Our 6 favorite places to eat in Kansas City’s Brookside neighborhood
Brookside Poultry Company
Upon being seated t Brookside Poultry Company, the first thing you’ll want to do is inquire about a whole chicken or duck. Everything inside this sparsely decorated and very casual bird house is good, but the spit-roasted, three-day-marinated fowl ($17–$32) is the most coveted prize. The whole birds routinely sell out as dinner service is starting to enter full swing, so you should ask immediately. On a recent visit, I snagged the last one and ate it under the covetous gaze of a neighboring table. Not that you’ll have anything to complain about if you end up with the fried chicken, which is marinated in sour cream for two days before getting a crisp shell and being plated up alongside butter-poached green beans and cheddar potatoes that have the consistency of good gelato ($14 for breast with sides). The soft and flaky cheddar biscuits ($5 for two) are also a must.
Brookside Poultry Company, 408 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, Mo. 816-599-2285, bkspoultryco.com. Tuesday–Thursday, 11 am–8 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am–9 pm, closed Sunday and Monday.
This Brookside bakery is a favorite for breakfast and brunch, when you’ll find its oversized biscuits transformed into head-turning breakfast sandwiches with thick-cut bacon and local farm-raised eggs. The lineup of breads and pastries is constantly shifting, but the sourdough is highly recommended, as are the sweets. The galettes with seasonal fillings are beautiful and satisfying.
401 E. 63rd Street, Kansas City, Mo. 816-492-7259, heirloomkc.com. Tuesday–Saturday, 7 am–4 pm, Sunday, 8 am–3 pm, closed Monday.
Ask any locals for their favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian spot, and the name of this Brookside gem will probably cross their lips. Nearing two decades in business, it evolved from a coffee shop and deli with a small assortment of imported grocery items into a to-go counter with some of the city’s best Italian deli sandwiches and a full-service restaurant with great Neapolitan pies and hearty pasta plates. There are two must-tries: The meaty Il Sarno sandwich ($8), which features salami, capicola and mortadella brought into perfect balance with acidic balsamic and giardiniera, and the pizzas, which are traditional plate-size, one-person affairs with lightly baked crust. The capricciosa pie with paper-thin prosciutto, artichoke and olives is highly recommended. Pizzas are $6 on Monday nights, when the place packs up like a tin of imported Mediterranean sardines.
6229 Brookside Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 816-444-5041, kcbellanapoli.com. Full restaurant open Monday–Thursday, 11 am–9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am–10 pm, closed Sunday.
Make your way past the heavy velvet curtain protecting patrons from prying eyes and chilly winds outside this homey Italian spot, and you’re transported to the set of Goodfellas. The menu at Carmen’s is classic Kansas City Italian — think chicken spiedini and shrimp-stuffed artichoke. Given it’s a restaurant lit by candles and serving huge portions, the prices also feel like they’re from an earlier era. You can get a lunch special for $10, and at dinner the veal comes five ways, all of which run you $25.
6307 Brookside Plaza, Kansas City, Mo. 816-333-4048, carmenscafekc.com. Monday–Thursday, 11 am–9 pm, Saturday, 4–10 pm, Sunday 5–9 pm.
Red Door serves its signature brand of elevated pub grub at three popular Kansas City locations, all of which are neighborhood favorites. The Brookside location has front and rear entrances, the latter of which opens to a patio that’s prized real estate on a summer afternoon. The menu is mostly comfort food — chicken tenders, meatloaf, fish tacos, burgers — and all done well. Much of it gets a little smoke from the wood-fired grill, including the well-seasoned and flame-kissed burgers that are just $5 on Mondays.
Red Door, 6324 Brookside Plaza, Kansas City, Mo. 816-621-3424, reddoorgrill.com. Monday–Thursday, 11 am–10 pm, Friday 11 am–11 pm, Saturday, 10 am–11 pm, Sunday, 10 am–10 pm.
This tiny Pakistani restaurant on the quiet corner of Holmes and 59th streets started out as a little factory for samosas, the lightly fried, savory pastries popular across the Indian subcontinent. After hearing from eager customers, the mother-son duo behind Chai Shai eventually gave in and pivoted into a full-scale restaurant operation. The small and simple digs belie the original intention to use the space for prep work. From the kitchen emerge delightfully homespun dishes like pakora curry and lamb cora that dance with layers of earthy spice.
651 E. 59th St., Kansas City, Mo. 816-260-5203, chaishaikc.com. Tuesday–Friday, 11 am–9 pm.