Fast Casual Restaurants in Kansas City
Because sometimes you want to eat and run.
$ | Various locations throughout the metro | spinpizza.com
From delish appetizers like white bean hummus with rosemary flatbread to a Sonoma salad that will make you smile and a wide array of pizzas, Spin embodies everything that we love about a fast-casual restaurant. The family-friendly vibe is on point, and the time between ordering and getting your food is short enough that hungry kids won’t have a meltdown.
Pro tip: Join the Spin Club, and earn points for free stuff like gelato. Yes, free gelato.
Best bet: The divine flavors of the prosciutto, spinaci and fig marmalade pizza will make you forget that pepperoni used to be your favorite pizza.
$ | Locations in Country Club Plaza, Power & Light and Leawood | mixxingitup.com
Founded on the concept of having lots to choose from and all of it healthy, The Mixx gives you a wide variety of fresh-from-the-farmer’s-market goodness. With more than 50 “mixx-ins” available (dates, balsamic mushrooms, fennel and hemp seeds, to name a few), you can customize salads, sandwiches, pastas and even quinoa bowls.
Pro tip: The Leawood location serves breakfast. (Try the egg tostada.)
Best bet: The Insalata Brassica salad with Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, bacon, hickory-smoked almonds and a honey-Dijon vinaigrette is a unique mingling of ingredients that will perk up your day.
$ | Locations in Crown Center and Overland Park | unforked.com
The Sheridan family made its mark with custard “concretes.” But a few years ago, the Sheridans ventured into creating artisan, organic food that UN-did people’s conceptions about how fast food should taste. Unforked (get it?) has a menu that offers inspired tacos, such as the Cali loaded with seared chile-spiked tilapia with a creamy avocado cilantro sauce, as well as burgers like the Thai Dye, which features a grilled marinated portabella mushroom, Thai sweet chile-roasted Brussels sprouts and melted mozzarella cheese. Be sure to save room for a Caramel Apple Pie concrete.
Pro tip 1: On Wednesday, every bottle of wine is half priced.
Pro tip 2: The drive-thru is remarkably fast.
Best bet: OMG, the sides — from the cauliflower rice (freshly grated cauliflower that’s seasoned with olive oil and then grilled) to the Fundido fries (smothered in queso with applewood smoked bacon crumbles) are game changers.
$ | Locations in Overland Park, Leawood and Olathe | mrgyroskc.com
For more than three decades, Mr. Gyros has been supplying Johnson County families with their Greek fix. The menu is based on the recipes of Ted (who recently passed away) and Soula Jovaras, who immigrated here in the 1950s. Today, their great grandchildren work in the restaurants, and the food tastes like it’s being lovingly prepared. You can’t go wrong with the gyro, dolmades or the moussaka — a casserole of eggplant and ground beef covered in a cream sauce.
Pro tip: The lemon chicken orzo soup is perfect when you’re feeling under the weather.
Best bet: The Combination Plate, which features gyro meat, dolma, pastichio, spanakopita, pita bread and tzatziki sauce is like a tour of Greece for your taste buds. Also, don’t forget to order a Greek pastry.
$$ | 25 On The Mall, Prairie Village, KS | caffetteriamoderncafe.com
Caffetteria is the latest fast-casual concept from the culinary mastermind behind The Mixx — Jo Marie Scaglia. Here, Scaglia has done her best to recreate her love of European cafes and Italian “manga” with a menu that features salads, sandwiches, pizza and entrees such as rotisserie lamb, grilled salmon and seared yellow fish tuna. The best part of all of this might be the choice of sides, including quinoa and corn casserole and curry roasted cauliflower.
Best bet: The Family Dinner includes one rotisserie chicken and two family-size sides.