Over New Years week, Justin and I found ourselves in Kansas City, Missouri for a wedding of some special friends. After the fun and beautiful wedding, we had 3 days to explore the surrounding area. I knew that I wanted to check out both Kansas and Missouri, so we began our adventures bright and early.
(Side note -- the first night, we stayed at the Hotel Kansas City and it was a lovely hotel that we would highly recommend).
On Friday, which fell on New Years Eve, we made the mistake of not making any reservations for brunch in Kansas City, Missouri. We tried to get into a few places and could not get in anywhere, but luckily someone had mentioned a BBQ place near an area called Plaza, which was right by where we picked up our car for the weekend.
Jack Stack BBQ was great. We shared the corn bread, a salmon dip, a baked potato with pulled pork, and burnt ends. You can't come to Kansas City and skip on the BBQ.
After brunch, we walked around the Plaza area, which has a lot of shopping and restaurants, and then drove to the River Market, which is a huge food hall with all types of food and drinks. We grabbed some coffees at City Market Coffee and explored. After fueling up, we drove to the Riverfront Park to take pictures of the water view and the skyline.
After a short nap, we had a fun dinner planned with Justin's friend who lives in Kansas City and his girlfriend. We met them at JJ's Restaurant, which is a classy American restaurant with innovative dishes.
We started the meal by sharing the Phyllo Wrapped Baked Brie and the Lobster, Shrimp & Cheese Purses. For our entrees, we ordered steak, rack of lamb, and the Roasted Cauliflower Salad. Every one of us was pleased with our choices.
After dinner, we headed back to the area that we were staying in -- Power & Light. Once again, we made the mistake of not planning ahead. As we went out, we realized that you had to have bought tickets to get into most of the places. Luckily, we managed to find a very quiet bar/restaurant for a few drinks called Country Road Ice House.
The bartender then suggested we go to a local dive bar called the Zoo. The bar was cash only, but had a great mix of people and good music. It was a great end to our NYE.
The next morning, it was snowing and freezing, but that did not stop us. We started by heading into Kansas City, Kansas to seek out brunch. Due to the weather, everything was closed, so we came back to Missouri and found a little gem.
Happy Gillis was delicious. We shared a toast with lox and kale and two breakfast sandwiches. Definitely recommend trying this neighborhood gem.
After brunch, we decided to head an hour out to Weston, MO, which looks like a hallmark town. Weston was, at one time, the second largest port on the Missouri River. The main street has a ton of vintage shops and the nicest locals. Because it was during the holidays, there was a big Christmas tree in town and lots of the shops were nicely decorated.
In town, you will also find O'Malley's, where one of the cellars is located down a tunnel in a cave. Unfortunately, we were there too early in the day to experience the tunnel, but we did have delicious cheddar beer soup and some drafts to re-energize us for the adventures ahead.
After Weston, we made the decision to book an Airbnb in Lawrence, Kansas, which is about an hour away. Lawrence is a college town and home to the University of Kansas. Our Airbnb was centrally located right on the main street. Our host was full of knowledge and the loft was adorable. The building used to be home to a clothing store and the loft was designed by an architect in 2001 who custom made everything to provide a place to stay for his sons who attended UKC.
Because it was late in the evening and during a snow storm, not much was open for dinner. We ended up walking a few blocks to The Burger Stand at Casbah. The fries and burgers were some of the best we had in a long time.
The next morning, we explored the UKC campus, including the Potter Lake and the Campanile Memorial.
We then had brunch at WheatFields Bakery in town. The bakery makes everything fresh daily and the food was delicious. We shared some desserts, a breakfast sandwich, and a hash.
After Lawrence, we drove back to Kansas City, MO and headed to the beautiful Union Station, which was decorated for the holidays.
Right before it was time to head to the airport for our flight home, we ate salads and pizza at the famous pizza place called Waldo Pizza.
If you find yourself in this area, you should definitely try some or all of these places.
As always, don't forget to see the world, and eat the food.