Hipster Foodie Hot Spots in Kansas City
These trendy restaurants are the perfect place to dine.
The Savoy Restaurant and Lounge
$$$ | The Savoy Restaurant and Lounge 219 W 9th St, Kansas City, MO | thesavoykc.com
The original Savoy Hotel and Grill on Ninth Street in Kansas City’s Financial District closed in 2014 after a fire destroyed its kitchen. Today, thanks to the new proprietors, the 21c Museum Hotel chain, the resurrected landmark gets a second chance. The new Savoy is all about fusing fine art into real life, and thanks to a sleek remodel, it pulls this off with aplomb. A museum and galleries are built into the space and show off a wonderful collection of contemporary art. Guests are encouraged to grab a drink at the bar and wander through the works.
The stunning Savoy Restaurant and Lounge inside the hotel is the brainchild of Executive Chef Joe West, and his menu playfully resurrects some of the classic dishes that wouldn’t have been out of place during the hotel’s mid-century heyday — though West, of course, gives everything his own spin. Beverage director Scott Tipton, along with notorious bar talent Dominic Petrucci, have built a bar program that blends classic cocktails with some intriguing new characters (see: the “Mer-tini” featuring vodka or the dry vermouth and seaweed).
Best bet: Don’t skip the escargot tortellini — it’s like a love letter from France to Italy. If you’re feeling decadent, go for the butter-poached lobster with cognac-sherry sauce.
Waldo Thai Place
$$ | Waldo Thai Place 8431 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO | waldothaiplace.com
Diners will find something old and something new at Waldo Thai Place, the new restaurant from the Liberda family, who brought Kansas City’s Thai Place empire to life. All the original locations have been sold, but Waldo Thai Place, which opened in September, offers a chance for Pam Liberda to flex her muscles in the kitchen. Pam’s husband, Teddy, had always been executive chef of the concepts before; at Waldo Thai Place, he’s a partner and consultant. Master mixologist Darrell Loo gives the cocktail list a boost of energy.
Best bet: On your first visit, start with Pam’s special: minced pork, calamari, Thai chili, chopped green beans, bell pepper, serrano, Thai basil and red curry paste sauteed and smothered over jasmine rice.
$ | The Russell 3141 Main St, Kansas City, MO | therussellonmain.com
If you’ve ever wondered what “farmhouse chic” might look like, grab lunch at The Russell. This homey joint, opened in February by restaurateurs Heather White and Amante Domingo, brings a rustic menu built around items that come directly from the brick and cast-iron grill that Domingo designed and built himself.
Best bet: Cave into your inner hipster, and order one of the Russell’s fabulous toasts. We recommend the sourdough toast piled high with fresh tomato, burrata cheese, basil pesto and a balsamic reduction.
Tribe Street Kitchen
$ | Tribe Street Kitchen 316 Delaware St, Kansas City, MO | tribekc.com
The food at Tribe Street Kitchen is excellent, but if we’re being honest, it’s the vibe we really love about this River Market gem. The sturdy marble bar is the centerpiece of this lunch, dinner and late-night spot, and it wraps through two different dining areas (one plush lounge area, another more formal seating area).
Best bet: Tribe boasts a globally inspired menu; you can get street tacos, a shrimp po’ boy or chicken korma. The khao soi noodles dish — shrimp, eggplant and shiitake mushrooms in a sumptuous coconut curry broth — already has our hearts.
$$$ | Crossroads Hotel 2101 Central St, Kansas City, MO | crossroadshotelkc.com
The newly opened Crossroads Hotel is the epitome of hipster elegance. Designed by Kansas City architecture firm El Dorado Inc., the hotel features three distinct dining areas: XR, the bar and lounge area with all-day dining (featuring a beautiful blue-tiled, wood-burning pizza oven); Lazia, the fine-dining concept that promises to blend old-world Italian cuisine with a hip-hop playlist; and the Percheron Rooftop Bar, with craft beer and frozen cocktails on tap.
Best bet: While away an afternoon at one of XR’s plush velvet barstools. Whether you’re there for a little liquid lunch or one of XR’s specialty Neapolitan-style pizzas, you’ll feel endlessly cool.