24 Hours in: Kansas City, MO

Kansas City is a jewel of the midwest, full of culture, great people, and delicious eats! Read on for tacos, margaritas, brunch, and shenanigans in the capital of Missouri.

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When my best friend Kelsey moved to Kansas City in the beginning of August, I was absolutely devastated. What would I do without my partner in crime? My margarita buddy, my Bachelor-watching pal, my confidante? I was (and tbh still am) distraught.

This devastation is what led to me (in a post-bottomless brunch frenzy) buying a plane ticket to Kansas City for late August. Kelsey and I weren't sure what to expect, but we knew that if the two of us were involved, it would be a party. We were, in a word, CORRECT. Below are the highlights of my weekend in Kansas City!

Kansas City Taco Company

For lunch on Friday, we headed to Kansas City Taco Company in the River Market area for tacos and margaritas. It was a super cute space, and since we were having a late lunch, we were some of the only people there. Our server was super attentive and friendly, and recommended the pineapple margarita, which we both started with.

We then opted to share the Skillet Nachos with Black Beans and the Avocado & Black Bean Tacos, which were both delicious! We agreed that the nachos could have used more queso, but that could also just be because Kelsey and I are cheese fiends. It's fine everything is fine. We also had two more house margaritas apiece, which were less sweet than the pineapple margarita, which we preferred. Overall, I would highly recommend KCTC for lunch, happy hour or dinner!

Harry's Country Club

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After KCTC, we headed back to Kelsey's apartment so I could wrap up my work for the day and we could rest and charge our phones. We didn't stay there long though, because we had big plans for happy hour and dinner at Harry's Country Club, also in River Market. We walked over with sangria in mind - they have pitchers for only $14 during happy hour. Like, what?! That's unheard of in DC, so naturally we split 2 pitchers over the leisurely 3 hours we were there.

We also got onion rings as an appetizer to start, and for dinner Kelsey ordered the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup combo while I got the Chipotle Black Bean burger. The food was good, nothing too special - but overall, the meal was cheap, the sangria was good, and we got exactly what we were expecting! We headed home to digest and pregame with some vodka sodas before heading to...

Power & Light

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Ok, I'm still not hip to the KC bar scene, but everyone we talked to on Bumble told us that we should spend one night out in the Power & Light district, and the next night out in Westport. Friday was Power & Light time! We had a blast at a country bar that felt like a middle school dance (except that most of my middle school dances didn't have vodka sodas or mechanical bulls). We then moved onto a piano bar where Kelsey was aggressively pursued and swing danced by a former male stripper. Casual. We ended the night with some cheap pizza and a walk home, where we chugged water and geared up for brunch the next morning.

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Bistro 303

One of the weirdest things about going to places that aren't DC is that bottomless brunch is like... not really a thing. Why wouldn't everyone want to black out before noon?! V unsure. However, we were still able to find Bistro 303, a cute brunch spot (and traditionally a gay bar) serving up $20 pitchers of mimosas that we confirmed each contained a full bottle of champagne. We can fux with that.

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While we aggressively Bumbled to find people to hang out with later that day, Kelsey noshed on the Biscuits and Gravy and I enjoyed the Brioche French Toast. Everything was AMAZING, and we definitely took our time with this brunch, starting at noon and wrapping up around 3. We then moved to the inside bar to chat with other patrons and have some vodka sodas. This is where things got weird, and a Bumble rando just SHOWED UP, had a drink with us, and then walked us over to the next stop on this party train.

Kelly's Bar

Kelly's is a bar near Bistro 303 in the Westport area of KC, and on this Saturday it was pretty turned up at 4:30 PM when we walked in. There was a 30th birthday party going on, a crowd of people walked in for a bar golf, and we had both this random Bumble guy and a 59 year old man, Bobby, buying all of our drinks. All in all a recipe for success.

I think we also gave a man love advice, definitely scared our Bumble rando away, and then headed out for a quick dinner at a bar across the street before forcing Kelsey's brother and his friend to pick us up and take us back to Kelsey's apartment for some pregaming before we headed out to bars in Westport.

Updown

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Updown is an arcade bar that we were pretty reluctant to go to because neither of us are big arcade games fans, but we obliged when we made plans to meet up with a Bumble boy, Hot Grant. He ended up being awesome, and we had a great time drinking with him and the other members of the Bachelor party he was with. We had a few drinks at Updown before heading to another bar nearby (no clue what the name is), where we had a couple more drinks, chatted, and took pictures in this random car. We ended the night with an Uber ride home and a frozen pizza before hitting the hay.

El Patron Mexican Kitchen

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By Saturday morning, Kelsey and I both felt... rough. Like, the kind of rough where we stayed in bed until 11 AM and rolled out only when the promise of Mexican food called out to us, in the form of El Patron Mexican Kitchen. We braved torrential downpours to get there, but as soon as we had their chips, salsa and queso in hand, we were revived. Kelsey had a chicken quesadilla, I had the vegetable fajitas, we each had copious amounts of water, and all was well with the world again.

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After we were sufficiently sated, we headed back home and convinced Hot Grant to come over, make us coffee, and watch Unreal with us. So useful, that Hot Grant. After two episodes, we headed over for a stroll around the River Market.

River Market

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Okay, y'all. The River Market is the farmer's market of my DREAMS. There are so many stands and stores (spices! veggies! flowers! burritos?!) and it. is. CHEAP. The Dupont Circle farmer's market makes my heart happy but my wallet sad, so I immediately began to evaluate the feasibility of moving to Kansas City.

Hot Grant wanted to get a sandwich, so we strolled over to his favorite Italian deli. As we were walking, a farmer offered us a free bouquet of flowers that hadn't sold that day, which I gladly accepted. Look how beautiful they were!

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Once we were in the deli, Grant ordered an Italian sandwich and Kelsey and I each got gelato. The rain was starting to let up, so we rounded out our adventure with a stroll to the river to check out their version of the love lock bridge. We finally headed back to Kelsey's and said our farewells to Hot Grant. One more episode of Unreal passed before Kelsey drove me to the airport, my short (but eventful) time in KC having finally come to a close.

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Overall, I had SUCH an amazing time! If you ever get the change to head to Kansas City, I highly recommend it - just as I recommend you let Bumble be your guide in any given city.

Next stop on my adventures... Nashville!

XOXO,
Jess