Where to drink coffee in Kansas City isn’t a question to be taken lightly. Midwesterners take their coffee seriously, and KC is no exception to that rule.
In Kansas City, coffee culture is prevalent. It’s an art to be honored and a pour to be respected. From cute cafés to quirky cups, we’re about to make your java dreams come true with our ultimate guide to finding the best coffee shops in Kansas City.
The Best Coffee Shops in Kansas City
There are 62 roasters in Kansas City. If you want local coffee, no matter which neighborhood you’re in, you’re going to find it.
Our list below notes our favorite location for each of the shops listed along with a nod to what we feel makes them unique. Are you ready to get jittery?
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- KC Coffee Shops Who Roast In-House
- Best KC Coffee Shops for Food and Sweets
- Best Kansas City Coffee Shops for a Quieter Vibe
- Best KC Coffee Shops for Caffeine and Booze
Coffee Shops Who Roast In-House
Best Espresso: Second Best Coffee
Second Best Coffee is an “espresso-centric slow bar.” They use a Slayer Espresso Machine, a brand whose base model starts at $8,500 and soars from there. Worth it? Yes.
The machine has a patented flow control mechanism that boosts the espresso flavor, allowing the baristas to control the taste and aroma of each cup—art meets science.
Second Best Coffee sources beans globally and roasts them locally. Their Costa Rica Coope Dota is mild, while their Decaf Brazil is nutty. Both are brewed for guests on a Clever Dripper and blend perfectly with their homemade almond milk and pastries.
Suggested Order: The Americano is smooth and goes well with any of their breakfast burritos. I’m particularly fond of the broccoli quinoa (vegan) served with house-made cashew cheese.
Best View: Messenger Coffee Co
If you’re java jiving your way through KC, you can’t miss Messenger; a serious coffee powerhouse.
You can find their team traveling the world to taste and source from new farmers. Their Farm Direct certification is a testament to their concern for flavor and growers. Inside their Crossroads store (out top location pick), you can view their in-house roastery and coffee lab.
Messenger describes their flavor notes as “complex and consistent.” I would call them global. Their Ethiopian blend sings of fruit while the Guatemalan hums brown butter and chocolate. Messenger’s coffee is intriguing, which is why they are the java supplier behind many of the coffee shops in KC, including several on this list.
Messenger has several stores, including Plaza with its picture-perfect façade, but Crossroads has the views, making it one of the best coffee shops in Kansas City.
The Crossroads building is located inside an old rubber factory and offers rooftop seating with skyline views of downtown.
Suggested Order: Avocado Tartine and an espresso.
Best Pour-Over: Oddly Correct
Coming Soon: Troost
How serious is Oddly Correct about coffee? So serious that they were Kansas City’s no sugar, no milk coffee joint for years.
Time has softened their ways, however. You can now order your brew with cream or their handcrafted simple syrup. In my opinion, neither is needed.
Oddly’s locally roasted black coffee highlights their perfected craft. You can taste the full-bodied fruity and floral notes that give each cup character. And their pour-over? Out of this world.
Their home base is currently in transition. For now, you can sip away at Oddly’s temporary popup, located inside of their roasting space.
Oddly has plans to open up permanently in the Troost neighborhood of Kansas City. Once they re-open, they will bring back fan-favorite food items like house-made biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, donuts from Mr. D’s, and vegan cinnamon rolls.
Suggested Order: A pour-over and a flaky biscuit sandwich.
Best French Press: Parisi Coffee
A duplicate from our list of funky coffee shops in KC is Parisi Coffee. It’s a necessary addition to this list as well because they serve up the best French press in town. Ironic, as the shop has Italian roots.
The owners of Parisi have been at it for over 15 years. They hand-select their growers, roast in-house, and wholesale coffee that can be purchased whole bean, ground for drip, ground for French Press, or Espresso.
Parisi has three locations, but Union Station is my favorite. You can sip your latte, channel your inner Brigitte Bardot, and take in the soaring 108-foot ceilings. Mic drop moment? I think so.
Suggested Order: Say, “Oui s’il vous plaît,” to the French press and chocolate croissant.
KC Coffee Shops for Food and Sweets
Best Baked Goods: HITIDES Coffee
Whether you prefer your sugar fix inside your cup or outside, HITIDES has you covered. Located inside Collective Ex in the Crossroads area of Kansas City, HITIDES has been converted into a tropical paradise by husband and wife founders Johnny and Michele Dawbarn.
“Our goal is to create a warm, inviting space that highlights a place that our family loves to visit (Hawaii) and captures an era of happiness, warmth, and experience,” Michelle shared with our team at Eat, Drink Dive. “We’ve collected imagery, memorabilia, and tangible tributes to a style that seems to transcend across decades and themed the shop around it.”
If the Dawbarn’s goal was to bring a permanent vacation to Kansas Citians, they succeeded. The Hawaiian theme runs through the decor, food, and coffee.
With donuts from Donutology, bagels from Meshuggah, artisan ice cream, and an exclusive coffee blend made by Marcell Coffee, HITIDE is prepared to make all your sugar dreams come true.
Suggested Order: A Dole Float—a float made with Dole Whip® and soft serve. If you can handle a double-dose of pineapple, grab a pineapple glazed donut.
Michelle’s Suggested Order: Michelle suggested things to eat and drink but also wanted to call out their Pineapple Dole Whip. Made with coconut milk, it’s non-dairy, gluten-free, and delicious.
To Eat: Meshuggah Bagel Toast
To Treat: Any of the Donutology donuts exclusive to HITIDE like the Strawberry Hibiscus, Toasted Coconut & Rum, or the Hawaiian Lehua Honey Donut. Bonus: They are always served warm.
To Drink: Top sellers include the Black Hawaiian Sea Salt Mocha, Sea Rose Latte, and Detox on the Rocks.
Best Drive-Thru: Splitlog Coffee Co.
Splitlog has two locations: Strawberry Hill and Pendleton Heights.
Strawberry Hill offers a drive-thru experience that blows Starbucks out of the water. If you want to sit and stay awhile, they have indoor and outdoor seating. Their outdoor patio is dog-friendly.
Splitlog uses a variety of local roasters, including Messenger and Oddly Correct. They also sell pastries from SunFlour Bakery, Hugo tea, and donuts from Hana’s.
Suggested Order: A Strawberry Hill Latte cold brew and a mango coconut muffin, unless they have the pumpkin muffins, then order that.
Best Café : The Filling Station
The Filling Station has three Kansas City locations, but our nod goes to Midtown.
The Midtown location is housed inside of a 1950s gas station. The old fill station provides plenty of Instagrammable moments and access to Triangle Park and Midtown.
Want to know a secret? The Filling Station’s staff pours their talent into sandwich making, juice creating, and coffee creations, but the beans? They’re from Messenger.
Suggested Order: To drink, I suggest the “Liquid Sunshine,” a citrusy carrot juice. To eat? Everything. This place has seriously delicious food.
Coffee Shops Serving Up a Quieter Vibe
Best Cozy Spot: Vested Garment District Coffee
Sometimes you need a place that feels like a hug. That’s Vested. Encouraged by the gracious warmth of its owner, Susan, Vested’s atmosphere can’t be touched. When I asked her what makes Vested so special, she replied, “Our customers who have become like family.”
Vested has a location in Beacon Hill and another in the Garment District, but it’s the Garment District location that makes our list. Its iconic blue velvet sofa and exposed brick add to its cozy charm.
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Vested is the only coffee shop in Kansas City that sources its beans from Onyx, an Arkansas-based roaster focused on sustainability.
In addition to coffee, Vested serves baked goods from Kansas City Baking Company, tea from Hugo Tea, and juice from Geo Juice.
Tip: If you are looking for another Instagram-worthy coffee shop, Vested’s Beacon Hill location is a 1957 vintage airstream.
Suggested Order: Onyx Delight Latte and a pop tart. If you want a dairy-free option, they can make any of their drinks with almond, coconut, or oat milk.
Susan’s Suggested Order: Susan’s suggestions didn’t stray far from my own.
To Eat: Wild Berry Pop-Tarts, Cinnamon Rolls—which she adds are award-winning— and sausage breakfast burritos
To Drink: Onyx Delight. A drink made with a combination of honey, cinnamon, and vanilla-it pairs seamlessly with the espresso and oat milk
Best Creativity: Monarch
The owner of Monarch is a lover of coffee and art, and her creativity shows in the menu—think Tumeric and Orange Creamsicle Lattes. The inventiveness is endearing, but so is the vibe. It’s beautiful and peaceful.
The shop is filled with natural light. It’s tiled in black and white with marble countertops and art-filled walls. If that’s not enough to make your Instagram feed green with envy, glance your heart-eyes over at the pistachio-colored espresso machine.
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Monarch focuses on light-medium roast coffee. And while their store may feel very highbrow, it maintains Midwest undertones with a coffee experience that is approachable and fun. You can scroll through their flavor profiles using their online coffee buying guide.
Suggested Order: A drip brew or a Knickerbocker Milkshake, which merges Emissary espresso with ice cream and a cherry-infused whipped topping.
Best for Work: Thou Mayest Coffee
River Market (Under Renovation)
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While Thou Mayest has many locations throughout KC, it’s their River Market (currently closed for renovations) location that steals my heart.
It’s warm and cozy, a throwback to the olden days of coffee shops and its former life as Quay. It’s a place where one can bring a laptop, grab a drink, and get sh*t done.
Thou Mayest’s coffee is balanced and bold. Like Messenger, they source globally. However, they tend to rotate flavors seasonally. Their Rwandan blend includes notes of strawberry balsamic and caramel, while Alter Ego is chocolatey and nutty.
Suggested Order: The Wild Child blend or an iced matcha limeade.
Best Kansas City Coffee Shops for Caffeine & Booze
Best Spot North of Kansas City: Incahoots Coffee & Donuts
Once a Mexican restaurant, now a quaint café that sits North of the city inside of a friendly, red caboose, Incahoots is one of the few places in town where you can grab caffeine and soon, booze. The adorable coffee shop with amazing graphics by Whiskey Designs opened in June and plans to start serving boozy bliss and cocktails by September.
Ryan and Emily O’Laughlin opened the quaint destination this summer giving visitors a reprieve from antique shopping along Main Street. Incahoots serves up drip coffee and cold brew with beans from Marcell. They also have chai lattes and teas, but it’s their house-made donuts that make my mouth water. The donuts are cake-based and creative with around ten different flavors to choose from. Caffeine + booze + sweets = the trifecta of happiness.
Incahoot’s tri-blend is purely its own special brew, which is the perfect combination of Guatemalan, Brazilian and Columbian beans.
Suggested Order: Iced Vanilla Latte with a blueberry lemon donut.
Emily’s Suggested Order: Carmel Latte with vegan cream and an old-fashioned donut drizzled with chocolate glaze.
Best for Late Nights: Made in KC Café & Taproom
KC Café has several locations primed to serve you coffee in Kansas City. Their River Market Trolley Café is inside a 73-year-old streetcar, while Corinth Square, Midtown, Country Club Plaza, and Briarcliff double as boutiques with locally made items. However, the Downtown location is both a café and a bar, making it one of the few places in town where you can grab a late-night coffee. And if you like Messenger Coffee, you’re in luck because that is exactly what they serve.
Tip: Don’t miss happy hour! Happy hour prices apply to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Suggested Order: While the Cereal Milk Steamer (weekends only) is their signature item, I recommend skipping it in favor of a honey lavender latte and something from their vegan breakfast menu.
A Map to the Best Coffee Spots in Kansas City
What do you think? Did we miss anything? I’m confident we did. The coffee culture in Kansas City is truly one of a kind. Which one of these coffee companies is your favorite?
If you want to dive deeper, check out this list of bizarre places in KC to drink coffee. You will find a few new friendly faces, including Hi-Hat, Café Sebastienne, Whisker’s Cat Café, Blip, and Café Equinox.
Photo Credit 1: Messenger
Photo Credit 2: Splitlog Coffee