Dinner at These Great Kansas City Area Restaurants Is Memorable and Mouthwatering

Whether dinner out is a weekly date with your beloved, social time with your best buddy, or a special celebration, independent restaurants in the Kansas City area deliver terrific dining experiences. From among local restaurants, 10Best narrows the options to those places that serve primarily 'American' cuisine, which have the most appeal and the best reputations. And that's no small task. In recent years, Kansas City's exciting and evolving restaurant scene has landed on numerous travel and food 'best' lists. Its chefs have also received nominations and awards from the James Beard Foundation.  There's plenty of focus on farm-to-table cuisine and otherwise sustainable food prep and operations too. In addition, ambiance varies widely, from chic, contemporary surroundings to an elegant vintage vibe. There's no shortage of great choices for memorable evening meals. In some locations, well-priced and expansive happy hour menus, sumptuous brunch offerings or prix fixe dinners offer a terrific value. Available preset wine pairings up the ante for great taste. With this list, we've culled Kansas City's enormous restaurant selection down to 10 popular spots, where food, drink and decor create unforgettable evenings.

The Farmhouse - Kansas City
Photo courtesy of Alistair Tutton


Set amid Kansas City's renowned River Market neighborhood, this farmhouse-inspired restaurant's wide planked floors and large, weathered wooden tables create quaint surroundings for weekend dinners. Locally and regionally sourced, seasonal...  Read More



Since May 2011 the restaurant has served customers amid minimalist décor, white tablecloths, and candlelight. However, there's no music playing, which some customers found odd. A 2013 James Beard semifinalist nominee for Best Chef Midwest, Chef...  Read More

The Rockhill Grille
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


Quickly becoming a food and drink fixture in Kansas City, Missouri's Crossroads Arts District, this casual yet elegant spot also provides great views of the vibrant surrounding neighborhood - especially at night, from the second floor lounge....  Read More

novel kansas city
Photo courtesy of Paul M. Ingold, Photography by Ingold


Small rooms in a Westside Kansas City vintage home create a classy yet cozy ambiance for novel Kansas City. It's the brainchild of owner/Chef Ryan Brazeal, who learned the culinary ropes at New York City restaurants. novel is known for fresh,...  Read More

Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room
Photo courtesy of Bonjwing Lee


This is one of only two Kansas City restaurants to receive a AAA Four Diamond rating. Inside The Supper Club, Chef Michael Corvino creates 13-course tasting menus that have featured spicy tomato gnocchi to short rib steak, and Whipped Chicken...  Read More

Reserve Restaurant & Lounge
Photo courtesy of Reserve Restaurant & Lounge


Boutique lodging in Kansas City, Missouri's downtown area, the Ambassador Hotel Kansas City, Autograph Collection houses the classy Reserve Restaurant and Lounge. Dine amid cream-colored upholstery and tufted booths that complement high ceilings...  Read More

The Antler Room
Photo courtesy of Zach Bauman


Only open since 2016, The Antler Room has already landed among YELP's top 50 Kansas City Restaurants, and on Bon Appetit's long list of Best New Restaurants in America 2017. Husband-and-wife team Nicholas Goellner and Leslie Newsam Goellner...  Read More

Justus Drugstore


Wood and warm colors create an inviting environment inside this one-time drugstore, on Smithville, Missouri's tiny town square. Detail-oriented servers plus an award-winning bartender enhance meals. The Kansas City Star, Bon Appetit and Time...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Bonjwing Lee


Under the direction of Chef Colby Garrelts, 2013 James Beard Award-winner for Best Chef Midwest, guests at this elegant yet un-fussy Kansas City, Mo. restaurant may order fixed price meals of three, five or seven courses. First to second course...  Read More

The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange
Photo courtesy of The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange


Original tile floors, high ceilings and vintage bathroom fixtures remain in this cozy 1915 building, once a favored hotel among traveling salesmen, railroad workers and others. Customers at the counter have a front-row seat to the open kitchen,...  Read More


Meet Lisa Waterman Gray

Lisa Waterman Gray moved to the Kansas City area 35 years ago and has written professionally for 20+ years. A member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, she's excited about the...  More About Lisa