For those not just wanting a dinner and a movie, here are some perfect ideas from Hanna Botney for a date off the beaten path. 

Cafe Trio Patio

For those Craving Good Food ...

Michael Forbes Bar and Grille is great for a first date. It has almost every type of food from seafood & pasta to pizza & burgers so if you don’t know your date that well, you can’t go wrong here. They also have a pretty extensive wine list and a full bar - perfect for those post-dinner lingering conversations. If things go well, you can head back to the restaurant on Saturday or Sunday morning to enjoy the perfect hangover brunch. Their buffet has every combination of food you could want.

Bistro 303 is not only a great restaurant but they are also incredibly active in different organizations, many of them LGBT-related. It has the perfect atmosphere to just sit and enjoy a fabulous meal at the end of a long week. Share a drink or even a dish with your date and enjoy one another's company! This restaurant is the perfect place to get to know someone new or to escape to a home away from home. 

Café Trio has the energy of a large city combined with the friendly style that is unique to Kansas City. On most nights, you can enjoy your food to the sounds of local entertainers. They have a wide range of award winning food options, which includes Kansas City’s best macaroni and cheese, Mac Daddy. In addition, the artwork that can be seen around the restaurant is done by local and regional artists and rotates regularly. When you enter Trio, you are surrounded by everything that people love about Kansas City.

Isle of Capri Casino

For the Adventurous…

Try exotic food and then head off to do some people watching and gambling. This evening is bound to provide entertainment in one way or another.

Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings has great Mongolian Barbecue as well as many other varieties. 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 that's complete with a wide variety of bubble teas and loose leaf teas. They’re the perfect pairing for anything you might order. Like Café Trio, Blue Koi also displays local artwork around the restaurant, allowing many up and coming artists to get their work noticed. My favorite part is that they have a dipping sauce literally called “Awesome Sauce.”

Beer Kitchen is a vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant, all of those options are clearly marked on their menu. They have great snacks and starters that can be perfectly paired with anything from their drink menu. Try their burgers, all day breakfast, sandwiches, and my personal favorite—“Build Your Own Mac & Cheese.” Plus, their name is 100 percent perfect. Beer and food? I’m sold.

After you have filled your stomachs, head over to Sidekick’s Saloon. It is a country-themed gay bar. Gays line-dancing? Hang on, I’m on my way. What a brilliant combination. Sidekick’s is even better than just that because they have different nights where they feature different things such as a Latino night. No matter what night it is, you can be sure that you’re going to need your dancing shoes. 

End the night at Isle of Capri Casino. If you have any cash left over from Sidekicks, now is the time to use it!

Black Bamboo

For the Shopaholics ...

There are so many boutiques and shops all throughout The Plaza and Crossroads Arts District. You could spend an entire day at either one of these locations, getting lost amongst everything you could ever want. But here are a few fun ones that you need to make sure you visit.

Tomboy Design Studio has Kansas City’s Premier Clothing Designs. Laura McGrew has been designing clothes to fit her less-frilly style all of her life and thus the studio was born. Her clothes are both practical and high fashion. You can special order any of her designs in your choice of fabric or have her design a custom piece for you. Her studio is definitely a must see, so set up an appointment to check it out!

Black Bamboo is a home furnishings store that has a wide variety of unique pieces for your home. They have Asian antiques, modern furniture, home accessories, and everything in between. You are guaranteed to find something unique and fitting to your personal style.

Standard Style Boutique perfectly puts together trendy looks for almost every personal style. There is not a thing in this store that I didn’t wish I owned. They also have an extensive collection of men’s clothing. Walking into the boutique alone is an experience, you are surrounded by the clothes and the general trendy vibe. They are known for having killer sales at different points throughout the year. If you can, try and catch one of those sales and watch your paycheck turn into beautiful, wonderful attire.

River Market Antique Mall is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. There is always time to go antique-ing. You never know what treasure you might find in a place like this. Grab your date and scrounge around for something special for the two of you.

Contact Visit KC