wooden dining room at a steakhouse historic
The Golden Ox

Kansas City is a foodie town. You likely already know about our barbecue scene, but trust us, our local chefs have much more to offer. 

The city’s most sought-after restaurants are primarily located in the three-mile stretch of downtown.

It can be overwhelming to decide where to make a reservation – don’t fret, us Kansas City locals are here to help!

In this list, we’re sharing the local’s recommendations for the best restaurants in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

So, let’s get into it!

Best Downtown Kansas City Restaurants

These local restaurants are the best in town.

And once you’ve decided on where to make a reservation, be sure to read our suggestions on the best things to do downtown.

1. Corvino

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: New American
Pricing: $$$$

Corvino offers two different culinary experiences: a supper club where sharing is the norm, and a tasting room for a more intimate, curated dining encounter. 

The upscale, elegant New American fare is paired with live jazz music and dimmed lights to create an intimate, romantic ambiance.

Their main space, the Supper Club, offers a wide variety of shareable plates based on seasonality. 

For a more unique date night, consider their Tasting Room, which offers 10 courses for $150. It is a small, intimate dining experience complete with an open kitchen, and access to Chef Michael Corvino. 

Over roughly two and a half hours, you’ll embark on a culinary journey while the sommelier provides thoughtfully selected wine pairings that seamlessly complement the menu.

With several accolades from the James Beard Foundation, this one is a must visit. 

Notable dishes include the gnocchi bolognese and seaweed donuts – it sounds strange, but just trust us on this one.

2. Fox And Pearl

Neighborhood: Westside
Cuisine: New American
Pricing: $$$

Fox and Pearl is known for its rustic yet refined approach to Midwestern fare, focusing on wood-fired cooking and whole-animal butchery. 

It is a country-chic eatery located in a 1907 historic drugstore with a lovely outdoor terrace. 

James Beard recognized Chef Vaughn Good combines a live fire hearth, smoker, and preservation techniques to create irresistible flavors. 

Collaborating with local farmers, he crafts seasonal menus blending French culinary expertise with regional comfort foods.

Menu highlights include the pork chop, duck, brisket, and pot pie.

3. Lazia

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Italian
Pricing: $$$

Lazia is an upscale trattoria with a sophisticated, modern approach to classic Italian flavors. Upon arrival, you’ll be treated to a taste of their house-made amaro.

The ambiance is warm and inviting. Their menu features a wide range of elevated Italian dishes, including shareable main courses of meat and seafood entrees, handmade pastas, and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. 

We love their house-made focaccia – and the hand-pulled mozzarella is not only delectable, it is done tableside. They are known for creative cocktails and a carefully curated wine list.

Located in the Crossroads Hotel, it is best that you make a reservation in advance and utilize the valet parking.

4. Kata Nori Hand Roll Bar

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Sushi
Pricing: $$$

As one of Kansas City’s new restaurants, Kata Nori Hand Roll Bar is set to redefine the sushi dining experience with its focus on the chef-driven artistry of sushi hand rolls and crudos. 

Kata Nori is the city’s first to concentrate solely on the craft of temaki sushi – hand-rolled cones of seaweed filled with sushi rice, and a variety of raw and cooked fish, seafood, and fresh vegetables.

The design of Kata Nori Hand Roll Bar is sleek and modern. It features an intimate wrap-around counter seating arrangement, which limits the number of patrons, making it feel like an exclusive experience.

This layout allows you to witness the skillful preparation of each roll by the sushi chefs.

Along the walls are painted murals of the Kansas City skyline with Japanese accents, such as cherry blossom trees, added in.

In addition to the sushi menu and a few small plates, Kata Nori boasts a full bar program, including unique cold sake selections.

Menu highlights include hamachi crudo, wagyu hand roll, and furikake rice.

kata nori sushi restaurant in kansas city is a new restaurant
Kata Nori
kata nori sushi restaurant in kansas city is a new restaurant
Kata Nori
kata nori sushi restaurant in kansas city is a new restaurant
Kata Nori

5. Jack Stack Freight House

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Barbecue
Pricing: $$

Renowned for its quality hickory-smoked meats, fresh seafood, and a range of delectable sides, Jack Stack Barbecue Freight House is frequented by locals. 

It’s located in a historic converted freight house, boasting impressive 25-foot ceilings, a fireplace lounge with a full-service bar, and versatile dining areas, both indoor and outdoor.

This location is a great option for large group gatherings.

Jack Stack is a family-run establishment that was founded in 1957 as a traditional storefront barbecue stand. With several locations around Kansas City, they have grown to one of the premiere KC barbecue restaurants. 

Notable dishes include burnt ends, jalapeno cornbread, fried mushrooms, and lamb ribs.

6. Grünauer

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Austrian/German
Pricing: $$

This family-operated restaurant, established in 2010, is an extension of the Grünauer family’s sixty-year legacy of running a traditional Viennese restaurant, Gasthaus Grünauer, in Austria’s capital.

The restaurant’s menu is a tribute to classic Viennese techniques and family recipes. Utilizing high-quality products and local ingredients, Grunauer offers a dining experience that upholds both tradition and quality.

From traditional Wiener Schnitzel to Sacher Torte, the dishes represent a culinary journey through Central Europe. 

Notable dishes include goulash, apple strudel, and spaetzle.

grunauer kansas city crossroad's restaurant for austrian food
crossroads kc restaurants

7. The Campground

Neighborhood: West Bottoms
Cuisine: Midwest
Pricing: $$

Within the historic Stockyards District is The Campground, an intimate aperitivo cocktail bar and restaurant with a woodsy aesthetic.

Rooted in the influence of locally sourced, hunted, fished, and foraged ingredients, The Campground creates a haven where good drinks, comfortable conversations, and homemade eats converge.

The warm lighting and rustic decor create an ambiance reminiscent of a campy Wes Anderson film. 

The food offerings, which include an excellent brunch, are a testament to Midwest Harvest Cuisine, emphasizing local and seasonal ingredients used in unexpected ways. Do note that the menu, although exceptional, is on the smaller side. 

Craft is at the heart of The Campground, not just in their cocktails but also in their culinary creations. They take pride in making everything from scratch, from syrups, liqueurs, and bitters to a diverse food menu. 

Embracing a “whole product use” philosophy, they utilize locally-sourced ingredients. 

Menu highlights include a double smash burger, brussel sprouts with white cheddar and aleppo, and potato salad with fried egg aioli. 

8. Baramee Thai Bistro

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Northern Thai
Pricing: $$

In Thai, Baramee means to fulfill yourself by making others happy, and you can be sure that you’ll leave happy after trying the delectable curries and basil fried rice. 

You can count on authenticity – the chef-owner is from Thailand and infuses flavors from her homeland into each dish.

Baramee has a serene environment and high-quality service – it’s our go-to for authentic Thai. 

Notable dishes include tom yum soup, tiger cry beef, and pad ka prao.

kansas city thai restaurant crossroads arts district
Baramee Thai Bistro

9. Farina

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Italian
Pricing: $$$$

Farina offers Italian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients and a culinary approach that respects tradition while embracing innovation.

Well known, James Beard award-winning Chef Michael Smith drives the menu, ensuring that each dish is thoughtfully curated. The open-concept kitchen allows diners to see the culinary action.

Farina’s menu showcases a fusion of Italian and Mediterranean flavors. Each plate is artfully presented, and the attention to detail extends to their wine list, which features exceptional vintages from Italy and beyond.

The restaurant also features an oyster bar and a raw bar with shellfish and fish flown in daily. 

The ambiance is modern, sleek, and upscale with contemporary art. 

The menu changes seasonally, with the exception of the Four Kings of Rome: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, Rigatoni all’Amatriciana, Tagliatelle Bolognese and Bucatini Carbonara.

10. Clay And Fire

Neighborhood: Westside
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, “Near East”
Pricing: $$$

Offering a dining experience that weaves together history, culture, and culinary delights, Clay & Fire is something special. We almost left it off this list as to keep it a little-known secret. 

Although we’re convinced that not many people know about it, reservations are hard to come by unless you book further out, primarily because of the limited number of tables and dedicated regulars. 

Located in a turn-of-the-century home with steep granite steps and historic charm – including a clawfoot tub in the bathroom – the interior is every bit of cozy and intimate. 

You’ll be surrounded by warm wood tones, colorful tiles, bright accents, and beautiful textiles.

Their farm-to-table menu is filled with authentic dishes melded from a variety of places: Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Lebanon. The dishes are beautifully presented, adding to the elevated experience.

The menu is mainly focused around mezze like charred eggplant spread, seasonal pickles, grilled halloumi, olive medley, and guajillo humus, among many others. The move here is to order several of the small plates and share so that you can get a taste of all the exquisite flavors.

You’ll need to be patient – their kitchen takes care in creating the dishes. It’s not quick, but it’s more than worth the wait.

kansas city mediterranean and middle eastern restaurants
Clay & Fire

11. The Majestic Restaurant And Jazz Club

Neighborhood: Quality Hill
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Pricing: $$$$

The Majestic Restaurant, offering old-world charm in downtown Kansas City, carries the rich history and tradition of the city within its walls. 

This vintage steakhouse, set in an underground speakeasy of the historic Fitzpatrick Saloon Building, dates back to 1909.

What makes this restaurant truly unique? As evening descends, the restaurant transforms into a vibrant jazz club, echoing the tunes that made the city famous. This modern speakeasy stands as a homage to the Prohibition era, when the original saloon was converted into a hidden bar.

Famous for its dry-aged steaks, which are a testament to Kansas City’s reputation as the cattle capital of the United States, The Majestic never fails to impress its guests with its fine dining experience.

The menu extends beyond its renowned Kansas City Strip Steak. With an array of over 150 whiskeys and numerous wines, The Majestic caters to every palate, providing an impeccable pairing to complement each meal.

Menu highlights include dry aged ribeye, creme brulee, seafood etouffee, scallops, and onion soup.

12. Golden Ox

Neighborhood: West Bottoms
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Pricing: $$$

What makes the Golden Ox neat is its history and the feeling that you’ve been taken back in time. It’s truly a legendary institution. 

Located in the historic Stockyards District, The Golden Ox has been a cornerstone of Kansas City’s dining scene since it first opened its doors in 1949.

Stepping into The Golden Ox is like taking a step back in time to a bygone era of classic American steakhouses. The ambiance features a timeless elegance with its rich wood paneling, comfortable leather booths, and vintage décor.

Known for serving some of the finest cuts of meat in the city, The Golden Ox sources high-quality, locally raised beef, ensuring each steak is perfectly cooked. In addition to steaks, they serve seafood and hearty sides.

Menu highlights include the flat iron steak, risotto, and hearty sides. 

golden ox restaurant kansas city
The Golden Ox
hallway at cozy steakhouse
The Golden Ox

13. Il Lazzarone

Neighborhood: River Market
Cuisine: Neapolitan Pizza
Pricing: $$ – $$$

Those with an appreciation for authentic Italian pizza should not miss out on Il Lazzarone

Located in the historic River Market district, this stylish, open-kitchen pizzeria showcases a traditional wood-fired oven imported from a Naples business that has been building them over four familial generations. 

Certified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana – one of only seventy-seven in the country, Il Lazzarone’s menu features a variety of authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas with thin, chewy crusts. 

They use simple, quality ingredients, like their San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy where they are grown at the base of Mount Vesuvius. 

Il Lazzarone’s specialty is authentic pizza, and they stay pretty close to that. They have a few antipasti options, but you’ll want to plan on ordering pizza. With over twenty options to choose from, you’re sure to find one you’ll love.

Menu highlights include Salciccia Italiana, Carne, Quattro Formaggio, and Pizza Caprese. 

14. La Bodega

Neighborhood: Westside
Cuisine: Spanish
Pricing: $$

La Bodega is a Spanish tapas restaurant with exceptional craft cocktails and, of course, sangria. Their menu is categorized by hot and cold small plates, as well as a selection of larger dishes for the table.  

The dishes arrive as they are ready, and beautifully plated.

The space is vibrant and colorful, almost as if you were dining in Barcelona. The outdoor patio is lovely for dining in the warmer months. 

Menu highlights include paella, patatas bravas, and bruschetta. 

15. Le Fou Frog

Neighborhood: Rivermarket
Cuisine: French
Pricing: $$$ – $$$$

Le Fou Frog, established in 1996, has become a beloved fixture in Kansas City’s culinary scene. It’s a warm, enchanting bistro offering exceptional French cuisine.

This award-winning restaurant is known for its eclectic yet intimate ambiance, featuring soft lighting, cozy tables, and an infectious joie de vivre!

Their menu – written on a chalkboard – embraces imaginative yet classically influenced French cuisine along with generous portions.

Menu highlights include their in-house baked bread, French onion soup, duck confit, lobster bisque, scallops, and lamb chops.

16. The Town Company

Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisine: New American
Pricing: $$$ – $$$$

The Town Company is more than just a restaurant; it’s an experience that celebrates the fusion of traditional and modern culinary arts. 

Spearheaded by Johnny Leach, a highly respected, James Beard recognized chef known for his creative approach, the establishment is a hub of gastronomic innovation.

The Town Company james beard restaurant kansas city
The Town Company

Leach presents a menu that’s as dynamic as it is delicious, with offerings that change with the seasons to highlight the freshest local ingredients.

The unique blend of familiar flavors and innovative twists, meticulous technique, and heartfelt hospitality make The Town Company an unforgettable destination in Kansas City’s culinary scene.

Menu highlights include the pork chop, smoked carrot dip, potato dumplings, and trout croquettes.

The Town Company restaurant kansas city
The Town Company

17. Rockhill Grille

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: New American
Pricing: $$

Rockhill Grille features a sophisticated, airy space serving elevated, modern American dishes with an exceptional cocktail game.

With candle-lit tables, green leather chairs, and artsy chandeliers, there is an intimate, romantic ambiance. When we dine in, we opt to sit on the second floor next to a window for a great view of Crossroads.

They have a great selection of small plates for sharing or appetizers.

Menu highlights include the bruschetta, prime rib sandwich, brussels sprout salad, pig wings, and deviled eggs.

romantic kansas city restaurant cozy in crossroads arts district
Rockhill Grille

18. City Barrel Brewery + Kitchen

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Gastropub
Pricing: $$

City Barrel, nestled in East Crossroads, is a unique culinary and brewing destination that combines a love for hoppy, wild, and sour beers with an innovative culinary approach. 

The backdrop behind the bar, made of reclaimed wood from the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, adds a touch of historical and artistic significance. 

The open-concept brewery and restaurant feature a wide picture window into the kitchen, allowing guests to observe the culinary magic as it happens​​.

Seasonal dishes inspired by local farmers ensure that the menu is always fresh and aligned with the region’s produce. 

Notable dishes include the smoked jalapeno buffalo wings, double smash burger, Second Best espresso bacon burger, and bulgogi beef tacos.

19. Novel

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: New American
Pricing: $$$

The ambiance of Novel is a blend of contemporary artistry and cozy hospitality. You’re welcomed into a dining room adorned with a fifty-foot-long tile mosaic and an open kitchen, creating an engaging dining atmosphere.

Their approach to cuisine is innovative yet approachable, with a menu that showcases a creative blend of flavors and techniques. They source locally and offer dishes that highlight seasonal produce. 

With sophisticated entrees like the Hamachi Crudo and Beef Sirloin Tartare, each dish is carefully crafted to offer a unique taste experience.

Notable dishes include the duck neck agnolotti, butternut squash ravioli, and wild Alaskan halibut.

20. Parlor

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Cuisine: Food Hall
Pricing: $$

As downtown Kansas City’s only food hall concept, several of Kansas City’s chefs had their start with a food counter in Parlor. You can expect an inviting atmosphere where socialization is encouraged.

The space itself is impressive, spread across three levels and featuring a variety of unique spots to enjoy the ambiance, including a patio with great views of Crossroads.

Adding to its charm are two incredible bars that offer craft beer and house-created artisanal cocktails.

Once you’ve made your choice from the six concepts, you order at the counter, grab a table, and they’ll text you when your order is ready.

Although there is a wide array of seating options – including lounge style seating – it does get busy on the weekends, and tables may be hard to find. We recommend you get there early.

This is a great option for larger groups. Additionally, they have live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.


We hope you found this guide helpful!

For more downtown details, read our complete guide to Kansas City’s downtown.