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8 Kansas City Restaurants You Don’t Know About But Should

Kansas City has long been a foodie, beer, BBQ, entertainment, and jazz town. I have seen it change and grow so much in the nearly 20 years I’ve lived here. There have been so many incredible new restaurants opening that it’s hard for even locals to keep up.

If you are visiting, it can be even harder to decide where to eat and what might be just the spot for something unique and special. I have put together a list of some of the latest and greatest restaurants you probably don’t know about but should in Kansas City. Bon appétit! 

Pirate’s Bone Burgers 

In a city ruled by meat and BBQ, it can be more challenging to find healthy and vegetarian options. And maybe because of that, Pirate’s Bone Burgers has been building quite the reputation since it opened in September 2019.

This vegan burger paradise might sound like something for a specific set of diners, but the flavors are universal to all tastes. From a double cheese burger to MacRibless Burger and delicious menu of seasoned and hand-cut french fries, I think you’ll be pleased. 

2000 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.


As a native Mainer, I am always thrilled to find legitimately good seafood in the Midwest. I’m also a huge fan of sushi. Sayachi not only has amazing sushi and other Japanese-inspired food but their cocktails are delicious.

Sushi plate at Sayachi, an under-the-radar restaurant in Kansas City
Photo courtesy Jenn Beard

They use fresh ingredients throughout their menu and the service is notable. Their patio is open seasonally and provides a nice view of Brookside.

6322 Brookside Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.


Located in the lobby of the GEM of Midtown, the historic Netherland building, you’ll find a new restaurant called Canary. The building is right across the street from the Unicorn Theater, making it a perfect place to grab dinner before and drinks after the show.

Photo courtesy Jenn Beard

Canary KC is a travel-inspired restaurant and bar that takes its name from Amelia Earhart’s first plane. It’s owned by the same couple that owns and operates Julep and Soft Conspiracy.

3835 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

Café Cà Phê

In the heart of the West Bottoms, right next to one of my favorite retailers–new and vintage finds Fetch–you’ll find Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shops. Café Cà Phê is a delicious edition to the traditional antique shop vibe you’ll find in this part of the city.

Vietnamese coffee is known for being bold and flavorful, with a rich dollop of sweetened condensed milk. You’ll find the traditional coffee of Vietnam offered, along with some fun interpretations. One I can’t wait to try is the “Paris by Night,” which is made with rose syrup, mocha sauce, Vietnamese espresso, milk and mocha drizzle.

1101 Mulberry St., Kansas City, Mo.

Equal Minded Cafe & Events Center

If you’re looking for a great place to have a meeting (either one on one or in a private conference room), Equal Minded Cafe is the place to go. Centrally located on the block of 43rd and Troost, you’ll find this enterprising coffee shop.

The Pesto Aioli Croissant at Equal Minded Cafe in Kansas City
Photo courtesy Equal Minded Cafe

In addition to coffee, you’ll also find sandwiches, smoothies, pastries, and organic blended teas. They have a variety of events to bring people together from across the community. This minority-owned cafe takes pride in the belief that all humans are equal and that we are all together as one on this earth.

4327 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Mo. 


It’s hard to believe that Voltaire has been around since 2013. I remember my first meal there to celebrate my birthday. It was a delicious experience full of great food, cocktails, and a delicious slice of cake.

VOLTAIRE - 1617 Genessee St, Kansas City, MO - 02/12/2014 www.voltairekc.com
Photo courtesy Voltaire

Over the years, Voltaire has remained a steady presence in the West Bottoms and most recently during the pandemic, has added Lemonade Park to its backyard. This socially-distanced, outdoor space has allowed Kansas Citians to continue to gather for great food and live music. It’s a collaboration between several local businesses and should definitely be on your list this summer.

1617 Genessee St., Kansas City, Mo.

The Restaurant at 1900

We used to drive up to Smithville to visit Justus Drugstore for all of our special occasion dinners. When they closed, we had to find a new spot. The Restaurant at 1900 is it!

Photo courtesy Jenn Beard

We’ve had two of the best dinners in the city there over the past year. With an incredible menu featuring seafood and fresh pastas, an extensive wine list, and delectable desserts and cocktails, you can’t go wrong. It’s a bit hidden in the back of an office building, but just follow your GPS and you’ll get there! 

(You might remember this restaurant from the post about KC’s best patios)

1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, Kan.

Atomic Cowboy

Food halls are sneaking into U.S. cities from coast to coast. (We talked about The Parlor in this post if you’re looking for another place to check out.) Hailing from Denver, the Atomic Cowboy opened in KC about 18 months ago.

Four restaurant concepts serve food at Atomic Cowboy in Kansas City.
Photo courtesy Page Communications

It is home to four restaurant concepts ranging from breakfast biscuits and ice cream to pizza and cocktails. The food hall sits in the former City Ice House building in Westport.

4144 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

Related post: 9 great pizza spots in KC

If you’re looking for more great restaurants, these quirky spots are also worth a visit. And, if you need a nightcap or a place to grab a drink, these are the best bars in the city.

8 of the best restaurants in Kansas City that often fly under-the-radar. These are excellent choices for a night out with friends in KC or a date night!

About the guest blogger

Jenn Beard is the founder of Cocktails Away—a collection of adventures in pursuit of a great drink, a quality spirit, a unique ingredient, and the places they come from. When not traveling, she lives in Kansas City. Check out her blog for mouthwatering recipes and insider tips on DIY bartending and cocktail culture or travel to bars around the world at @cocktailsaway.

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