Comfort Food in Kansas City

By Jenny Vergara

Each of us has a dish that we gravitate toward to bring us comfort. Often these dishes are tied to childhood memories or people, or maybe all it takes for you is just a decadent splurge of cheese and calories to make what might be wrong in your world, right again.

So, the next time you find yourself craving a comforting dish, check out these hotspots doing the best versions of some of our favorite food hugs.

Macaroni and Cheese

The ultimate pasta and cheese comfort food treat, and favorite childhood staple, can be found in new and creative adult forms at The Westside Local. Made with house smoked gouda and parmesan cheese, the eatery’s take includes cavatapi pasta topped with bread crumbs and can beefed up with Brussels sprouts and broccoli, BBQ jerk chicken, salmon or chicken.

McCoy’s Public House in Westport has had mac n’ cheese as a staple on their menu since 1997. Try the Mac Diablo, which has a south-of-the-border twist with hand-cranked chorizo sausage, jalapeño sofrito, caramelized onion and tomato, all with a tortilla-cornbread crust.  


At dinner, try the Meatloaf Meal from Anna’s Oven located on West 39th Street. Their meatloaf is made with a savory blend of beef and Italian sausage mixed with herbs and spices, then served with vegetables and mashed potatoes with gravy.


To feed your teenage cravings for a rich, meaty and cheesy tomato sauce-topped pie, you have several options depending on the type of pizza you are craving. For true Neapolitan Italian pie, head to Il Lazzarone.

For New York-style foldable slices, try Providence Pizza or Johnny Jo’s. For traditional thin crust pizza, call Minsky’s or Old Shawnee Pizza


The hardcore craving for a juicy cheeseburger is hard to shake, especially when it comes with another comfort food favorite, a side of French fries. Town Topic has been serving excellent late night cheeseburgers on Broadway 24-hours a day for almost 80 years.

For thicker burgers with creative toppings and a solid beer menu, check out Burg & Barrel in Overland Park. In the Crossroads Arts District for lunch, don’t miss Howard’s Grocery, Café and Catering’s Griddled Burger made with house made American cheese, pea shoots, pickled veggies and burger sauce on a potato bun. 


The Summit Grill & Bar in Waldo has a French Onion Soup that combines our love of bread and gooey cheese with the richness of onions. 

Fried Chicken

The desire for fried chicken that is hot and tender can take people on a nostalgic journey. Rye and Stroud’s both serve a delicious and more traditional version of a fried chicken dinner that keep people clamoring for more. 

Enjoy the crispy fried chicken from Westport Café & Bar on the brunch menu, featuring bird on brioche French toast and topped with sausage gravy and maple syrup.

Grilled Cheese

The best grilled cheese sandwiches have crispy, buttery bread and several gooey cheeses. Turn to Beer Kitchen's Triple Cheese for Tillamook-aged cheddar, chipotle white cheddar, provolone, avocado and oven-dried tomato on Romano-encrusted sourdough bread.


You cannot talk about comfort food in Kansas City and not mention barbecue. The sandwich that you will bring you back to life is Joe’s of Kansas City Bar-B-Que‘s Z-Man sandwich made with smoked beef brisket, smoked provolone cheese, and an onion ring on a Kaiser bun from.

Or, enjoy the beefy Kansas City classic, burnt ends, from Q39.

Kelli O'Hara, Broadway star in concert

Kelli O’Hara is one of the biggest stars on Broadway, and her work in film, television, and opera have made her acclaim even greater. The Tony Award winner will bring her unique mix of classicism and show business to Kansas City for selections from Broadway and the Great American Songbook.

Hugh Jackman

Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman will bring The Man. The Music. The Show to Sprint Center on Oct. 13. You will see Jackman performing hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Paul Childres Concert in the Caves

Blending Pop, R&B, and Soul, Paul Childers is leading a new breed of Singer/Songwriters and Guitarists. Paul finds a way to blur the lines cast between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix styles of guitar playing, a Motown rhythm section, and Pop vocal melodies. He is returning to the caves for another epic show! 

B-Side mini 2019

We're celebrating our second annual music festival - in a teenier way!
Join us Oct. 4th First Friday for B-Side Mini!
Acts include our house band I Threw a Chair, Winny Wallet and the Workshop, and local musician Sean Groff.
Inside the gallery we will be showing many mini works, small doodles, sculptures and more.
Big thanks to Brewery Emperial for providing the event with beverages!

Merriam Drive Live!

Downtown Merriam will transform into a street and lawn party full of music on two stages, food trucks, adult beverages and a Cornhole Tournament. Performers include: Four Fried Chickens & a Coke; Red Guitar; Stolen Winnebagos; Fast Times and Noe Palma. Enjoy this annual music fest for FREE in downtown Merriam.

Brahms’ Fourth and Bach’s Fantasia

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Paul Jacobs, organ
J.S. BACH/ELGAR Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY Once Upon a Castle for Organ and Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Finlandia and Schumann’s Piano Concerto

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Martin Helmchen, piano
SIBELIUS Finlandia
R. SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
DANIEL KELLOGG The Golden Spike (Kansas City Symphony commission, world premiere)
SMETANA “Blaník” from Má vlast

The Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City Fall Concert

The Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, healthcare students, as well as other musicians from the Kansas City area.  This fall concert will include: The New World Symphony - Dvorak , Fanfare for the Common Man – Copeland, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cello, s Gion Overture - Jose Gonzalez Granero