Best Cocktail Hours of Kansas City
These bars are known for their unique and enticing cocktail drinks.
The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge
$$$ | 4808 Roanoke Parkway, Kansas City, MO | themonarchbar.com
Spending an evening at Monarch feels like stepping into a dream, and after a few of the cocktails from this exquisite bar, you’ll likely feel like you’ve made the whole thing up. Designed and owned by architect David Manica of Manica Architecture, every detail in The Monarch — from the hand-cut crystal butterfly chandelier floating over the marble bar to the art deco-inspired upholstery and gilded tables — is meant to impress. There is perhaps nothing more astonishing than the menu of over 40 cocktails devised by lauded bar manager Brock Schulte. They run the gamut from tiki drinks to classic riffs to shims. There’s an entire section dedicated to reimagining the Negroni. The Monarch presents guests with an elevated cocktail experience that rivals the most prestigious bars in the world; the amount of technology, chemistry and tender loving care that Schulte puts into his drinks guarantees this.
If you’re looking to broaden your horizons or, like the monarch butterfly the bar is named for, follow a migration pattern through rare ingredients sourced from all over the world, this is the place to imbibe.
Best bet: Get the Apollo, a take on a Negroni featuring patchouli and oak moss-infused Aperol.
$$ | 401 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO | tikicatkc.com
In 2017, HopCat opened up a 55-seat basement bar called TikiCat beneath the restaurant, and venturing down there is like entering a time warp. The tiki bar — with its thatched-roof rooms, Polynesian-themed art, bamboo bar and campy vintage decor — feels like a tropical vacation from the bustling Westport streets located above. One sip of the classic Painkiller, and you’ll forget all your troubles.
Best bet: Grab a group of friends, and order the Luau — a shareable punch with rums, gin, brandy and a side of fireworks. Literally.
$$ | 1521 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO | sotkc.com
The drinks at SoT are stunners, no question about it. This fun, funky, artsy bar located just South of Truman Road (get it?) is easy to miss, but once you find your way into this cocktail oasis, you won’t want to leave.
Bonus: The spacious SoT patio located in the alley behind the bar is perfect for fair-weather lounging.
Best bet: Warm up with the winter-spiced Overcoat Weather — a tequila cocktail with spiced pear, maple honey and cardamom.
The W Bar
$$$ | 6 1/2 SW 3rd Street, Lee's Summit, MO | thew.bar
The W Bar is tucked away on the second floor of a quiet building in downtown Lee’s Summit, and from the outside looking in, you’d hardly guess at the dreamy, boozy world bartender Mike Strohm dreams up for his guests. The 40-seat bar is decorated in dark wood and with plush details, giving off an old-world club feel — and what a wonderful club to belong to. Cocktails here are interesting and elegant, so don’t be afraid to put your trust in Strohm’s capable hands.
Best bet: Ask for the Giggle Water. You’ll get a goblet full of an aromatic liquid that will put a smile on your face in no time.
$$ | 210 W 19 Terrace, Kansas City, MO |
This Crossroads joint is a true speakeasy. Patrons enter through a hard-to-find alleyway door, walk down some stairs and land in a low-lit waiting room, where they are allowed entry only if there’s sitting room. By these methods, owner and bartender Jill Cockson has engineered a bar experience that feels truly exclusive in the best way.
Best bet: Cockson’s cocktail menu is full of pre-Prohibition classics and recipes she’s designed herself. Select from 12 Manhattan variations on her “Manhattan Project” list — you won’t be disappointed.