Blue Gallery | Jenny Wheat

Five Unique Ways to Experience the West Crossroads Right Now

With a neighborhood as eclectic as the Crossroads Arts District, you’re sure to find something funky and new around every corner. Travel to the west section of the Crossroads to explore delicious bites, craft brews, progressive galleries and more in these five unique hotspots.

Rochester Brewing & Roasting Co.

Rochester Brewing and Roasting Co.

The ample, sunbathed space welcomes visitors of all kinds to Rochester Brewing & Roasting Co. The establishment regularly hosts watch parties, trivia, special events and plenty of other goings-on, but at its heart, this popular meetup spot specializes in fresh beer and coffee.

In the mood for something to perk you up? Sample a coffee or espresso drink from its café menu. Prefer to take the edge off during happy hour or after work? Order a pint of craft beer brewed in house.

Swordfish Tom’s

Swordfish Tom's | Pilsen Photo Co-op
Pilsen Photo Co-op

Venture underground to visit this bespoke cocktail bar that invites guests to forget about their phones and enjoy time among friends.

Swordfish Tom’s doesn’t just tout a totally unique atmosphere—though its cozy environs are notable enough. The drink menu, designed by owner Jill Cockson, features offerings made with a special attention to detail that brings out the best in every flavor and ingredient. The result is an elevated experience unlike any other in the metro. 

Gallery Surfing

First Fridays | Jason Dailey
Jason Dailey

The Crossroads is arguably best-known as a regional hub for taste-making art galleries, and the western side of the neighborhood is where you’ll find many of these notable studios.

Park your car (or take the free-to-ride KC Streetcar) to hit these hotspots by foot, especially during monthly First Fridays fun, including Weinberger Fine Art, Blue Gallery and Leedy-Voulkos Art Center. Each displays a little something different—a sample of the city’s fine art scene and, more broadly, of contemporary creativity.

Oak & Steel

Oak & Steel

Oak & Steel is a local craft beer-lover’s paradise.

Nestled on W 17th Street, just a block from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the casual taproom pours up pints of brews made right in the region, plus select suds from a wide variety of other destinations. Better yet, wine and whiskey are also available if you’re feeling something different. Swing by before or after a show, on your way to a First Fridays celebration or just to grab a drink with friends or coworkers.

Baramee Thai Bistro

With deep roots in the restaurant business, the minds behind Baramee Thai Bistro knocked it out of the park with their latest iteration of Northern Thai dining—an excellent contribution to the KC culinary community.

A vast yet inviting menu includes dishes for the experienced and newcomers, for the spicy food fans and for those who prefer something on the milder side. No matter your tastes, settle in at your table in the bustling, wood-paneled space to enjoy some of the finest Thai cuisine in the city.