You may be familiar with the Country Club Plaza and all its fountains. Or, you may have your favorite barbecue joint that you hit every time you're in KC. But Kansas City has so much to offer, our group of local Kansas Citians have compiled a whole list of their favorite hidden gems that will ensure your next trip to Kansas City has something new.

Want great Kansas City trip ideas delivered right to your inbox? Sign up now for e-mails, and we'll send you upcoming events, discounts and more.




In a throwback to the popular speakeasies of the 1920s and '30s, Manifesto in the Crossroads District occupies a sexy, clandestine subterranean spot in the historic Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange building. Here, classic spirits like Angostura bitters and Old Tom gin are used to create a variety of timeless cocktails from this historic bygone era. This makes Manifesto a truly unique Kansas City hotspot and one seldom found in the Midwest. To reserve a spot, call them at 816-471-2177.

Blue Koi

Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings has great Mongolian barbecue as well as many other options. They are known for being an affordable Chinese option. The food is phenomenal for the price that you pay. Blue Koi also boasts a very unique bar — complete with a wide variety of bubble teas and loose leaf teas.

Avenues Bistro

Avenues Bistro Dessert

The menu at Avenues Bistro ranges from the delicious and familiar (lobster mac) to the more adventurous and European house specialties, like the Black Forest Jaeger Schnitzel. Those who like speed dating will probably enjoy the tapas. Small plates of ceviche, crab guacamole and bacon-wrapped jalapenos let you enjoy the bistro’s best, without the commitment of a full entrée.

Local Pig

Focused on local farms, humanely raised meats and “damn good eating,” Local Pig provides the people of Kansas City with a wide selection of steaks, roasts, chops, sausages, burgers and charcuterie. Located in the historic East Bottoms district, the butcher shop also offers hands-on classes every Sunday covering all aspects of butchering and charcuterie. Before going home, stop out back at Pigwich, Chef Alex Pope’s stationary food truck, for a Thai meatball banh mi or porchetta sandwich.

Oddly Correct

Praised by Travel + Leisure as one of America's Best Coffee Cities, Kansas City has a serious caffeine scene. Located on the corner of Main and Westport, the uniquely-named Oddly Correct has earned a quick reputation for being "coffee purists," serving their bean void of any cream or sugar. It's that good.


Mutual Musicians Foundation

Mutual Musicians Foundation

For decades, the Mutual Musicians Foundation, located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, has been the after-hours meeting place for some of Kansas City's most talented jazz performers. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, this establishment pays living tribute to KC’s long and illustrious jazz history. Since the 1930s, jazz greats and popular musicians show up every weekend to “jam.” But be sure to take a nap beforehand—the fun doesn’t get started until midnight and usually lasts until 6 a.m.



No concertgoer worth his (or her) salt would pass up a trip to Knuckleheads, billed as the place “where the world’s greatest musicians play.” Perched next to the train tracks in Kansas City’s East Bottoms, the rollicking bar features three stages, including an outdoor stage with a converted caboose that serves as a VIP seating area. Think beer garden meets rock concert.

Kill Devil Club

Kill Devil Club in Kansas City

Jazzy and rum-centric, The Kill Devil Club in the Kansas City Power & Light District was proclaimed by Eater as one of the country's 21 Hottest Cocktail Bars. This new downtown hotspot features handcrafted cocktails, plates for sharing and live music that moves you.

Record Bar

Music aficionados love The Record Bar, a concept bistro created by two members of the band Roman Numerals. The chockfull show schedule combines national touring acts and local talent, not to mention the occasional kid-friendly daytime show (and one heck of a Sunday brunch). 

"Must-See" Districts

Crossroads Arts District

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District

The neighborhood that arts built, once-vacant warehouses have made way for a bohemian neighborhood in the Crossroads Arts District. Art is everywhere you look. The party in the streets? That’s First Fridays, one of the nation’s largest free art crawls, featuring more than 60 shops and galleries that stay open late in the 20-block area. Those soaring arches in the sky? Meet the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the pièce de résistance and the city’s sleek new address for theater, music and dance. Live music is well represented too, thanks to top-notch local venues like CrossroadsKC at Grinders.

West Bottoms

West Bottoms First Weekends

For a full weekend of activities and some great buys in the vintage shopping department, head across the 12th Street bridge into the West Bottoms. Starting at 8 a.m. on Fridays and continuing until about 4 p.m. on Sundays, the cavernous warehouse district overflows with bargain hunters and some creatively re-purposed junk.

River Market

City Market in Kansas City's River Market

To experience a lively and unique neighborhood, head to the River Market. Situated just south of the Missouri River, the area features historic brick buildings, loft apartments, bars and restaurants and the Midwest's largest farmers' market; the 150-year-old City Market. The market is especially lively on weekends when more than 140 farmers bring their goods for sale. The Arabia Steamboat Museum, ethnic food stores and antique shops are also in the area.

Unexpected & Interesting

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Noguchi Court at the Nelson-Atkins Museum

This tranquil court, located inside the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, is dedicated to the art of sculptor Isamu Noguchi. The Zen-like space, houses the largest number of Noguchi sculptures in a public setting outside the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Museum in New York and Japan.

Roller Derby

For a not so zen-like experience, check out the hard-hitting action of the Kansas City Roller Warriors at Municipal Auditorium. Watch as each team pushes and blocks their way around the flat-track to ensure victory.

More Kansas City Vacation Ideas




Iconic Murals and Sculptures in Kansas City

In Kansas City, public art is in plain view, no matter where you're standing. Discover some of the most iconic murals and sculptures in the City of Fountains. 

Vinyl and Record Store Shopping in Kansas City

Kansas City record stores have become new hubs for live music, local flavors and vintage vinyl.
Charlie Hustle t-shirt

Personalized Kansas City Shopping Guide

Whether you covet the latest trends, love to scour antique markets or (literally) wear your Kansas City pride on your sleeve, the local shopping scene has something for you.
10 Must-see Artworks

10 Must-See Artworks in KC

With three great museums in the Kansas City metro to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here’s your list of 10 Must-See Artworks to get you started. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a casual viewer, you’re sure to love these beloved artworks.
Contact Visit KC