Daytime Event Venues
Host Hotel and Main Convention Venue
NAPABA is holding a block of rooms at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown hotel at the rate of $149 single/double plus applicable taxes and fees. To make a reservation, please click here. The cutoff date for this block is October 17, 2013, however, this block WILL SELL OUT prior to this date. We highly suggest booking your reservations as soon as possible. After the cutoff date or after the block has been filled, rooms may still be available at the Marriott but will be sold at prevailing rates.
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association will be the site for the KC BBQ Tasting/Young Lawyers/Affiliate Leadership Summit/First Time Attendees Dinner on Thursday evening.
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque
Jack Stack Barbeque in the historic Freight House building will be the site for International Law Symposium Dinner on Thursday evening and the Judicial Council Dinner on Friday evening.
The Ambassador Hotel will be the site for the Litigation Committee Dinner on Thursday evening.
Aixois Brasserie will be the site for the Solo & Small Firm Committee Dinner on Thursday evening.
The Majestic Restaurant
The Majestic Restaurant will be the site for the Leadership Advisory Council Dinner on Thursday evening.
Additional Dining Options
Bonjwing Lee is a food writer and photographer (and recovering attorney) based in Kansas City. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine Magazine, and Bon Appetit Magazine. You may have also seen him hanging out with Anthony Bourdain in the Kansas City episode of No Reservations on the Travel Channel.
We asked Bonjwing to put together a list of places for NAPABA attendees to eat in Kansas City. Here are his top choices within a five-mile radius of the Convention site:
$$$ – $50+ per person, no drink
$$ – $15-50 per person, no drink
$ – Less than $15 per person, no drink
The American Restaurant ($$$)
Designed by Warren Plattner (who also designed Windows on the World) and the godfather of modern, American cuisine, James Beard, himself, this icon of Kansas City fine dining has been opened since 1974 and has been home to three of Kansas City’s four James Beard Award-winning chefs. The new chef, Michael Corvino (most recently, the executive sous chef at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas), continues the restaurant’s tradition of serving refined, creative, and contemporary American cuisine. The view is almost as impressive as the wine list.
www.theamericankc.com, 200 E 25th Street, Suite 400
James Beard Award winner Colby Garrelts and his wife Megan opened this small, fine dining restaurant nearly a decade ago. It’s only gotten better over time (disclaimer: I wrote and shot their cookbook). In the dining room, you’ll find contemporary American cuisine. In the lounge, you’ll find heartier, more casual fare, like shrimp and grits, hanger steak, and a pretty great burger. Happy hour in the lounge is quite popular. Go early, stay late. Reservations in the dining room recommended.
www.bluestemkc.com, 900 Westport Road
Christopher Elbow Chocolates ($)
Formerly the pastry chef at The American Restaurant, Christopher Elbow has become our city’s Willy Wonka. Jewel-like chocolates, wonderful hot chocolates, and amazing ice creams.
www.elbowchocolates.com, 1819 McGee Street
Fred Spampanato makes the best bread in our city. His little shop on the city’s west side is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and he’s often sold out before noon. So go early. My favorite bread is the “Orchard,” an almond-shaped loaf with a caramelized skin and a dense middle riddled with dried apricots, raisins, and walnuts.
www.fervere.com, 1702 Summit
Genessee Royale Bistro ($)
Some of my favorite Kansas City restaurants are in old gas stations. This is one of them. Only open for breakfast and lunch, Genessee Royale Bistro, located in the historic West Bottoms, serves simple, but well-made Americana, like chicken on a biscuit, and the most wonderful Monte Cristo you’ll ever have for breakfast.
www.genesseeroyale.com, 1531 Genessee Street
The Kill Devil Club ($$)
If you’re looking for craft cocktails and some live jazz, go to this clubby lounge located on the second floor of a row of restaurants in the Power & Light District in the heart of downtown. Open late.
www.killdevilclub.com, 31 East 14th Street
Kitty’s Café on 31st ($)
Get the pork tenderloin sandwich. Don’t expect to find a seat. Ask for extra napkins. The “Café” is a red herring. Lunch only. Bring cash.
810 1/2 East 31st Street
LC’s BBQ ($)
In an old gas station on Blue Parkway is a smoker. And in that smoker are some of the best brisket burnt ends you’ll find in Kansas City. And underneath those smoking brisket burnt ends are trays of baked beans, catching all the drippings. Those are the two things to order. Add the fries and the rib tips if you have room. And remember, the smoker is inside the restaurant. Be prepared to be smoked along with your food.
5800 Blue Parkway
Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ ($)
If you only have time for one barbecue meal in Kansas City, make it here. Located in an old gas station just on the Jayhawk side of the Missouri-Kansas border, Oklahoma Joe’s serves some of my favorite barbecue in Kansas City. I always order the ribs and chicken (yes, the chicken) and a side of slaw. Lines can be unreasonably long, so it’s best to go during off-hours (get their right at 11AM, or wait until the hours between 2PM and 6PM). You can also call in an order ahead for take-away.
www.oklahomajoesbbq.com, 3002 West 47th Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas
Port Fonda ($$)
This is hipster Mexican at its very best: fried oyster tacos, chimichangas, micheladas, and a lively mix of Eighties and hip-hop. The cocktails here are great.
www.portfondakc.com, 4141 Pennsylvania, Suite 103
Extra Virgin ($$)
Mediterranean tapas. Excellent happy hour. Outdoor patio seats for the taking.
www.extravirginkc.com, 1900 Main Street
The pastas are great. The desserts are great. The dining room – a converted freight house redesigned by David Rockwell – is great. Brought to you by Lidia Bastianich.
www.lidias-kc.com, 101 West 22nd Street
Little Freshies ($)
A cute and eclectic mix of espresso, snow cones, and lunch sandwiches.
www.littlefreshie.com, 811 West 17th Street
Craft cocktails in a speakeasy bar underneath The Rieger Grill & Exchange (see below). Reservations strongly recommended.
www.theriegerkc.com/manifesto, 1924 Main Street
Michael Smith ($$$)
James Beard Award winner Michael Smith offers an eclectic mix of contemporary American cuisine with Mediterranean influences at this upmarket restaurant, next door to its more casual, small-plates sister restaurant extra virgin (see above). Open lunch and dinner.
www.michaelsmithkc.com, 1900 Main Street
A relative newcomer to Kansas City’s restaurant scene, Ryan Brazeal, formerly a cook at David Chang’s Ma Pêche in New York City, has returned home to open this homey restaurant in a two-story house on the city’s west side. He values ingredient quality and flavor, and it shows.
www.novelkc.com, 815 West 17th Street
Oddly Correct ($)
Super hipster coffee. You can also buy letterpress prints here, naturally.
www.oddlycorrect.com, 3940 Main Street
Located in the industrial East Bottoms, Pigwich – a food truck parked outside the butcher shop The Local Pig – isn’t easy to find. But if you take the time, you’ll find a delicious, rotating list of sandwiches: Philly cheesesteak, burger, and a vegetarian-friendly falafel, among others. Outdoor seating only.
www.thelocalpig.com, 2618 Guinotte Avenue
Pizza Bella ($)
Wood-fired pizzas. Wide range of toppings; vegetarian-friendly. If the weather’s nice, they’ll have the front of the restaurant opened to the street.
www.pizzabellakc.com, 1810 Baltimore
The Rieger Grill & Exchange ($$)
Rustic Italian meets pub fare at Howard Hanna’s downtown restaurant. Excellent cocktails. If you can, try to grab a seat at the chefs counter, a front row view of the open kitchen.
www.theriegerkc.com, 1924 Main Street
Town Topic ($)
Although this greasy spoon dinette (there are two of them, located two blocks apart) is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, it has been a late-night haunt for decades. The burger patties are smashed on the griddle until they’re thin, with a lacy skirt. Ice box pies to boot (coconut cream!). Look for the neon in the night.
2121 Broadway Street
And Still Others:
Modern German, in a small-plate format.
www.affarekc.com, 1911 Main Street
Anton’s Taproom ($$)
It’s a bar. It’s a restaurant. It’s a butcher (with nicely dry-aged meats for sale). It’s also a fish farm (there’s an indoor aquaponic tilapia farm downstairs in the basement). You’ve got to see it for yourself to understand how all of this could coexist under one roof.
www.antonskc.com, 1610 Main Street
Arthur Bryant’s BBQ ($)
Calvin Trillin made this a barbecue mecca and destination nearly forty years ago.
www.arthurbryantsbbq.com, 1727 Brooklyn Avenue
The Cashew ($$)
Pizzas, tacos, wraps, and paninis.
www.thecashew.com, 2000 Grand Boulevard
The Farmhouse ($$)
www.eatatthefarmhouse.com, 300 Delaware Street
The Flying Saucer Draught House ($$)
Located in the heart of the Power & Light District, this branch of a national chain, offers one of the most extensive beer menus in town.
www.beerknurd.com, 101 East 13th Street
Wings, sandwiches, pizzas.
www.grinderspizza.com, 417 East 18th Street
Schniztel, sausages, strudel, and more: Austrian fare in the freight house row.
www.grunauerkc.com, 101 West 22nd Street
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue ($$)
Barbecue in the freight house row.
www.jackstackbbq.com, 101 West 22nd Street
The Peanut ($$)
Wings and beer.
www.peanutkc.com, 418 West 9th Street
Webster House ($$)
Stately dining room on the second floor of an old schoolhouse converted to an upscale antique shop. Open lunch and dinner.
www.websterhousekc.com, 1644 Wyandotte Street
Westside Local ($$)
Local ingredient cooking.
www.thewestsidelocal.com, 1663 Summit Street
Late Night Venues
Power and Light Entertainment District
Offering over a half million square feet, the Kansas City Power & Light District is the Midwest’s premier entertainment epicenter. With more than 50 unique and captivating restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues, the Power & Light District offers something for everyone. The Thursday Night Social Activities will take place here!
The Midland by AMC
The Midland is a historic theater recently converted into a live entertainment and private event venue. The Friday Night Social Activities will take place here!
For a Google Map of these and other Downtown Kansas City attractions, click here.