This past weekend, I traveled to Kansas City for a quick visit to see some of my college friends. Even though I went to school 2 hours away, I had actually only driven through the city a few times and visited a suburb once. Coming from Chicago, I’m always in awe of other cities and how manageable they are to get around and explore. Here are some of the highlights from my trip.
Of course this is the first category, because DUH. Kansas City is known for their barbeque, but ironically, I didn’t have any when I was there! Sorry for the lack of food pictures, I was too busy eating, I guess.
Char Bar – Westport
My friends and I went to Char Bar for brunch, but it’s actually more of a lunch/dinner place. Their brunch drinks weren’t the typical mimosas and bloody marys- my friends ordered Peach Mimosas and I had a Blackberry-Basil Fizz. The Peach Mimosas had a little Crown Royal in there, so definitely a different take on the traditional mimosa. Food-wise, I had the Smoked Chicken Hash. WOW. Spicy (peppers), fluffy (eggs), crunchy (potatoes) deliciousness. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Cheesy Hushpuppies appetizer. Yum.
Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop – Crossroads
I’m a big fan of Asian cuisine, especially Thai food and Lulu’s came highly recommended. To start, we ordered maybe the best crab rangoon I’ve ever had (real crab meat, too!). Drinkwise, their cocktails were super interesting. I had a Tiger Lilly which I can only describe a mojito-esque screwdriver: orange, vodka, housemade lemonade and basil. You could really taste the basil (delicious). My friends had a drink that was a twist on the traditional Long Island Iced tea and another friend had an interesting sweet/spicy drink- it had jalapeños in it!
The Farmhouse – River Market
If you like farm-to-table and quaint atmospheres, The Farmhouse is definitely the place to go. I guess they usually have huge wait-times, but we were smart and made a brunch reservation. I’m not a coffee fan, but my friends devoured two pots of the fresh pressed coffee. Everyone pretty much devoured their plates, with the cheesy grits and breakfast potatoes going quickly.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art – Midtown
One of my friends is an engineer. She LOVES bridges. Kemper just so happened to have a bridge exhibit going on. We explored the museum for a bit and it was nice to get out of the cold. Who knew there were so many different types of bridges?
Boulevard Brewing Company – Westside
I was introduced to Boulevard beer in college and I’ve missed it! They are most widely known for their Boulevard Wheat or Tank 7, but we each tried a flight of 4 different types. My favorites: Nutcracker Ale and Cranberry Orange Radler. I loved their photobooth – an old Airstream-esque camper filled with fun props! We tried to bring their decorative reindeer inside, but were given the no on that ….
Union Station/Crown Center – Downtown
It seems like every city has a Union Station. But this one is far better than Chicago’s. People actually go there to hang out, eat and explore, as opposed to Chicago’s which is strictly commuter/traveler-based. I loved the Christmas decorations! This is also connected to the Crown Center, which we walked around and grabbed some coffee.
Christopher Elbow Chocolates – Crossroads
OH MY GOSH. THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE I’VE EVER HAD. Seriously delicious. Christopher Elbow’s fine chocolates were beautiful, too. All marble designs and almost too pretty to eat! But their liquid chocolate is divine. I had peppermint and it cut the richness of the dark chocolate just enough to not overpower it. Topped with homemade vanilla marshmallows, this should be a required stop for all sweet-tooths.
Westside Storey – Westside
I love exploring local shops, especially if they are on the quirkier side. Westside Storey hosts local KC artists and companies and also sells antiques. I even found one from Chicago (which is ironically connected to where I currently work)!
I don’t know what I was envisioning when I constantly heard about The Plaza, but this definitely wasn’t it. It was incredible how many stores were in this area and how nice it was! We missed The Plaza lights, but grabbed a few items as we shopped around. Charlie Hustle is known for their KC heart shirts, so I didn’t think I could leave without picking one up (in Mizzou colors, of course).
I had the BEST time exploring KC with my wonderful friends! Thanks to all who hosted me around your beautiful city. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend for an inexpensive, fun, weekend getaway! Southwest roundtrip travel is almost always on sale from Chicago and it’s only about an hour flight.