Great Places for Appetizer Dining in Kansas City
Not every occasion calls for a full meal. Sometimes, you’re in between activities and just need to grab a quick bite before you’re on to the next thing. Other times, the appetizers look so, well…appetizing, that you can’t help but order two or three to satisfy your hunger (and curiosity). Luckily, Kansas City’s restaurants feature a bevy of delicious takes on both classic and unorthodox dishes, all to the benefit of hungry diners.
Here are some of the best places in KC to dine solely on appetizers:
Bar Food Favorites
Pub fare from up north powers the dishes at Leinenkugel’s, the Wisconsin-based brewery’s flagship restaurant, located in the heart of the Power & Light District. Also nearby is the ever-so-snackable Guy Fieri's Dive and Taco Joint, a street taco hang perfect for casual bites.
Travel along the KC Streetcar to the Crossroads Arts District for a drink and a bite at BLVD Tavern, a low-key, high-cool hangout touting a menu loaded with satisfying starters. In Westport, hit up HopCat for crave-worthy fries and local taps.
Or, take your pup north or River Market to post up at Bar K, a one-of-a-kind establishment dedicated to dogs and their owners. Meanwhile, Summit Grill & Bar in Waldo (and Lee’s Summit) is a happy hour hangout that keeps customers coming back for crowd-pleasing appetizers
Dumplings, Sushi and More
Along 39th Street West diners will find Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings, a Midtown favorite known for its (you guessed it) wide variety of dumplings. Order them any way you’d like—boiled or pan-fried, veggie or meat—to experience a taste of North Chinese cuisine.
Blue Sushi offers fresh sushi and Japanese dishes in a sleek, casual setting. The menu features a diverse mix of hot and cold starters, including edamame in garlic butter, a Japanese burrito and spicy tuna tower, among others.
Cool Hangout Vibes
In addition to its vast outdoor patio, Char Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements in Westport serves up great barbecue and killer appetizers. Try the smoked duck gumbo or smoked chicken mac nuggets for innovative options.
Other popular hotspots include The Rockhill Grille in the Crossroads and Lucky Boys and The Ship in the West Bottoms—plus, don't miss the leafy retro vibes at Fox and Pearl. And French champagne bar Ça Va is always a delight.
If you’re spending time in The Northland, swing by Trezo Mare Ristorante, a local favorite anchored in The Village at Briarcliff. Delight in fresh-made appetizers such as prosciutto bruschetta, goat cheese fondue and crab cakes, all excellent for sharing with large groups.
Garozzo’s Ristorante is a bit of a legend in KC, due in part to its signature creation, chicken spiedini. But the starters here are worth just as much hype, like the stuffed artichoke, which comes with bread crumbs and is topped with garlic butter.
High-End Dining Samples
Helmed by Megan and Colby Garrelts, Bluestem in Westport features meals by course, check out the bar for some hard-to-beat small plates. Or, go all out with a selection of different cheeses.