8 Restaurants in Kansas City You Need to Try

Some are new, some are proven favorites of the metro’s adventurous, but they all offer wonderful rewards for the senses.

801 Fish

From the restaurant group that wows you with steaks at 801 Chophouse, now the focus is on fish. With a stunning interior in Leawood’s Park Place, this is the spot for inventive seafood dishes, including a special dish of crispy-skin salmon over creamy French lentils and dilled crème fraiche.

All photos by Landon Vonderschmidt

T. Loft Tea and Juice Bar

If the holidays (or just a Tuesday afternoon) have you craving something healthy, here’s the place to indulge in beverages that are good for you. T. Loft offers dozens of teas and tea lattes, as well as juice combos, that focus on what you need: energy, immune support, detoxing or recovery.

Our fave? The Mean and Clean with carrot, lemon and ginger with a sweet potato brownie (all the snacks are gluten-free). Start your New Year’s resolutions early with the cleanse program.

Café Europa

Some people bake, others (like us!) buy goodies from Café Europa. It’s a favorite place for lunch and dinner, but it’s impossible to pass by the dessert display without taking home a treat or six. When the invitation says “bring a dessert,” the famous lemon cake is a winner. So, too, are the lemon cupcakes and Trolley Trail cookies.


Kaiyo Japanese Restaurant

Owners David Loo and Karen Ming met in Malaysia and first made names for themselves creating delicious Japanese dishes in NYC and Chicago. Now, fans have found the pair at Kaiyo where the menu lists no fewer than 30 sushi rolls along with a dozen or more entrees, including steak and chicken.

Consider the Hot Temptation Roll with shrimp tempura and mango and topped with Kaiko’s own fruity sauce.


One of our favorite spaces in the West Bottoms has been happily reinvented with new owners, chefs and mixologists behind that handsomely rugged bar. Inventive food is what’s making news here, as well as a new website.

Witness the red and white quinoa biryani with jackfruit, tart cherries, toasted cashews and flash-fried spinach. Without the basted egg, the dish is a vegan’s delight.


Pie Five Pizza

Fresh, personal pizza in five minutes is the promise here, but we’d wait longer for pies this fantastic. Choose one of the signature pizzas (we show the Athenian here with chicken, feta cheese and kalamata olives) on your choice of crusts: artisan thin, classic pan, whole grain and gluten-free. Even the salads are served in a pizza crust bowl.

Drunken Fish

Lucky for Johnson County fans of this hot spot in the Power & Light District, there’s now a place to find fresh sushi and other delights in Town Center Crossing. Choose a place in front of the kitchen and watch these culinary treasures prepared before your eyes.

Shown here are White Tiger Rolls with calamari tempura, crab, avocado and masago, topped with white tuna, spicy mayo and eel sauce.

Ça Va Champagne Bar

Howard Hanna, co-owner of The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exhange in the Crossroads, is popping open a new champagne bar in Westport with Justin Norcross, who will be general manager, and James Coley, our personal go-to wine guru at Gomer’s Fine Wines and Spirits in Midtown.

Photo by David Allison