: A move back to slower coffee. It’s not so much about getting a cup of drip in your hands. There’s a move away from darker roast. People are realizing there is a higher caffeine content in lighter-colored beans. We are seeing more boutique coffee shops that do just one thing and do it really, really well.