Food and Drink Readers’ Choice Winners 2019

Best Bagel: Meshuggah Bagels

These classic New York-style bagels are the best in Kansas City. Our question: Where would they rank in New York?

Best Bar: The Monarch Bar

This West Plaza lounge has received a number of national nods.


Best Barbecue: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

In a city full of great barbecue, Joe’s special blend of flavor and spice sets it apart.

Best Barbecue Sauce: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Take home the sauce made famous by the iconic 47th & Mission gas station spot.

Best Bartender: Berto Santoro of Extra Virgin/Farina

With over 17 years of experience, Santoro puts a unique spin on familiar cocktails.

Best BBQ Sandwich: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Joe’s nearly swept our barbecue categories — losing only burnt ends to Q39.

Joes BBQ

Best Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company

The city’s oldest and largest craft brewery continues to excel.

Best Brunch Spot: First Watch

Enjoy freshly made entrees and coffee at this brunch chain.

Best Burger: Westport Flea Market

Named for the nearby market, The Flea is “10 ounces of hamburger heaven.”

Best Burnt Ends: Q39

Smoked for 15 hours, these tender burnt ends melt in your mouth.

Best Burrito: Manny’s Mexican Restaurant

This rich, family-owned burrito recipe has been around for 36 years.

Best Chef: Michael Smith

The James Beard Award winner currently owns the modern Italian restaurant Farina.

Farina Restaurant KC Michael Smith

Best Chinese Restaurant: Bo Lings

Try Bo Lings’ premier dim sum.

Best Cocktail: The Monarch Bar

This summer’s upscale cocktail menu was based on monarch butterflies’ flight patterns.


Best Coffee Shop: The Roasterie Café

Stop by Monday-Friday from 2-4 pm for $1 coffee.


Best Distillery: J. Rieger & Co.

Dating back to 1883, the East Bottoms distillery will offer guided tours in August.

Best Dive Bar: The Peanut

This Kansas City staple is renowned for its world-beating wings.

Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant/Bar: Bar K Dog Bar

Enjoy a beer or cocktail while your pooch roams the two-acre dog park (see page 85).

Best Doughnut: LaMar’s Donuts and Coffee

Indulge in LaMar’s crispy donuts at one of nine KC locations (see page 77).

Best Ethiopian Restaurant: Blue Nile Café

Grab a shared plate at Blue Nile’s all-you-can-eat weekday lunch buffet.

Blue Nile

Best Food Truck: Paige’s

Based in Overland Park, the truck sells homemade desserts and shaved ice around the metro.

Best Gluten-Free Restaurant: SPIN! Pizza

For $3 you can sub gluten-free crust for SPIN!’s traditional offerings.

Best Ice Cream: Betty Rae’s Ice Cream

Betty Rae’s sets itself apart with over a dozen constantly-changing ice cream flavors.

Best Indian Restaurant: Korma Sutra Indian Restaurant

Enjoy affordable, authentic Indian cuisine in the heart of Overland Park.

Best IPA: Boulevard Brewing Company

Take a tour of this Kansas City brewery for just $5.

Best Italian Restaurant: Jasper’s Italian Restaurant

The restaurant is home to authentic Italian cooked by Jasper Jr. and his nephew.

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant: Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant

Call in your order on of the restaurant’s novelty phones and watch your food be delivered by train.

Fritz's Train Restaurant

Best Korean: Chosun Korean BBQ

Guests have the option to cook their own meat at grilling tables.

Best Liquor Store: Lukas Wine & Spirits Superstore

Find the largest selection of beer, wine and spirits on the Kansas or Missouri side.

Best Margarita: Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen & Bar

A staple at this Southwest Boulevard restaurant, the marg’s recipe has been around for 40 years.

Best Mediterranean Restaurant: Mr. Gyro’s Greek Food & Pastry

Gyros are their speciality along with other Greek-inspired favorites.

Best Mexican Restaurant: Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen & Bar

Also voted “best ethnic food” in the Kansas City area.

Best New Bar: BB’s Grill and Bar Olathe

Happy hour specials range from $2-$5 on select days of the week.

Best New Restaurant: Parlor

A three-story space that holds seven different food counters to choose from.



Best Patio: Gram & Dun

Where you’ll find comfortable seating with an excellent view of the city.

Best Pizza: Minsky’s Pizza

Minsky’s’ pizza crust is made fresh every day with a hint of sea salt and olive oil.

Best Pub Food: Martin City Brewing Company

Known as Kansas City’s fastest growing local brewery.

Best Ribs: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Readers just cannot get enough of Joe’s.

Best Sandwich Shop: d’Bronx

A chain that features authentic deli sandwiches made with premium ingredients.

Best Smoothie/Juice Bar: Ruby Jean’s Kitchen & Juicery

Health nuts will go crazy for these 100% natural, gluten free and sugar free concoctions.

Best Sports Bar: Chicken N Pickle

Stop by for a round of pickleball — plus eat fried chicken and watch the game.

Chicken n Pickle

Best Steakhouse: The Capital Grille

Filet mignon with a side of parmesan truffle fries has never looked this decadent.

Best Sushi: RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

Discover a twist on traditional sushi with alternative rolls such as handrolls, maki, nigri and sashimi.

RA Sushi

Best Tacos: Taco Republic

Chicken or beef tacos are only $2 on Taco Tuesdays.

Best Thai Restaurant: Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop

Try their family recipes that contain a combination of sweetness and spice.


Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant: Café Gratitude Kansas City

This restaurant strives for sustainability and freshness, as everything on the menu is 100% organic.

Best Winery: KC Wine Co.

This barrel-shaped wine haven can host events for any occasion.

Best Wings: The Peanut

Good job, readers, you nailed this one. The Peanut’s wings reign superior to all.

Categories: Best of KC