Kansas City loves its coffee. Before you blink an eye, you’ll be at one of its 200 coffee shops in the Kansas City metro.
Kansas City’s love for coffee dates back to 1850 when the Folger’s Coffee Company began coffee production at Seventh and Broadway. The former Folger’s Coffee is now Roaster’s Block – a swank residential loft with 147 units. Just behind Roaster’s Block is Coffee Lofts, which was built in 1916, and is home to another 50 urbanites.
Where do all Kansas City coffee lovers go for coffee now? Here are eight of the hottest and most unusual places to grab coffee in Kansas City. You’ll soon find out that the only thing better than great coffee, is coffee brewed in historic and creatively adapted spaces.
In a Former Gas Station
The Filling Station at 2980 McGee plays off its filling station past. The building used to be a Standard Gas Station in the 1950s. The midtown Filling Station (there are three other locations) sits in the middle of an urban neighborhood punctuated with a sculpture in Triangle Park directly outside its front door called House Dreaming by Steven Whitacre. The Filling station serves Messenger coffee as well as breakfast and lunch.
If you’re not in the mood for coffee, try a Liquid Sunshine, which is bursting with carrots, citrus and lemon.
Be sure to grab a free Filling Station logo sticker or set of matches to go. They’re adorable.
Inside a Train Station
Parisi Coffee serves French press or pour-over coffee in the waiting room of Union Station, which was an active train station from 1914 – 1985. In its heyday around 670,000 people passed through the Beaux Arts Classic Style building daily. Sip your Italian beverage of choice, or mocha martini if after 5 p.m., while admiring the 108-foot ceilings inside the second largest railroad station in the world.
Inside a Greenhouse
Café Equinox is the ultimate spot to sip a latte surrounded by ferns and fiddle-leaf figs. Located inside Family Tree Nursery in Shawnee, Mission, KS, you can enjoy a Thou Mayest coffee while you shop for a replacement plant or Koi pond for your backyard.
Arrive early on Saturdays as the place is ultra popular. Then grab a leather chair near the home decor accessories and enjoy your coffee while you redecorate your house in your mind.
If you prefer more greens, take your coffee to the skylighted nursery where you can absorb chlorophyll with your caffeine.
On a Rooftop
Messenger Coffee in the Crossroads lets you take your coffee to a different level. Located in a three-story building, you can enjoy coffee while immersed in a panoramic view of downtown Kansas City. From this vantage point you can easily take pictures with the old Kansas City Star, Western Auto, Abdiana or Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts building as a selfie backdrop.
Messenger Coffee resembles at Chicago Crate and Barrel more than a coffee shop because of its massive footprint and ample views of the city and coffee production.
In an Art Gallery
Café Sebastienne is more of a restaurant than coffee shop, but we couldn’t resist including it on our list. The restaurant is a mind-blowing place to have coffee during brunch or coffee with dessert after viewing an art installation at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
It makes your coffee taste richer being surrounded by 110 interlocking paintings on the walls of the café commissioned by Frederick James Brown.
If you like mixing coffee and art, consider treating yourself to coffee and a pastry at Café Tempo in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s located at 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210
In a Cat House
Whisker’s Cat Café is in a blink-and-you-missed-it strip shop on Southwest Boulevard. A visit requires reservations and costs $10 for a cup of coffee to help offset the care of the ten adoptable cats inside. There is parking in the rear.
Regular hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Make reservations at whiskerskc.com.
In a Historic Library
The Central Library Coffee Shop is located on the first floor of Kansas City’s Central Library at 10th and Central. Its baristas serve either Messenger or Oddly Correct coffee. You can enjoy it in the café or put a lid on it and browse the books and artwork throughout the library.
If you take cream or sugar with your coffee, you’ll love grabbing your packets from a vintage card file. Do you even remember the Dewey Decimal card file system?
Don’t neglect to check out the Stanley Durwood Film Vault on the basement level. The library shows movies in an old bank vault, which dates back to when the library was a First National Bank.
In a Motorcycle Shop
Blip Roasters brews its own beans in a warehouse that trains used to pass through to pick up merchandise. The owner Ian Davis has built a community around the love of motorcycles and coffee both in the West Bottoms and on Troost.
Blip serves Chelsea’s Bakehaus Star Bars and Fletcher’s Sandwiches.
If you go on the weekend, you’ll find the place marked by a parking lot of motorcycles of every kind.
That completes our lineup of unusual places to enjoy coffee in Kansas City. Get out there and try a new place and support local!