Kansas City's Best Restaurants

November 22, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Our guide to the highest-scoring restaurants in Kansas City.

SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza
Pizza · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

Families, "college students and empty nesters alike" "feast on all the delicious combos" of artisanal Neapolitan-style pizza at this "buzzing" local chain, also offering "awesome" Greek salad, sandwiches and gelato; ordering at the entrance before finding a table may seem "odd" , but most don't mind once the grub is "delivered with a smile.
Trezo Mare Restaurant & Lounge
Brunch · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

Fresh, inventive " seafood, " glam " decor (including a terrace with a view) and " impeccable " service are reasons this " outstanding " Northland Italian is " always a treat "; those who find it " a little on the pricey side " save it for a " special evening out " – or stick to the " bar scene" and its happy-hour deals.
Webster House
American · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.5

On the second floor of an "elegantly" restored schoolhouse (above an antique store), this "gorgeous" Eclectic "legacy spot" in the Crossroads "gets it right" with "sublimely innovative" fare, "professional yet relaxed" service and "excellent views" of the Kauffman Center; ideal for pre-curtain eats, it also "goes well with a bright glass of wine and some girl talk" – especially during the "good-value" lunch and happy hour.
Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Barbecue · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.3

Wowed " customers tout this " bold ", locally bred BBQ chainlet whose " unbelievable " ribs (" perfect slabs of piggy goodness "), " amazing " pulled pork and " supreme " sides go for " terrific-value " prices; the lines do get " out of control ", but " ecstatic loyal fans " insist it's " always worth the wait.
Osteria Il Centro
Italian · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

Diners "adore" this "bellissimo" Italian in South Plaza for "authentic" food that "takes you back to Verona" at a "great value" ; since it's "crowded nearly every night" , fans "wish they took reservations" , but the "hardy wait" can be passed "people-watching" and chumming with the staffers ( "who know pretty much everyone" ) over a glass from the 1,000-label wine list.
The Westside Local
Gastropub · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

Turning out "creative" American plates worth "dreaming about" , this Westsider is declared "fit for foodies" ; a "helpful but not hovering" staff adds to the "laid-back atmosphere" in both the "edgy" interior with exposed brick and "soaring" ceilings and the "bucolic" beer garden.
Michael Smith Restaurant
American · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

Not all interesting cuisine is east of the Mississippi or in California " declare fans of this Crossroads New American (sib to the adjacent Extra Virgin), a " metropolitan " standout where " daring " yet " refined " dishes are all the rage; a staff offering " spot-on " recommendations oversees the " minimalist, soothing " space (" more business than romantic "), and though some grumble about paying " double the price for half the food ", many prize it for " special occasions.
Room 39
Breakfast · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

Fans applaud the "craftsmanship" at these "offbeat" New American bistros where the "imaginative" , locally sourced menu "never feels contrived" ; service is "perfectly attentive" , so "who cares about minimalist decor" at the Midtown original (the Mission Farms outpost – where "Johnson County ladies lunch" – is a "dressed-up version" ); P.S. there's breakfast Monday–Saturday at 39th Street and a "killer" weekend brunch at Mission Farms.
The American
American · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

This is "what New American food is about" say fans of this "jewel" in Kansas City's Crown Center that's "stood the test of time" with its "fantastic" seasonal menu and "excellent" service; sure, the experience is "heavy on the wallet" , but, hey, the "million-dollar" skyline view alone is worth a "splurge.
Pierpont's at Union Station
American · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

Housed in "majestic" Union Station, this American "classic" boasts "soaring ceilings" in the "breathtaking bar" alongside a more "intimate" dining room; "professional" servers pair "amazing" steaks and seafood with "top-notch" wines, but be sure to bring your "boss' credit card" , or opt for the "fantastic-value" happy hour or "small-plates dinners.
El Patron
Mexican · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Seriously good " Mexican fare and an extensive tequila list are popular draws at this Westside " standout "; cantina decor adds to the " charming" atmosphere, as do margaritas sipped from a perch on the rooftop deck.
Danny Edwards BLVD BBQ
Barbecue · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.2

A "BBQ legend" in a "BBQ town" , this "down-to-earth" mainstay on the Westside boasts an affordable roster of "top-tier" meats (the "best burnt ends" ) and sauce that's "a little spicier than most" ; the "snappy" service encourages diners to "eat it and beat it" , but regulars advise, "get there early or you won't get a seat.
Lidia's Kansas City
Italian · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

Luscious " cooking is matched by an " outstanding " wine list at this upscale Northern Italian " gem ", the Crossroads Arts District outpost of Lidia Bastianich's Northern Italian empire; " polished " service and " beautiful ", modern surroundings topped with blown-glass chandeliers contribute to a " glitzy " ambiance that suits a " special occasion.