Best of Kansas City 2016: Eat
Date Night Tuesday at Urban Table
Blanking on a date night outing that’s sure to impress? We suggest Urban Table’s Date Night Tuesday special available after 5 p.m. Take your pick of a romantic two-course dinner for $30, which features soup or salad and dishes like short rib ragu and chicken and dumplings. Or get a little closer and share four fabulous small plates such as baked ricotta, cauliflower steak and bruschetta for $20. Partake in the red and white wine specials to ensure a night of eating, drinking and being merry.
8232 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kan., (913) 948-6900, urbantablekc.com
Lukas Liquors Wine & Spirits Superstore
Lukas Liquors has long been the holy grail of beer, wine and spirits in KC. Selling hard-to-find wines, everyday favorites and the latest offerings in the spirits world, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs. And if you’re looking to uncork something new, Lukas’ friendly and knowledgeable staff will have you leaving happy.
Two area locations, lukasliquor.com
So we fudged this one a bit. We’re fans of Margarita’s fresh, warm chips and smooth, delicious salsa, but savoring the signature Margarita cheese dip is a must. No visit is complete without scooping up a chip-full of that warm hot pepper cheese sauce laced with secret ingredients. You’ll have to come to the restaurant for the cheese dip, but you can grab a jar of Margarita’s salsa, a best-seller since 1985, at local grocery stores.
Five area locations. margaritasamigos.com
Nara Japanese Sushi Grill
Sure, Kansas City is landlocked, but the fresh and delicious sushi rolled at the Crossroads’ Nara will have you convinced otherwise. For lunch, drop by the Japanese sushi grill and take advantage of its lunch menu, which wins our best lunch special vote by featuring options of favorite Asian dishes such as chicken lettuce wraps, pad thai and spicy coconut curry, plus a build-your-own bento box loaded with your pick of sushi rolls; salmon, chicken or beef entree; and a house salad, jasmine rice and fresh fruit.
1617 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 221-6272, narakc.com
photo Courtesy of Nara Japanese Sushi Grill
Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbeque
Jack Stack knows barbecue, and they certainly know desserts, too. You’ll fall in love after sinking your fork into Fiorella’s signature, from-scratch delight, Mom’s Carrot Cake. Described as “to die for,” this warm, after-dinner hug soothes the soul with a recipe of moist, sweet and spicy cake lovingly cloaked in rich cream cheese icing and garnished with pecans. Just like Mom used to make.
Five area locations, jackstackbbq.com
In a city that has its own cut of meat and proudly wears the nickname cow town, it’s expected Kansas Citians should know a quality steak dinner. At upscale steakhouse 801 Chophouse, there’s a cut for everyone, from the succulent filet mignons to the marbled and delicious namesake strip to the melt-in-your-mouth porterhouse steaks — all USDA prime beef, of course. Here, you can savor the natural flavor of your steak or enhance your experience with add-ons such as spice and Cajun rubs, bone marrow butter, Maytag blue cheese and even foie gras torchon.
Two area locations, 801restaurantgroup.com
Martin City Brewing Company
Martin City Brewing Company is not your average pub. Here, offerings borderline on gourmet, with one-of-a-kind good eats like goat cheese bruschetta; a Bloody Mary Burger featuring a fried egg and bloody mary aioli, and Martin City macs such as the grilled steak and blue cheese crumble-laced Black & Blue. And just a stone’s throw from the pub at the Pizza & Taproom, you’ll find mouthwatering red, white and build-your-own stone-fired pizzas. Take advantage of MCB’s selection of 50-plus beers, and catch live music on the weekends for your own version of summer fun.
500 E. 135th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 268-2222, martincitybrewingcompany.com
Photo Courtesy of Martin City Brewing Company
Ruby Jean's Juicery
Drink in color with Westport’s gem of a juicery, Ruby Jean’s. Created with a passion for health and longevity in mind, this cozy and colorful fresh juice spot owned by Chris Goode specializes in a menu of handcrafted juices, smoothies, wellness shots and more that are as bright and cheery as the shop’s decor. Grab a strawberry-banana-packed Big Chief smoothie, Vine Street Greens juice (cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale and lime) or other truly healthy bites like sprouted avocado toast and the acai bowl and pair them on the vibrant outdoor patio.
4001 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 399-2596, rubyjeansjuicery.com
Gram & Dun
The best way to describe the burnt end mac and cheese at Gram & Dun is Kansas City in a bowl. Where else can you find tender chunks of neatly sauced KC gold peeking from underneath a bed of ooey-gooey fontina and pecorino mac and cheese dusted with chicharrón crumbles? Smooth and simply drool-worthy, you’ll wonder how you’ve ever lived without it.
600 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 389-2900, gramanddun.com
photo courtesy of Gram & Dun
Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters
The passion for three C’s — coffee, camaraderie and comfort — brew strong at this Crossroads favorite. Whether you’re on the go or looking to get lost in its cozy, rustic trappings, Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters’ hope is that they can be the best part of your day. In addition to its inspiring themed roasts like the Alter Ego espresso, adventurous Boldly Go brew and Laid-Back decaffeinated blend, the café showcases other businesses such as Heirloom Bakery and Hearth, The Upper Crust Pie Bakery and Diebel’s Sportsmens Gallery by carrying their treats and accessories. And if coffee isn’t your way to unwind, Thou Mayest’s seasonal rotation of creative cocktails are a playful and welcomed substitute.
419 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 471-7333, thoumayest.com
1889 Pizza Napoletana
This KCK pizzeria is the newest addition to Kansas City’s growing Neapolitan pizza craze. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Jason and Kelli Kolich, 1889 Pizza Napoletana is dedicated to providing the highest quality of Neapolitan pizza using fresh, premium ingredients. Find amoré with its 12-inch, hand-tossed, Italian wood-fired creations like the classic Margherita; The 1889 (San Marzano tomatoes, goat cheese, wild mushrooms, arugula, black truffle oil); Mahalo (pineapple, chicken, bacon, jalapenos) and Green Eggs and Ham (basil pesto, brown egg, prosciutto, arugula), along with a host of salads, appetizers, gelato, and wine and beer on tap.
2876 W. 47th Ave., Kansas City, Kan., (913) 608-5889, 1889pizza.com
Eden Alley Vegetarià
It’s a no-brainer that Eden Alley is a top choice for vegetarians. Nestled in the basement of Unity Temple on the Plaza, this vegetarià’s (vegetarian cafeteria) highlights include its decor complete with quirky artwork on the walls and tables and its energizing menu that appeals to vegetarians, carnivores and those with food restrictions alike. Celebrate local and organic ingredients and traditional flavor with favorites like vegetarian tacos, ultimate garlic grilled cheese and the roasted potato burrito.
707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 561-5415, edenalley.com
With its wacky mascot that makes special appearances, a birthday club and balloons galore, Red Robin is a mainstay when it comes to fun places to take the family. And now, thanks to a new kids’ menu the eatery debuted in February, it features healthy options, too. Dishes like grilled chicken and meatballs with carrots and apple slices are new to the menu and perfect for your picky ones. And as an added bonus, Red Robin now offers an interactive ingredient list for families with food allergies.
Three area locations, redrobin.com
photo courtesy of Red Robin