From Coffee to Cocktails, This is Your Guide to Restaurants in Kansas City Midtown
Midtown is a bit of a mystery, geographically speaking. You hear a lot of people say it, and you’ve definitely told people you are going to be hanging out at that new coffee shop in Midtown, but there’s never a definitive point on your drive over where you think, “Ah, yes. I’m now in Midtown.”
This map-based ambiguity won’t stop us from creating the ultimate guide to restaurants in Kansas City Midtown. From coffee shops to burger joints, barbecue to burritos, Ethiopian to Scandinavian, Midtown is a great place to grab some grub and chow down.
For the purposes of this guide, we are defining Midtown as the area between 31st and 39th. You can check out separate guides for Westport and the Plaza, which some people lump in with Midtown.
Starting Your Day in Midtown: Coffee and Breakfast
Monarch opened at the corner of Broadway and Knickerbocker in 2017, and it’s off to a strong start. The interior is beautiful — an art-deco ceiling and white-out design style create a bright space. The bar is situated in the middle of the shop inside a circular counter, which opens up the whole room and creates a welcoming space. Monarch roasts their own coffee in-house, so you’ll get a tasty cup to go along with the good vibes. And if you’re factoring Instagram-ability into your coffee choice, Monarch is a clear winner.
Meshuggah serves up New York City style bagels. This Midtown Kansas City restaurant came about when co-founders Janna and Pete decided to bring NYC bagels to Kansas City permanently, after years of stuffing dozens of bagels into their luggage on trips. The shop opens at 7:00 AM, so you can make it before work on the weekdays. Meshuggah specializes in a variety of schmears and fish-based bagel sandwiches.
Beyond Borders: International Cuisine in Midtown Kansas City Restaurants
If you frequently drive down Main Street, you’ve probably passed Awaze (pronounced a-wah-zay) a hundred times without noticing it. The Kansas City Midtown restaurant sits at the end of an unassuming brick strip on the northbound side of Main Street. You don’t want to miss this Ethiopian and Caribbean eatery. Jamaican-born chef Pablo Brown brings Caribbean and African spices to a variety of meats and vegetables to create a mouth-watering menu with very reasonable prices.
You’ll find Mesob a couple blocks over from Main Street, off Broadway next to the beautiful Uptown Theater. This traditional Ethiopian, Eritrean and Caribbean restaurant in Kansas City Midtown adds a fine-dining approach to their exciting menu. If you’re up for a culinary adventure, Mesob will give you the chance to try a dish you’ve never had before — and the plating will be delightful.
More and more upscale ramen shops are popping up in urban areas around the country, and you don’t want to miss this Kansas City Midtown restaurant’s take on the trend. Shio Ramen is based on the idea that food doesn’t to be complex to be gourmet. They create a more straightforward take on ramen, and it does not disappoint. Plus, their Asian-inspired drink menu is a great addition to your meal.
Unique to KC: Restaurants in Midtown
A meal at The Russell is more than just food — it’s an experience. Chef Amante Domingo and culinary entrepreneur Heather White create art with simple ingredients, and they’ve earned a reputation as one of the best new restaurants in the whole city. The menu isn’t very extensive, but each dish is packed with flavor and presented beautifully.
Gates BBQ is a staple in the best barbecue scene in the country. This Kansas City Midtown restaurant location serves of all of the classics: ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage and, of course, famous Gates BBQ sauce. Along with the food, one great thing about eating at Gates is the history. This restaurant began in Kansas City in 1946. Gates has been visited by presidents, celebrities and famous athletes — making it a national household name in barbecue.
Located on the corner of 31st and Main, Lutfi’s pushes our Midtown boundary, but it is far too good to miss. This place is a easy-going, historic pit stop of your dreams. With several locations around KC, this storefront in midtown is a great place for a quick, filling and delicious bite to eat.
Nightcap: Bars in Midtown
Inexpensive drinks, fun people, karaoke — what more could you want from a dive bar? This Kansas City Midtown restaurant is a late-night destination if you’re looking for a good time that won’t break the bank. There’s a decent chance a band will be playing upstairs on any given night.
This relaxed bar is tucked away in a small spot on 33rd street. It’s a bit of neighborhood secret. The crowd is mostly older and mostly men — it is a gay bar — and the drinks are cheap. Anyone is welcome to partake in the refreshing beverages on the outdoor patio, and there’s a quality food menu, too.
J Lounge embraces the relaxed side of hookah, offering teas, coffee and free Wi-Fi in the café. Their café menu compliments an evening smoke, and their support of local artists creates a visually appealing space.
Additional Restaurants in Kansas City Midtown
If you didn’t find anything that sounds great to you, it’s okay. You’ve got a lot more Kansas City Midtown restaurants to choose from. And if you still can’t find something, you can head south to 39th Street, Westport or the Plaza and choose from hundreds of other options.