Everything’s up to date (and real tasty) in Kansas City

When you attend Fetch dvm360 conference in Kansas City, you’re probably expecting to get high-quality veterinary CE from awesome speakers. But you might not expect much about the city itself. We’re here to change that attitude: Kansas City has great food and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. And because our team is local, we know all the best hangouts.

Every place on the list is tried and tested, and you’ll see that some of the Fetch dvm360 conference team have directly stamped their approval.

Looking at the list and finding yourself overwhelmed by the choices? We can help with that! Text us directly at 913-225-8857 to let us know what you need (ie: “Send me to caffeine!” “Where should I go if I want Mexican for dinner?” “I want food as close to the Convention Center as possible.”) and we will shoot you back a recommendation. Decision made!

Caffeine
Mildred’s: When you go to Mildred’s you get a two-for-one special: delicious breakfast sandwiches AND great coffee. (Good for lunch and your midday caffeine fix!)

When I worked downtown I ate at Mildred’s Coffeehouse every day for lunch! I miss Mildred’s, but I also gained like 20 pounds because of them.Nicholette Haigler

Quay Coffee: Pronounced “key,” this coffeeshop pays homage to the old River Market and wears its Kansas City pride on its sleeve. All the syrups are made in house and all the baked goods are delivered daily by local bakeries.

Kaldi’s: Fair trade organic coffee. Need we say more? Get coffee, chai or smoothies (vegan options available!) to start off your morning or get a quick boost.

Thou Mayest: A coffee-brewing group of renegades started Thou Mayest in a garage in 2012. Now, though, they have a lively brick space with a relaxed vibe that includes indoor and outdoor seating. The coffee is locally roasted and meant to inspire adventure—like the “Boldly Go” brew.

Thou Mayest is Kansas City’s coolest coffee shop/bar/roastery. The lively brick space features raw and reclaimed wood, tons of plants and a relaxed vibe, plus indoor and outdoor seating.Adrienne Wagner

Messenger: Fair trade sourced and roasted in Kansas City, Messenger Café features three floors of hangout space—including a rooftop deck. The food is all provided by the local Ibis Bakery, which locally sources ingredients.

Messenger’s sunny space pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee and a fresh pastry (or my favorite, the biscuits and gravy).Sarah Dowdy
Breakfast

Meshuggah Bagels: When you think of Kansas City, you probably don’t think “bagels,” but Meshuggah Bagels is attempting to bring old-world authenticity to the Midwest. (This also means you can get your bagels with lox.)

Meshuggah Bagels has the best schmears—the rosemary & garlic is one of my favorite things I’ve ever put in my mouth.Gabrielle Roman

Chez Elle: Inspired by the French, Chez Elle is a hotspot for all crepe lovers. You can get your crepes savory or sweet and pair them with smoothies, tea, coffee or breakfast cocktails.

Lunch

Café Gratitude: Interested in vegan cuisine? We’ve got more than BBQ! At Café Gratitude, you’ll get a deliciously vegan-friendly menu including cold pressed juices and smoothies. You’ll get entrees like eggplant parmesan (the parm is made from brazil nuts) and Indian curry. Bonus: The place is solar powered and super sustainably minded.

BRGR: This locally owned burger place is taking a classic meal up a notch in sophistication. If burgers aren’t your thing? Build your own mac and cheese, try the chicken or go for a shake. If you show up between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday or Monday, you’ll find deals on alcohol and snacks.

BRGR might wreck your diet on a normal day, but at Fetch you’ll walk it off in the exhibit hall before dinner!Jenny Shaffstall

Grinders: Known for its New York style pizza, Grinders will serve you up delicious and classic pies and some of a more unusual variety (think: smoke salmon, capers and cream cheese on a pizza). In addition to great food, the restaurant hosts live music by local artists and patio eating, where you are likely to find dogs.

There is something for everyone at Grinders, but I recommend the meatball grinder (and so does Guy Fieri).Margaret Peterson
Grinders is by far my favorite place to eat in Kansas City—their veggie Philly cheesesteak is what my dreams are made of.Hannah Wagle

Arthur Bryant’s: One of the most famous stops for the Kansas City BBQ experience, Arthur Bryant’s has been visited by a number of celebrities and past presidents. The menu is complete simplicity: Select the meat of your choice sandwiched between two pieces of white bread and load it up with sauce. (Warning: If you’re a vegetarian, you will definitely want to steer clear.)

Arthur Bryant’s is the real deal. You will get more BBQ than you can eat in a rolled butcher paper wad that is as big as a football.Gregory Kindred

Cosentino’s Market: At a five-minute walk from the convention center, Cosentino’s is a great option for grabbing something quick. They feature salads, soups, sandwiches made from the deli and sushi made onsite in addition to specialty lunches made every day. Bonus: Forgot your toothbrush? Cosentino’s has got you covered. Perfect to find replacements for any of things you forgot at home.

Dinner

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue: Kansas City is chock full of BBQ, but if you want a slightly more formal sit-down experience without losing any authenticity, you can’t go wrong with Jack Stack. The Crossroads location plenty of outdoor seating that can host big groups who want to pass around the meat platters.

“Fiorella’s Jack Stack is my favorite BBQ place ever (I like to refer to it as “gourmet BBQ”). Don’t miss the beans, cheesy corn or homemade carrot cake.”Angie Homann

Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room: Eat in the Supper Club, and you’ll get a social dining experience with shareable plates and live music. Choose the Tasting Room, and you’ll get a carefully curated experience that includes food prepared specially by Chef Michael Corvino and selected wine pairings.

Drunken Fish: Features a delicious (and extensive) sushi menu and good happy hour specials on both alcohol AND various sushi rolls. Not the world’s biggest sushi fan? There are also traditional Japanese entrees up for grabs.

The sushi at Drunken Fish is so yummy and there are tons of rolls to choose from—I recommend the Starburst and the Superman.Anne Belcher

Anton’s: There are several awesome things going on at Anton’s. All the steak is sourced directly from farmers and all the butchering is done onsite. Not only that, but they raise their own Tilapia, and the minerals the fish produce help to grow the herb and lettuce gardens on top of their tanks. Delicious food straight from the source, what else do you need?

Nara: Did you ever think Kansas City would have more than one restaurant that offered up amazing sushi? Nara is raising the sushi game in the city and also provides other Asian cuisine and a few things you might not expect (grilled tiger shrimp pesto baked penne, anyone?).

I LOVE Nara for the sushi and noodles! It’s an easy walk from the conference center and its modern, Asian fusion atmosphere is fun and unique.Lauren Walke

Extra Virgin: If you’re looking for tapas and shareable bites, check out Extra Virgin. You’ll find just about anything you could want: Flatbreads, mushrooms, tacos, meats, cheese, hummus, the list goes on. Show up between 4-6 p.m. on Friday or Monday and find a selection of options at half price.

Extra Virgin has a seasonal menu that features both gourmet comfort food and updated classics (Duck Tongue Tacos, anyone?). I recommend an ice-cold cocktail and an order of the Chickpea Fries.Ericka Cherry

La Bodega Tapas and Lounge: You will have to hail an Uber to get here, but La Bodega will give the tapas experience as they were originally conceived in Spain. This means chorizo, plenty of seafood and paella. Happy hour is every day and in addition to food specials, you can find half-priced Sangria.

I love the Old World feel of La Bodega and the option to eat inside or on the patio. Some of my favorites are the calamares y chorizo a la plancha (sautéed squid and Bilbao chorizo) and las pelotas estofadas (meatballs in a red wine-bravas sauce).Portia Stewart
Culture

Liberty Memorial: Did you know that Kansas City is home to the country’s only WWI Memorial? In addition to the awesome museum downstairs, there’s also an observation tower that overlooks the city. The views of Union Station are gorgeous (which makes it a popular destination for wedding photos).

Union Station: While Union Station still serves a train station (seriously!), it’s also home to food, Kansas City memorabilia and pretty awesome exhibits. If you’ve got kids joining you, don’t miss Science City or the Dinosaurs Revealed exhibit, featuring actual dinosaur skeletons. (Bonus: Union Station is offering a discount to conference attendees—download it here.)

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: This is the museum to go to if you’ve got the time. The exhibits cover just about any time period or style you can dream up (in August, this includes Regency Fashion in Miniature and the work of Wendell Castle, who makes furniture that doubles as sculpture. See the full list of exhibits). Insider tip: You definitely need to take pictures with the giant shuttlecocks on the lawn outside.

“The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has something for everyone, no matter your age or your preferences in art.”Marsha Schilb
Local Brews

Boulevard Brewing Company: The most well-known local Kansas City beer, Boulevard has now spread to the farthest reaches of the United States. Boulevard Wheat is the original classic and the brewery’s bestseller, but if you visit, you’ll also find seasonal brews and experimental sips you can only get at the onsite taproom.

Ruins Pub: Kansas City’s first and only self-serve bar. What! Featuring a collection of 40 beers on tap, Ruins Pub carries a mix of local, regional and national brews. Sample what looks interesting to you before making a selection.

The Rieger: Harken back to the pre-Prohibition days of Kansas City at The Rieger, which is modeled after a hotel that was shut down in 1919. You can get a great dinner and treat yourself to locally made liquor—Rieger’s makes whiskey, gin, wheat vodka and caffe amaro.

Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen: If you want quality wine with your food (or tasty wine sans food), go to Tannin. Happy hour will get you $2 off per glass of wine, or, if you’re looking for something to hit up after evening sessions, Tannin also has a late-night menu featuring small plates.

Tannin is the best for a flight of wine with delicious small plates and charcuterie. I <3 happy hour, which is 4-6pm daily.Jessica Zemler
Fun

Chicken N Pickle: You can eat and drink here, but you really want to check out Chicken N Pickle if you’re looking to shake off that feeling you get after sitting in a chair all day. There are eight pickleball courts as well as a number of lawn games like cornhole and ping pong.

Breakout KC: Did you bring your team to Kansas City to all get CE together? Now you can all try to bust out of an escape room together. The 10 different rooms can host up to eight players and give you an hour to bust out. If you’re interested but not sure which scenario to pick, you can take a handy online quiz to decide for you.

Up-Down: For anyone who misses days in the arcade, Up-Down is an arcade bar that features more than 50 games from the ‘80s and ‘90s plus a couple of other additional fun features like skee ball and life-size Jenga. Plug in a quarter and start playing!

If I’ve got at least one friend with me, I love to stop into Up-Down. Heavy on the ‘80s nostalgia, it has a fun rooftop area and a great drink selection. Ryan Kramer

The Brick: A lot of the newer places in Kansas City have a higher-class hipster vibe. The Brick kicks it old school, with laid back bar fare that was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

If you like your watering holes on the casual side, The Brick is for you. Outstanding food and drinks, local art and live music make for a true Kansas City experience.Troy Van Horn

The Ship: Originally launched in 1935, The Ship now lives in the West Bottoms, where it offers up simple and affordable food (think biscuits & gravy and pancakes for dinner!) as well as live music almost every night.

The Ship is the “happy place” for hipsters and pleasure seekers of all ages. If you are lucky there will be a great “roots” live band or rare vintage soul music DJ that will inspire you to shake what your Mama gave you near it’s intimate stage.Kelly Main