Take a foodie adventure down to Kansas City, Kansas. There you will find some of the best places to eat in Kansas City, an upcoming and foodie town with some great BBQ joints, authentic tacos, and delicious pizza.
10 Best Places To Eat in Kansas City Kansas
It’s no secret that I am a foodie at heart. It’s also no secret that I love traveling and exploring new small towns. Now, I don’t know if you can call Kansas City, Kansas a small town, but it gets overlooked by its neighbor- Kansas City, Missouri.
I was recently invited on a foodie tour to find some of Kansas City, Kansas’ best foodie spots. Now, I’ll say this upfront, I couldn’t cover all of them in 48 hours, but I ate enough to give my opinion on their food.
First, Kansas City is known for their BBQ. Our host graciously set up a BBQ buffet with a variety of the best BBQ joints in the Kansas City area.
This is who showed up to the party:
Slaps, or “Squeal Like a Pig,” is owned and run by a couple of brothers who love their BBQ. They are committed to only serving the freshest meat, so they often sell out by the end of the night. They’ve won several awards and continue to regularly compete on the KCBS circuit.
Joes also found its roots in competitive barbecuing. After many years of very successful competition, the owners finally opened up their first restaurant right inside of a gas station. They’ve expanded to two additional locations and an event space where they cater their smoke-infused, mouthwatering BBQ.
Gates is a larger chain restaurant that any Kansas City native is familiar with on both sides of the state line. You’ll find all the classics here, including burnt ends on a hoagie and cole slaw.
Overall, the burnt ends and ribs from Slaps was the best. Other writers in my group thought the same thing. Throughout the next few days, everywhere we went, Slaps and Joes were talked about the most for the best BBQ joints in Kansas City.
However, it should be noted that Arthur is a long-standing BBQ contender. And while they may be part of the old-school crowd, their BBQ is still considered part of the top 5 best places for BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas.
The next day, we continued our foodie tour by starting with breakfast at MeMas.
MeMas’s Bakery opened in 1995. Since then they have moved around to a variety of locations and currently are in three places (two in Kansas City, Kansas and one in Kansas City, MO).
On the menu was:
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Sausage Burritos
- Biscuit + Gravy
She has had no formal training; learning everything from her Mom and Grandmother. The best compliment someone can give her is letting her know her baked goods taste like their grandmothers. Because overall, that is her goal. To give her customers fresh, homemade baked goods, reminiscing over good memories from their ancestors.
After filling up on homemade pastries, we made our over to Krizman’s Sausage.
Joe Krizman, the owner, welcomed us and gave us a little history of how Krizman’s Sausage started. His Grandfather created Krisman’s Sausage in 1939, then it was sold to his Dad, and now Joe, the 3rd bought it in 1972. He has six kids, and four of them have worked for him. They offer five different types of smoked sausages. When you first walk into the store, you are hit with the smell of delicious sausage.
And of course, we had to try all the things. I couldn’t decide on my favorite because I loved them all!
Joe stated that the busiest time of the year is the holidays. And 90% of his business comes from wholesale to restaurants. They have expanded quite a bit over the years, and now looking to add an off-site production facility.
After having our fill of sausage, it was time to move on to Slaps.
We were met by one of the owners, Joe. Slaps is owned by two brothers, who got into the BBQ business by entering into competitions. They still enter competitions, and currently close to 33 so far this year. They make their BBQ fresh every day and always sell out. They open at 11 a.m. and usually have a line right at the door. Between 1:30-3:00 is when they typically sell out of everything. We came to Slap’s around 10:30. When the doors opened at 11, a line had already formed at the door, and folks were ushered in out of the cold. We were there for Taco Tuesday, which consisted of burnt end tacos. Man, were they GOOD!
We also tried smoked turkey, also amazing, as well as mac & cheese. I wasn’t a huge fan of their mac & cheese, but they definitely won me over on the burnt end tacos.
Another cool thing about Slaps is they don’t do any type of marketing. They love entering competitions because it’s a quick way for their name to get out, especially when they win. And because their BBQ is just that good, word of mouth takes care of the rest.
They also helped develop a Kansas City BBQ sauce for Heinz (you know the ketchup company). Slaps opened up June 2014. Throughout our conversation with Joe, you could hear his passion about bringing the best each day to his restaurant, and the pride in his voice about being one of the top BBQ joins in Kansas City and beyond.
After a tour of the restaurant, we said our goodbyes and moved on to our next location. Kansas City is a very diverse city. They are known for being a model example of what a melting pot looks like— so of course, this means diverse food.
We made our way downtown to a Mexican restaurant. I love finding authentic Mexican joints, and El Camino fit that description.
We were greeted and seated by our waitress. Platters of tacos started to arrive. There were so many great choices; I had a hard time figuring out where to start. Plus, considering I had just eaten tacos, sausage, and cinnamon rolls, could I make room for more tacos?
But of course! There’s no such thing as having no room for tacos, especially when they are the real deal! This is one taco shop I will be coming back to when I eat my way through Kansas City again.
It was time for a food break. Thankfully our next stop was to take a tour of Original Juan and sample sauces. Okay, I can handle walking around and taking a sauce taste test.
Original Juan has between 1200-1600 recipes, with 119 created just this year. They also develop recipes for other companies and make them. With over 900 recipes on a variety of BBQ sauces, I can see why they considered one of the best BBQ sauce places. And with a small staff of 83 employees, they run a tight ship, but you could feel the family and familiarity vibes in the air.
With so many great BBQ joints in Kansas City, Kansas, it’s questionable how a pizza place would fit into all this delicious southern cooking and beef!
Nonetheless, we found ourselves at 1889 Pizza Napoletana. 1889 serves authentic Neapolitan pizza in wood-fired ovens set to over 1,000 degrees. We had the opportunity to learn just how they make these mouth-watering pizzas. The owners of 1889 sum up their little pizza shop like this: “The void 1889 fills is bringing Kansas City a high-end concept at a fast pace, without compromising on authenticity or flavor.” I would have to agree.
After we filled up on pizza, we took a tour of The Kansas City Steak Company. This company, which has been dedicated to bringing Kansas City only the very best steaks since 1932, also offers just about any meat your taste buds desire. They pride themselves on taking great care to only offer meat that is a cut above the rest so that you can be your own master chef. They also offer sides for quick and easy cooking. It was clear during our tour how they live up to their standards down to the last detail.
Next up, we headed to Rowe Ridge Winery for some wine tasting. We were able to enjoy the view of the vineyard from the tasting room deck, and stroll along the rows of grape vines. The tasting offered ten different wines, all of which are made from hybrid and American native grapes.
We finished off our foodie tour at the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway. Within the casino are five individual restaurants. We were given a tour through each one:
- Final Cut Steakhouse: offers a variety of specialty dishes, pasta, seafood, and steak. Their wine list is 300 bottles long.
- Epic Buffet: the description is in the name – it is a buffet of epic proportions. Everyone is sure to find something they love among the endless selection of dishes.
- Marquee Cafe: a casual cafe where you get to enjoy your favorite American dishes any time of day.
- Hollywood and Grind: is the place to stop for a quick bite and a much-needed coffee.
- Turn 2 Sports Bar: for the sports lover, enjoy a burger and beer at this upscale bar with an incredible view of the Speedway and casino floor. This is where we enjoyed our final Kansas City, KS dinner.
Overall, this foodie tour was fulfilling and delicious! I was surprised to find so many wonderful foodie spots in Kansas City, Kansas. Who knew Kansas City was an up and coming foodie joint! I can’t wait to adventure back down to this Midwest city and explore more wonderful restaurants!
Thank you to the Kansas City CVB for providing accommodations for this foodie tour. All opinions and photos are 100% my own.
You can find more things to do and places to eat in Kansas City, Kansas by visiting their website.