So you’re coming to Kansas City, good for you. I’m here to help you with your trip to our fine city.
I’ll tell you right now, I don’t know anything about anything north of the river. It’s all Iowa to me. North Land brothers, please help us out with some recommendations. Don’t stay in the northland, I’m sure it’s a nice place to live (doubts it’s a nice place to live) but it’s not a good place to visit, all the action is down south.
KC has close to no public transit. The bus is weak and will not take you to Arrowhead. There is some gimmicky trolley but it’s little more than a novelty. You’ll want to rent a car. This is very important, DO NOT RENT FROM ENTERPRISE! They are some meat gazing, monkey lovers who should not be trusted or patronized. Those snakes ran a huge campaign against a tax that gave us the Sprint Center and they should never be forgiven.
Can’t say that I’ve ever stayed in a hotel in KC, that whole stay-caction thing might be the only dealie lamer than the sarcasm font. If you’re trying to ball you’ll want to stay at the InterContinental, the Raphael, or President downtown. Every other dump is just a roof over your head. I would not recommend staying by the stadiums. That is the sweaty taint of our fine town.
A players got to eat and judging by the average waistline of KC residents, we’ve got some good food.
You’re in from out of town, you’ll probably want some BBQ. Gates is my favorite, shout out to Tech9ne, and I particularly like the off of Clever II east of the Plaza. Arthur Bryant’s is a close second but do not go to the one at the casino you have to roll down to 18th and Brooklyn, this is not even an option go to the ghetto. A bit of advice on those two dumps, the Gates ribs (remember, you want a short end) are far better than Bryant’s, the Bryant’s sandwiches (beef and pork combo) are far better than Gates, both have phenomenal burnt ends. Okie Joes gets a lot of hype and is worth hitting. I’m sure commenters have a laundry list of other places they like. I’m a known Jack Stack hater (as is Tech9ne) and wouldn’t recommend that swill to anyone. I know two things that shouldn’t be found in a BBQ joint, parsley on the plate and micro waved food. You’ll find both at Jack Stack.
But there’s more to it than BBQ.
For pizza, it doesn’t get any better than Waldo Pizza (Italian sausage with red bell pepper and spicy red sauce on the thin crust). Da Bronx is legit but don’t get a pie with too many toppings as their stuff gets soggy. Minksy’s is hit or miss, you’ve got to go to one owned by the original Minsky family so hit the one at 55th and Main or in the River Market.
Burgers. Max’s auto diner is the burger messiah of KC, their animal burger can’t be beat. Town Topic is right up there though. If you want to impress your date, take her to Johnny’s Donuts at 44th and Prospect as they make the best burger in the ghetto. We have two newish gourmet burger places, BRGR on the Kansas side and Blanc on the Plaza. Both are good, BRGR is better.
Sit down. Got that ball and chain with you? Burgers, pizza, and BBQ not going to cut it? Carmen’s Café is legit Italian, more legit than Garozzo’s. Any Mexican dump (save Manny’s, that’s some straight gringo shit) on Southwest Boulevards is good. I am nuts about the Thai Place (local chain, real original name huh?), their best location is on 87th by the Johnson County library followed by the one in Westport. Best sushi, and this isn’t even a debate, is at Jun’s at 75th and State Line. Bluebird is a super heady organic (not vegetarian) restaurant at 17th and Summit (I think Summit). Eden’s Alley, my old go to first date place, if crazy chronic vegetarian food. Best Indian is at Ruchi’s in Overland Park. I’m sure commenters have other recommendations.
I’m not shy about my disdain for the White Power and Light district. Its so lame it makes me sick thinking about it. Prepackaged, soulless crap. That is NOT Kansas City.
The way I see it, there are three real entertainment areas. Westport/midtown, the Plaza, Brookside/Waldo. And those are listed probably in order of decreasing interest to an out-of-towner. These days I only go to one bar so I don’t have a lot of specific recommendations. The few I would recommend include Bobby Baker’s at 72nd and Wornall (low key), Charlie Hooper’s on 63rd (all around good bar with above average food), the Record Bar at 43rd and something has some sort of music nightly, and Chez Charlie’s home of KC’s Friday night funk night. Chez is the only place I drink and I drink there every Friday, it is awesome in so many ways. Every bar should be more like it.
Where ever you drink try our Boulevard beer, its good. And black the hell out, you’re on vacation for crying out loud.
Stuff to do
We’ve got all the typical museum stuff. The Nelson Atkins is great, the WW1 museum is great, the Kansas City museum (in old historic Independence) is way better than I ever expected, the miniature museum by UMKC is surprisingly good too. But there’s more than that…
Did you know that KC is a renowned disc golf hot spot? Nothing beats fall frolf. The Boulevard Brewery tour (Missoura’s larger AMERICAN OWNED brewery, eat shit InBev) is fun but you need to schedule well in advance. Negro League museum is cool. We have casinos but they don’t have sports gambling. If you’re not some fraidy, I like cruising the Paseo from Meyer all the way downtown and seeing all the old buildings (it’s a really smooth drive). The zoo is lame as is World’s of Fun.
Kansas City’s a kick ass town and you’ve made a great decision to come here for a game. I hope this guide helps make your trip even better. I’ll leave other recommendations to the commenters.