Welcoming, eccentric and unendingly committed to local culture, Kansas City’s Midtown area encompasses a large collection of popular neighborhoods and fascinating destinations. Get to know the district with this guide before you go in search of your next big KC discovery.
Loosely defined as the area between the Crossroads Arts District and the Country Club Plaza, Midtown is home to hotspots like Westport and Tower East—along with a roster of creative venues and culinary destinations on virtually every block.
Things to do
The Uptown Theater sparkles as a long-time favorite for concerts of all kinds. It’s joined by the Madrid, an intimate venue that gives everyone an up-close experience. Just down the block, Unicorn Theatre hosts some of the region’s most thought-provoking live performances.
Nestled in the tree-lined Roanoke neighborhood, the Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site preserves the prolific painter’s studio for visitors to explore and enjoy. For another cultural cornerstone, check out Browne’s Irish Marketplace—operating since 1887, it’s the oldest Irish business in existence outside of Ireland. (Plus, keep an eye on events and activities at the KC Irish Center.)
Ready to extend your time in Midtown? Check in at the Truitt or Aida. Two of the city’s buzziest boutique hotels, each property is just a short walk from the Kansas City Art Institute, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
What to eat
The Russell provides all the warmth of a home-cooked meal with a menu wood-fired salads and sandwiches, while Gates Bar-B-Q boasts a legendary history as one of Kansas City’s founding establishments for smoked delicacies.
Near Main St. and Westport Rd., a trio of European-inspired outposts dazzle and delight for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Begin with coffee and pastries at Enchante, choose from an impressive menu of comforting seasonal dishes at Tailleur and raise a glass before the day is done at Cheval.
Further south, Ragazza Food & Wine has established itself as a favorite choice for Italian dishes in the glow of a cozy Midtown corner. Indulge in fine Ethiopian dining at Mesob, Japanese staples at Sama Zama and French-inspired menus at Westport Cafe and Bistro 303.
Where to shop
Curious shoppers are certain to stumble upon a gold mine along Westport Rd. Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities is stacked to the ceiling with cooking supplies and quirky additions for your home—just don’t miss the chance to pick up a slice of pie from Ashleigh’s Bake Shop in the back of the store before you depart.
Bubble Wrapp boasts shelves full of designer toys, with an emphasis on Japanese collectibles. Bunker has all you need to wear your KC pride on your sleeve, and Mid Coast Modern can keep you looking (and smelling) fresh with apparel, accessories and a locally-made collection of soaps and scents from Bear Soap Company.
Head around the corner on a search for your next great find at Mills Record Company or return to Westport Rd., where over-the-top window displays will surely draw you into a series of standout vintage clothing shops. And don't miss additional vintage wonderlands, including Populuxe and Urban Mining, near Martini Corner.
Venture out to more of Midtown and continue your shopping hot streak: Browse striking gemstones and jewelry at Opal & Gold, herbs and spices at Phoenix Herb, charmingly irreverent candles at Effing Candle Co. and a wide selection of home accessories at Trapp and Company.