Chefs around the city have transformed the way Kansas Citians eat, opting for smaller, more shareable portions that allow diners to sample a wide range of flavors and cultural influences either with friends, family, significant others or all to themselves.

From hip whiskey joints to upscale date-night dining, discover some of the most popular small-plates spots in Kansas City.

Casual Bites

Not every dinner needs to be special to enjoy small plates fare.

  • Bluestem: One of the most acclaimed restaurants in the city offers a more relaxed dining option in its barroom space, exchanging a coursed menu for one filled with charcuterie and seasonal specialties.
  • BLVD Tavern: Embedded in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District, BLVD Tavern is a casual hang that offers unique takes on comfort food classics, such as crab cakes and cheese curds.

  • The Ainsworth: Count on elevated bar food like sliders and gold-dipped wings at The Ainsworth, quickly becoming a staple in the Leawood area.
  • Julep: Westport’s resident whiskey bar touts a menu full of Southern-inspired small-plates, including shrimp & grits and deviled eggs.

International Fare

Expand your horizons beyond your comfort zone for delicious, globally inspired dishes.

  • La Bodega: This Leawood- and Southwest Boulevard-based Spanish restaurant features a menu full of hot and cold tapas—arguably the most extensive list of small-plates options in the city.
  • The Antler Room: Elegant dishes pair Mediterranean and East Asian delicacies with Midwestern roots with amazing results, all complemented by artful cocktails and a warm atmosphere.
  • Extra Virgin: Mediterranean offerings shine at Extra Virgin—helmed by James Beard-winning Chef Michael Smith—thanks to a diverse array of options, including cured meats, flavorful cheeses, fresh vegetables and oysters.

  • Tribe Street Kitchen: Head to Delaware Street in the River Market area for a wide variety of worldly flavors, including selections from India, Peru and the Philippines.
  • Avenues Bistro: A popular spot among Brookside residents, Avenues Bistro’s regularly rotating menu gives the kitchen freedom to feature Spanish and French cuisine, plus many other international influences.

Date Night

Save these spots for romantic dinners out on the town.

  • Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room: A sleek setting and smooth live jazz meet wildly creative cuisine in this Crossroads hotspot.
  • The Rieger: Chef Howard Hanna’s dazzling menu of upscale comfort food includes handmade pasta and iconic pork soup—and is only matched by bartender Ryan Maybee’s cocktail wizardry.

  • Black Dirt: Locally sourced ingredients are showcased in the small-plate offerings at this South Plaza establishment helmed by renowned Chef Jonathan Justus, including roasted carrots, crispy pig tail and more.
  • Freshwater: Daily menu changes with highlights such as whitefish mousse and striped bass crudo emphasize just how fresh the offerings are at this Midtown restaurant.
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