Best Restaurants in Kansas City - Top 10 Spots Serving Delicious Foods

Discover the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City, and explore the top-rated food spots that offersa diverse range of culinary delights in Kansas.

by Krishika M

Updated Jun 23, 2023

Best Restaurants in Kansas City - Top 10 Spots Serving Delicious Foods

Best Restaurants in Kansas City

Kansas City, known for its vibrant culinary scene and rich food culture, is home to a plethora of exceptional restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences. Whether you're a barbecue enthusiast, a fan of international cuisine, or seeking fine dining experiences, Kansas City has something to offer for everyone.

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Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

W 47th Ave, Kansas City



West 39th Street, Kansas City


LC's Bar-B-Q

Blue Pkwy, Kansas City


Danny Edwards BBQ

Southwest Blvd, Kansas City


Slap's BBQ

Central Ave, Kansas City


The Antler Room

Holmes St, Kansas City


Earl’s Premier

E 59th St, Kansas City


Waldo Thai

Wornall Rd, Kansas City


Clay and Fire

W 17th St, Kansas City


Panther's Place

W 25th St, Kansas City

Top 10 Best Restaurants in Kansas City

In this guide, we will explore the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City, each renowned for their unique culinary creations, impeccable service, and inviting atmospheres. From savoring mouthwatering barbecue to indulging in upscale dining experiences, these restaurants have earned their reputation as the finest establishments in the city.

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So, prepare to embark on a culinary journey as we discover the best of Kansas City's dining scene and the exceptional restaurants that define it.

1. Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que (W 47th Ave, Kansas City)

Located just five minutes away from Midtown in Kansas City, Kansas, Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que is the undisputed gold standard of local barbecue. Upon arriving at this unique establishment, which doubles as a functioning gas station and restaurant, you might be taken aback by the wait and consider turning back to Missouri. However, I assure you it's well worth the wait.

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Join the line, embrace the lively atmosphere, and make some new friends while you await your turn to savor the flavors of Joe's. The combination of a convenience store-meets-busy dining room creates a one-of-a-kind dining experience that adds to the charm of the place.

Now, let's talk about your order. When it comes to Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que, you simply can't go wrong with their burnt ends and ribs. However, the standout star is undoubtedly the iconic Z-Man Sandwich. Loaded with mouthwatering brisket, provolone cheese, crispy onion rings, and a generous drizzle of barbecue sauce, all served on a kaiser roll, it's a true masterpiece.

Another delicious option is the Rocket Pig, featuring tender pulled pork, fried jalapeños, crispy bacon, and cheese, perfectly complemented by the spicy Night of the Living Pig BBQ sauce.

While it may take a bit of time, possibly upwards of 30 minutes, to receive your food, rest assured that the wait is worth every minute. Alternatively, you can always plan ahead by ordering online and picking up your order conveniently from the drive-thru.

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2. Q39 (West 39th Street, Kansas City)

For an upscale barbecue experience in Kansas City's Midtown area, Q39 is the place to be. Unlike traditional BBQ joints with crowds of people wearing plastic bibs and sauce-covered fingers, Q39 offers a refined dining experience where cloth napkins are the norm.

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Located conveniently off 39th Street, this establishment features a modern farmhouse-style dining room adorned with trophies proudly showcasing their accolades for their outstanding meats.

Q39 is known for its exceptional sauces, allowing you to customize your BBQ experience. Choose between their original sauce, a delightful blend of sweetness and apricot molasses, or their zesty sauce featuring the tang of apple cider vinegar. Both options are sure to complement the flavors of their expertly prepared meats.

When dining at Q39, be sure to indulge in their renowned burnt ends, a true Kansas City BBQ delicacy. Alternatively, opt for a meat platter to savor a variety of flavors, including spare ribs, brisket, and chipotle sausage. Whether you're impressing out-of-towners or gathering with a large group, Q39 offers a delightful ambience and a menu that will satisfy even the most discerning barbecue connoisseurs.

Located at 1000 West 39th Street in Kansas City, Q39 not only delivers exceptional barbecue but also boasts a selection of good beers, ensuring a well-rounded dining experience. So, if you're seeking a BBQ destination that combines top-notch meats, award-winning sauces, and an upscale atmosphere, Q39 is the ideal choice.

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Prepare to be impressed by their commitment to quality and their dedication to providing an elevated BBQ experience.

3. LC's Bar-B-Q (Blue Pkwy, Kansas City)

When it comes to barbecue that's unrivaled in both smoke and seasoning, LC's Bar-B-Q in South Kansas City, Missouri is the place to be. While the sight of bars on the windows may seem peculiar, they only serve to protect what many consider to be the best-seasoned ribs in all of Kansas City.

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As soon as you step inside this humble roadside joint, the enticing aroma of smoked meat envelops you. The source of this irresistible scent is none other than the hickory smoker located right behind the counter. A friendly reminder sign cautions against leaning on the counter while you admire the beautiful smoker in action.

A styrofoam plate filled with tender burnt ends and crispy fries awaits you at LC's Bar-B-Q. To enhance the flavors, be sure to generously ladle on their famous sauce and use slices of Wonder Bread to mop up every last bit of goodness. LC's homemade pork sausage stands in a league of its own, vastly different from the processed franks you'll find elsewhere.

With each bite, you'll taste the smokiness, the harmonious blend of spices, and see the finely ground chunks of meat within the casing. It's no exaggeration to say that LC's Bar-B-Q serves the best sausages in town.

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Whether you're seeking a quick and satisfying meal or looking for walk-in convenience, LC's Bar-B-Q caters to all. Its appeal extends to a diverse range of patrons, making it a destination that welcomes literally everyone.

Located at 5800 Blue Pkwy in Kansas City, LC's Bar-B-Q promises an authentic barbecue experience that showcases their exceptional smoke, well-seasoned meats, and unforgettable flavors. Don't miss the opportunity to indulge in the culinary treasures that have made LC's a beloved barbecue spot in South Kansas City.

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4. Danny Edwards BBQ (Southwest Blvd, Kansas City)

If you're seeking a classic and no-frills barbecue experience in Kansas City's West Side, look no further than Danny Edwards BBQ. This beloved establishment embodies the quintessential image of a traditional barbecue spot, complete with red and white checkered tablecloths and pitchers of refreshing iced tea.

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When dining at Danny Edwards BBQ, the Danny's Special is a must-try. For just $12.50, you can indulge in your choice of any meat alongside two delicious sides. Alternatively, consider opting for the combo plate, which includes a delectable combination of ribs, burnt ends, and brisket.

As for the sides, don't miss out on the smoky baked beans, which are generously accompanied by tender chunks of pork. In fact, the beans alone are substantial enough to satisfy your hunger.

Danny Edwards BBQ is perfect for those seeking quick and satisfying eats, making it an ideal destination for walk-ins. Its inviting and unpretentious atmosphere appeals to a wide range of diners, ensuring that literally everyone can feel at home and enjoy the flavors of Kansas City-style barbecue.

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Conveniently located at 2900 Southwest Blvd in Kansas City, Danny Edwards BBQ welcomes patrons with its warm hospitality and mouthwatering barbecue offerings. Whether you're a local or a visitor craving an authentic barbecue experience, this cherished spot is sure to fulfill your BBQ desires.

Prepare for a memorable meal filled with classic flavors, friendly service, and an atmosphere that captures the essence of Kansas City's barbecue heritage.

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5. Slap's BBQ (Central Ave, Kansas City)

If you're craving mouthwatering BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas, Slap's BBQ is a must-visit destination. Similar to Joe's, Slap's is known for its long lines and counter service, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere. However, what truly sets Slap's apart is its exceptional selection of sauces.

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The spicy sauce offers a traditional barbecue flavor with an added kick, while the sweet sauce boasts a prominent honey taste. Some patrons even enjoy savoring the sauces on their own, though dipping hush puppies or fries into them is a popular choice.

To make the most of your visit to Slap's, it's recommended to arrive early when they open at 11am. One of the standout items on the menu is the Mike Johnson sandwich, a tantalizing combination of brisket, jalapeño sausage, and white sauce, all nestled within a delectable pretzel bun.

However, it's important to note that Slap's operates on a first-come, first-served basis and closes its doors as soon as they run out of food. To avoid disappointment and ensure you get a taste of their delicious offerings, it's best to arrive before 1pm to beat the lunch rush.

Located at 553 Central Ave in Kansas City, Slap's BBQ is an excellent choice for those seeking a quick and satisfying BBQ experience. With its outdoor patio area, it also caters to those who prefer dining al fresco. So, if you're ready to indulge in top-notch BBQ and experience the unique flavors of Slap's sauces, plan your visit accordingly and prepare for a finger-licking good time.

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6. The Antler Room (Holmes St, Kansas City)

When it comes to choosing just one non-BBQ restaurant to visit in Kansas City, The Antler Room should be at the top of your list. This unique establishment, located in the Longfellow neighborhood, draws inspiration from the historical East-West trade routes. Upon entering, you'll be greeted by charming art featuring rabbits with antlers, adding a touch of whimsy to the atmosphere.

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At The Antler Room, prepare to embark on a culinary journey like no other. The restaurant boasts a rotating menu that showcases a fusion of flavors and ingredients from different cultures.

From delectable dishes such as duck with fried sunchokes and spinach, to tantalizing beef heart ragu served over malloreddus pasta, and locally sourced mushrooms paired with homemade cocoa campanelle, the menu offers a diverse and exciting range of options.

One of the standout features of The Antler Room is its commitment to seasonality. The menu evolves with the changing seasons, ensuring that each visit to the restaurant provides a unique dining experience. In fact, the culinary delights offered throughout the year are so captivating that it's worth considering multiple reservations for different seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—ensuring you don't miss out on any of the delectable offerings.

Situated at 2506 Holmes St in Kansas City, The Antler Room is an ideal choice for special occasions, fine dining, and those who enjoy the immersive experience of dining at the bar. The combination of innovative cuisine, delightful ambiance, and rotating menu make it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts seeking an extraordinary culinary adventure in Kansas City.

7. Earl’s Premier (E 59th St, Kansas City)

If you're in the Midwest but yearning for the coastal vibes of Martha's Vineyard, Earl's Premier is the bustling seafood bar that will transport you there. Located in Midtown Kansas City, this popular establishment strives to create an immersive experience reminiscent of seaside dining.

Prepare for a culinary adventure by starting with their rotating crudo options, with a special mention for the scallops paired with radish and cucumber. Enhance your experience with a refreshing frozen gin and tonic, setting the stage for a delightful evening ahead.

As you continue your dining journey at Earl's Premier, be sure to indulge in their shrimp cocktail, renowned for its exquisite flavors. However, the true highlight lies in their selection of oysters, widely regarded as some of the best in town.

Take a seat at the long bar and enjoy the spectacle of the skilled staff shucking oysters right before your eyes. The narrow layout of the restaurant, combined with its captivating coastal decor, adds to the authentic seaside ambiance.

Due to its immense popularity, securing a reservation at Earl's Premier can be challenging, often requiring booking weeks in advance. The demand for this exceptional seafood experience is a testament to the restaurant's reputation and quality. Therefore, it's highly recommended to plan ahead to secure your spot at this sought-after seafood destination.

Located at 651 E 59th St in Kansas City, Earl's Premier promises an evening of indulgence, where you can enjoy delectable seafood, sip on expertly crafted cocktails, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.

Whether you're seeking a place to see and be seen, prefer dining at the bar for a more interactive experience, or simply crave the taste of fresh seafood, Earl's Premier is a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts and those looking for a coastal escape in the heart of the Midwest.

8. Waldo Thai (Wornall Rd, Kansas City)

Waldo Thai has become a go-to destination for those seeking authentic northern Thai cuisine and exceptional service, drawing people from downtown Kansas City to the charming Waldo neighborhood, just a 15-minute drive away.

Known for their generous portions, the restaurant offers a rotating menu featuring delectable dishes such as laab and curries, ensuring that every visit brings something new to savor. For a truly immersive experience, the Traditional Lanna Experience sampler is highly recommended, as it includes six tantalizing starters accompanied by sticky rice.

Waldo Thai also caters to those seeking a delightful Happy Hour experience. With a daily Happy Hour offering, it's the perfect spot to unwind after work with refreshing drinks and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Additionally, every Wednesday, the restaurant introduces a new small plate menu, making it an excellent choice for a group dinner or a casual evening of culinary exploration.

While you're in the Waldo neighborhood, don't miss the opportunity to visit KC Bier Company's Biergarten, located nearby. Indulge in the delights of German-style lagers and crisp Hefeweizens, complementing your culinary adventure at Waldo Thai.

Conveniently situated at 8431 Wornall Rd in Kansas City, Waldo Thai welcomes guests with its inviting ambiance, impressive menu, and commitment to providing an unforgettable dining experience. Whether you're seeking a vibrant Happy Hour, a cozy meal at the bar, or a chance to sample a variety of small plates, this Thai gem in the heart of Waldo has you covered.

Prepare your taste buds for a journey through the flavors of northern Thailand, and allow Waldo Thai to satisfy your cravings for exceptional Thai cuisine.

9. Clay and Fire (W 17th St, Kansas City)

One of the latest additions to Kansas City's vibrant culinary scene is the emergence of exceptional Middle Eastern restaurants, with Baba's Pantry, a Palestinian-American lunch deli, garnering particular acclaim. However, when your dinner cravings lean towards hummus and flatbreads, Clay and Fire is the ultimate destination.

Nestled in a cozy, wood-paneled setting, this restaurant takes pride in its wood-fired cooking techniques, infusing every dish with a distinct and delightful flavor. Among their standout offerings are the C&F grandma pizza and the trabzon pide with sujuk, which can be considered the Middle Eastern equivalents of cheese and pepperoni pizzas.

With an array of mezze options available, including spicy seasonal vegetables, roasted olives, and grilled halloumi, Clay and Fire caters to vegetarians with excellence. This establishment is an ideal choice for those seeking a memorable dining experience that satisfies their plant-based preferences.

Moreover, Clay and Fire serves as an excellent starting point for a leisurely stroll through the West Side neighborhood, perhaps as you embark on a quest to find your dream home. Situated at 815 W 17th St in Kansas City, Clay and Fire invites both locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the enticing aromas and flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine.

The restaurant's inviting ambiance, coupled with its dedication to wood-fired culinary mastery, makes it an excellent choice for a wide range of diners, including everyone from couples embarking on their first or early dates to vegans in search of delectable plant-based options.

So, whether you're a food enthusiast, a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, or simply looking to embark on a culinary adventure, Clay and Fire promises an unforgettable dining experience.

10. Panther's Place (W 25th St, Kansas City)

If you find yourself in Kansas City during the summer, specifically on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, make sure to prioritize a visit to Panther's Place. This unique bar provides an atmosphere that resembles hanging out in the backyard of your closest friend, assuming your friend possesses exceptional gardening skills and has an impressive collection of vintage vans.

Once you step into Panther's Place, you might be pleasantly surprised by how effortlessly time can slip away. What may have initially been a plan to enjoy a single Aperol spritz, savor some delectable pizza, or indulge in a mouthwatering sandwich can quickly transform into an entire evening of delightful experiences.

Panther's Place serves as an excellent alternative to the bustling crowds at the local music venue, Power and Light, especially if you prefer spending your time outdoors in the company of friends within this hidden garden-like oasis.

So, if you're seeking a bar that caters to big groups, offers a fantastic outdoor patio area, serves delectable late-night eats, and dons a charming ambiance, look no further than Panther's Place. Located at 1000 W 25th St in Kansas City, this establishment is ready to welcome you with open arms.

Popular Restaurants in Kansas City

Novel: Located in the Crossroads Arts District, Novel is a renowned restaurant known for its creative and ever-evolving menu. With a focus on seasonal ingredients and inventive flavor combinations, this upscale eatery offers an exceptional dining experience that delights the senses.

Rye: Celebrating the best of Midwestern cuisine, Rye showcases a menu influenced by regional flavors and farm-to-table ingredients. From their famous fried chicken to delectable pies and hearty comfort food, Rye provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for a memorable dining experience.

Gram & Dun: Combining a contemporary American menu with a lively atmosphere, Gram & Dun is a popular choice for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Their diverse menu features everything from sandwiches and salads to steaks and seafood, catering to a wide range of tastes.

Port Fonda: Offering modern Mexican cuisine, Port Fonda is a favorite among locals. Known for their vibrant and flavorful dishes, this lively restaurant serves up everything from tacos and enchiladas to creative cocktails that perfectly complement the vibrant flavors.

Bluestem: As an upscale restaurant with a focus on fine dining, Bluestem presents an elegant and refined experience. With a multi-course tasting menu showcasing innovative and beautifully presented dishes, this restaurant is ideal for special occasions or those seeking a sophisticated culinary adventure.

Westside Local: Located in the Westside neighborhood, Westside Local embodies the farm-to-table concept. Their menu features locally sourced ingredients, highlighting the best of Kansas City's local flavors. From artisanal sandwiches and hearty mains to craft beers and handcrafted cocktails, this neighborhood gem offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Best Restaurants in Kansas City - FAQs

1. How were the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City selected?

The selection of the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City was based on a combination of factors, including customer reviews, culinary reputation, awards and recognition, menu diversity, quality of ingredients, ambiance, and overall dining experience.

2. Are reservations necessary for dining at the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City?

It is highly recommended to make reservations, especially for popular and upscale restaurants in Kansas City.

3. Can dietary restrictions and preferences be accommodated at the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City?

Yes, the top restaurants in Kansas City are known for their commitment to accommodating dietary restrictions and preferences. Many of them offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and other special dietary options.

4. Do the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City offer takeout or delivery services?

Yes, several of the top restaurants in Kansas City provide takeout and delivery services. 

5. Can I host private events or parties at the top 10 best restaurants in Kansas City?

Yes, many of the top restaurants in Kansas City offer private dining options or have event spaces available for hosting parties, celebrations, and special events. 

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