Hottest Restaurants and Bars in Kansas City

November 22, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Looking for the next best place to dine or drink? Check out one of these Kansas City hot spots.

The Monarch Bar
Cocktail Bar · $$$$

This chic Plaza Area lounge's elaborate drink menu showcases handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits and wine alongside shareables like charcuterie, chocolate truffles and caviar service. A thousand translucent butterflies hang over an open, white marble bar in the über-contemporary space, and there's a stylish, draped patio and a moody, reservation-only bar called the Parlour.
EJ's Urban Eatery
American · $

Modern technique meets Southern tradition inside this West Bottoms counter-serve meat-and-three joint, where chef John Cedric Smith (801 Chophouse, Pig & Finch) dishes up smoked meats, hot fried chicken and classic sides, plus beer and cocktails. Tin ceilings, bare beams, a long wooden bar and exposed brick complete the down-home vibe.
Italian · $$$

Set in the revamped Hotel Phillips, this all-day Italian sources seasonal ingredients to prepare traditional plates of antipasti, meatballs and pastas served alongside creative cocktails. Oozing modern style, sleek black leather banquettes are brightened up with light wood columns, industrial chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto 12th Street.
Urban Cafe KC

Fresh, seasonal breakfast and lunch fare like organic eggs, artisanal sandwiches and grain bowls plus vegan and grab-and-go options pair with smoothies and coffee inside this cozy family-run Manheim Park outpost. The counter-serve space is homey and cheerful, with a colorful chalkboard menu, communal seating and rustic accents like corrugated tin and exposed brick.
Messenger Coffee Co. + Ibis Bakery

Spread over three stories connected by a winding staircase, this sunlit Crossroads cafe offers house-roasted coffee, pastries, light bites and bread made from grains milled on-site. Each level sports a crisp, modern design, featuring concrete floors, white walls and views of the baking, milling and roasting operations, plus an expansive rooftop with skyline views and a fire pit.
Swordfish Tom's
Cocktail Bar · $$$

The pre-Prohibition era of cocktails inspires this intimate Crossroads speakeasy from Jill Cockson (of Lincoln, Nebraska's Other Room) where drinks are made with premium-only spirits, housemade ingredients and ice bearing the bar’s logo. Hidden inside an office building, the lobby – outfitted with green and red lights indicating when guests may enter – gives way to a dim, 30-seat space exuding turn-of-the-century elegance.
Repeal 18th Bar & Bistro

Whiskey-focused craft cocktails and rotating seasonal drinks top the menu at this hip North Kansas City gastropub, also serving elevated New American bar snacks. Industrial-chic interiors are capped off with Edison light bulbs and subway tile, plus a sprawling outdoor space with a stage and fire pits.
The Antler Room
American · $$

Expect elegant plates of seasonal Mediterranean fare at this Hospital Hill destination offering a rotating menu of homemade pastas and family-style grilled plates paired with international wine, local beer and cocktails. Wood-paneled herringbone walls line the rustic space, which features contemporary light fixtures and brass accents throughout.
The Rieger
French · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

Fans call this "inventive" Crossroads New American an "amazing" , "meat-centric" "delight" that's "helping remake" the city's culinary reputation; most agree prices are "appropriate" considering the "upscale urban setting" and "outstanding service.
Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room
American · $$

This happening Crossroads Arts District supper club from husband-and-wife duo Michael and Christina Corvino does triple duty with seasonal New American fare, casual late-night options (burgers, fried chicken) and a tasting menu served in a private room. The sleek, moody space is painted with murals of huge namesake ravens and features nightly live music.