Your Guide to Good Eats North of the River
Kansas City’s Northland still feels a bit like a hidden gem, despite the area’s massive growth in the last decade. Tucked below the bluffs of the Missouri River between downtown KC and the airport, the Northland is a relaxed, family-friendly area. Newer homes, great schools and easy access to nearly any part of the Kansas City Metro have attracted thousands of young families to move up north. And there are a lot of great restaurants in the Kansas City Northland to round out the living experience.
The Northland’s development hasn’t always been a sure thing. As cities like Parkville, Liberty and Gladstone established themselves, Kansas City was annexing property all around the area. The resulting cocktail of interwoven city and suburb, once a confusing mix with uncertain prospects, has created a vibrant area.
Because of this, the Northland has gained a bit of a reputation as a purely residential district. But there are dozens of restaurants in the Kansas City Northland that you don’t want to miss.
Looking for pizza? Stone Canyon has you covered. Is Indian Cuisine more your speed? Head over to Seva. How about Thai food? Tasty Thai is waiting for you. Or maybe you just want a good burger from an old-school joint. Hayes Hamburger & Chili has been flipping patties for nearly 70 years.
Whatever your craving is, you can probably find it in one of the restaurants in Kansas City’s Northland. And because of how large the area is — even its residents can’t completely agree on the boundaries — you’ll have a lot of ground to cover before you run out of options.
Restaurants in Parkville
Starting our culinary journey through Kansas City north restaurants out west, Parkville is a family-friendly town nestled against a bend in the Missouri river. The city’s historic downtown and abundance of natural beauty will make you forget you’re only 20 minutes north of a massive metropolitan area. A lot of young Kansas Citians move to Parkville to start a family because of the homes and schools, but they find themselves never leaving because of the community. And as far as restaurants in Kansas City north go, you won’t be disappointed.
This charming café offers exquisite French cuisine in an upstairs location above an antique shop looking over downtown Parkville. The menu features a mix of traditional and progressive French cuisine — try the magret de canard, thank us later — and more than 60 wines. If you are looking for brunch, lunch or dinner, Café des Amis is worth checking out.
This small Italian restaurant in Kansas City’s Northland is locally loved. If you’re looking for a laid-back lunch for the whole family, Frank’s is the perfect stop. Or if you’re on the way home from work, you can call in a take-out order and bring their Italian cuisine to your own dining room.
We already mentioned Stone Canyon Pizza earlier, but it’s worth a second shout-out. Stone Canyon was opened on historic Main Street in 1985 by Kevin Heaton, a native resident who started in the family restaurant business when he was only 14. Stone Canyon touts its fresh ingredients, local sourcing and hand-made dough as factors that set their pies apart.
Restaurants in Riverside
Riverside bumps up against Parkville from the southeast. This thriving little community is known for its wide variety of walking and biking trails, while only being a 10-minute drive from the heart of downtown Kansas City. Riverside is home to several different restaurants in the Kansas City Northland.
Corner Café is a historic landmark in the Riverside community. Its founders, Ed and Kathi Rule, played a big part in formally establishing Riverside as a city. In 1983, they took over a storefront that had changed hands several times in as many years. Although a new building came around in 1994, this café has been serving up local breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Northland for nearly 40 years.
99 Hops House is a restaurant and bar with a massive beer selection — 99 different choices, as the name suggests. This restaurant in Kansas City north is located inside the Argosy Casino, a big attraction in Riverside. Even though it’s inside the casino, this is still a family-friendly place with a menu big enough for everyone to find something they enjoy.
Restaurants in Gladstone
If you head northeast from Riverside, you’ll run into Gladstone, a small community with a lot to be proud of, including their vibrant farmer’s market and community park, which are complemented by a variety of restaurants in Kansas City’s Northland.
Kansas City is known for its world-class barbecue. While this Northland restaurant doesn’t share the notoriety of Arthur Bryant’s or Joe’s KC, it’s still a great spot to grab a rack of ribs or a burnt ends sandwich.
With a slogan like “Good Food, Good Friends, Good Times,” who wouldn’t want to stop in at this local Chinese restaurant? Hunan Garden serves lunch and dinner in Gladstone, with reasonable prices and an extensive menu.
Named after the founder’s grandpa, Ikey’s serves local, brick-oven pizza on North Oak Trafficway in Gladstone. This restaurant in Kansas City north has dine-in, take-out and catering options, with delivery coming soon. Pizzas are made with Ikey’s signature sauce and specialty cheese blend.
These are just a few of the restaurants in Kansas City Northland that you can choose from. For a more in-depth look at specific areas and more recommendations for restaurants in Kansas City north, check out our guides to Parkville, Gladstone and Riverside.