Rob Reiner gave us the idea to give you juicy recommendations for where to brunch, lunch, and have drinks in Kansas City. When he directed When Harry Met Sally, Rob’s mother made the line famous, “I’ll have what she’s having,” following Meg Ryan’s famous on-screen, faked orgasm.
While we won’t go that far, we will share a short video each week of a Kansas City food influencer immersed in the local food scene in Kansas City. Chefs, authors, civic leaders, and Kansas City foodies will share their favorite place to nosh, celebrate, or set the mood for romance with their significant other.
We bravely ask restauranteurs, rebels, and civic rockstars where they love to brunch, lunch, and enjoy cocktails in Kansas City. This is what they told us.
Nika Cotton, Soulcentricitea Owner
Nika Cotton is a Kansas City entrepreneur and the owner of Soulcentricitea Tea Room at 1106 E 30th St., Suite E, Kansas City, Missouri 64109.
Her welcoming tea room is located at the corner of Troost and 30th in the former Wonder Bread building, which is now Wonder Shops + Flats. Soucentricitea is the ideal space for community gatherings, quiet contemplation, tarot card readings, and tea parties. Inside you’ll see murals by local artists and books by African American female authors.
Choose from 54 tea varieties as well as coffee, lemonade, and pastries from Spicy Moon Foods.
Dinner: Indian Palace
Drinks: The Combine, exist together. Enjoy deli, pizza and taps.
Bob Martin, iWerx Cofounder
Bob Martin describes himself as a marketing lackey, but he’s really a marketing genius and the nicest guy in Kansas City. He owns three coworking spaces — iWerx in North Kansas City, iWerx in Gladstone, and the Mercantile at DesignWerx.
Bob fans the flames of hundreds of entrepreneurs, makers, and artists in these groovy spaces. He also fosters creative sharing at weekly Northland Coffee Connects held each Wednesday at 1520 Clay St. in North Kansas City, Missouri.
Having lived in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Los Angeles, Bob has good taste in food, coffee and beer. Bob has a German/Dutch/Irish heritage but loves a good Italian meal at Garozzos or American Fare at Summit Grill.
KC Breweries: 3 Halves, Callsign & Cinder Block
KC Breakfast Spots: Ginger Sue’s or First Watch Favorite
KC Coffee Spots: Overflow in Liberty or Colony in NKC
KC Street Taco Restaurant: Drunken Worm
KC Distillery: Restless Spirits
Joe Gauer, River North District Founder
During the day, Joe works for MARC, where he supports environmental projects that ensure the Kansas City region has clean air and water. During his off-hours, he markets the restaurants and storefronts located in North Kansas City, MO., through a business league called the River North District.
The business league (a 501c6 tax-exempt organization) is branded to show off North Kansas City as an entertainment district. Joe and his team work diligently to market and inject new energy into new and old venues and bridge the gaps among the diverse points of interest.
River North District board members are restauranteurs and food and drink influencers from outside the district who have a big interest in North Kansas City (aka Kansas City food and drink writers such as Pete Dulin).
Joe is a creative force who gets hungry working full-time and with such a demanding side hustle. He’s also married with two young children.
Joe recommends you grab a bite or cocktail in North Kansas City at these notable Kansas City restaurants and bars just across the river.
Brunch: LC’s on 18th in North Kansas City
Lunch: Jersey Boys
Dinner: Iron District for Vegan, Mexican, Crepes, Burgers, or Tiki Drinks for drinks in Kansas City
Date Night: Screenland Theatre and Sail Away Wine Bar
Ed Brownell, SPIN! Pizza Owner and Food Influencer
Ed Brownell is a 30-year resident of Kansas City and a 40-year restaurant veteran of Casual Dining and Fast Casual concepts.
He started his career at Pizza Hut and worked his way up the management ladder as an Assistant Manager, General Manager, District Manager, and ultimately a Vice President of Operations in Portland, Oregon. Ed was also a franchisee of Sonic Drive-In. Ed built a 12-unit chain of Sonics, which were later sold back to the franchisor.
Back on the Kansas City front, Ed became a key operator for Bagel & Bagel, an 8-unit bagel concept in Kansas City, which provided the conceptual foundation for Einstein Bros. Bagels. Ed was involved in expanding the Einstein Brothers chain across the United States and taking it to a successful public offering.
After Einstein Brothers, Ed Co-Founded SPIN! Pizza, a Fast Casual pizza chain with Kansas City, Dallas, Omaha, and California locations.
Needless to say, Ed likes quality food served in quality restaurants. Here is what he had to say about his favorite places to dine and have drinks in Kansas City.
Lunch: Spin! Pizza – there are seven locations in Kansas City
Dinner: Silo Modern Farmhouse in south Overland Park
Gems: Tortilla Ranch in Overland Park, Kan., and Amigos Cantina in Kansas City, Kan.
HINT: Bookmark this link so you’ll never be at a loss of where to eat or drink next in Kansas City. We add a video to the top of this post each week, so you’ll get a constant stream of expert recommendations from our local food influencers in Kansas City weekly.
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