The Country Club Plaza is known for its premier shopping, its fountains, and — perhaps most notably —its fine dining. The 15 blocks that make up the Spanish-inspired district lend themselves to pleasant walks and beautiful scenery, and the scattered free parking garages make it one of the easiest destinations to navigate in Kansas City. The Country Club Plaza restaurants, though, are the real draw for Kansas Citians and tourists alike.
If you’re not a veteran of the Kansas City food scene, the sheer volume of restaurants on the Plaza can be overwhelming. To help you navigate your options, we’ve grouped a few of our favorites by occasion and mood. Happy researching!
If you’re looking for a classy date night spot:
Couples from all around the area flock to the restaurants on the Plaza to enjoy a night out on the town. If you’re looking for the perfect Country Club Plaza restaurants to impress that special someone, here are a few good places to start:
- Parkway: Head chef John Hammack keeps his menu simple and classic. There’s no need to be fussy; the food should speak for itself. And indeed it does. With comfort foods like gourmet macaroni and cheese and twists on classics like tater tots and hummus, the Parkway menu is guaranteed to please even the pickiest eater. (We recommend the ahi tuna, flown in daily from Hawaii.) If the date’s going really well, you can head downstairs to the velvet-adorned Lounge for libations and live music.
- Brio: If you’re in the mood for Italian food, Brio is your spot. You can opt for lighter fare, like Bruschetta and flatbreads, or you can go straight for the pastas. Pro tip: The campanelle carbonara pairs well with a nice glass of vino.
- The Capital Grille: If you’re prepared to shell out a little more cash for the ultimate fine dining experience, Capital Grille is worth the money. With an elegant atmosphere, valets waiting to take your car as soon as you pull up, and an impressive menu of dry aged steaks and seafood, your date is sure to be impressed.
If you’re grabbing a quick drink:
The Kansas City Plaza restaurants are some of the finest in the city, but that means scouting out places where you’re guaranteed a spot for a quick drink with friends can be difficult. Don’t worry, though. We’ve done the legwork for you:
- Zocalo: You might expect that, since Zocalo specializes in Mexican cuisine, the obvious drink recommendation would be a margarita. However, Zocalo’s sangria and cocktail options aren’t to be ignored either — and the best options come in pitchers. With happy hour specials on foods like chicken nachos, mini tacos, guacamole and queso, snacking is always an option as well.
- O’Dowd’s: Locals will remember O’Dowd’s for its casual atmosphere and wild dance floor as the hour turns late, but after its recent renovation, it’s the perfect place to stop in and have a quiet drink by the fireside while catching up with friends. (If you stick around, though, the dance floor is just as fun as it’s always been!)
If you’ve got the kiddos:
Of course, your kids will be welcome at almost any of the KC Plaza restaurants, but when little ones are involved, it can be helpful to stick with places that may be more entertaining for them. Any of these themed restaurants could be a perfect choice:
- Buca di Beppo: The food is to die for, but the atmosphere is even better. Buca di Beppo prides itself on its eclectic décor, and even the pickiest child will have a hard time pretending to be bored. Dishes are served family-style, and the underground restaurant on the Plaza lends itself to making all customers feel like VIPs.
- Chuy’s: Who doesn’t love Tex-Mex? The food is a treat, but that’s nothing compared to the loud decorations. You’ll spend most of your time looking around the room you’re in, and since each one is different, there’s a lot to take in. Helpful hint: Don’t forget to bring a picture of your dog to put on their wall of fame!
- The Cheesecake Factory: While it is something of a tourist hot spot, the Cheesecake Factory is something everyone should experience at least once. With over 250 menu items made from scratch every day and an architectural design that is all over the place, there’s a lot going on. But that’s half of the appeal. The sheer size of the menu will have you wondering how the chefs manage, but don’t let that fool you into thinking your food won’t be great. It will. That’s the magic of the Cheesecake Factory.
While the above Country Club Plaza restaurants are certainly worth visiting, these are by no means your only options. Other restaurants on the Plaza include:
- American Slang Modern Brasserie at InterContinental
- Bo Ling’s Chinese Restaurant
- Buca di Beppo
- The Capital Grille
- Chaz on the Plaza
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Classic Cup Café
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
- Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
- Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
- Fogo de Chao
- Fred P. Ott’s
- The Gallery at Sheraton Suites
- Gram & Dun
- The Granfalloon Restaurant and Bar
- Hogshead Kansas City
- Kaldi’s Coffee
- Kona Grill
- L’Ecole Culinaire
- McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood
- The Melting Pot
- The Oliver
- F. Chang’s China Bistro
- Panache Chocolatier and Café
- Panera Bread Bakery Café
- Parker at The Fontaine
- Potbelly Sandwich Shop
- Scooter’s Coffee House
- Seasons 52
- Topsy’s Popcorne Shoppe
- The Waffle Bar
- Zoës Kitchen