Here's Where to Find Delicious Lunches from Southern Cuisine to Adventurous Flavors

Because hundreds of restaurants in the Kansas City area serve great lunches, we’ve narrowed the playing field for this list and purposely left out barbecue, self-serve or ethnic restaurants. Several iconic eateries are missing too, allowing new owners and/or chefs some time to establish their own style before receiving a review. From the old industrial West Bottoms neighborhood, with several new five-star restaurants, to a decades-old business offering premium sweets and hearty midday fare, these restaurants offer plenty of diversity in their menus and ambiance. If you appreciate dishes that showcase local ingredients, check out Room 39 or The Sundry Market & Kitchen, where nearby shelves stock a plethora of locally made food items alongside produce and other goodies to stock the pantry or frig. Several of this year's local favorite lunch spots serving Southern-inspired food and hospitality include West Bottoms Kitchen, where the small dining room combines bright colors with rustic materials. And breakfast lovers will find several of restaurants where they can order morning favorites at midday too. Enjoy the search and your meal! 

Room 39
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


Affordability is a plus for Rm (Room) 39's farm-to-table-inspired lunches such as quiche of the day with salad or fruit, and complimentary bread plus olives are a pleasant way to begin each meal. Although some dishes have tasted bland to...  Read More

Johnson County
rye KC
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest, Colby Garrelts and staff create classic Midwestern fare with his wife, Megan, a James Beard Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Whether you order the spicy crispy chicken sandwich, fried...  Read More

Extra Virgin - Kansas City
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


If you enjoy people watching and have an adventurous palate then Extra Virgin, in Kansas City, Missouri's bustling Crossroads location fits the bill nicely. James Beard award-winning Chef Michael Smith is at the helm. Duck tongue tacos with...  Read More

Garment District
Webster House
Photo courtesy of Monica Johnson


Built as the Webster School, in 1885, today Webster House appears on the National Register of Historic Places and offers delicious lunches amid classy surroundings. Dining here can be a little pricey, although lunches are fairly reasonable....  Read More

André's Tearoom & New Cafe


Elevated comfort food characterizes daily lunches, from delicious quiches to hefty lasagna portions or classic Beef Bourguignon, typically accompanied by a green or other vegetable salad. Freshly prepared quiche is a daily staple. Service is...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


Kansas City's industrial East Bottoms neighborhood is home to Pigwich, connected to beloved artisan butcher shop, Local Pig, where it's normal to see a beef quarter or a half-hog ready for prep. This place is about the food, served amid an...  Read More

The Sundry Westport Commons
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


Re-opening in a new space at the new PLEXPOD Westport Commons at the end of September, popular The Sundry Market & Kitchen will offer an expanded menu, and hours that stretch through dinner service. Customers already appreciate high quality...  Read More

Happy Gillis
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


Offering 'Cozy. Craft. Cuisine.,' Happy Gillis café & hangout has become a Columbus Park neighborhood dining staple. From the blackboard-only menu to a roll of butcher paper and crayon-filled mugs scattered throughout the space, it's a...  Read More

West Bottoms Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


In a little over a year the cozy West Bottoms Kitchen has become a neighborhood favorite, where well-seasoned and beautifully plated Southern-inspired fare meets full bar. This popular lunch spot is known for its Shrimp and Grits – peppery...  Read More

EJ's Urban Eatery
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray


First, EJ's Urban Eatery operates in the funky, historic West Bottoms neighborhood. Second, these guys are passionate about the food they serve and welcoming their customers. Third, the restaurant will soon offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and...  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