If there’s one word to describe Irish cuisine, it’s “hearty.”
Irish restaurants in Kansas City are a favorite spot for many. The food is delicious and the portions are always generous. Irish culture is pretty much just meat, potatoes, Guinness and melancholy, so it pairs quite nicely with the Midwest. It makes sense that there are a lot of Irish restaurants in Kansas City.
Whether you’re looking for a drink at pub or a full meal at a restaurant, this guide to Irish restaurants in Kansas City will point you in the right direction.
What is Irish Food?
Irish food is the classic meat-and-potatoes meal. As a country that is rich with farmland and livestock, the Irish people developed a culinary style based on what the land gave them. Their dishes are full of vegetables, dark meats and rich stews.
On the menu at Irish restaurants in Kansas City, you’ll see both modern and classic dishes that feel familiar to American food. Many of the ingredients are similar, especially here in the heartland. The potato has been the center of the Irish diet since the 1800s, and will be featured in some way in most Irish meals. As for meat, beef, lamb and pork are the most popular proteins.
Irish cooking is simple. Some may call it bland, but the Irish don’t prefer a heavy mix of herbs or spices. Salt, pepper and other basics are used, but not much more than that. Typically the meat and potatoes are paired with a vegetable. The end result is simple meal that fills you up and gives you the nutrients you need.
The Guinness Story
It’s rare for a specific drink to play such a central role in a culture’s culinary identity, but you can’t talk about Irish food without talking about Guinness beer. The Irish are famous for their alcohol consumption, and Guinness is the drink of choice.
Arthur Guinness was born in 1725 just outside of the major metropolis we now call Dublin, Ireland. He took a 100 euro inheritance from his grandfather and started a brewery. Arthur toiled with his brewery in relative obscurity for nearly 50 years before his brews became a hit. Even then, he would never have dreamed what happened after his passing. Guinness became an international sensation and the pride of Ireland. The first Guinness to arrive in America landed in South Carolina in 1817. You can find it on tap at any Irish pub in Kansas City, and even at most regular bars.
If you’re eating an Irish meal, you have to pair it with a Guinness.
Irish Restaurants in Kansas City
There are plenty of places to find Irish food in Kansas City. Spots across the city offer both classic and modern Irish fare. So whether you are looking for a hearty Irish stew, or just hoping to grab a pub burger with a tall glass of Guinness, you can find what you’re looking for at these Irish restaurants in Kansas City:
- Browne’s Irish Marketplace: Browne’s is not only one of the oldest Irish restaurants in Kansas City — it is one of the oldest businesses in Kansas City, period. Browne’s opened in 1887. You can stop by to pick up your Irish groceries or get a hot meal.
- Conroy’s Public House: Conroy’s has three locations. You can visit them Overland Park, Westwood, or Leawood. This is a relaxed Irish pub in Kansas City with affordable food and plentiful beer options.
- O’Neill’s Restaurant and Bar: O’Neill’s trends toward a more upscale feel. If you’re looking for an Irish restaurant in Kansas City that offers pub classics alongside finer dining options, this is a good place to try.
- Kelly’s Westport Inn: Kelly’s is a Kansas City institution. Stop by until 3 a.m. in the heart of Westport for a good time, cheap food and your choice of beer. Kelly’s is a family-run business on its third generation of owners.
These are only a few of Kansas Citians’ favorite Irish restaurants. There are even more to add to your list:
- Llywelyn’s Pub
- McFadden’s Sports Saloon
- Brady & Fox
- Governor Stumpy’s Grillhouse
What to Order at an Irish Restaurant from Kansas City
Most Irish pubs will have menus that any diner feels comfortable navigating. However, if you want to try some traditional Irish dishes that may not be quite so obvious on them menu, here are a couple options:
- Irish Potato Soup: This is a creamy broth made with butter, pepper, onions, celery, milk and, you guessed it, potatoes. The Irish potato soup is a crowd favorite at Browne’s Irish Marketplace.
- Cottage Pie: This is the Irish version of a pot pie. It’s a baked crusted stuffed with meat and veggies, sometimes topped with gravy or a creamy sauce. The cottage pie at Conroy’s is always a good option.
- Irish Pot Roast: This will make anyone feel right at home. Irish pot roast is rich and filling, made with roast beef, carrots, celery and mushrooms. You can find a good plate of it at O’Neill’s.
If none of these traditional Irish dishes sound right to you, you can always find a burger, sandwich or salad on the menu of an Irish restaurant in Kansas City.