Local secrets on all things KC…
Baseball, BBQ and a killer music scene… Did we just step into the American dream? With this week’s 5×5 feature we headed to the Midwest, reaching out to five Free People store employees to give us all in the in’s and out’s on their favorite hangs. Read on to see what they had to say!
Lynn Magelli: Store Manager / Social Media Lead for @fpgreatlakes
If you want a great view of the city, this is your spot. A great little park area, home to a beautiful statue purchased by the city’s residents because it fits Kansas City so perfectly. I love this spot so much that I decided to get married here next year. A truly perfect place to hang and have a picnic and enjoy the view of our pretty little city!
FUD — 813 W. 17th St,Kansas City, MO 64108
Johns Greenhouse –– 6042 Holmes St, Kansas City, MO 64110
Is literally one of my favorite places in Kansas City. Located in the Waldo/Brookside residential area, this gem of a greenhouse will knock your socks off. It’s a quaint little place with a great assortment of succulents and plants. I always want to buy everything and have to make frequent trips there to stock up on all the plant babies. Roberta, the owner, is always fun to chat with and will give you great tips on how to take care of your new friends!
Eden Alley Café — 707 West 47th Street, lower level of Unity Temple, Kansas City, MO 64112
Negro League Baseball Museum — 1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108
This Museum was founded in 1990 by a few of the original Kansas City Monarch players, chronologically charting the progress of the Negro Leagues. The museum is interactive and covered with images and real life artifacts like worn jerseys, gloves and cleats… such a unique and incredible museum that everyone needs to experience.
Jack Stack: 4747 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64112
KC Joe’s: 3002 West 47th Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66103
Char Bar: 4050 Pennsylvania Ave #150, Kansas City, MO 64111
LC’s: 5800 Blue Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64129
Okay folks! Kansas City is known for their unbelievable BBQ restaurants. One of my favorite places for ribs and burnt ends would be Jack Stack or KC Joe’s. Char Bar has great food and a top-notch environment, serving incredible drinks with outdoor amusements that include ping pong and lawn croquet. So many options, you HAVE to hit one!
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art — 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64111
The Nelson originated in 1930. Known for its neoclassical architecture and beautiful works of art, you can easily spend a whole day getting lost and discovering many beautiful works of art. The outside also has an incredible Sculpture Museum — many people are familiar with the “Shuttlecock” sculptures that Kansas City is well-known for now. If you’re ever in Kansas City this is one spot you can’t miss!
Katie Esklund: Assistant Visual Manager
Josey’s Record Shop — 1814 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Josey’s is one of the best record stores in KC, hands-down! I have an unhealthy obsession with Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, and I’ve been able to find so many of my cherished albums there! Plus, the staff is always super helpful and kind.
Second Best Coffee — 328 W 85th St, Kansas City, MO 64114
Genuinely one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had, from some of the nicest baristas in town. Second Best uses their own beans and I believe only distribute to this coffee shop. They make a mean latte, and have some of the best chorizo burritos in town. It’s a good place to sit down and relax for a bit. They recently expanded their space so there is enough room for everyone.
River Market Antiques — 115 W 5th St, Kansas City, MO 64105
Located in the River Market district of Kansas City, this space is open 7 days a week, 10am-6pm. It is 4 stories’ worth of pure amazingness, from vintage photographs to beautiful clothes. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out for a few hours.
Local Pig Food Truck — 2618 Guinotte Ave, Kansas City, MO 64120
Located in the East Bottoms, Local Pig is a butcher shop that operates an outside food truck, and that’s where my obsession lies. They make the best Philly cheesesteak I’ve ever had. They pickle their own veggies and have a variety of meat eats for sale. It’s always fun to go on a warmer afternoon and sit on their makeshift patio and enjoy the trains.
Stockyard Brewery – 1600 Genesee St #100, Kansas City, MO 64102
Stockyards Brewery is one of Kansas City’s best-kept secrets. They are located in the Stockyards district, outside the West Bottoms. They made themselves right at home in an old space called the Golden Ox, keeping all of the old décor. The staff is always super kind, and the beer is always straightforward and delicious. Always recommend.
Ashley Thomas: Assistant Store Manager
From great coffee to good food, to a beautiful view of downtown, the Westside is probably one of the quirkiest places in KC. Our top spots include: Goat Hill Coffee, Westside Local (for local eats), Chez Elle (crepery), and Westside Storey (vintage/ local shop).
Ca Va — 4149 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111
Cava is Kansas City’s best champagne bar. Their slogan is “Champagne for the People” and they absolutely live up to their expectations. Kansas City is often called the Paris of the Plains, so no doubt about coming here to get your Paris fix. From delicious cheese plates to wonderful cocktails, Ca Va is one of our favorite places to get a drink and hang out with friends.
Indigo Wild –– 3125 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64111
Indigo Wild is a local apothecary brand/store. They sell a variety of soaps, lotions, room fragrances, and a new skincare line. All of their products are made with 100% pure essential oils and that gives them the best smells around. And even better, they are SO charitable. They give a portion of their proceeds from specific items to local cancer and animal organizations. If you’re down to smell good + feel good, then this is THE local business to get behind.
Midland — 1228 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64105
Constructed in 1927, this is one of KC’s most ornate and historic venue locations. We are always so happy when we get to see concerts there — from The Tallest Man on Earth, Sturgill Simpson, Lord Huron, Run the Jewels, we always know we will get to hear good music in a beautiful location. If you want to set your eyes + ears up with an amazing sensory journey than look no further.
West Bottoms –– 12th Street Bridge Entertainment District
The West Bottoms is Kansas City’s historic industrial areas. When KC was originally founded, we were the crossroads from the West Coast to East Coast, with rail being the primary form of transportation for both people and goods. This was the area where trains would stop and load up. It is one of the oldest areas in Kansas City. Today it is home to dozens of vintage stores that host shows the first weekend of every month. It is the best place to find furniture, vintage clothing and household odds and ends.
Katie Krim: Stylist/ Photographer
Port Fonda — 4141 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111
Port Fonda originally began as an Airstream that served quality Mexican inspired food that evolved into one of Kansas City’s most beloved restaurants. The environment is top-notch, and the wait staff is always friendly and helpful. They also have killer happy hour with the best draft margaritas. This is probably one of the most recommended spots in KC — their brunch is also to die for.
The center of art, entertainment, fashion, food and libations in Kansas City, the Crossroads is vibrant and diverse. Art galleries and local shops have opened all over the neighborhood with an emphasis on “shopping local” and the Kansas City community. Many walls, once blank, are now covered with some of the coolest street art ever. Lots of century-old factories and buildings, including the old Nabisco factory, have been converted into cool lofts and condos. Grab a coffee at one of the local shops and catch an outdoor concert before you hop on the street car to finish the night playing old school arcade games at the Crossroad’s popular arcade bar.
18th and Vine –– 18th St & Vine St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Is Kansas City’s third-largest park, complete with a beautiful rose garden. Loose Park is the perfect place to spend a day off or picnicking with friends. Kick up your feet and set up a hammock to relax and unwind.
Green Lady Lounge –– 1809 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108
The Green Lady Lounge’s retro atmosphere and sophistication make it one of the best jazz bars in all of Kansas City. Founded in late 2012, Green Lady Lounge hosts some of the best jazz musicians every night of the week. Its dark red walls are covered with vintage oil paintings and mirrors, and an eclectic collection of mid-century light fixtures hang throughout the dimly lit bar.
Julia Zukus: Manager In Training
Plaza — 4750 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64112
Maybe we’re a little biased because we are located on the Plaza, but it is definitely the best shopping in Kansas City! The first outdoor shopping mall designed for the car! How cool, right?! Beautiful Spanish architecture and lots of great spots to eat and treat!
Oracle Fine Curiosities — 130 W 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Get ready to get “WOWed.” Oracle specializes in the ethical acquisition of specimens, taxidermy, minerals, framed insects and butterflies. It’s located in the heart of the Crossroads Art District and is always one of the first stops during First Fridays. Discover and get inspired by all the incredible works of art and minerals.
Union Station — 30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108
Union Station is over 100 years old and home to so many cool things in KC! Not only did Bonnie and Clyde visit Union Station, it is a hub of culture, education and entertainment, hosting national exhibits, a planetarium, and an awesome place called Science City! There are several restaurants built into Union station, as well. Always great for happy hour and soaking in the beautiful architecture!
River Market — 20 E 5th St , Kansas City, MO 64106
The River Market is one of our favorite hoods! On those warmer weekends, keep an eye out for street vendors lining a small area with fruits, vegetables, plants and vintage items. It’s one of our favorite places to grab some coffee and a quick bite to eat. AND SHOP!
Simple Science — 1914 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Simple Science offers the best variety of cold pressed, organic juices in Kansas City, hands-down. All of the formulas are inspired by scientifically formulated blends, so it’s no wonder that their juices bear names like “Proton”, “Enzyme”, and “Nucleus.” You can find unexpected combinations of fresh fruits and veggies packed into each bottle—my personal favorite is “Iron”, a mix of golden beet + carrot + orange + pineapple + ginger + jalapeno. But even if juice isn’t your thing, Simple Science also makes their own kombucha or cold brew coffee as well as acai bowls and protein balls!
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Ahhh, I’d love to visit John’s Greenhouse. It sounds like my kind of thing, plus, we don’t have greenhouses here in Hong Kong!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
I learn so much from these posts. I don’t know much about Missouri, but this insider post makes me want to visit. I love the photos and the staff are beautiful.
Love this post.
WOOHOO!! I live in KC and it’s such a gem people don’t know exist. THANK YOU for spotlighting my beloved city! Agree w all of these. Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters on 18th downtown KC has the best chai in the city – from a local who makes it in small batches in the Westbottoms. It’s half bar, half coffee bar w a phenominal atmosphere.