Kansas City Underground

A unique assortment of both figurative and literal underground destinations remain some of KC’s best-kept secrets, from a subterranean speakeasy to late-night jazz sessions in a hundred-plus-year-old club.

Uncover the finest, most undercover experiences in Kansas City.

Clandestine Culinary Quests


Understated in the coolest possible way, speakeasy Manifesto invites guests to an intimate underground setting beneath The Rieger restaurant and featuring inventive cocktails and unmatched mood.


On island time? Set sail for TikiCat, a lush hideaway with authentic décor and oasis tastes that transport guests to the tropics. (You’ll find it beneath HopCat in Westport.)

Less below-ground and more secret-locale, The Test Kitchen is an intimate supper club that operates on a lottery system and never hosts dinners in the same place twice. The reward? Diners are treated to exclusive menus from accomplished area chefs.


Count on bar and bistro food at Courthouse Exchange, a subterranean establishment that has called historic Independence home since 1899.

Secretive Experiences


Sample spirits made by S.D. Strong Distilling, the only known legal distillery operating in a cave, and catch a “Cave Concert” while you’re there.

The world’s first and only underground paintball arena is found right in the metro thanks to Jaegers Subsurface Paintball, located in Kansas City’s cavernous SubTropolis.


While in SubTropolis, swing by Bird’s Botanicals, a colorful flower garden filled with exotic orchids that’s open to the public on Tuesdays.

Put your problem-solving skills to the test at several area escape rooms, including Breakout KC and Escape Room Kansas City, both known for high-stakes, puzzling good times.

Historical Pursuits


Jam sessions run into the early hours of the morning at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, a jazz club that’s been hopping in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District since 1917.


Tours at Holladay Distillery, the oldest still-standing distillery west of the Mississippi, include a stop in an ancient cave—a hand-dug space constructed in the mid-1800s where limestone water was first used to make the company’s bourbon.


Head up north to Weston, where you’ll find O’Malley’s 1842 Pub, an old-school Irish bar headquartered in three vaulted limestone cellars and known for its unparalleled live music performances.


Explore an actual stop on the Underground Railroad at the Quindaro Ruins, an active archaeological site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.