Best Bars in Kansas City
KC offers a quality mix of inexpensive, divey bars to more sophisticated, grown up options with craft cocktails and delightful local brews. Pull up a stool at the bar and check out our list of diverse Midwestern watering holes.
This sophisticated Westport bar made with stunning walnut and white oak flooring focuses primarily on whiskey cocktails, hand-selected flights and Southern-low country inspired bites like fried pickled okra with spicy aioli and larger bowls of sausage gumbo with Andouille, Burger’s bacon, okra and rice.
The Lounge at Bluestem
A chic after work crowd arrives at Bluestem’s front lounge for low-key vibes and a well-priced happy hour. Try the River Clyde (Auchentoshan American Oak whisky, Little Freshie green tea pear soda and candied citrus) and nosh on the charcuterie or cheese board including bites from Missouri’s own Green Dirt Farm.
Considered Kansas City’s oldest bar, this no-frills corner institution once served as a speakeasy. Cheap draft and canned beers, buffalo chicken wings and the legendary triple layered BLT sandwich with cheddar cheese, red onions, lettuce, tomato and mayo on whole wheat toast are all for glorious consumption.
Dark, moody and subterranean with a secret entrance? Check, check, check. At this midtown joint below the fashionable Rieger Hotel, make sure to obey the house rules (no screaming and silence that cellphone) and enjoy a creative mash-up of craft cocktails like the kai smash using Ford’s Gin, lime and basil.
In Westport, this small buzzy spot serves champagne and seasonal bubble-based cocktails like the ‘Countess’ made with Campari, Cardamaro, Nebbiolo Chinato, Prosecco and a bevy of French snacks like pommes frites and duck fat kettle corn with caramel, salt and smoked chili. Obviously, everything tastes better with little duck fat.
Gram and Dun
It looks like a Restoration Hardware catalog inside this hip space where the chic gather outdoor for refreshing drinks like the Roll with Crane Grapefruit Gose, Del Maguey Vida mezcal, dry curacao and lime with bar bites including blistered shishito peppers with charred onion and goat cheese.
KC Bier Co
For German style lagers and snacks like imported Bavarianor—a local brat served on a bun with sauerkraut—this is your place. There’s ample communal seating inside, but on that perfect spring night, nab an outdoor table with a group of friends.
This long-standing Westport institution is a low-lit affair with a long bar staffed by bartenders experienced in slinging whiskey drinks and martinis to a hip, twenty-and-thirty something crowd. If you’re hungry, try the pulled pork nachos or move to the patio for a cigar and a bourbon. Good news for night owls, they stay open until 3am
Kelly's Westport Inn
Situated on a corner in arguably one of the oldest buildings in town, this iconic Irish bar, has been pouring pints since 1947. On a weekend, make this your first stop, where crowds and beers flow freely and often, kick your heels up for live music.