SEE ALSO: BEST BRUNCH IN KANSAS CITY
With a motto like, “Hang Loose, Eat Longboards,” Longboards is really hard not to love for Kansas City residents. With delicious grilled wraps filled with authentic Hawaii, California, Japanese, Chinese, and Mexican flavors, Longboards has something for everyone. Filled with sticky rice, delicious sauces, and tender meat, these wraps (and bowls) go fast! My personal favorite is the Thai Chicken, but the Cabo Beef is a close second. And, if you are feeling the Hawaiian spirit, don’t leave without a mac salad.
9. Speak Sandwiches
Speak Sandwiches is a new favorite and is a fantastic spin on a New York City deli, subway tiles and all. With a fantastic pastrami sandwich, served with a pickle, Speak Sandwiches is a great place for something hearty and delicious. Created by the owners of Genessee Royale, they focus on their homemade pastrami, traditional deli sandwiches, like the Autostrada, and a killer matzo ball soup. Warning: the pastrami sells out quick!
8. The Bite
The Bite is an extremely unique little joint in the heart of the River Market. Known for its Mexican-Asian fusion sandwiches, the Bite offers some of the best food in the River Market. With new and fantastic specials every week, some of the Bite’s favorites include The Bay of Pigs (roasted pork, prosciutto, smoked gouda, habanero pickles, mustard mayo) and Señor Chang (beef short ribs, queso fresco, sriracha crema, candied jalapeños, pickled onions, radish, cilantro). But, Carlos Mortera, owner, throws a lot more than just sandwiches. With an awesome patatas bravas, delicious caramelized plantains (a must), tamales, pozole (hominy stew with traditional garnishes), AND freshly made ice cream sandwiches, the Bite is one of my favorite places for lunch.
7. Genessee Royale
Genessee Royale Bistro is a hidden treasure in Kansas City. Not only does it have a delicious breakfast and brunch menu, but its lunch is equally as wonderful. With a small menu, Genessee Royale only offers the best, including some of my favorite tacos, Raul’s Tacos, which change daily! With a great ambiance (think gilded farmhouse in what used to be a gas station), Genessee Royale focuses on unique and simple flavors, jazzed up with something really unique. Though it’s only open for breakfast and lunch, Genessee Royale is a stand-out lunch spot in a city of stand-out lunch spots.
6. Vietnam Cafe
Vietnam Cafe is a small restaurant in the heart of Columbus Park. It might be a little too small for its customers’ tastes though because the place is always packed! As one of the best places in KC for pho, lunch and dinner is busy for this unassuming cafe. But, they don’t simply have pho. With delicious stir-fry noodles, Banh Tom Chien (deep fried sweet potatoes and shrimp), and other types of noodle soups, it’s my favorite place to go on a fall or winter day.
Homeslice is a new contender in the lunch/dinner space in Kansas City, but boy does it compete! With some awesome lunch specials on some of my favorite pizza in the city, and with a central location in P&L, it’s a great place to meet for lunch any day of the week. With delicious pizzas in personal sizes (the Homeslice Prosciutto: ricotta, house made mozzarella, goat cheese, baby arugula, extra virgin olive oil, prosciutto, fig jam), Homeslice is awesome any day or time of the week.
4. Happy Gillis
Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout is a standard favorite in Kansas City before and after appearing on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. With an extremely cute interior (including an entire wall dedicated to unique plates and a different themed salt and pepper shaker on each table) it’s a place hard not to love. Happy Gillis specializes in unique takes on breakfast, brunch, and lunch. I would recommend going at any time of day, as their breakfast and brunch are fantastic, but their lunch is standout as well. With something new to try each time, their regular favorites are their Cubano (mojo pork shoulder, ham, pickles, yellow mustard & swiss on ciabatta) and their Steak Sammy (green dirt farm cheese, chimichurri, pickled fresnos, arugula).
3. Heirloom Bakery and Hearth
Heirloom Cafe is one of my favorite places to hangout–and not simply because I gorge myself on sweets each time I go. With everything made in house (from different breads each day, to delicious cookies, bars, and other sweets), it’s one of my favorite places to go and get something that feels homemade. Personally, I love getting the half sandwich/half salad lunch special, and they always have market salads (new every couple of days) that are usually delicious. It’s a great spot to hang out, meet up with a friend, or just indulge in everything baked fresh that morning (they serve breakfast too!). And don’t forget a key lime pie bar on your way out.
2. Burrito Bros
I don’t think you are ready for this. I hate Chipotle … because of this place. It was never my favorite, but once I tried the burritos from Burrito Bros (in the River Market), burritos anywhere else never satisfy. It’s an unassuming little joint, tucked away, but it packs a mean lunch punch. With some of the best pico de gallo and sauces (with just the right amount of smokiness), freshly made chips, and meat that has been seasoned perfectly, cooked slowly, and served with care, it’s honestly my favorite burrito. Ever. And that’s really saying something. Be sure to try a chicken burrito with all the fixings, a lot of mild sauce, and pico de gallo. You’ll thank me.
Let me first explain Pigwich. Driving through one of the worst parts of town (not kidding), you’ll happen upon a cute little spot next to an awesome local store (Urban Provisions), a great butcher (The Local Pig), and a really loud and active railroad. And then you’ll see Pigwich. It’s a food truck that doesn’t move anymore, pushed up against The Local Pig with a shaded area and picnic tables beside it. It’s not a hole in the wall, but it’s a truck on a wall, so close enough. You’ll wait for a little bit as the line is usually busy around lunch time, and the food takes just long enough to get you hungry. But then you’ll get your sandwich.
Sweet manna from heaven. I promise you–you will NEVER have a better sandwich.
With five standard options for lunch (including a Double Cheeseburger, Banh mi, Falafel, Cheesesteak, and their signature Pigwich sandwich), Pigwich offers the best in sandwiches. Trust me–I’ve tried them all. My personal favorite is the Pigwich (smoked pork, slaw, and bbq sauce), and the Cheesesteak (steak, cheese, peppers, onions) for a close runner up. Served with homemade chips or a delicious bean slaw side and a drink for $9, it feels like a steal. Honestly, it’s one of the best places in Kansas City and should be awarded a medal for service to the people.
Comment back with your favorite lunch spot in Kansas City! Or you can write love notes to Pigwich. We won’t mind.
SEE ALSO: BEST BRUNCH IN KANSAS CITY