There are more restaurants to experience once you step outside of Kansas City proper and you start exploring some of the best Clay County restaurants. Locals know that they will always be able to find whatever they’re in the mood for, even when it comes to the more exotic fare.
We can’t feature all of the best restaurants in Clay County in this one guide, but we’ve done our best to include just a few of the locally owned and operated favorites that you shouldn’t miss out on. Bon appétit!
North Kansas City
The Kansas City Northland areas of Clay County have a great number of options if you’re looking for fun, affordable and satisfying places to eat. Here’s a quick look at a few of those must-try places.
Great specials in a no-fuss atmosphere, El Maguey has an absolutely huge menu, so everyone can find what they’re hungry for. You’re going to want some fried ice cream after having one of their “Monster” sized Black Magic Margaritas.
You don’t have to go down South to find fresh Cajun cuisine. “Matilda” is the name of their solar-powered food truck — the only one of its kind in the Midwest. Catch Chef Chris for one of the famous po’ boys.
In addition to the KCK location, Ginger Sue’s has set up shop in Liberty, Leawood, Olathe and Lee’s Summit — so you know it’s good. Known for their homestyle breakfast and brunch, Ginger Sue’s is a local staple.
Set aside the countless chains and fast food giants in favor of Liberty’s locally based flavor. There’s something for everyone in this neck of Clay County, including these cult favorites.
Seva is bursting with vivacity, color and tastes in an assuming strip mall area of Liberty. Family-owned and loved by families throughout Liberty, Seva can amp up (or tone down) the spice factor at your request without ever sacrificing their renowned flavors. Pour yourself a cup of their perfectly spiced chai before hitting up their buffet!
With one location in Westport and a second in Liberty, Jerusalem Cafe dishes up big, satisfying servings that still feel healthy. Gyros, kabobs, shawarma, freshly made falafel and pita and some of the best vegetarian platters in the Kansas City metropolitan area — it’s no wonder that Jerusalem Cafe is one of the most popular Middle Eastern restaurants in Clay County.
Founded by award-winning, competitive-level pitmasters John and Brandi Atwell, and Rod Blackburn, Jousting Pigs is a popular choice in Liberty for BBQ catering. But you can also catch them during their regular hours as they slow-smoke racks of ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork, sausage, accompanied by all your favorite BBQ sides.
In a cute bright blue and crisp white little building, you’ll find The Fish Market. Stop by for their unique blend of Louisiana and Bahamian cuisine, like their BBQ pulled pork cheesy fries, fried okra, firecracker shrimp, or jambalaya. Want their fried alligator or catfish on a taco? You got it.
Luigi’s is one of those authentic Italian restaurants that is comforting, delicious and welcoming. When Chef Ari immigrated to the United States in 2006, he made his start in N.Y.C.’s Italian restaurants before bringing his concept to Liberty. We’re all the luckier for it.
Throughout Kearney, you’ll find quite a few family-owned restaurants, all of which bring something unique to the table, puns aside. Some local favorites include:
If you’re hungry for perfectly spiced Mexican favorites for the family, Mocajete is the place to go. It’s tempting to fill up on a steaming platter of fresh tamales, but don’t forget to save room for their sweet homemade flan or honey-drizzled sopapillas.
Like its name suggests, D’Creamery is Kearney’s favorite place for all sweet treats, especially ice cream. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about their diner-style burgers, french fries and onion rings. Altogether, they have the perfect balances of savory, salty, creamy and sweet.
It’s your classic Chinese restaurant but Hunan is well above average. They’ve been voted as the Kansas City Northland’s “Best Chinese Restaurant” for five years in a row. Influenced by Mandaran in addition to Hunan cooking styles, Hunan Garden offers all the American-Chinese classics as well as some authentic and exciting dishes to explore.
Whether you’re in the mood for something hot right off the hibachi grill, or you’re more interested in something fresh from the sushi bar, KaJi won’t disappoint. In addition to their famous sushi rolls, they also offer wonderful versions of Japanese classics like udon, tempura, katsu and teriyaki.
More Restaurants in Clay County, MO
Our guide to Clay County restaurants covers quite a bit of ground, but there’s simply no way to include everything that we’d like to! Instead, we’ll have to settle for recommending just a few more Clay County-area spots that we think you’ll enjoy, like: