8 Kansas City Restaurants & Eateries You Need to Try

Kansas City and the surrounding communities have been hidden gems, while larger cities rule the culinary stage.

That’s changing as forward-thinking operators embrace emerging food trends, technology and smart business practices while staying true to themselves. These operators say they’ve kept it simple; Kansas City restaurants don’t have to be flashy or reinvent themselves to stay relevant. Quality and consistency are everything.

They’re also putting employees first by creating positive work cultures to maintain high staff retention, which is crucial to the survival of any business. Good employee morale will show through, from the tenor of the restaurant straight to the customers.

It’s the area’s turn for a moment in the sun to take the spotlight and shine.

Billie’s Grocery

Kansas City, Missouri

When nutritional therapy practitioner and restorative wellness gut specialist Robin Krause opened her concept, she wanted to put health first. An all-dietary lifestyle approach drives Billie’s Grocery, from nutrient-dense menu offerings to dishes sensitive to allergens and meatless diets. This fast-casual restaurant features a bakery and cooking classes, and a second location is in the works. 


Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room

Kansas City, Missouri

Helmed by James Beard Award finalist Michael Corvino, the menu features modern American cuisine and shareable plates. The Tasting Room offers a multicourse meal with an open kitchen to view the staff, making it a part of the dining experience along with live music.


Golden Ox

Kansas City, Missouri

Opened in 1949, this long-timer calls the first floor of the Kansas City Livestock Exchange its home. Old school still prevails, as the wood-fire steak house integrated itself into the space through renovations that focused on preserving the building’s historic past. The restaurant now offers a chef counter and a chef table dining experience. 

Char Bar

Kansas City, Missouri

Char Bar is known for its award-winning sauces and barbecue, like smoked chicken nuggets, smokehouse sandwiches and a smoked pork shank with sage butter. Chef-driven with a fun atmosphere fit with field games and an outdoor bar, Char Bar has become a place to gather and connect.


Red Door Grill

Overland Park, Kansas

With six locations and counting from Leawood to Overland Park to Lee’s Summit, this cozy spot knows that quality and consistency rule. The American menu is ever-changing and seasonal, but its relevance and established connections in the community keep the locations a neighborhood favorite. 

Iron Horse Bar & Grill

Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Although new to the business, owner Jeff Dietrich is standing out from competitors. Wildly popular, technologically savvy, outfitted with original cocktails on tap and a scratch kitchen that boasts chef-inspired food, this dual-location concept with restaurants in Leawood, Kansas and Lee’s Summit, Missouri is well-rounded and focused on creating a positive environment. Dietrich retains his employees in a highly competitive and tight labor pool through fully integrating himself into the community, uniforming his staff with “I am essential” T-shirts, leaving positive customer feedback notes throughout the kitchen and putting workers first.

Viva Tacos and Tequila

Leawood, Kansas

This concept offers a new take on Mexican food with a focus on quality ingredients in a vibrant, fun atmosphere. The restaurant’s taquito flights, housemade soups, custom nachos (think black beans, chicken tinga and steak), quesadilla/birria taco hybrids and vast offerings of chef-driven specials stand out among diners.

Strang Hall / SERV

Overland Park, Kansas

Strang Hall, a multiconcept, chef-driven experience featuring cuisines from all over the world, with a sister location in Kansas City, Missouri, called Strang Chef Collective at Lightwell, succeeds based on the “something for everyone formula.”

Similarly,  SERV is a newly developed multiconcept food and entertainment project all run out of repurposed shipping containers. Both are worth visiting to spur inspiration.