Unique places to eat in Kansas City, Missouri - There are a surprising amount of fun and delicious eateries and they don't all include BBQ!

12 Unique Places To Eat In Kansas City, Missouri

Unique places to eat in Kansas City, Missouri – There are a surprising amount of fun and delicious eateries and they don’t all include BBQ!

Unique Restaurants in Kansas City, Missouri

Between two house sits, we planned a quick trip to Kansas City. We found a bunch of fun things to do in Kansas City, but we also needed to figure out where we were going to eat. As we researched dining options, we realized that there were so many unique places to eat in Kansas City!

In fact, Kansas City is actually home to a large variety of cuisines and even some new sweet treats. From the city’s OG gastropub to a refurbished trolley, you’ll want to add these fun restaurants in Kansas City to your list.

Q39, Midtown

1000 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111

First things first… when you’re in Kansas City you have to eat barbecue! We did quite a bit of research when we were trying to figure out where to go for our first taste of Kansas City barbecue and the restaurant that kept coming up was Q39. It’s not only considered one of the top restaurants in Kansas City, but it’s also considered one of the best places for barbecue.

This was actually our first stop when we got into Kansas City, and our friendly waiter helped us decide on a few plates. We got two appetizers of bacon-wrapped shrimp and macaroni and cheese (both of which were delicious!) and for our main dish, we got brisket with burnt ends.

Now, we’ll be completely honest here and say barbecue isn’t our thing. But this brisket is some of the best we’ve ever had. It was juicy, had incredible flavor, and was so tender you could cut it with your fork.

Certified Angus Beef brisket with burnt ends at Q39, one of the most unique places to eat in Kansas City
Certified Angus Beef brisket with burnt ends at Q39

Pizza 51

5060 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64112

Another of the most unique restaurants in Kansas City is Pizza 51. This pizzeria is in a renovated gas station! They serve thin-crust pizza, salads, sandwiches, and beer. They also have an outdoor patio, which is a nice place to enjoy their pizza on a warm day.


2601 Holmes St, Kansas City, MO 64108

One of the most fun places to eat in Kansas City is Succotash, a quirky breakfast and brunch venue with a slightly hippie vibe. They offer up a whole bunch of baked goods – including the popular “bronuts” (aka brownie donuts) – and also have a full menu with lots of omelets and sandwiches. Succotash is a great option for vegans as well, as they have several vegan menu items, including vegan cinnamon rolls.

Beer Kitchen

435 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111

Another one of the best places to eat in Kansas City is Beer Kitchen. After a long day of sightseeing, we visited this restaurant, and their food hit the spot. We also loved their fun and funky decor.

To start we had Cheesy Ancho Corn Dip with chipotle white cheddar and blue corn chips. Wow, this dip was amazing! Then we had the BBQ Creekstone Short Rib with cheddar grits and kale. And finally, the Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese with Tillamook-aged cheddar, chipotle white cheddar, provolone, avocado, and oven-dried tomato on romano-encrusted sourdough.

Our mouths are watering just thinking about this meal! The cheddar grits were phenomenal and paired well with the short ribs. And the romano-encrusted sourdough of the grilled cheese… heavenly! We savored every bite!

Cheesy Ancho Corn Dip, BBQ Creekstone Short Rib, and Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese at Beer Kitchen
Cheesy Ancho Corn Dip, BBQ Creekstone Short Rib, and Triple Cheese Grilled Cheese at Beer Kitchen

Chez Elle

1713 Summit St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Walking into Chez Elle gives you the same feeling as walking down a Parisian street lined with cafe tables. This creperie and coffeehouse converted the historic Summit Theater building into a quaint cafe serving up every type of crepe you can imagine, along with salads, soups, and pastries.

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant

2450 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining and fun Kansas city restaurant than Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant. As you can likely guess, it is a railroad-themed restaurant and yes, they do have a model train running through the restaurant. You’ll be given a conductor hat to wear so be prepared to go along with the fun. (Even if it is cheesy!)

Food-wise, you’ll find your typical American classics here like burgers, hot dogs, and fries.

Room 39, Midtown

1719 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111

A contender for the best breakfast in Kansas City is Room 39. They use seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers, and their menu is constantly changing. We ordered the Brioche French Toast, which had two brioche slices battered in cinnamon-egg custard and was served with bacon and potatoes. We’d never had French Toast with brioche bread before, so we enjoyed having this dish!

Brioche French Toast at Room 39, one of the most unique places to eat in Kansas City
Brioche French Toast at Room 39


1707 Locust St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Parlor is definitely one of the most unique Kansas City restaurant concepts and is where you should head if you can’t decide what to eat. It’s a three-story building that holds seven different restaurants, from KC Mac’ N Co with some unique mac and cheese flavors to Taco Tank, the “oversized taco cart” featuring tacos made with the freshest ingredients.

This is a fun place to eat if you’re with a group because everyone can choose whatever they’re craving and you can still enjoy a single table.

Made In KC Cafe

Multiple locations

The famous Made in KC brand opened a few little coffee shops throughout the city. The River Market location has to be one of the most unique places to eat in Kansas City (or, well, drink in this case!) as it’s located inside of a refurbished trolley car. Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry and find a spot on the trolley patio. Or, take it to go and wander through the River Market.

Messenger Coffee Co.

1624 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

We fell in love with Messenger Coffee Company and think it’s truly one of the most unique places to eat in Kansas City. This multi-floor space serves quality coffee and pastries, all made there in front of customers! We loved how open it was, and thought the stairs were really cool. They even have a rooftop area with an outdoor fireplace!

Seeing (and smelling) the coffee being roasted only added to the experience. There’s also an area where you can see bread and pastries being made. All from your table! If you’d rather have a more quiet spot to read, however, you can head to the penthouse level which has extra seating.

Yummy pastries from Messenger Coffee Co.
Yummy pastries from Messenger Coffee Co.

Fox and Pearl

2143 Summit St, Kansas City, MO 64108

A self-proclaimed “Midwestern bistro”, Fox and Pearl was named one of Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants in America” in 2020 and a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards. The menu could be described as “country-chic” with dishes like sausage hand pie, smoked chicken, and strip steak.

This is not a budget restaurant by any means but would be an ideal spot for a nice dinner out – maybe even date night. And the space itself is cool, in a 1907 renovated building. This is definitely one for the foodies to add to their list!

Cafe Gratitude

333 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

At Cafe Gratitude, everything is “100% Organic, 100% Plant-Based, 100% Love”. Menu items are given affirmations as names, which you’ll hear repeated back to you when you order. For example, order “I Am Enough” (aka hummus toast) and you’ll hear “You Are Enough” in return.

As you likely guessed, everything at Cafe Gratitude is plant-based and vegan, with a focus on healthy, nutritious foods that encourage you to “open your heart”.

It’s a cute, heart-warming place and while it’s not for everyone (or at least all occasions), it’s one of the most unique places to eat in Kansas City! (I mean, I’ve never had affirmations repeated to me at any other restaurant – have you?)

Final Thoughts On Unique Places To Eat In Kansas City

The amount of flavorful and mouthwatering food in Kansas City really surprised us. We knew that Kansas City was known for amazing barbecue, but seriously… we had no idea that we’d eat SO well during our trip. We’d go back just for that grilled cheese alone! So if you love great food, we recommend a visit to some of these unique restaurants in Kansas City!

Have you been to Kansas City, Missouri? Are there any restaurants you’d recommend for our next visit? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂

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Unique places to eat in Kansas City, Missouri - There are a surprising amount of fun and delicious eateries and they don't all include BBQ!

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  1. Alicia Glassmeyer says:

    OMG!!! Such good food in KC! Can’t wait to go back.

  2. Great article – glad you enjoyed our town – you mentioned some places I have never tried – they are on my list now!

  3. Everything looks super yummy! Now I wanna go just for the food!

  4. How would you rate Kansas City for vegetarians? I usually find most western cities too heavy on non-vegetarian or sugary food.

  5. Umm YUM!!! That beef brisket is making my mouth water right now, and since I’m reading this over breakfast I wish I had some of that brioche french toast!

  6. Never been to Kansas City but I would love some BBQ myself! That Angus Beef brisket looks delish. Too bad that and the oreo stuffed donut aren’t sold in the same resto!

  7. I had no idea that Kansas City had this much great food! I’m particularly lusting after the certified Angus beef brisket, but the Bubble Waffle… WOW!

  8. Yum, Yum Yum! Just drooling over my keyboard as Im typing this. The bubble waffle looks so good! And who doesn’t love a delicious eggs benedict. If I could eat eggs benedict everyday, I would be so happy!

  9. Some great looking food. Like the sound of the Beer Kitchen and anywhere called the Doughnut Lounge is a place we definitely need to visit. Mmmmmm…doughnuts!!

  10. This article is so helpful for us! We are in Arkansas right now and will be heading into Missouri in the next few weeks. Finding a great place to eat is one of the tricky things about traveling all the time. The Beer Kitchen sounds so good, my mouth watered the entire time I read the descriptions. Our youngest will want us to visit Room 39 though because he loves going out for breakfast and since it is the best in town, we will have to try it!

  11. Some amazing food variety there. Though not a beef taker other options look delicious to me.

  12. Wow, looks like Kansas would be a little heaven for a food adventurer like me! There’s too many delicious food pictures here to handle. Feel like getting something to munch now, though I’ve just had my lunch 10 minutes ago, lol. I’m particularly interested with Messenger Coffee Company and would definitely visit it when I’m in town 😀

  13. Great eats! I never knew Kansas would be such a food haven! I wish to go here too!

  14. Julie Skivers says:

    One VERY UNIQUE AND CHARMING restaurant is anout 9 miles outside of KC…it’s Cafe Di’ Amis in Parkville, Mo. Look at the website and read about it! I think you will end up there!!

  15. I’m visiting Kansas City on Sunday and I can’t be grateful enough for the list of these amazing places to visit. I’ll definitely give most of these a try and I have a strong feeling that I will love them 🙂

    1. We bet you will Mark! Let us know which is your favorite. 😉

  16. May want the mention donut lounge is closed.

    1. Oh no! That’s so sad! We really liked their donuts. 🙁

  17. Great spots! I love the variety of restaurants you have here. They look absolutely delicious!

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