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The Best Restaurants in KC

Whether you’re an art fanatic, an outdoor enthusiast, or an entertainment maven, Kansas City has something for everyone. As Missouri’s largest city, KC is known as a bastion of culture – with an affordable cost of living to boot. That culture includes a robust dining scene for foodies of all ages. From casual diner fare to world-famous barbecue and upscale dining, KC’s restaurant scene can’t be beat. Read on to find out about some of the best restaurants in KC.

The Best Restaurants in KC

For KC Barbecue Lovers: Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue / Gates Bar-B-Q

Barbecue is a controversial topic in Kansas City. Locals have strong opinions about their favorite spots, but if you’re visiting, there are two outposts you can’t miss. First, check out Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue. This legendary spot began in a gas station; now, they’re known for their savory brisket and mouth-watering ribs. If you’re not sure what to order, try the Z-Man: a very, very satisfying sandwich full of brisket, smoked provolone, and onion rings on a Kaiser roll.

After a visit to Joe’s, pop over to Gates Bar-B-Q, one of the city’s oldest continuously operating barbecue spots. As Eater points out, Gates boasts several locations – but the location on KC’s Main Street has “a relaxed vibe and space to sprawl, with something new to discover in each corner.” Don’t miss the burnt ends and baked beans at this local staple.

For the Best Italian Around: Lidia’s

If you’re in the mood for a relaxing, intimate Italian dining experience, look no further than Lidia’s. This Northern Italian favorite is located in a repurposed railroad house just north of Kansas City’s historic Union Station. Lidia’s is owned by celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, who cranks out unfussy classics ranging from a juicy ribeye to an ever-evolving homemade pasta menu. It’s a great spot for date night, entertaining friends, or settling in with a book and a glass of wine.

For French Fare Without Leaving the KC Restaurant Scene: Westport Cafe and Bar

In the mood for a taste of Paris? Don’t worry about booking a flight: a visit to Westport Cafe and Bar is just what you need. It’s no surprise that this beloved eatery landed a spot on Kansas City Magazine’s “40 Best” list: French-born chefs serve up mussels, frites, and creative, locally-sourced entrees. Westport Cafe and Bar also offers cooking classes for the culinarily inclined.

For the Best Late-Night Eats: Town Topic

When you’re worn out after a visit with the grandkids, you can’t go wrong with Town Topic. This cozy American diner has been around for more than 75 years, slinging hearty diner breakfasts and classic malts 24 hours a day. Eater recommends the Haystack: a classic bacon-and-egg sandwich featuring a layer of cheesy hash browns.

For a KC Restaurant Adventure That You Won’t Forget: Novel

Looking to indulge in something a little different? Owned by Chef Ryan Brazeal and pastry chef Jessica Armstrong, Novel is known for some of the region’s most forward-thinking culinary artistry. Choose from thoughtful entrees like rabbit pie, comfort classics like homemade pasta, and the dessert menu, which Kansas City Magazine calls “among the finest in the city.” No matter what you order, a night at Novel is a dining experience you’ll never forget.


From upscale dining at Novel to laid-back burgers and fries at Town Topic, the best restaurants in KC have something for everyone. Our city’s dining scene is just another reason that retirees are flocking to KC to enjoy their golden years.

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