Morning Rituals - How Some Kansas City Culinary Stars Begin Their Day

Andrew Olson


Bar Manager, Rye Plaza 

FOOD: “I go to Happy Gillis a lot — that’s pretty high on my list and always on my radar. I really enjoy their breakfast sandwich quite a bit. I also go to Filling Station all the time and I get their Cadillac sandwich with sliced ham, Sriracha mayo and cheese. It’s awesome.” 

FUEL: “It depends on what neighborhood I’m in for coffee, but I love Quay Coffee in the River Market — that’s a place I’ll go out of my way for. I also go to Thou Mayest quite a bit, that’s a great place to get work done.”

“I love an Aperol Spritz — great grapefruit and rhubarb flavors. Also, the J. Rieger Caffe Amaro with tonic is pretty fire — there’s lots of citrus and orange from the tonic water and then baking spices and coffee from the amaro, and it’s an easy drink with low ABV.” 

Happy Gillis, 549 Gillis St, Kansas City, MO. (816) 471-3663. Quay Coffee, 412 Delaware St., Kansas City, MO. (816) 844-7829. Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters, 419 E. 18th St., Kansas City, MO. (816) 897-0505.


Co-owner and General Manager of Ca Va

FOOD: “I really like the Ibis pastries at Messenger Coffee Co. I think people don't realize they have food, and they have a really awesome avocado toast right now with a soft boiled egg on top and goat cheese and watermelon radishes, and they make a really nice hot sauce in house.” 

FUEL: “I always go out to get coffee. We usually go to Quay Coffee, which is in my neighborhood, but I also frequent Messenger and Oddly Correct. My go-to to is a double espresso to stay with a side of sparkling water, and an iced jasmine green tea to go.” 

SECRET MENU: “The haystack at Town Topic is my favorite go-to breakfast thing ever. It’s an off-menu item: You get their breakfast sandwich — an over-easy egg, sausage and cheese on wheat bread — and then it has their crispy hash browns in the sandwich. I add hot sauce, of course.”

Messenger Coffee Co. and Ibis Bakery, 1624 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO.  Town Topic, various locations.


Chef and Co-owner, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room 

FOOD: “Recently I had brunch at Antler Room for the first time, and that was super fun. The food is delicious, tasty and flavorful. Also, I’ve always been really into Happy Gillis — before we opened the restaurant, I was over there twice a week for breakfast or lunch. And, of course, Ça Va is the favorite spot for my wife and I. We love drinking champagne on the patio, and there, I'm ordering baked goods, the cheese plate, their fries and oysters for sure.” 

FUEL: “We use Monarch Coffee at the restaurant. I love Tyler Rovenstine [the owner], and I really like what he’s doing there.”

DAY DRINK: “I keep it simple. Sparkling wine, all the time.” 

Ça Va 4149 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO. (816) 255-3934. cavakc. Antler Room, 2506 Holmes St, Kansas City, MO. (816) 605-1967.

Monarch Coffee,  3550 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, MO.


Executive Chef, Café Sebastienne

RITUAL: “My routine usually when I'm not at work is to do yoga first thing in the morning, and then my girlfriends and I usually meet up at Corner Restaurant. We became friends with everyone there, and it's fun because on Mondays, there's a regular crowd that comes in around the same time, and we catch up.”

FOOD: “If I’m at Corner, I usually like the basic two eggs, bacon and toast plate. I'm a huge Meshuggah Bagel fan, too.”

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: “I love Ça Va when I can get there, which is rare these days. I love the atmosphere — it’s convivial, and you feel like you're at home. It's so small that you get to know your neighbor. Plus, for Sunday brunch they usually have a DJ spinning soul records, which is awesome.”

Corner Restaurant, 4059 Broadway., Kansas City, MO. (816) 931-4401. Meshuggah Bagels, various locations.


Chef and co-owner Krokstrom Klubb & Market

RITUAL: “On our Mondays off, Josh [Rodgers, co-owner, general manager and husband] and I wake up and make egg coffee and semlas while doing our orders for the week. Semlas are traditional Swedish pastries. It's like a soft roll filled with marzipan and whipped cream. We use a brioche egg bun from Farm to Market, and I just make a cardamom whipped cream with lemon zest. It’s an easy, quick breakfast.” 

FOOD: “Brunch is mostly about dim sum for me, as it's traditionally a morning or early afternoon food. I did some traveling in Singapore, and I discovered Singapore chicken rice, which is one of my favorite things — and at ABC Cafe, they have this ginger garlic chicken, which is very similar, and I always get that. I also love their shumai and dumplings and head-on shrimp.” 

DAY DRINK: “My obsession right now is the espresso martini from Nomads. I love it so much. It’s the perfect dessert drink, breakfast cocktail or middle-of-the-day pick-me-up.”

ABC Cafe, 10001 W. 87th St,, Overland Park, KS. (913) 859-0089. Nomads, 1804 W. 39th St., Kansas City, MO. (816) 216-7968.