© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Food Critics: The Best Patios In Kansas City In 2019

Tribe Street Kitchen
The patio at Tribe Street Kitchen.

Summer is the time to enjoy food and drinks outside on the patio for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

When it comes to eating outdoors, Kansas City area restaurants have a different atmosphere than traditional sidewalk cafes in Europe, says Jenny Vergara of Feast Magazine.

“We have much more of a patio party thing happening in Kansas City,” Vergara says. 

Kansas City area restaurants have their own atmospheres when it comes to patios. Some boast views of downtown, others have rooftop games and some are suitable for the kids. 

Here are the Central Standard Food Critics’ recommendations for patios in the metro area.

Mary Bloch, Around the Block:

  • Fox and Pearl — Fox and Pearl just opened and is the newest restaurant on my list. It has a cozy patio enclosed by trees and wood fencing with a brick terrace and wood tables. It's a great place to enjoy delicious cocktails along with the duck pate with strawberry jam or a bowl of homemade pasta.
  • Extra Virgin — Extra Virgin is always hopping. It’s one of my favorite hangouts for happy hour because so many menu items are half price. On Monday nights it’s a great place to enjoy one of their pizzas; I also love the octopus however it’s prepared.
  • Gram & Dun — Gram & Dun is a hotspot on the Plaza. Thanks to the fire pits, it’s great for cocktails (and potato chips), even when there’s a chill. I love the shrimp and grits and the chicken and waffles with homemade hot sauce.
  • The Campground — New owners Christopher Ciesiel and Cristin Llewellyn renovated the former Genessee Royale Bistro space, and there’s now a full patio. Grab a burger or a cocktail and listen to the trains go by.
  • Tribe Street Kitchen — Hop on the streetcar and head down to the River Market for some global cuisines such as Thai, Indian and Mexican at Tribe Street Kitchen. I like the chicken mole street tacos or the Korean short ribs. 
  • Black DirtBlack Dirt’s patio offers an opportunity for some upscale fare — don’t miss the rack of lamb with polenta, olives and harissa sauce — or a really good burger (and fries) in a casual urban setting.
  • Messenger Coffee and Ibis Bakery — Head to the rooftop with your coffee for a tremendous view of the city. Get a pastry or cookie and you’re set for the morning. For a more substantial meal, try the veggie hash with black beans, roasted veggies, beet mole, pickled red onions, micro cilantro, or the sesame tartine with avocado, caramelized onions, fresh cheese, root veggies and micro cilantro topped with poached eggs
  • CaVa Champagne and fries? French pastry? Croque madame or mussels? Sip the afternoon away at the lovely patio next to the champagne bar, where you can’t go wrong ordering the board with local cheeses.

Danielle Lehman, Open Belly Podcast:

  • Rye Leawood— The patio at Rye in Leawood makes me feel like I'm on vacation. It's such a beautiful setting, near the pond and walking trails. I really enjoy a glass of wine with the Butcher Board of assorted meats and pickles.
  • Aixois Bistro — Aixois in Brookside has the best people-watching. I like to go for breakfast: The avocado toast is one of the best I've had, and I've been told the secret ingredient is sumac. 
  • Flying Horse Taproom — Flying Horse is the perfect neighborhood hang. The flatbreads are thin and crispy, and they have more than 20 beers on tap. I also love that it's kid friendly.
  • Brewery Emperial— The patio at Brewery Emperial is more like a beer garden with picnic tables and yard games, and they even have occasional yoga classes. The tri-tip sandwich is my go-to. I haven't seen many Kansas City menus with tri-tip, which is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin that's more lean than a brisket.
  • KC Bier Co — This is the perfect place to both enjoy a beer and entertain your kids simultaneously. The gravel rock patio is a perfect playground for little ones, and there's often live music. I like the classic bratwurst or the giant pretzel — with a cold beer of course. 
  • Banksia — This Australian bakery downtown has a quaint patio that almost feels like you could be in an East Coast city. It’s one of my favorite breakfast spots. I love the corn, zucchini and cilantro fritters with avocado, refried beans, fried egg, bacon and pan roasted cherry tomatoes.
  • Chicken N Pickle — Once again, if there's a patio where I can eat good food, have a drink, and entertain my kid, I'm there. I love Chicken N Pickle for an evening of pickleball, but the spicy fried chicken sandwich with pickles and spicy slaw is quite good. 
  • Bella Napoli — Bella Napoli is another charming neighborhood spot with a great patio. I love the bolognese and the arancini. 
  • Parlor— This enclosed patio is great year round, even if it's raining or snowing. I love that you can try many different cuisines in one spot. My go-to order is the spicy pork bibimbap from Sura Eats or the mole chicken wings from Karbon. 
  • Lenexa Public Market — I consider the entire area outside of Lenexa Public Market as its patio. There’s live music occasionally in the summer, so you can bring the whole family and enjoy the evening. Inside the market, I love the butter chicken or chapli kebab at Sohaila's Kitchen, or, if they're not sold out, the tamales at Red Kitchen Tamales. 

Jenny Vergara, Feast Magazine

  • Percheron Rooftop Bar at Crossroads HotelWith yard games and TV screens turned to the big game, this rooftop patio offers drinking and dining options to match the unique views of downtown and the Crossroads. It has a list of breezy summer-inspired cocktails and a selection of local beers, while the food feels like satisfying and shareable bar snacks.
  • Trezo Mare — It’s worth waiting for a seat on the patio at Trezo Mare. Order a glass of wine or a local beer and pair it with fried calamari or marinated olives to snack on while you watch the sun set over the city. 
  • Il Lazzarone — One of the best parts about Il Lazzarone’s patio (aside from its spacious size and matching bright red chairs) is that it stays open until 1:30 a.m. most nights, so it could begin or end your night out on the perfect note. Get the margarita pizza and a salad to share.
  • Harry’s Bar &Tables — Whether it’s for the lovely historic building, the full food menu or the quality cocktails, service-industry folks, musicians, locals and tourists alike flock to this iconic corner bar. Sit on the multi-level patio and enjoy a frosty cold beer, cocktail or glass of wine, and along with the hummus trio, Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese, or a burger, sandwich, tacos or pizzas.
  • Stock Hill — This is a fabulous patio with handsome wood tables and mesh chairs. For a great date, order a steak and sides to share and or a smattering of lighter appetizers and dessert along with a couple of great cocktails or a bottle of wine. 
  • The Farmhouse — The Farmhouse chefs continue to push farm-forward dishes such as vegan pupusas with spicy charred corn cakes topped with grilled vegetables and chile sauce. For a meatier option, there's the espresso rubbed pork chop with new potatoes and an orange chili glaze.
  • Café Equinox— Café Equinox is a buzzy space offering Thou Mayest coffee, teas and pastries. Grab an iced coffee and a blueberry pop-tart and browse the dazzling array of plants, planters and accessories at the shop. This is the perfect space to just relax and breathe.
  • Local Pig & Pigwich — Moving from its original East Bottoms location to the City Market has given Local Pig room to grow. They inherited a large indoor and outdoor seating area where guests can lounge under an awning as they watch the bustling market come to life. Get the falafel burger made with a chickpea patty, olive tapenade and tzatziki and a can of rosé.
  • The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge— This sophisticated cocktail lounge provides some of the most creative, ambitious and delicious craft cocktails in Kansas City. Outside, the Monarch Terrace offers a more relaxed experience where the seasonal cocktail is a take on an orange creamsicle.
  • The Restaurant at 1900 Restaurant at 1900's patio is the perfect meet-up spot for appetizers and drinks or a casual dinner in the summer. For dinner, get the chilled cucumber soup with an order of the tomato and bulgur salad with heirloom and green tomatoes, cucumber, root vegetables, macadamia nut, cured olive, creamed feta and vinaigrette.
  • Blvd Tavern— Start your weekend mornings with brunch on the patio at Blvd Tavern. I like the cinnamon roll with a vanilla orange glaze and the corned beef hash with potato, onion, smoked tomato red-eye gravy, poached eggs and marbled rye toast. 

Listener and Instagram recommendations: 

  • The Mockingbird Lounge — The patio isn’t big — there’s enough room for about 20 people — but it has a great uninterrupted view of downtown. It also has a great atmosphere with live music that’s always a good time. The tacos and the pork sandwich are delicious. 
  • Nick and Jake’s On Main — Nick and Jake’s patio is slightly secluded because it’s in between two buildings, but it’s a nice getaway in the city. 
  • Vivilore — You could drive past it and not even know it was there. Overgrown with ivy, the restaurant has a patio and garden with a European feel complete with flowers, fountains and lights.
  • Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse — With beautiful flowers, nice fire pits for cooler days and nearby train tracks, Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse is a great place to sit outside with a glass of wine or beer.
  • JJ’s Restaurant— It’s like a little oasis with an amazing happy hour and great drink and food specials. The pizzas are amazing. 
  • Cafe Trio — Cafe Trio has a great atmosphere, amazing view and is good for people watching. 
  • Harry's Country Club — Harry's has a huge, spacious patio and great happy hour deals. The atmosphere is more laid back than the name suggests.
  • The Westside Local — Its patio has a beer garden.

Rylie Koester is an intern for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at @RylieKoester.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.