Kansas City  may be the Midwest’s barbecue stronghold, but that’s not all that you’ll find on offer: Local restaurateurs are busy serving up a mouthwatering array of dishes that range from contemporary American and Asian fusion to Argentinean, Brazilian, and Indian.
National food experts are slowly turning their sights to Kansas City in celebration of its truly innovative restaurants that have attracted the accolades of James Beard and Zagat. Places like Blue Bird Bistro , Justus Drugstore: A Restaurant , and Bluestem  have perfected the art of using seasonal, local ingredients in inventive dishes that transform a typical meal into a memorable dining experience.
The city’s large Italian population has left a lasting imprint on its culinary scene, and restaurants like Garozzo’s  and La Cucina di Mamma  are popular choices for those who like a lot of garlic served with a heaping side of tradition.
For a meal in a pinch, street vendors  set up shop in Westport and throughout downtown’s high-traffic areas to dish out fast, flavorful, and filling meals. With options from gyros and pizza to hot dogs and gourmet snow cones, local street vendors are a great option if you’re on the go—and an even better choice if you’re traveling on a budget.
And while you’re here, be sure to sample two of the city’s unofficial beverages: Boulevard Brewing Co.  beer and The Roasterie  coffee. Both were created by owners that have a palpable passion for their trades, and the results are rich, flavorful brews that have each become staples in local restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.