Kansas City

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 on 2022.02.02
75 Places
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This guide recommends visiting 5 neighbourhood(s) in Kansas City: Crossroads District, Downtown Rivermarket, West Bottoms, Westport and Westside

Josey Records

Record store • Hospital Hill

"Josey Records, Crossroads District. Started in Texas, Josey recently migrated to Kansas City and took over a beautiful old event space to house their vast collection of record treasures. Lounge and listen to albums or live bands in the back, or spend an hour or two flipping through the many bins. You’ll be hard pressed to not find something to take home and spin."

Josey Records

Amtrak Station - KCY

Transport interchange • Midtown

"Union Station, Crossroads District. Kansas City has always been a railway hub for the nation and Union Station was where thousands of travelers would disembark in the heart of the city. Built in dramatic period style in 1914, Union Station fell into disrepair and was closed in the 1980s, narrowly escaping demolition. The city thankfully elected to renovate the architectural masterpiece, which now welcomes visitors with theaters, a science center, a planetarium, exhibit halls, restaurants and cafes and more."

Amtrak Station - KCY

The Belfry

Gastropub • Crossroads

"The Belfry, Crossroads District. Started by celebrity chef Celina Tio, The Belfry takes its name from her Pennsylvania boarding school. Tucked off Grand Boulevard down the block, it feels very New York, with a long wood bar, original floor and tall windows looking out to the street below. The ever-changing craft beer tap list and selection of bar bites are top-notch, and their bourbon and whiskey selection is among the best in the city."

The Belfry

Hammerpress

Print shop • Quality Hill

"Hammerpress, Crossroads District. The venerable printing technique known as letterpress is back in vogue and Hammerpress owner Brady Vest has been leading the renaissance. Full of texture and character, this vast array of cards and posters brighten any occasion. But his shop is just as cool, a restored mid-century modern gem stocked full with handcrafted home furnishings and gifts."

Hammerpress

Green Lady Lounge

Cocktail bar • Hospital Hill

"Green Lady Lounge, Crossroads District. In a town well-known for its jazz-steeped history, the Green Lady carries that torch with pride. Past the unassuming door lies a low-lit, sexy room that beckons with a long bar, banquettes, live jazz bands right in the middle of everything and a wonderful list of cocktails and craft beers. It’s a perfect spot to top off an evening out in the area."

Green Lady Lounge

419 E 18th St

Building • Hospital Hill

"Thou Mayest coffee house, Crossroads District. Started in a garage by a coffee roasting gang of freewheeling renegades, Thou Mayest has become a community hub thanks to its beautifully distinctive space and vast array of tasty beverages. Come for a coffee in the morning or a beer in the afternoon, cozy up in a corner with a book or commune with friends on the back patio, either way you can’t lose."

419 E 18th St

Up-Down KC

Bar • Crossroads

"Up / Down Arcade Bar, Crossroads District. Talk about can’t lose: A double-decker bar featuring multiple patios and bursting at the seams with every retro arcade game you could want from the last few decades. There’s even classic pinball games (including KISS and Addams Family, hello!) and skee ball, plus giant Jenga and Connect Four. Grab a pizza slice from the window and a beer from their impressive and expansive list, get lost in your youth and get happy."

Up-Down KC

Torn Label Brewing Co.

Brewpub • Hospital Hill

"Torn Label Brewing Company, Crossroads District. Start-up breweries are now popping up in Kansas City like mushrooms after a heavy rain. Torn Label was one of the first to arise in the Crossroads a couple years back and they’re now in full flower. It’s not much from the street, nestled in an industrial area to the east, but get in the door off the patio and you’ll discover a cozy, reclaimed wood-paneled escape perfect for sampling their tasty brews with a friend."

Torn Label Brewing Co.

GrĂĽnauer

Austrian restaurant • Midtown

"Wunder Bar at Grunaüer, Crossroads District. This former railyard warehouse that faces Union Station was beautifully converted into a soaring dining area, but arguably the best aspect of the space is the cozy bar and broad patio that brims with people when the sun’s out. Subway tile and classic fixtures take you back, while the biggest area selection of German and Austrian beers on tap (plus housemade sausages, sauerkraut and other authentic bites from the Austrian owners) keeps us coming back. A truly unique eating and drinking spot in our city."

GrĂĽnauer

Christopher Elbow Chocolates

Chocolate shop • Hospital Hill

"Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates, Crossroads District. A native KC son, Christopher Elbow started playing with desserts in fine-dining restaurants before pursuing his chocolate passion. Over a decade and two moves later, his sleek modern chocolate shop evokes a sense of Willy Wonka and stands as an innovative, sweet-tooth magnet. Obsessive on crucial details from ingredients to aesthetics, Elbow’s true talents lie in unforgettable flavor combinations. You could bury me in Rosemary Caramel, among his first flavors, and I could eat my way out."

Christopher Elbow Chocolates

National WWI Museum and Memorial

War museum • Crown Center

"The Liberty Memorial, Crossroads District. Originally constructed as a memorial to World War I veterans, this stunning civic landmark remains a commanding and inviting presence. The main landing offers one of the best views in the city, and you can even take an elevator to the top of the spire to make it that much more dramatic. Carved out from under the spire is a beautiful space dedicated to the official US World War I Museum, a worthwhile attraction in its own right."

National WWI Museum and Memorial

Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop

Restaurant • Crossroads

"Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop, Crossroads District. You can’t miss Lulu’s colorful presence when cruising down Southwest Boulevard, the main drag of the Crossroads. The bustling main dining room is particularly cranking at lunch, when it fills with area professionals, artists, musicians and other creative types hungry for their lunch specials, fruit-infused cocktails and solid craft-beer selection. Their curry and noodle dishes will make you happy, so too the basil fried rice."

Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop

Extra Virgin

Restaurant • Crossroads

"Extra Virgin, Crossroads District. EV, as it’s often called, is a more adventurous and affordable offshoot from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith, whose eponymous fine dining restaurant is right next door. The broad, seasonally influenced menu ranges from pre-meal nibbles to full courses, with more unusual options like duck tongue tacos, rabbit gnocchi and BBQ pork belly buns riding alongside must-have perennials like empanadas, chicken thighs with chorizo and a killer house-made hummus. When it’s not winter, opt for dining in public on the broad patio. Pro tip: It’s especially inviting at lunch, when much of the menu is half-price and wine from their interesting list is discounted $2 a glass."

Extra Virgin

Ricos Tacos Lupe

Mexican restaurant • Kansas City

"Ricos Tacos "Lupe", Crossroads District. You’ve got a craving for authentic street tacos that won’t quit. So heed that call here, where they actually cook on a street cart built into the front wall. Really. Their al pastor pork is a must and at $1.50 apiece ($1 on Tuesdays) you can stuff yourself for next to nothing. In fact, some people get competitive and pictures line the walls of triumphant souls who have consumed incomprehensible numbers of tacos in one sitting. Pro tip: You can BYOB. And use the green salsa liberally. Warning: They should call it “Reekos” because you’ll walk out smelling like a burrito, but you won’t care."

Ricos Tacos Lupe

Ricos Tacos Lupe

Mexican restaurant • Kansas City

"Ricos Tacos "Lupe", Crossroads District. You’ve got a craving for authentic street tacos that won’t quit. So heed that call here, where they actually cook on a street cart built into the front wall. Really. Their al pastor pork is a must and at $1.50 apiece ($1 on Tuesdays) you can stuff yourself for next to nothing. In fact, some people get competitive and pictures line the walls of triumphant souls who have consumed incomprehensible numbers of tacos in one sitting. Pro tip: You can BYOB. And use the green salsa liberally. Warning: They should call it “Reekos” because you’ll walk out smelling like a burrito, but you won’t care."

Ricos Tacos Lupe

Town Topic Hamburgers Broadway

Restaurant • Crossroads

"Town Topic, Crossroads District. A KC mainstay since 1937, Town Topic’s neon signs continue to beckon. Two tiny Crossroads outlets serve up short-order eggs, burgers, fries, shakes, pies and other primal goodies from lunch through last call. When in need, there’s no better remedy in the area. Kids love it and they even managed to tuck a pinball machine behind the grill."

Town Topic Hamburgers Broadway

Tom's Town Distilling Co.

Distillery • Crossroads

"Tom's Town, Crossroads District. Relatively new to the scene, Tom’s Town is both a distillery and Art-Deco inspired lounge/event space. The owners gutted and repurposed a historic brick building to create an inviting environment that takes you back to Kansas City’s illicit past, while still feeling thoroughly current. Their attention to detail is evident everywhere from the cocktails to the décor. Get a Manhattan and some fried green tomatoes and get happy."

Tom's Town Distilling Co.

CROHN'S

Building • Kansas City

"Town of Kansas Bridge, Downtown Rivermarket. Kansas City was born on the banks of the Missouri River. The river fueled the city in its origins, and today there is so much to still gain from thinking, staring and wandering beside it. Port kc has done a great job rebuilding the area and connecting the river front with some killer trails, making it a great place to take your bike or your coffee and explore when you’re in KC."

CROHN'S

City Market

Farmers' market • Kansas City

"City Market, Downtown Rivermarket. The center of everything in the river market is the farmers market - every weekend it’s a cultural and colorful place to grab some local goods: spices, fresh local produce, clothing, jewelry, really anything. Bring your sketchbook, grab lunch at one of the killer carts, and take in some serious connecting or people watching."

City Market

Harry's Country Club

Restaurant • Kansas City

"Harry's Country Club, Downtown Rivermarket. A great place to grab food and a drink. Its a killer take on a 40s roadhouse with a dose of eye candy. mid-day sundays are the best time to visit, as their drinks and their rare, high end spirits referred to as the “medicine cabinet” are all 40% off. their menu consists of original appetizers, and dishes like southern rice with sautéed shrimp and veggies, as well as savory sandwiches."

Harry's Country Club

"Kansas City Library, Downtown Rivermarket. Like a location straight out of the 20s - the 1906 historic bank converted to library is a seriously incredible space. The highly maintained historic building contains huge marble columns and beautiful crystal chandeliers that make you feel like you should be wearing a suit and tie. They created really unique spaces throughout, including using the huge old bank vault as a movie theatre, and many quiet corners and tables for studying with vintage modern book decor."

The Kansas City Public Library: Central Library

Arabia Steamboat Museum

Museum • Kansas City

"Steamboat Arabia Museum, Downtown Rivermarket. I know this isn’t supposed to be a museum guide, but I urge creatives to check it out. Steamboats helped build Kansas City because of easy access to the Missouri and Kansas rivers. The museum is mainly a dip into the past with their collection of restored items from the 1800’s that were found on a sunken ship near Kansas City. Its pretty killer to see how well everything was preserved despite being buried in silt for over 120 years. This museum was super informative and a lot can be learned from it as well as the regions history."

Arabia Steamboat Museum

The Bite

Sandwich shop • Kansas City

"The Bite, Downtown Rivermarket. If you ask them they are a sandwich shop. If you ask me they are a place to give your taste buds a rebirth. They have conjured up some of the most unique and delicious mix of asian and Mexican inspired goods you can have in the market. Tell them Señor Chang sent you oh and don’t forget the Patatas Bravas."

The Bite

Planters Seed & Spice Co

Garden center • Kansas City

"Planters Seed Store, Downtown Rivermarket. Dedicated stores are always worth a visit, and a store completely devoted to growing food the right way is worth going the distance for. Seriously one of the most knowledgeable staff and robust offerings for growing or seasoning pretty much anything that you can grow and consume at home. They got me at their throwback signage and extreme seed organization, but kept me coming back with product variety and small town feel."

Planters Seed & Spice Co

Milwaukee Delicatessen Company

Pizza restaurant • Downtown

"Milwaukee Deli, Downtown Rivermarket. Freaking good Beer, sandwiches and pizza interlaced with a historical dining ambiance. it’s located in what was one the oldest hotels in the area: the Cosby hotel. back in 1933 it was the first place Anheuser Busch would deliver beer after prohibition, so try sitting at the huge crafted oak wall and mirror bar…and not to order a beer."

Milwaukee Delicatessen Company

The Farmhouse

American restaurant • Kansas City

"The Farmhouse, Downtown Rivermarket. The perfect farmers market spot to truly eat local and Farm to table food. Everything is savory and meticulously plated-I personally love their brunch. experience is killer and one of the few spots that serves french press coffee. The recipes always feel original, familiar but nothing cookie cutter, soo on point!"

The Farmhouse

River Market Antiques

Antique store • Kansas City

"River Market Antiques, Downtown Rivermarket. 4 stories of floor to ceiling vintage finds, a personal go to when kicking off a new project to get the creative fuel flowing. Every booth is curated well and depending on what vintage or weird stuff you’re looking for, there is a good chance you can find it. Plan to spend some time in there and prepare your eyes to go twitchy looking at everything."

River Market Antiques

Bella Patina

Antique store • Quality Hill

"Bella Patina, West Bottoms. Need a shopping respite? Head straight up to the 3rd floor where you’ll find someone selling cold beer and [The Painted Rooster Cafe](https://www.facebook.com/Painted-Rooster-805893712834898/). Grab a sandwich from Kira and her adorable extended family, then enjoy plentiful seating—something of a novelty on FF weekends— while you make your afternoon shopping plans. Once you've recharged, peruse the 3rd floor local maker’s market then shop your way down to ground level. They have a nice variety of well-curated antiques."

Bella Patina

Voltaire

New American restaurant • Kansas City

"Voltaire, West Bottoms. Voltaire has some of the best bar ambiance in the city. Perfect for a date. Great for happy hour. Or solely for an incredible dinner. The long and narrow space is dimly lit with a rotating cast of good art and seasonally shifting cocktail and food menus. I recommend simply ponying up to the bar, talking likes and dislikes, and letting their incredibly talented bar staff make you just what you need. Then, order some food whether you’re hungry or not, because it’s incredible. Charcuterie plate? Yup, always. An entree? Yes, probably that too. Open Weds–Sun @4pm. Side note: Voltaire is also taking over the shuttered Golden Ox restaurant across the street, with a planned renovation and rebirth in early 2017."

Voltaire

Bottoms Up Antique Market

Antique store • Quality Hill

"Bottoms Up, West Bottoms. If you only have time for one stop, go here. I recommend starting on the 4th floor, and turning right. You’ll immediately be immersed into Prize’s amazingly well-curated world of wonders (Joanna Gaines is a client of Steve's). IMHO, its the best of the West Bottoms. If you instead go left, you’ll hit [American Antique Wood](http://www.antique-wood.com) and a bevy of custom-made, reclaimed wood furniture. Other notables: Vintage Itch on the 2nd floor: a small but mighty booth of mid-century finds. Also on 2, [Copper Rooster](http://www.copperroosterrestoration.com/contact-us.html): funky-beautiful, handmade industrial lamps."

Bottoms Up Antique Market

Lucky Boys

Bar & grill • Kansas City

"Lucky Boys, West Bottoms. When the circus is in town, this is where they drink. True story. While some of the ambiance of the former [Grandma’s](http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/bars/a35124/best-bars-in-america-2015/) space remains, the new owners have brought some retro-grit panache to the space. The music is good. And, the food is pretty legit with from-scratch offerings like Louisville Hot Chicken. This is one of those magical bars where you “just go and grab one beer” and fall down the rabbit hole. Just let it happen, my friends. Open Tues-Sat @5pm."

Lucky Boys

American Royal Center

Non-profit organization • Kansas City

"The American Royal, West Bottoms. Many in KC think of the Royal as simply the World Series of BBQ. But it is a pretty big part of Kansas City’s history, dating back to 1899. For instance, sports fans, did you know that our beloved Royals were named after the American Royal? And that the crown was inspired from the American Royal’s logo? For the purpose of this website, I’m talking about the building itself versus the fall festival. I recommend going inside and poking around the American Royal Museum. It is a bit outdated, but full of really interesting stuff, and some juicy history of the many American Royal buildings before. And there's a mechanical saddle. Just saying."

American Royal Center

The Ship

Bar & grill • Quality Hill

"The Ship, West Bottoms. A gem in the sea of warehouses, The Ship is the perfect last stop on your West Bottoms pub crawl. Yes, you may feel like you’re walking into an abandoned building from the outside. But walk in and be transported to another place and time. The kitschy, nautical decor is in fact from the original 1935 bar of the same name, discovered in the basement of a West Bottoms warehouse in 2004. Since then it has gone from a speakeasy to liquor license-toting establishment. However, it still maintains that undiscovered charm. Go for the live music and stay for no-fuss drinking."

The Ship

Good Ju Ju

Antique store • Quality Hill

"Good Juju, West Bottoms. Good Juju is a West Bottoms veteran as antique shops go; I think they were the first. As a result, they are one of the more recognizable names and tend to be super busy on First Friday weekends. There is plentiful, free parking nearby, making this a great place to either start or end your day. I would characterize the antiques here as more on the shabby chic spectrum, a great place to get a cute little dresser for a kid’s room."

Good Ju Ju

Stockyards Brewing Co

Brewery • Kansas City

"Stockyards Brewing Co., West Bottoms. While not quite open yet — slated for early Spring, 2016 — these guys are well-positioned to be a beacon for where the West Bottoms are headed. Situated in the former Golden Ox space, they’ve successfully breathed new life into the space while keeping some of the cowboy charm. They’re brewing on-site, duh, with the aim to open with 5 beers and eventually distribute. Ranging from Pilsner to what they’re calling a Brunch Stout, they’re all unpretentious, drinkable beers. Yes, so much yes. I had a sneak peek taste of the stout and it was mighty tasty. They'll have bar munchies too."

Stockyards Brewing Co

Amigoni Urban Winery

Winery • Kansas City

"Amigoni Urban Winery, West Bottoms. This is such a great spot in the neighborhood. It doubles as a tasting room and beautiful event space. Head over here for a flight of tastings, or take a full glass up to the Mezzanine to hide away. While I’m woefully under-qualified to "review" the wines, I can say that the Viognier (white) is very balanced and drinkable, and pairs well with a sunny afternoon and good conversation with friends. Bonus, they're open from 11-7."

Amigoni Urban Winery

1400 W 12th St

Building • Quality Hill

"Le Fou Flea, West Bottoms. When Vicki (Queen Flea) opened this place, she was inspired by the name of local restaurant, Le Fou Frog, which translates as “the mad, crazy, insane Frenchman.” So, think of Le Fou Flea as the “mad, crazy, insane Flea market.” Many of the exposed concrete walls within are covered in local graffiti, and it is full of interesting finds. Stop in for a drink at the Cafe Brand on the top floor, then make your way down to 1 of a Find on the 2nd floor, filled with tons of extremely well-priced mid-century goodies. And, a singing Elvis."

1400 W 12th St

"Freighthouse Fitness, West Bottoms. Like Blip Coffee, these guys were also affected by the fire. However they hustled into a new space quickly and are business as usual. There are a few gyms in the West Bottoms, but Freighthouse seems to have that magnetic sense of community paired with just the right amount of ass-kicking (30min classes) that makes you actually look forward to going to a gym. There’s old-school hip hop blasting while you do a variety of strength-training exercises, all geared more toward aesthetics than performance. All in a raw space that makes you feel like [Rocky](http://giphy.com/gifs/rockymovie-movie-rocky-sylvester-stallone-d2ZfqZY5eSCR0rza). *Editor’s Note: I took a class there 4 days ago and can still barely walk.*"

Freight House Fitness (West Bottoms)

Serendipity Farm & Orchard, LLC

Attorney • Downtown

"Serendipity, West Bottoms. Serendipity has the most beautiful doors in the bottoms, and the shop interior is warm, cozy and inviting. Which is no surprise when you meet owner, Leanna, who immediately made me a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream upon learning what I was up to. Inside, you’ll find a mix of antiques and items from local makers. The basement is still relatively empty as West Bottoms antique shops go, but there are some really interesting vendors down there. Pay a visit to Ray and Bob of Hominy Creek in the back corner for some really beautiful raw wood panels, and to J Christopher for hand-made metal letterforms."

Serendipity Farm & Orchard, LLC

Stuffology

Antique store • Quality Hill

"Stuffology, West Bottoms. This is where you go for antique lighting in KC. Owner Paul Kostrow has made a point of filling this shop with unique finds. What it may lack in perfectly merchandised vignettes, it makes up 10-fold in one-of-a-kind art, unique lighting and general oddities. 10 points when you find the small, taxidermy bobcat. On your way out, look under the world’s largest pendant light for “internationally collected artist / character actor" Michael McQuary gesturing quick ink portraits and generally making a splash here in KC. He did my portrait, and is a trip of the very good variety."

Stuffology

Rag and Bone

Antique store • Quality Hill

"The Space, West Bottoms. Put a little funk in your antiquing here. In addition to a solid rotation of antiques, they converted the building’s old cash vault into a black light room and carry a nice vinyl collection. DJ Thundercutz spins retro soul on First Saturdays, and they have a cool little shop-within-the-shop for Into the Wood KC who make beautiful furniture and wood things. I never seem to leave here without buying something."

Rag and Bone

Livestock Exchange LLC

Apartment complex • Kansas City

"The Livestock Exchange Building, West Bottoms. You may not realize it from the outside, but this building is home to 475 offices, almost entirely filled with a pretty diverse pack of entrepreneurs. We range from artists and designers (including myself), to attorneys and livestock-associated businesses. This building is just cool, come by and wander around. It was built in 1910 during the heyday of the Kansas City Stockyards, which were the 2nd largest in the country behind Chicago. The original character has largely remained intact in the building. On the ground floor is the original “tote” board, which was like the Dow for livestock sales. On the second floor is a small plaque noting the height of the water during the 1951 flood, which is considered to be the beginning of the end for the Stockyards."

Livestock Exchange LLC

Haw Contemporary (Stockyards)

Art gallery • Kansas City

"Haw Contemporary, West Bottoms. I love the contrast of this building amidst the old brick buildings in the neighborhood. It is a beautiful gallery, and they have a well-curated rotation of artists. I highly recommend stopping by. Also enclosed in this building is Dolphin Frames and Dolphin Archival Printing upstairs. Both fun to just go and poke around."

Haw Contemporary (Stockyards)

The Lunch Box

Cafe • Kansas City

"The Lunch Box, West Bottoms. Part liquor store, part deli, this compact spot has surprisingly good sandwiches and just enough seating to relax and enjoy a hot sammy flanked by coolers of beer on one side and hungry construction workers on the other. This is a great option for grabbing a no-fuss lunch that beats the pants off of Wendy’s. The people are really nice. I recommend the Cuban."

The Lunch Box

Blip Roasters

Coffee shop • Kansas City

"Blip Coffee Roasters, West Bottoms. At the time of this writing, Blip had just had a fire in their building. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but their roasting facility and cafe were lost. Once they’re up and running again, Blip is your source for java in the Bottoms. Owner Ian Davis is more than just a coffee geek, he’s passionate about sustainability, building communities and motorcycles. You can support Blip’s rebuilding efforts by donating on their website, or purchasing a special microlot roast in partnership with Broadway Roasters. *Photos of courtesy of Blip, pre-fire.*"

Blip Roasters

Aquarius

Metaphysical supply store • Westport

"Aquarius, Westport. Westport may be peppered with old churches, but Aquarius is definitely among its spiritual destinations. Their store caters toward a variety of New Age & Eastern theologies & offers a wide variety of spiritual tools– from crystals & astrology charts to herbs, oils & incense. You can even get your aura photographed in the small bookstore located in the back. (Barbara's been interpreting auras for twenty years & will fill you in.) Even if you're not looking to explore your spirituality, Aquarius has so many interesting relics & supplies that it makes for a cool place to check out."

Aquarius

Donna's Dress Shop

Vintage clothing store • Kansas City

"Donna's Dress Shop, Westport. Donna's Dress Shop is a charming little boutique off 39th, offering a blend of vintage & new clothing, accessories, and shoes. The interior is both airy & cozy, with twinkling strands of lights & dried bouquets dangling from the ceiling. Even the dressing rooms are decked out with chandeliers, sofas & vintage wallpaper. Donna's collection of dresses are great for both cocktail parties & wedding parties alike. Of all it's unique details, my favorite is the pair of chirpy parakeets that greet you as you enter."

Donna's Dress Shop

Boomerang

Vintage clothing store • Kansas City

"Boomerang, Westport. Boomerang is your all-in-one stop for bellbottoms, sequin bras, disco glitter platforms & Bowie-as-Jareth wigs. This place is without a doubt the most eclectic, unique & fun vintage shop in KC. Besides over-the-top fashion, Boomerang also offers kitchy home goods, vinyl records & old photos of "instant distant relatives". Their mens & womens apparel racks are divided into decades, 1940s–'80s. Boomerang also rents out a variety of their retro suits & platforms, making dreams come true for prom dates with vintage tastes."

Boomerang

Freaks on Broadway

Tattoo shop • Westport

"Freaks on Broadway, Westport. I have a soft spot in my heart for Freaks, as the artists here gave me my first tattoo & facial piercing during my wild & crazy college days. Freaks on Broadway employs some of the most reputable & talented tattoo artists in Kansas City. I stopped by on a Friday & watched as Cara, one of their veteran body piercers, spoke in calm & soothing tones as she pierced a customer's lower lip. The artists here are incredibly friendly & informative– they talk you through the process & manage to put you at ease, even as a needle is hovering just above your skin. They have a large portfolio of work framed in their reception area, so you have something to keep you visually distracted as you wait your turn. Each artist has their own room, so you're granted privacy as you get pierced or tatted up. While you can always show up on impulse, their artists are on high demand, so it's best to call & schedule an appointment ahead of time."

Freaks on Broadway

Char Bar

Barbecue restaurant • Westport

"Char Bar, Westport. The plates at Char Bar live up to KC's reputation for world-class BBQ. Just about everyone you ask will have a different favorite, so it's hard to recommend just one dish. The pulled-pork is tender & flavorful, the chicken wings have just the right amount of smokiness, & the brisket is smoked for 21 hours until it's just right. Despite being marked with a skull & crossbones on the menu, their meat-free options are just as creative & delicious. The "Roots & Fruits" salad is a favorite, with a mix of roasted beats, parsnips, goat cheese, brussels sprouts, pistachios & oranges. During warmer months, the restaurant sprawls out onto their massive beer garden, where you can sip a Boulevard as you toss beanbags or smack around a ping pong or croquet ball."

Char Bar

Ruby Jean's Kitchen & Juicery

Juice shop • Longfellow

"Ruby Jean's Juicery, Westport. Walking into Ruby Jean's Juicery is like entering the tropics: their space is filled with lush ferns, giant palms, & canvas paintings of blooming flowers. Their menu is filled with healthy & fresh ingredients, with the Big Chief being their best-seller: banana, strawberry, coconut milk & agave. The vaulted ceilings are punched with skylights, creating a brightly-lit interior. Their brick-walled patio opens up during good weather & makes for a cozy space to enjoy your drink. If you're after more than just healthy nutrition, sign up for a membership at adjoining gym Port KC. It's just walk down the stairs from Ruby Jean's."

Ruby Jean's Kitchen & Juicery

Westport Cafe

French restaurant • Westport

"Westport Cafe, Westport. Westport Cafe is a modern take on French cuisine. Their menu is full of traditional French dishes with a creative twist: The Black Truffle Pasta with cilantro & coconut curry & the Crispy Lamb Terrine with orange are among my favorite appetizers. Westport Cafe is tucked into a row of restaurants along Westport road & they have an urban, lived-in atmosphere. Saturday & Sunday brunch at Westport Cafe hits the spot. Menu favorites include the Eggs Norwegian & the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. All of their brunch plates include a complimentary mimosa or breakfast cocktail, so bottoms up."

Westport Cafe

Bluestem

American restaurant • Westport

"Bluestem, Westport. Known for being one of (if not THE) the best restaurant in KC, Bluestem really doesn't disappoint. Opt for the bar instead of the dining room for the same exception service & less expensive menu selections. Among their signature dishes are the shrimp & grits (which always hits the spot) & the hanger steak, which is one of the best in the city. (Being Kansas City, that says a lot.) The bar area is usually packed, which adds to the lively ambiance. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny if you decide to splurge on their 3, 5, or 10-course dinners."

Bluestem

Broadway Café

Coffee shop • Westport

"Broadway Cafe, Westport. If you take your coffee local, Broadway Cafe should be on the top of your list. The baristas are friendly, the small cafe is cozy & the coffee is great. The floor-to-ceiling windows brighten up the space & make for a perfect place to meet up with friends or dive into a book. On a nice day, many customers prefer to lounge out front & enjoy the sun with their drinks."

Broadway Café

Westport Ale House

Bar • Westport

"Westport Ale House, Westport. If you're driving along Broadway, you can't miss this place. Westport Ale House is another fairly new addition to Westport. The building is an old 1950s relic & the bar/restaurant covers 5,000 square feet. Still, on game-days, this bar is jam-packed. With 20+ televisions, every seat is a good one. The rooftop patio opens up in the warmer months & is the perfect place to meet friends for happy hour. ($2.50 Boulevard pints + half-price burgers.) The food is traditional bar food: wings, nachos, pretzel bites, & everything else that goes great with a cold beer."

Westport Ale House

Julep

Bar • Westport

"Julep, Westport. The bartenders at Julep know their stuff. This is the place to come for a damn good cocktail. You don't have to be a whiskey lover to enjoy the drinks, although it certainly helps. In addition to the classics, Julep also creates their own cocktails. The Black Flower is one of my favorites– JTS Brown Bourbon, fig, vanilla, lemon & Angostura Aromatic Bitters. The interior has a unique vibe as well. The cut-mirror chandeliers & sliding library ladders create an illusion that you've walked into the Great Gatsby. Call ahead to book a whiskey tasting if that floats your boat."

Julep

Ça Va

Wine bar • Westport

"Ça Va, Westport. Ça Va evokes the vibe of a small Parisian champagne bar. The ambience is romantic & little spooky; small tables are tucked into the candlelit space amidst vintage furniture & exposed brick walls. Ça Va has an impressive selection of champagne & bubbly cocktails. Some days of the week offer special treats: Wednesday includes flights of champagne, Thursdays are for local musicians & Sunday brunches are noteworthy with a build-your-own mimosa bar."

Ça Va

Bunker

Clothing store • Westport

"The Bunker, Westport. Located right on the corner of Broadway & Westport Road, The Bunker has a prime location in Westport. Their selection of apparel & goods has gradually shifted to being a destination for KC-branded goods. In addition to carrying their own line, they also sell Ocean & Sea prints & Hammerpress cards. Although The Bunker is primarily an apparel store, they also sell shoes, designer sunglasses & watches."

Bunker

Fidel's

Cigar shop • Westport

"Fidel's Cigar Shop, Westport. Fidel's has been a staple in Westport for over fifteen years. When you walk in the doors, you're greeted with floor-to-ceiling cigar displays, vintage chandeliers & old-world leather chairs resting on a Persian rug. Fidel's is split in two, with the store in front & cigar lounge + bar in back. (BYOB is welcome as well.) Fidel's accommodates everyone from pipe-lovers to cigar aficionados. Their products are harvested from the world's premier cigar exporters, including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ecuador. Who knows, maybe even Cuban cigars will be back on the market soon."

Fidel's

Beer Kitchen

Pub • Westport

"Beer Kitchen, Westport. The name says it all. Beer Kitchen honors its namesake by offering up ice-cold brews & mouthwatering dishes. Their tap list is impressive, with everything from wild ales to Czech pilsners. It's a great atmosphere for lunch & dinner, but brunch at Beer Kitchen hits the spot– the drunken donuts paired with a tall mimosa (or three) will leave you buzzed & satisfied. The atmosphere is cheery & celebrates all things beer: bottle caps plug the walls & tap handles dangle from the lights strung below the ceiling. Prost, salut & cheers!"

Beer Kitchen

Port Fonda

Mexican restaurant • Westport

"Port Fonda, Westport. I can say with 100% certainty that you will not taste Mexican food quite like this anywhere else in Kansas City. Port Fonda's menu is as imaginative & adventurous as it is delicious. The restaurant began as an Airstream before settling their roots in Westport. Their carnitas tacos are my personal favorite: braised pork shoulder, adobo, grilled pineapple, cilantro, onion and fresh-squeezed lime. The interior is just as interesting as the menu; you'll find traditional-style tattoos inking the concrete walls, transparent murals coating the windows & traditional oil paintings of Mexican motifs."

Port Fonda

The Westside Local

American restaurant • Crossroads

"Westside Local, Westside. You’ll want to just hangout for hours at the Westside Local. It’s charming dining room, pocket-sized bar and alley beer garden make it very easy to just relax and soak up the ambiance. The menu is full of locally sourced fare that is just so delicious. The Localities (small bites meant to be shared) are a perfect way to start, especially the deviled eggs, and the entrees are all amazing. I highly recommend any burger and the grilled cheese, unless you hate juicy cheesy messy comfort foods. Their menu changes seasonally so you are sure to get the freshest possible ingredients. Westside Local is truly a neighborhood hangout, come eat and drink and be merry with the Westsiders!"

The Westside Local

Westside Storey

Boutique • Crossroads

"Westside Storey, Westside. West side Storey is a destination shop full of eclectic vintage goods and unique gifts. They carry over 20 local company’s wares, most notably the full line of Charlie Hustle t-shirts. Every time you go in, you are sure to see new things and even just doing a couple laps, you'll find new hidden gems you missed the first time around. This store is full of discoveries and lovely randomness like the owner’s Buddy Lee memorabilia collection. Stop in while you are waiting for a table at Westside Local or standing in line at Fervere’s Cheese Slipper night."

Westside Storey

PaleterĂ­as Tropicana

Ice cream shop • Kansas City

"Tropicana, Westside. Tropicana is a tiny little place on historic, Southwest Boulevard. They sell Michoacan style ice cream and paletas made daily onsite. It's so much fun to see rows and rows of bright colored frozen pops. It's 98% impossible to decide between the exotic fruits and chocolaty ones, so just get a few. They now sell fruit cocktails, smoothies, churros and Mexican style lunch and dinner foods, too. This place is a summer staple on the Boulevard, but really, there's no reason not to go year round, ice cream is never not delicious!"

PaleterĂ­as Tropicana

The Roasterie Factory Cafe

Coffee roasters • Kansas City

"Roasterie, Westside. The Roasterie has a few locations around Kansas City, but none as cool as the Factory location on the Westside. You can spot the building and the giant plane swooping off the roof from miles away. Clean lines, high ceilings, free wifi, lots of air-roasted coffee, you may not want to go home. Air-roasting is their claim to fame, it enhances the flavors of their direct trade coffee beans and they do it in the factory location. It’s fun to watch the forklifts drive around. The Roasterie team cares about the quality of the beans, the coffee and taking care of the farmers. With several specialty blends and coffees sourced world wide, you are bound to find a favorite, maybe 2 or 3."

The Roasterie Factory Cafe

Novel

Crossroads

"Novel, Westside. Owner and Chef Ryan Brazeal opened Novel as a way to present simple, but elevated food to the Kansas City market. The unique venue is candle lit and clad in aged woods, making it about as cozy as you can get. It doesn’t matter what you order, you just can’t make a bad choice when everything is perfect. The celery bisque with lumpy crab is a fan favorite as well as the Duroc Pork Chop. The Crudo is pretty spectacular too…you should probably just order a bunch of stuff and come back later for what you can’t order. I recommend eating on the patio if you can. It’s lovely."

Novel

Mattie Rhodes Art Center

Non-profit organization • Kansas City

"Mattie Rhodes Art Center, Westside. Mattie Rhodes Center has been helping Kansas City families for over 120 years! The Art Center and Gallery on 17th Street, has art camps for kids and events and art shows throughout the year. The store is filled with unique finds from Latin America, Mexico and local artists. It’ almost impossible to leave empty handed, which is fine because the money you spend goes to help a fantastic organization. If you happen to be in the neighborhood during October, do not miss the Dia De Los Muertos celebrations and gallery of altars."

Mattie Rhodes Art Center

MADI Apparel

Clothing store • Crossroads

"Madi Apparel, Westside. Founder and creator Hayley, started Madi Apparel after she learned that underwear is the most under donated item for people in need. She set out to create a thoughtful company that provides simply beautiful undergarments made out of sustainable bamboo fabrics. Each piece you buy provides a woman in need a pair of beautiful and comfortable underwear, giving her a tiny piece of luxury during a time she needs it most. The styles are classic and not fussy and unbelievably soft. Her shop in the Westside is a cozy space and a pleasure to shop, especially knowing your purchase will pay itself forward. Check out her site for more detailed info about her mission and process."

MADI Apparel

Los Alamos Cocina

Mexican restaurant • Crossroads

"Los Alamos Market y Cocina, Westside. Going to Los Alamos is like stepping across the border. There are piñatas hanging from the ceiling, Jarritos sodas in every flavor, giant bags of rice and tortillas, everywhere you look, it’s Mexico. The food is rustic and authentic, come hungry so you can try a few things! The meats are all slow cooked in various chili sauces and the guacamole is made to order. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch the sweet ladies making fresh tortillas while you wait for your food to be made. Everything on the menu is delicious and worth coming back again and again."

Los Alamos Cocina

theGYMkc: Westside

Gym • Crossroads

"GymKC, Westside. The GymKC Westside is not your typical working out experience. Imagine working out in a 1950’s basement of the party house on the block. Bright orange walls, shag carpet, vintage lamps and décor everywhere, it’s almost sad when no one offers you a Mai Tai. The classes are fun, especially Paulates, The Bikefast Club and Yoga with Bernie. Try not to look surprised when you see people practicing their unicycle tricks in the back room."

theGYMkc: Westside

Fud

Crossroads

"FĂĽd, Westside. Vegan comfort food is actually a thing, and FĂĽd delivers the best of the best. They have almost endless options of raw, vegan, gluten-free dishes, using tons of amazing sauces made from cashews, sunflowers and hemp seeds. They source as much local ingredients as possible and of course they compost and recycle and make the world a better place. You can't go wrong or get bored at FĂĽd, the menu ranges from Asian, to Mexican to Italian and American. Do yourself a favor and get the nachos, trust me, you will dream about them. Don't forget to bring some good ole fashioned cash, no dairy or credit cards allowed."

Fud

Chez Elle CrĂŞperie and Coffeehouse

Crêperie • Crossroads

"Chez Elle Creperie & Coffeehouse, Westside. Parisian Crepes in a historic movie theater?! Yes please. Chez Elle Creperie is open for breakfast and lunch and offers a ton of savory and sweet crepes and also an insanely good lobster bisque. Seriously, do not, NOT order the bisque. It’s fun to sit by the kitchen and watch the crepe making in action. The place is full of over the top Paris themed décor and the outside area is straight off the streets of a charming French neighborhood. It’s always packed, so come early or just wait it out and work up your appetite for an extra crepe."

Chez Elle CrĂŞperie and Coffeehouse

Boulevard Brewing Company

Brewery • Kansas City

"Boulevard Brewing Company, Westside. Thank God John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Co. had a beerphifany during a trip to Europe. Otherwise, the world wouldn’t have any Tank 7 or Rye-on-Rye or Dark Truth Stout or any other amazing options from the experimental Smokestack Series. Ack, what a sad thought! Boulevard started from humble beginnings with a guy who just loves beer. All beers, every kind of beer. No longer in the shadow of the beer factory giants, Boulevard has made a name for itself in variety, quality and laid back Midwestern coolness, growing like crazy over the past couple years. Make time to take the tour, hear the history, buy a sweet t-shirt, and drink the free beer. It’s a great way to spend a couple hours."

Boulevard Brewing Company

blue bird bistro

Organic restaurant • Crossroads

"Blue Bird Bistro, Westside. Bluebird Bistro and it's bright yellow door is one of the original restaurants on Summit Street on the Westside. They make Mid American cuisine with locally sourced organic foods, most of it is a fancy version of comfort food. Their menu changes seasonally, their salads are great and their brunch is fantastic. It's the perfect spot to eat outside on a pretty day and people watch, you might even forget you are in the middle of the midwest for a bit. Make sure to save room for a cocktail or two and dessert, they are all great."

blue bird bistro

Ibis Bakery

Bakery • Crossroads

"Fervere, Westside. If you love bread and cheese and amazing smells, you need to stop at Fervere. It’s a tiny place with a wood fired oven that makes artisanal breads that sell out almost immediately, each of the 3 days a week they are open. You need to get there early so you can try them all, especially the Olive Rosemary, Orchard and Ciabatta…and the Sprouted Quinoa…and the Rye Cookies…yummm. On Saturdays in the spring and summer, they partner with local chefs using seasonal local ingredients to make Cheese Slippers. What are Cheese Slippers you ask, well, they are almost like a pizza, but not a pizza, they are just drool-worthy cheesy bready oozy goodness, that is 100% worth standing in an hour long line to taste. You should order more than one, and one of them should be the egg one. Trust me. Also, get there early, the line will be long and they will sell out."

Ibis Bakery