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Kansas City’s 3 Best Spots for Dining Outdoors

Kansas City’s 3 Best Spots for Dining Outdoors

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Whether dining solo or with a larger group, these locations are ideal for eating outside

The Westside Local is a beer garden with picnic tables that can accommodate large groups.

As we head into spring, we’re all ready to spend a little time outdoors. If you find yourself in Kansas City and wanting to eat outside, then there are plenty of great options. Here are our choices for the best spots to eat alfresco:

  1. The Westside Local
    Located in the Westside neighborhood, this beer garden provides a farm-to-table experience. Their picnic table setup is perfect for large parties and, in accordance with their priority to support local businesses, their shop features a selection of work by local artists. They’re closed on Mondays, and open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday, and serve dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Don’t miss their Sunday "blunch" featuring the "Blunch BCE": black pepper and brown sugar bacon with red leaf lettuce, Port Salut cheese, and an over-easy egg on a baguettini.
  2. Gram & Dun
    This gastropub is located on a corner of the popular Country Club Plaza. They create an ambiance where diners "can relax and enjoy the neighborhood vibe while [the restaurant] tests the theories of food, drink, and the evolution of good times." The food-driven establishment is open daily for lunch (or brunch on weekends) and dinner. We’d love to sample their brunch menu hanger steak Benedict with black kale, poached eggs, hollandaise, and an English muffin on their patio.
  3. The Well
    The Well is Kansas City’s largest rooftop dining venue. In addition to the rooftop deck, they have another outdoor dining option on the lower-level patio. Some consider it to be the city’s best bar, with TVs broadcasting sports in addition to a fun food and drink menu. They’re open 365 days a year for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch every Sunday. Their "Mayor Bette’s Favorite Chicken Salad" seems like the perfect outdoor treat with all-white chicken, apples, pears, cranberries, apricots, and pecans mixed in "cran-orange" mayo.

The 21 best things to do in Kansas City right now

Joe's Kansas City Barbecue is a common recommendation for a reason: it is the best thing to do in town. There are three locations, but you definitely want to go to the original one on 47th, which used to be a gas station. Yes, there will be a line, but it&rsquos almost a rite of passage to eat here. Order The Z-Man, fries and a half rack of ribs, to be split with a friend. Do not deviate from the plan!

2. Country Club Plaza

&ldquoThe Plaza&rdquo is KC's premier shopping and dining destination. While you can find high-end retail establishments, restaurants and entertainment venues within its sprawling 15 blocks, this isn&rsquot just another outdoor mall. It's more of a city all its own. Walk, shop, eat and see some beautiful fountains and classic European architecture, as well as more than 30 statues, murals, and tile mosaics. The Plaza is a must-see when visiting KC, especially during the holidays, when it's decked out in twinkling lights.

3. Boulevard Brewery

This little-craft-brewery-that-could is now one of the largest in the Midwest. Learn about the incredible history of this native Kansas City company and about Boulevard&rsquos brewing process on a 45-minute tour that starts and ends with free beer. Afterward, make sure to get a photo in the little RV/photo booth and hit up the gift shop to take home your favorite brews. Be on the lookout for various major events like Boulevardia, where the brewery hosts huge music acts for block parties to give back to the city.

4. Bar Arcades

Before drinking locales mixed with gaming centers became all the rage on the coasts, homegrown versions of these crossover concepts were already taking root locally. Screenland Tapcade and Up/Down KC are blocks from each other, while out in Strawberry Hill you can find 403 Club with hard drinks and a harder dedication to competitive pinball. And it's incredibly easy to lose an entire day at Pawn & Pint, with its thousands of available games and drinks served directly to your table(top).

5. Arrowhead

The Super Bowl champions rule over one of the loudest stadiums in all of sports. Regardless of your team loyalty, enjoy a beer and brat in the parking lot, and introduce yourself to this long-standing KC football tradition. Tens of thousands of passionate partiers show up hours before kickoff. Will you be among them? Tickets might be slightly more expensive this season, so that tailgate might be the better way to take in the city's various charms.

6. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Known for the giant Shuttlecocks installation out front (go on and take a selfie), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art houses nearly 40,000 works of art. Home to ancient and contemporary collections and an extensive collection of Asian art, the Nelson is regarded as one of the best museums in the country, and admission is free.

7. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Just look for the pyramid-shaped building with a four-story spider statue out front. Yeah. While not much can outshine the Nelson-Atkins, just a short walk away is the (much more intimate) Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, which boasts a collection of modern and contemporary works, and hosts exhibitions, installations, film and video series, lectures, concerts, workshops, and other creative programs. The gorgeous, world-class Café Sebastienne is a great place to stop and nosh, and admission and parking are both free.

8. City Market

City Market is also referred to as River Market, so don't let the names throw you off. A Kansas City staple since 1857, City Market is always packed with people &ndash and for good reason. Here, find local produce, hipster goods, restaurants and cafés, home accessories and more. During the summer, there is an extensive events calendar with live music and festivals. On weekends, there is a popular Farmers Market, and you can shop antiques and collectibles at the Vintage Sale on Sundays. Make use of the city's free tram here, for traveling between this location say.

9. Union Station Kansas City

Built in 1914, this historical architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold. Marvel at the Grand Hall's 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers, and the six-feet wide clock. Home to traveling national exhibits, 3D movies on the Extreme Screen, Science City (an interactive science center), a permanent KC Rail Experience exhibit and a planetarium, Union Station has something for everyone in the family. Book a boozy brunch at Harvey's, if you want to feel like you're traveling back in time while enjoying a round of mimosas.

10. American Jazz Museum

Downtown, the American Jazz Museum shares a building with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. Learn about the birth of jazz in Kansas City through interactive exhibits, including listening stations and custom mixing boards. Among the historic artifacts from the height of jazz's popularity are collections of photographs, sheet music and posters. A great attraction to see before a live show.

11. Jones BBQ

Jones is a grab-and-go window in a parking lot with great &lsquoque and even greater service from the only all-female pitmaster team in town. The Jones sisters, Deborah and Mary, grew up learning all the secrets to making great BBQ from their father and have taken their secret family sausage recipe to unparalleled levels of fame. You'll undoubtedly recognize them from their stand out episode on Queer Eye . Be prepared to get there early in the day if you want to get in on the goods before they sell out.

12. Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman is one of the oldest and nicest ballparks in MLB. Home of the Kansas City Royals, catching a game here is both affordable and fun. &ldquoThe K&rsquos&rdquo best-known feature is the Water Spectacular, a fountain and waterfall display behind the right-field fence. There isn't a bad seat in the joint to watch the 2015 World Series Champions. The outfield concourse allows fans to walk 360 degrees around the stadium, plus there&rsquos plenty of parking/room for tailgating.

13. Sprint Center

The Sprint Center seats 18,000 and host national acts on a nightly basis such as Panic! At The Disco, Post Malone and Justin Timberlake. Between stadium music acts, you can find all types of mid-level events like touring sporting events and the ever-lovable Monster Truck Jam.

14. Blue Room Jazz Club

Next door to the American Jazz Museum is the Blue Room Jazz Club, offering live music four nights a week in an intimate setting. Part Kansas City jazz exhibit, this is a great place to grab a drink and see up-and-coming bands, seasoned local veterans and big names from the music world. Set aside enough time to fully take this one in, as it really starts cooking closer to 11pm.

15. Worlds of Fun

KC&rsquos amusement park might be a bit smaller than you&rsquore used to, but there are all kinds of rides and slides within its 235 acres, and it&rsquos less crowded than Disney or Universal. Spend the morning riding coasters and hanging out with 35 lifesize animatronic dinosaurs at Dinosaurs Alive!, then cool down at Oceans of Fun&mdashaccess to the waterpark is included in the admission price. We recommend bouncing between the two parks in the depths of summer, as being drenched on a roller coaster tends to cool you off effectively.

16. Mutual Musicians Foundation International

Local musicians, singers and spoken word poets jam together at the Foundation on Fridays and Saturdays from midnight until dawn, as they have done since 1930. The walls are covered in Kansas City jazz history, but don&rsquot expect anything fancy here (drinks are served in plastic cups at the bar)&mdashit&rsquos all about the music. Pay the $10 cover and listen to talented players jam until the cows come home. If this kind of thing is up your alley, consider trying to time your trip around one of the city's official Porchests: where folk musicians come from across the country to play free shows on random front porches across the metro.

Barbecue Paradise

Ever since man discovered fire, people have been barbecuing their food. It's an easy, classic way to cook a meal -- just make a fire, throw on some food and enjoy. From the East Coast to the West Coast, America loves its barbecue. Whether you prefer barbecued ribs or "barbecued spaghetti," in America, your own backyard may be your own barbecue paradise.

Arthur Bryant's
Kansas City, Missouri
Arthur Byrant's has become a world-famous barbecue paradise. Since 1946, Arthur Bryant's has been serving up classic Kansas City barbecue. According to Arthur Bryant himself, the secret is the pits. Only hickory and oak woods are used in the barbecue pit. As the wood burns, the smoke seeps into each piece of meat. The result? Tender meat with a rich, smoky flavor.

Interstate Bar-B-Que
Memphis, Tennessee
At Interstate Bar-B-Que, creativity is king when it comes to barbecue. Interstate Bar-B-Que is home to the one-of-a-kind "barbecued spaghetti." Rib meat combines with pasta to create this unique barbecue delight. Although Memphis is known for its dry-rub barbecue, at Interstate, it's all about the sauce -- a tomato and vinegar recipe that keeps the locals coming back for more.

Smitty's Market
Lockhart, Texas
Although the population of Lockhart, TX, is only 12,000, more than 250,000 people flock to the town each year to sample its world-famous, Texas barbecue. At Smitty's, the meat is so good that no sauce is needed. Each meal is served straight from the barbecue pit on butcher paper, not plates. Although the menu has changed slightly since the beginning of Smitty's Market in the 1930s, one line remains uncrossed -- absolutely no sauce allowed!

Black's Barbecue
Lockhart, Texas
Black's Barbecue is located just down the street from Smitty's Market in Lockhart, TX. Here, beef sausage and brisket reign supreme. Edgar Black Jr. first introduced the public to barbecued beef brisket and hungry patrons have been coming back for it ever since. Like Smitty's, Black's Barbecue doesn't add sauce to its meat. According to their devout patrons, the flavor of the meat is so good, sauce would spoil it.

Annual Barbecue Festival
Lexington, North Carolina
In Lexington, NC, traditional barbecue means roast pork shoulder. Every October, folks from all over the country gather together to celebrate the art of barbecue. Lexington barbecue begins with hickory and oak woods and open coals. The pork shoulders are slow-roasted for up to 10 hours, then chopped up and doused with a flavorful sauce. The festival attracts 200,000 people each year, including Senator and North Carolina native, Elizabeth Dole.

Cowboy Flavor
Santa Maria, California
At Cowboy Flavor, owners Billy and Sue Ruiz stay true to their barbecue roots. The unique taste of Santa Maria barbecue all started with immigrants who worked on California ranches in the 19th century. Each meal is an eclectic blend of Portuguese and Spanish flavor, including linquisa, Pinquito beans and salsa.

The Hitching Post
Buellton, California
The Hitching Post was made famous in the 2004 film, "Sideways." Fans of the film traced the main characters' steps to this Buellton, CA, hot spot. At The Hitching Post, traditional barbecue is coupled with nontraditional foods, like ostrich, lobster and even artichokes. No matter what your order, each meal is perfectly paired with a glass of smoky-flavored wine.

17th Street Bar and Grill
Murphysboro, Illinois
At 17th Street Bar and Grill, you can have your barbecue served to you by one of the biggest names in the barbecue business -- Mike Mills. Known as "The Legend," Mike has collected many trophies over the years for his barbecue recipes. His signature barbecue begins with locally grown fruit wood instead of hickory or oak. Next, a dry rub of herbs and spices is added along with Mike's famous spicy sauce. Mike's barbecue recipes are so legendary that he was personally chosen by President Clinton to provide curbside service to AirForce One.

Since 1977, we have delivered a rich experience that has tantalized the taste buds of thousands of satisfied customers. We are known for our great views and our delectable food. Our award winning chefs offer you invigorating cooking, served with fresh local ingredients and our classic recipes to ensure your continued satisfaction. Find out what all of the buzz is about on the Plaza!

Private Dining and Event Catering - Our private event spaces are booking fast. Call today to book your event with us either in our main dining room with with both our front and back patio or in the Classic Cellar! We can also cater your offsite event!

Sunday Wine Club - Call or email to get details about our monthly Sunday Wine Club.

Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Grilling season is ramping up, and all of my Sauced thoughts have turned completely to barbecue. I've always preached the merits of homemade sauce over just about any bottle, but there's an art to building the best barbecue sauce, and I hope to get you on the right path to understanding how simple changes in proportions of fairly common ingredients can completely redefine a sauce.

I'll wager that when most people think of barbecue sauce, they're picturing a thick, sweet, and tangy tomato mixture—that's Kansas City style and probably the most fitting place to start this exploration.

I've been shifting away from using ketchup in my sauces lately but that sweet, deep tomato flavor is the perfect base for a Kansas City sauce. A sizable amount of ketchup is added to sauteed onions and garlic, then combined with molasses and brown sugar (for extra thickness and sweetness), a little vinegar (adds the tartness), and to keep the sugar in check you'll need mustard, chili powder, black and cayenne peppers for some heat.

There's a good reason Kansas City sauce has become the most ubiquitous of all the barbecue sauces: versatility. It works great on everything from ribs to chicken to beans, or it can be a dip or a baste. Because of its thickness, the sauce doesn't bake in much, rather it sits atop the meat, and its high sugar content means it can burn quickly over hot coals. It's best to use the sauce lightly with a little extra vigilance while grill-side.

Upcoming Events

Torn Label Beer Dinner
Thursday, June 17th

$80 per person
Not including sales tax or service fee
Treat dad to a pre Father's day weekend with dinner and a pint or two.
Join us at Rye as we welcome Torn Label brewery featuring a reception followed by a 4 course dinner with beer pairings. Enjoy conversation with the team from Torn Label during the event while indulging a perfectly crafted menu from the chefs at Rye.

Welcome Reception
Pates & Charcuterie, Pork Rinds, and Goat Cheese
Alpha Pale Ale

First Course
Welsh Rarebit, Smoked Duck Confit, Farmer Tomatoes, Country Ham & Summer Greens
Acoustical Illusion Baltic Porter

Second Course
Pork Burnt Ends, Risotto & Creamed Corn, Green Dirt Farm Fresh Cheese, Hot Sauce
High Tia Sour IPA

Third Course
Smoked Beef Rib, Chili Rubbed Carrots, Guajillo & Piquillo Pepper puree, Lime Gremolata
Quadillo Belgium Quad

Fourth Course
Chocolate Stout Ganache Cake with Honeycomb Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Borrowing Trouble Barley Wine

*No menu substitutions will be honored for this event.
Menu pricing is $80 per person for dinner & beer pairings. The dinner & beer pairings are priced in two sections due to Kansas sales tax differences for food & alcohol. The beer pairings are required add-on for the dinner ticket. Price does not include sales tax or service charge.

Happy Hour Monday- Friday from 3-6pm

Monday evenings we feature Steak Night at Rye Leawood! Enjoy our 3-course menu with your choice of soup or salad, steak option and a slice of pie. Pricing varies depending on your steak choice. Be sure to ask about bottled wine on special to pair with your steak dinner!

Steak Options:
10 oz. Duroc Pork Chop
8 oz Center Cut Filet
10 oz Ribeye Steak
10 oz Hanger Steak

Kansas City’s 3 Best Spots for Dining Outdoors - Recipes

Please note : Our deliveries are on-demand only for the restaurant menu. Catering Online can be placed for future orders with the link below. If you are interested in placing a delivery order for later, please place the order at a time that is closer to when you would like it delivered.

Franco Cupini born in Rome, Italy always tasted his mom's cooking and developed a palate for natural and healthy Mom's marinara sauce. Following his dreams to come to the United States after attending the Culinary School of Rome, he first worked at the service of the former President of Italy, Giovanni Leone.

With extensive travel and working for many world renowned hotels, including The Ritz Carlton. He then moved to Kansas City in partnership with his son Eddie who runs the back operations with his wife Nerissa.

Our commitment is to create the same natural food of the Cupini Family Roman Tradition. The Cupini Family has developed an impressive reputation with the extended family that is Kansas City. Our goal is to bring our family centered recipes and traditions to provide a healthy culinary experience!

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Komatsu Ramen - Westport

Another excellent place for noodle bowls, is this new addition to the Westport area. Komatsu was just opened in 2016 and has already made quite a name for itself. The unfinished wooden interior is an intriguing and modern touch. The menu is organized by the type of broth (pork, soy, or miso) and type of noodle (hakata, tokyo, or hokkaido), and from there, you choose a combination. They have a full service bar and make some great cocktails, for a reasonable price. One thing I like about this place is that they have a daily special for $8. Each day, one of their bowls is chosen and made available for a discounted price. With long, late hours and an extensive menu including salads, hot steamed buns, and even a shaved ice dessert, this place is a crowd-pleaser.

What I've tried: Oishi bowl, Susaki bowl, Takaida bowl

What I can’t wait to try: Seaweed salad, cucumber salad, pork belly buns, Kama bowl

Favorite: Susaki bowl

3951 Broadway Road Kansas City, MO 64111

Oak Park Mall

One of Kansas City's largest indoor shopping centers, Oak Park Mall offers 187 specialty stores and major department retailers including Dillard's and Nordstrom. The Oak Park Mall pretty much has everything under one roof-including Sephora, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Nine West, Rainforest Cafe and a host of other great stores.

Recipe: Bub City Trucker Snacks

Is there a more beautiful pairing than football and Trucker Snacks inspired by Bub City? We think not. For the next game day, these quick appetizers are your best bet. Whether your team wins or loses, you’re eating pimento cheese. And that’s all that really matters.

Trucker Snacks (Inspired by Bub City)

8 saltine crackers
1 /2 cup Spicy Pimento Cheese Spread (see recipe below)
8 slices Mt. Olive bread & butter pickles
1 Texas hot link sausage, sliced into 1 /2 ” rounds

  1. Spread each cracker with 1 tablespoon pimento cheese.
  2. Top each with a pickle slice then a hot link round.
  3. Place onto a large plate or platter and enjoy!

1 cup full-fat mayonnaise
1 /3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. Ortega hot diced jalapeno peppers, drained
2 tbsp. diced pimentos, drained
1 tbsp. chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tbsp. scallions, thinly sliced

Watch the video: Subtropolis In Kansas City (August 2022).