What comes to your mind when you think of American food? For many it may be apple pie, if only for the saying, “As American as apple pie.” Others may think of steak, barbecue or burgers. It doesn’t even stop there. You could be thinking of vegan meals, Tex-Mex or pork roast. And that’s the beauty of American food – it’s a little bit of everything.
America is a nation of immigrants. This melting pot of people has created a diverse culture. So many things fit under the umbrella of “American,” which is somewhat unique in countries around the world. So, when two different people are looking for American restaurants in Kansas City, they could be looking for two completely different things.
That’s not going to stop us from creating a guide to American food in Kansas City. Let’s dive in and see what this city has to offer.
What is American Food?
How do you define American food in Kansas City?
According to Thrillist, American food is marked by dishes like sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, salads, steaks, and chicken. The common thread is that the dishes involve some sort of bread or other baked good, paired with meat and cheese, sometimes including veggies. Potatoes are also plentiful, especially as a side.
Or, we could take a different perspective on it and ask our foreign friends what American food is. That’s what Insider did, and the results are both surprising and comical. Chinese people consider our Chinese food to be the defining meal of American food. And one trend that pops up in responses from countries around the world? Hot dogs. As Thrillist pointed out in its report, the popularization of the hot dog in Coney Island, New York, was an early hallmark of American cuisine.
The best takeaway is that you can’t really put American food into a box (although you may be able to put it in a hot dog bun). It is wide-ranging and diverse. Rather than try to define it, let’s just celebrate it all by enjoying delicious American restaurants in Kansas City.
Finding an American Dinner Near Me
Kansas City’s restaurant scene has been on the rise over the last several years. It’s helped the city earn recognition from National Geographic as one of the top places to visit in the world. If you’re looking for American food in Kansas City, you have plenty of choices.
It wouldn’t be possible to fit every American restaurant in Kansas City into one list. Instead, we’ll pick out the most popular all-American styles of cooking, and give you a few options from each.
Barbecue is classic American food, and no one does it better than Kansas City. Savory meats and flavorful sauces cooked over open flames make for juicy, charred meats. Here are a few iconic barbecue joints in Kansas City:
Sandwiches and Burgers
Sandwiches and burgers are available at almost every American restaurant in Kansas City. Whether you are looking for a lunch of dinner, here are some places to grab a delicious sandwich in KC:
- Parkway Social Kitchen
- KC Smoke Burger
- Blvd Tavern
- Brady’s Public House
- Howard’s Grocery
- The Lunchbox
- Beer Kitchen
- BRGR Kitchen + Bar
- The Farmhouse
- 54th Street Grill & Bar
- Westport Flea Market
- Summit Grill
Upscale American ($$$)
These are the types of restaurants where you don’t make changes to the items on the menu. These chefs know what they are doing. They employ a variety of cooking techniques and work with only the freshest ingredients:
That’s probably more American restaurants in Kansas City than you’re prepared to try. So, get started. You’ve got a lot of exploring to do around the many great restaurants in KC!