River Market Antiques—A Day of History in Kansas City

River Market Antiques window of fun vintage and industrial style finds

In the historic River Market district of Kansas City, River Market Antiques takes up over 30,000 square feet of space and is filled to the brim with antiques and vintage items sourced and displayed by over 175 dealers.

A Day of History in Kansas City

A trip to River Market Antiques is one of our favorite things to do in Kansas City. Exploring the four-story antique mall is like walking back to a bygone era.

If you want to incorporate your trip to the antique mall into a KC itinerary, we’ve got you covered.

We recommend you start your day with biscuits and gravy at Happy Gillis. The cozy restaurant is located inside of a pre-war building that has served as a barbershop, pool hall, and sundry store.

From there, it’s less than a mile stroll to walk past the old Pacific House. The building is currently a residential property but it houses a history that includes Jesse James and Union Troops.

Right across the street from the old Pacific House building, you will find Thou Mayest – River Quay, one of our favorite places to grab a coffee in KC. From there, you can cross the street and explore the City Market area which is home to specialty shops, restaurants, the Steamboat Arabia Museum, Strange Days Brewing Co, the region’s largest Farmers Market, and of course, River Market Antiques.

Inside River Market Antiques

You can spot River Market Antiques by looking for the Lewis and Clark Instagram-worthy mural painted on the building’s exterior. Inside, you will find four floors of amazing spaces to explore. If you need a break before shopping, they have restrooms and a few places to sit.

When you’re ready, there are four must-see booths within the antique mall:

  1. Extreme Antique Gallery – This booth specializes in finding the rare and the weird. You might spot items like vintage copper coffee pots from Paris, antique spoon molds, baking devices from the early 1800s, and stunning architectural pieces.
  2. Make your way down to the basement if you love vintage fashion. The basement was recently converted into a vintage fashion space with at least twenty booths showcasing everything from old sports jerseys to 1950s dresses.
  3. Drawing Room Vintage – This is your booth if you prefer a curated approach to antique shopping. Located on the third floor, Drawing Room specializes in the soft and feminine. Their booth is filled with beautiful aged pewter items, dainty furniture, floral artwork, and stunning vintage books bundled by color.
  4. Theo Nouveau Vintage Design – If you’re into eclectic quirkiness, Theo is for you. They have records, stickers, posters, and BOHO-style home accessories.

If you feel overwhelmed by all of the choices, River Market Antiques is fully staffed. The staff can point you toward the recommended booths above or make other recommendations based on what you’re hunting for.


If you want to hunt for a treasure and a deal, River Market Antiques hosts the occasional sale, including their “Spring Cleaning Sale” held in May. But Kansas City’s favorite event is the mall’s Annual Mother’s Day Plant Give-Away.

During the event, the Antique Mall offers complimentary tea and coffee to shoppers. Shoppers also walk away with a free plant, that not so coincidentally, looks perfect inside a funky antique container.

When you’re done shopping, head across the street to Made in KC Trolley Cafe to shop locally made crafts before finishing your day of history at one of KC’s foodie-friendly restaurants.

River Market Antiques is a real-life treasure hunt. Voted BEST of Kansas City by VisitKC, The Pitch Weekly, Discover, and KC Magazine, it’s one of those KCMO things to do that you simply cannot miss.

Photo Credit: River Market Antiques

Noelle Tabor