Whether you're craving Malaysian almond chicken, French duck confit or even hot dog fried rice, head north of the Missouri River — the Northland has become a dining destination.
"When I moved here 30 years ago, there were definitely places to eat, but it didn't have the variety or the choices that Kansas City, Missouri, or even Johnson County had," said Food Critic Charles Ferruzza. "That has changed a lot over the last three decades."
We explored the Northland restaurant scene with Ferruzza and Central Standard listeners.
Here are their favorite dining spots.
(Also included below are Northland restaurant suggestions that we received through our Tell KCUR question of the week, "What's your favorite thing to do north of the Missouri River?" which we asked on the air and online.)
Charles Ferruzza, The Pitch:
- Cafe des Amis: It's very, very good and very romantic. During the summer, it has one of the best patios.
- Stone Canyon Pizza: I've always liked the pizza there.
- Avalon Cafe: It's an old house on a hill that evokes good feelings. It's a great place to eat.
- '37 Steak at Harrah's Casino is an upscale steakhouse that serves delicious steaks.
- Hayes Hamburger & Chili is celebrating its 60th year. It's open 24 hours and has the best chili, I think, in Kansas City. Also has great burgers and breakfasts.
- Roxanne's Cafe is one of the newer places in Parkville; it's a new version of an old-fashioned diner. It has big breakfast platters and good burgers and sandwiches. The food is really good and pretty inexpensive.
- Seva Indian Cuisine: Nice buffet. The owner used to be a restaurant health inspector.
- Swagat has a good variety on its buffet.
- Tasty Thai has good dishes. It may be the only Thai restaurant in Kansas City that serves hot dog fried rice.
- Piropos: Very glamorous, beautiful patio, delicious food.
- Ixtapa: Not at all your standard Tex-Mex. Very authentic, not a lot of cheesy things. Delicious cocktails, delicious mole, excellent dinner choices.
- LeMonde Bakery is one of my very favorite bakeries in Kansas City. Wonderful lunches and maybe the best curried chicken salad in the city. Wonderful soups.
- In A Tub: Greasy? Yes. Delicious? Oh yes!
- Paul & Jack's Tavern has killer tenderloin sandwiches.
- Cascone's has really, really good authentic Italian food and a nice ambiance.
- The Smokehouse: I like the bbq and the sides. The sauce is sweet-spicy. It's always busy.
- Longboards is a great sandwich place. The wraps are all really good.
- The French Bee Bakery has great baked goods and lunches. They really know French baking. Great desserts. The avocado toast and tuna Provence sandwiches are incredible. Amazing rosemary-apricot bars, blackberry bars, macaroons.
- Cafe des Amis: Any of the fish dishes are always good. Usually, the trout dish is prepared perfectly.
- Malay Cafe is very good.
- Clay's Curbside, baby.
- Justus Drugstore
- Leo's Pizza
- Ginger Sue's and La Tienda Chiquita in Liberty
- Gators VIII Bar & Grill in Platte Woods
- Nick and Jake's in Parkville
- BC Bistro
This look at the Missouri River is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.
We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.